Content marketing is all the rage right now. Every SEO website, every marketing website, and any website that has anything to do with building a business online is filled with talk about content marketing—even reputation management websites. Partly that’s because creating great content is a surefire way to attract links and rank well in a Google search.
In terms of reputation management, if you can make great content across the web, you can get that stuff to appear in the first page of your branded search instead of malicious “scam reports” or links to malicious reviews.
But what if you are terrible at making content? What if you’re too busy running your business and you don’t have the funds to hire someone to make content for you? You can still earn a great online reputation without building a social following, blogging, or making videos. It takes a slightly different set of skills, and it’s hard work, but it can be very effective. In fact, it’s not that different from what you should be doing as a business anyway.
If you want to improve your online reputation, but you don’t want to do content marketing, here are a few things you can try:
1) Start from the inside
Some people may be using content marketing as a way to make up for their lack of a top-notch product or service. Or they may be pushing out so much content that they don’t feel they need to invest in their customer’s experience. But if you have a great product and great customer service, maybe you don’t need to be investing as much in content.
A bad online reputation usually starts with an unsatisfied customer. Whether they are unhappy that your product or service didn’t live up to their expectations or they simply had a bad experience dealing with your company, customers today will take to the web to vent their frustrations. They’ll write bad reviews, rant about your company in a blog post, or even contribute to those so-called “scam report” websites.
The best way to avoid unhappy customers is not to have any in the first place. Listen to your customers’ feedback and criticisms and use that feedback to improve your product and your service. When you have happy customers, you don’t have to worry about a bad online reputation.
2) Ask for positive reviews
If you don’t want to create content, ask your customers to do it for you. If you’re running a successful business, it is likely you already know who your best customers are. If you want more positive reviews online, simply ask your best customers to write reviews for you.
Most customers won’t write reviews unless they have an extremely bad experience or they have an extremely good one. But what about all those people in between? Most customers won’t write reviews simply because they haven’t thought about it. So just open your mouth, ask them to review you, and watch your online reputation start to improve.
3) Build partnerships
This is a bit more on the marketing side, but if you want to build a positive online reputation, you need to get people on the web saying positive things about you and your company. So build some partnerships. For example, if you own a coffee shop, build a relationship with the local bookstore and tell them that anyone who comes in with a receipt from that bookstore will get fifty cents off their next coffee. Ask the bookstore to put that offer on their website and link to you.
Not only will you build your customer base, but you’ll also get a local business to mention you on their website—which could now appear in the search results for your company name. And you didn’t have to make any content to do it.
Essentially, building a positive online reputation should go hand-in-hand with being a good business and building real-world relationships with your customers, other businesses, and more—which is what you should be doing anyway. When you can build a positive reputation for yourself in the real world, your online reputation will follow. So, if you don’t want to focus on making content to combat a negative online reputation, take a step back and build a good reputation for your business in the real world, and the online world will reflect your real world reputation.