Internet marketers often become blinded by anything that happens offline. It’s understandable. As you are focusing on producing great content, connecting with your audience and spreading your online message, it’s easy to become oblivious to the status of your offline reputation. This is why it is imperative for all online marketers to take a step back every now and again to make sure their reputation management is up to par online as well as off.
Before we get to how to manage your offline reputation as an online marketer, let’s look at how you already manage your online rep. Online reputation is described as the image your audience holds of your brand, products and services. When you respond to comments on Facebook and in your blogs, you are essentially engaging in online reputation management. The idea is to boost your online image so that your audience always sees you in a positive light.
It can be argued that online reputation management is much easier to accomplish than offline rep management. Why? It’s because online rep management is really easy to measure. You can conduct a simple search online and you can, in a few moments, find online reviews, forum postings, blogs and articles that will help you determine what your audience thinks of you.
You can then create your own posts, thus enhancing your reputation in your audience’s eyes.
Offline reputation management is a little different. You can’t really measure how your audience feels about you offline. You can only listen and pay attention to how those feelings translate once your audience hops online. However, just because you can’t measure your offline reputation doesn’t mean that management of that rep is any less important. You just have to be more creative and vigilant if you hope to keep your offline reputation positive at all times.
This is one of the most crucial forms of offline reputation management. Your audience will probably mention your organization, products and/or services to their friends, family members, co-workers and others they may encounter on a daily basis. What are these individuals saying about you and yours?
To encourage positive word-of-mouth advertising, give your audience something to brag about. Go above and beyond when it comes to fulfilling your customers’ orders. Offer comment cards so that you can read first-hand what your company is getting right and what you still need to work on. Then, take those things you do need to improve on and make your company better. The better experience your customers have, the better offline reputation you’ll have. Only by listening to your audience and making positive changes based on the information you glean can you hope to achieve the best reputation out of all of your competitors.
Discounts, Free Stuff, Specials And Customer Appreciation
If you really want to take your offline reputation efforts to the next level, start paying attention to what your audience truly wants. Everyone loves discounts, free stuff and specials. These allow your customers to purchase your products and services while saving money at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to tell everyone they know about such a deal? While you’re at it, show your customers that you truly care about them by engaging in customer appreciation events. You can reward the 100th customer, you can reward those customers that wear your special T-Shirt or you can create a discount card specifically for ‘VIP Members’.
Make your customers feel special, wanted and part of the club and your offline reputation will shoot through the roof.
Of course, you should still continue with your online reputation. With everyone using computers, smart phones and other mobile devices to access the Internet to search for local companies, products and services, online reputation management is more important than ever. Just remember to always keep your offline reputation management in the back of your mind, as both on and offline rep management are crucial if you hope to achieve maximum business success.