The public image of your business is neither random nor hard to explain. Sure, there are some things that you can’t predict or affect but, for the most part, it depends on the factors that are relatively easy to control. Moreover, you don’t even have to overinvest in order to get there, seeing as how it’s incredibly easy to spin your story with just a bit of skill and knowledge. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five options that you have for controlling your brand’s public image.
1. Monitor your online presence
First, you need to start by determining where you are at the moment. So, you should check your rank, your traffic, your exposure and several other metrics that will show you where your brand awareness, brand recognition and brand loyalty stand. You must also focus on brand mentions and determine whether the narrative of your business is predominantly positive or negative. By monitoring brand mentions, you’ll find out exactly what your customers are saying about your brand when they don’t know if you’re listening.
2. Take care who you associate yourself with
Influencers are crucial for your outreach, however, there are some associations where you may have more harm than benefit from your influencer of choice. So, before you proceed make sure to check their history in order to be able to predict potential problems. Keep in mind that this is not 100 percent reliable and that just because they’ve never made a scandalous statement before, this doesn’t mean that they won’t do it in the future (there’s a first time for everything). So, keep a close eye on them.
3. Sell an idea
The most important thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to controlling your brand’s public image is the fact that you’re not selling a product, you’re selling an idea. So, during the formation of your marketing strategy, you need to turn your own business into an exemplar of the industry and turn purchase from you or paying for your service into a unique experience. This means appealing to the feelings of your target audience rather than their rational side. The best example of how this works is by turning a whiskey distillery tour into a whiskey and gin tasting experience.
4. Earn some reviews
Reviews are seen as unbiased and reliable by the online audience, due to the fact that they’re usually left by product users. This means that these are the people your audience can easily identify with and even see them as peers. Therefore, you need to make earning these reviews into a top priority. The simplest way to do so is to outright ask for reviews. You would be surprised at how many people will agree to do this. You can also try incentivizing this kind of behavior and respond to negative reviews, which may result in a positive review somewhere down the line.
5. Always deliver on your promises
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go that extra mile on delivering what you’ve promised. All it could mean is that you should just pay a closer look at what you promise. This starts with knowing your business. Once you’re tempted to make a promise, you need to know how realistic it is for you to actually accomplish it. This often depends on the capacities and productivity of your enterprise. There’s also the art of saying no. Knowing how to politely refuse potential customers is something that can get you out of many difficult situations. The sooner you master it, the better.
The final thing you need to bear in mind when it comes to controlling your brand’s public image is the fact that it requires a consistent effort. You constantly need to monitor your brand mentions, keep track of what you’re promising, update your reviews and check what your influencers are doing (even when they’re not talking about your brand). Only this way can you maintain the necessary level of control.