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  • Key elements to building a great online digital reputation

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Warren Buffet famously said that “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”. And, with traditional industries like chemical companies trying to grow their online reputation in an environmentally-conscious world, one where everyone is super aware of their carbon footprint, it’s even more important to also place focus on another type of footprint – their digital one.

Digital reputation has been described as the result of WHO you are, who YOU SAY you are, and who PEOPLE SAY you are. Managing any company is the result of dealing with all of these circumstances, all of the time.

Websites, social networks and online personas are essential marketing strategy components to any industry. And with chemical companies under a microscope at the best of times, soothing their stakeholders and customers can be challenging as well as critical. As a result, establishing a good online reputation from the get-go is miles better than having to try to fix a damaged one. And, in an era where everyone looks you up online before deciding to do business with you, what they find can have a huge long-term impact.

And this can be for better – or worse.

Studies have shown that one negative article found online contributes to the loss of over 20% of immediate business; that statistic doubles when there is more than one.

Hiring the right digital marketing team ensures that your company does not get left behind on the fast-moving digital merry-go-round. With the life cycle of information technology getting shorter and shorter, competition is upending chemical industries by leveraging state of the art digital practices and processes.

In order to respond to this new world, one filled with hyper-connected experiences, IT functions are under pressure to support new and ever-changing capabilities that include a constantly updated recipe of data analytics, cybersecurity and third-party integration.

In essence, your company’s IT system is rapidly becoming obsolete. It’s just not about upgrading anymore.

It’s about playing an entirely new game. When looking at this task, it’s good to know that some of the most important factors have not changed at all. Investors and stakeholders are just as demanding, creating value for the company is still paramount, and companies are still competitive.

A good web development partner with a marketing background is crucial in this component, and can blend that mix of antiquity and innovation that will create and solidify a chemical company’s persona in the digital platform.

We like to assist our clients with this by implementing a few key elements to unlock a great online reputation. Here are the key elements to a great online reputation:

#1. Provide “Social Proof” by going back to basics.

Trust and value have always been the cornerstone of any industry’s success. Look at it as the soil and nutrients of a business. Clients can now take that one step further by researching a business online. And then, the next step is visiting the website. This is a good time for chemical companies to “cross-pollinate”, by combining new methods of digital communication and transparency with old tried and true methods of reviews, testimonials and consumer satisfaction.

  • Positive reviews and recommendations speak volumes and will motivate a visitor to take action. Publish captivating client and product testimonials on your homepage to gain their interest and trust. Use case studies and long-term success rates when possible. Use these snippets of client testimonials in your marketing efforts that include email, PPC ads and social media posts.
  • Be transparent. Establish an honest communication channel. One bad apple ruins the bunch, and that could be that one negative review. It’s always best to establish a clear line of communication when responding to negativity, addressing your product honestly and being sensitive to today’s environment. Ask for feedback.
  • No hiding criticism; address it publicly but positively – don’t fight fire with fire. This is where social media monitoring is critical. While this can in theory be done DIY, larger companies should never attempt it. Using a professional keeps a real-time monitor on any alerts.

#2. If You Build It, They Will Come.

Using a marketing team to build and monitor your online presence, which aims to build trust through contributory efforts, is a great foundation for getting onto page one of Google.

  • Avoid being relegated to the “dead zone” — page two of Google. Google’s first page   captures about 71% to as high as 92% of traffic clicks, with page two coming in at an extremely low 6%. Websites today are fluid, and continuously updating content is a must if you want to get on — and stay on — page one.
  • Overcome Industry Stigmas (chemical=bad for environment – focus on carbon footprint efforts). Chemical companies, by their sheer nature, have to overcome certain industry misconceptions  as they relate to environmental factors, safety practices and the overall health of its workers. This is where good marketing PR comes in. Show how you are different. Do you prioritize environmental sustainability? Dedicate a section of your website to your cleaning process, your life cycle assessment programs or environmental programs.
  • An emphasis about company efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, a video on safety practices, and actual employees touting facts against misperceptions is critical in managing bias. A great way to battle conspiracy theories is by using videos featuring real people or medical experts.

#3. Grow your reputation.

Trust is hard to earn but once your company is there, it is one of the greatest assets to have online. Once you have built your company reputation to a fair point, it’s time to take it one step further. And that’s where digital PR comes into play and allows you to stand out from the crowd to become a well-respected expert in your industry.

  • Contribution of Leadership (Contributing as an industry expert to various online professional publications) leads to not only you showing how knowledgeable and great you are, but having other people say it too.
  • One way to do this is by contributing thought leadership articles to top tier chemical publications. Sure, these articles are still your own words, but there is a level of implied credibility that comes with having your content published on authoritative publications.
  • Have a marketing manager establish a content calendar. This is essential to build continued attention, response and reputation. A successful implementation allows better qualified leads to find your business.
  • Equally as important is having your marketing professional link these features to your website and ensure maximum SEO.  Plus, once you’ve contributed to the same publication for a while, it’s almost a guarantee that your author profile will rank at the top of your search results naturally. Win-win.

#4. Promote your Value by Using Social Media.

Social media has upended the world in just the past decade alone. Users are using these various digital platforms to make important purchasing decisions, form opinions, and keep up with emerging industry trends. And, because social media changes month by month, chemical industries are in vital need of a marketing manager now more than ever to be able to keep up.

  • Be aware of what social platforms work for your industry. Not all will be a good fit. Look to where your target audience will be present and become relevant on those.
  • Post items that promote value and brand awareness to your company. Use learned methods and your digital PR to establish and retain your credibility. Always focused on your ideal personas.
  • Use employee Culture to demonstrate community efforts. Chemical companies have gotten some bad PR in the past – Film a video of a real employee who is working to ensure minimal environmental impact. Have them talk about sustainable-use or environmental impact publicly to add value to your carbon footprint efforts.
  • Promote products and intentions by using real people, not just stock photos. Try a webinar, expert opinions, and trusting individuals that users can relate to. Try not to use lengthy or wordy informative videos. Real life reenactments and case studies are easier to watch and review.

Continue to monitor all of your efforts.

Using all of these tools only makes the effort worthwhile if your company is also monitoring the results. Investing in ORM – online reputation management – tools, via your marketing professional, is critical in maintaining real-life feedback online. The last thing your company needs is to have your online reputation jeopardized because of negative commentary or reviews after making brand-building efforts to build your online reputation. Your marketing professional can use social monitoring to help you alleviate a social media reputation crisis before it gets out of control.

The above tactics will allow you to enjoy the beauty of what you have created, which is a solid digital reputation for your company. That’s why investing into a digital marketing strategy is critical in growing and maintaining your online position. And the better established your company is online, the more distance you put between you and your competitors.

Do You Have a Plan to Manage Your Digital Reputation? Find out how to build and promote a digital rep that will keep you on page one of Google, with a completely FREE consultation. Call CMDS today at 732-706-5555 or click here to get started.