Communication space of the XXI century has shifted to the World Web. By connecting billions of people, the Internet has a tremendous influence on our tastes and preferences. This has changed business, too, as it has made the companies’ owners re-consider their marketing strategies and take a fresh look at their brands. Elvira Gavrilova – a marketing expert, co-owner and the CEO EU of the advertising company Amillidius, a producer and PR-expert, the Chief Editor of Financoff magazine. Her recommendations have many times emerged on the Internet, including Forbes magazine. Today, the business expert will speak about a modern approach to the brand promotion and importance of its reputation.
Elvira Gavrilova: shape the opinion about yourself in consumers’ mind
- Elvira, what is a brand and how does the brand influence consumers these days?
Elvira Gavrilova: The brand is not only goods’ features, package, promotions, and price. This is also an emotional component. The impression, made upon the consumer, enables the brand to maintain its position on the market. The good reputation the brand enjoys among hundreds of thousands or even millions of customers is like a fine suit that emphasizes the status in other people’s eyes. The suit should be appropriate for the situation, and so should the brand to meet the expectations of its target audience. You will hardly ever deal with someone who smells and is wearing rags, right? The brand whose reputation on the Internet was hurt or there is little to no information about it, does not look credible. The other thing is when someone is dressed in his finest, with every detail in his outfit revealing his success. Certainly, the first impression should be then proved in business. But without it, there will be no business at all. The suit should be impeccable. It applies to the brand either. It should evoke positive emotions, be associated with quality, and have no spots on the reputation.
- And how would you avoid such spots on your business “suit”?
E. G. Negative information about your brand may come at any time and anywhere on the World Web. No company is immune to it. Among many happy customers, only a few will give their positive reviews. But once someone does not get what he or she wants, in no time they start complaining about the company on the World Web. And even a hundred of positive reviews – alas! – won’t make up for one negative. This is the reason why you have to keep monitoring search engines, news portals, customer review websites, forums, blogs, and social media. And if you do not take immediate counteractions to the negative reviews, according to the research, it will cost you about 94% of prospects.
- And what actions are needed to be taken if the negative information about your brand emerged?
E. G. If this information is not true, it is defamation, you need to seek contradiction and complete elimination of this information from all the resources. However, if such a review has some fair criticism, you have to respond fast to the situation, to contact an unhappy customer, and do your best to not only fix your mistakes but also get the customer’s loyalty back. You should also make an effort to avoid such situations in the future.
Elvira Gavrilova: innovative marketing technologies are at the brand’s service
- What are the methods to improve a brand’s reputation these days? What does the company Amillidius offer to its customers?
E. G. We start the creation of the brand’s positive image on the Internet from the analysis of the search results. I loved that joke I’ve read in the book on reputation management: “Question: Where’s a dead body? Answer: It’s on Page 3 of Google.” And it’s not just partly true – it’s 100% true. As a rule, the users don’t look further than Page 1 of search results. And if your company is nowhere near there, its viability is in question. And the negative information found early in the search undermines its credibility completely.
To fix this situation, we used the marketing technology of SEO promotion. (Search Engine Optimization is a complex of efforts to optimize website visibility in search engines. – Editor’s note). It takes great volumes of quality content about your brand, writing the SEO-optimized articles and reviews, which not only are supposed to have proper content emphases but also the keywords and phrases which are widely used in the search requests. They will push the publications about your brand to the top of the search results. The images you use in the articles should also be unique, as the search algorithms analyse them, too.
The company’s web-site is another critical link in shaping its reputation. You should seek ultimate web-usability: think through the structure and interface. At Amillidius, we work with the design, titles, content location, and navigation in close cooperation with SEO-experts. In this case, the website becomes not only convenient and user-friendly but also more available for the search engines.
Placing the information about you on Wikipedia will be your strong point and will improve your brand’s reputation. This is a token of success as this international Internet encyclopaedia is very trusted and used for information search by millions of users every day.
- In one of your articles, you mentioned video among leading marketing trends. What is its role in the work with the brand’s reputation?
E. G. Exactly, among marketing brands, video content deserves consideration. There is no other thing like that in brand promotion. YouTube is believed to be the second most popular search engine after Google. Over 5 million videos are watched there every day. Video content enjoys wide popularity on social media, too. The forecasts say that in 1-2 years the number of social media users will hit over 3 billion, with video accounting for 75% of its traffic. It is quite obvious that video is an ultimately impactful tool of brand promotion. SEO experts advise optimizing the titles and description of your videos, paying particular attention to a thumbnail and tags when uploading it. Along with special software in the promotion experts’ kit, these are just a few ways to enhance brands’ reputation among the customers through video content.
- To sum it up, what is Elvira Gavrilova’s main tip for business people?
E. G. In the fight for a place under the sun in the consumer market, it is not the best who wins but the most well-known. To represent the brand to the audience efficiently is the first and foremost task of your marketing strategy. You should always be where your customers are – on social media, forums, keeping an eye on the customer review sites. You should be widely aware of the information and never let the negative one in. And at the top of that, you should promote your brand consistently, building it up on the robust marketing strategy. Entrust its development to professionals. At Amillidius, we have the experience of introducing brands to the market from scratch within just several months. The experts of our advertising company and I are always ready to help you with this critical issue.