Saturday, December 15, 2012

Online Business Feedback, Yelp, Reviews & Critics - Managing Digital Reputation in DC

Nearly every business we work with is finding that more and more effort is required to manage their  online reviews and feedback. Particularly for local or regional businesses, the very first thing online consumers do in considering to visit or buy, is to seek out online reviews, search for online reputation or trust signals, and canvass their social media networks for trusted advice and opinion.

More often than not, the aggregate perception developed in a consumer's mind, from this online collection of "reputation proof points", will overcome ANY direct marketing, advertising or SEO efforts being made.

It's hard to fight back, and lawsuits really aren't the answer. This recent example here in Northern Virginia may result in some compensation - but the damage is done, and will last for a long time on the Internet.

Establishing consistent, durable and very positive online messaging isn't easy, and requires constant attention.  There's also no specific, simple answer, tool or web service - and furthermore, any tools or methods that are working today, will not be as effective tomorrow, given the constant changes and updates being made to social sites, search engines and competitive reactions.

What is absolutely necessary, to maintain a very positive, trustworthy, engaging and respectable professional presence online - is professional care and feeding of your online reputation paired with superior products, services and customer engagement.  It's not necessarily expensive, but requires time spent determining your status, planning your approach, executing an ongoing strategy and staying on top of the reviews.

Your response to online review and PR challenges also requires absolutely professional, high-quality American English copywriting and communications skills, with innate knowledge and understanding of your locality and local news, your market and customers, and your products, services and technical vocabulary.

We can help - as we do for all of our clients. The customer, community and revenue fallout from bad Google or Yelp reviews can be diluted, overcome, even officially retracted if unfair. Critics and negativity can be promptly, effectively, legally addressed. Positive feedback and testimonials can be solicited, collected and expertly highlighted. Great experiences and news can be prominently placed and optimized for maximum visibility. Professional public relations (PR) and communications strategies can be implemented, at extremely reasonable rates - and far more proactively and effectively than traditional advertising, web design, media publishers or PR firms can offer.

This is a difficult, quickly-growing issue that will always take time to address and monitor, and has to be an extremely important part of every business marketing and outreach plan.  Contact KME Internet Marketing today for more information, or to discuss the many ways we can help.  

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 - DC and Northern Virginia Digital Marketing Update by KME

Happy Holidays from KME Internet Marketing!

Hopefully you and yours will find time to decompress and finish up planning for business success in the new year.

KME has several significant announcements to report. We're now a certified "SWaM" (Small Woman-Owned Business), by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprises (DMBE). This certification both solidifies our presence and support for the small and local business community in Virginia and the DC area, and enables additional teaming and partnering opportunities for our services, aligned with responses to very large, complex government initiatives. Find out more about our Virginia SWaM Certification.

We're also now delivering IT & Marketing advisory services to startups and emerging businesses, essentially providing CIO/CTO/CMO consulting during the strategic planning and investment control stages of a new business. We've already helped several new, local and national startups through IT planning, marketing strategy and other technical decision hurdles, for both the benefit of the startup team itself and for communications, engagement with the investor community.

Several of these startups will emerge this year, and one has already been purchased; obviously they're somewhat "under wraps" at this time but moving aggressively towards their Beta release and securing additional rounds of investor financing, partnerships and growth.

Along with our roster of startups, our successful and satisfied client and partner list continues to grow. Newer SEO, SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing) or interactive web marketing initiatives range from Government to Commercial, large to small businesses - including the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development (DED), Hunt Country Propane, HIS Sign, Belfort Furniture, Kastle Systems, Signature Kitchens, ProTier Industries, and Shenandoah Urologic Specialists.

2013 is shaping up to be a very busy year for us and our Internet Marketing clients, particularly as web and mobile engagement technologies become a critical part to every business growth and marketing plan under the continuing pressures of the sluggish economy and cost savings requirements.

Have a fantastic holiday season, and happy New Year!

Kelly McLaughlan
CEO - KME Internet Marketing

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