Angie’s List marketing can drive your business to the top or grind it into the ground – if you don’t have a handle on reputation management. The great thing about Angie’s List is that businesses can build profiles for free. The downside of Angie’s List is that users can generate negative reviews about your business based on their experiences.
However, you’re not powerless to the consumer’s review. With the right approach to managing your reputation and online profile on Angie’s List, you can harness it’s potential and use it for your company’s good.
Before you get started
The first step in building an Angie’s List marketing campaign involves creating a business profile. You should check out the competition first, however, and consider what you’re up against.
You see, if a competitor has been on Angie’s List for awhile and there are already five or more companies with 50-100 reviews, the Angie’s List search algorithm will select these top-rated companies in a member’s search result before they will feature your new company. But you can also change that (see “increasing your exposure” below).
You’ll also need to know your geographic location and demographics. You can end up advertising on Angie’s List in areas where you don’t or won’t get customers from, and spend advertising money frivolously.
Keep in mind, however, that Angie’s List also offers higher discounts for businesses that advertise in more zones. You’ll want to balance the savings from ad discounts with the return you’ll get from the investment based on your ideal customer and where the customers are located.
Increasing your exposure
Working your way up the Angie’s List ladder takes time, but it’s well worth it if you can manage your reputation for good. Here’s how to proceed:
- Ask your existing customer base to join Angie’s List and write your company a review. Track who you ask and which customers give reports, and reward them with a discount or free service. Don’t ask customers who don’t write a review right away. Instead, ask every quarter or less often, and combine it with a special offer.
- Overcome negative reviews. Just like in real-time, word-of-mouth recommendations – especially bad ones – can haunt your company. On Angie’s List, or any other site like Yelp where consumers can offer recommendations, negative reviews are a part of life. But you’re not powerless to their control over your reputation, either. It’s usually best to respond to a negative review by offering free replacement work if home repairs led to damage to the home, free labor only, or a discount of some kind.
- Manage false reviews. From time to time, you may have a customer that falsely accuses your business. The best way to manage these reviews involves contacting Angie’s List directly and getting an intermediary involved. This way, if the claim turns out to be false, Angie’s List will eventually remove the review. However, you can also drown out these false claims by generating more positive reviews to counter it.
- Get even more positive reviews. It almost goes without saying, it’s worth the effort to accumulate as many positive reviews as possible. Angie’s List member reviews work toward your business’ overall grade, so it pays to get members to contribute. Angie’s List offers a free service to help identify existing customers in your business’ database who are also on Angie’s List, so you can directly solicit reviews. You could also email customers on the list yourself, and offer a discount for joining Angie’s List (the discount should be greater than the fee to join the service). Incentivizing customers is a great way to get positive reviews; however, always encourage customers to leave honest reviews and offer the discount whether or not they actually leave a review or not.
For businesses committed to building a great reputation and lead-generation base on Angie’s List, there’s also advertising channels to consider on the platform. With the right non-member and member review strategy and a few strategic ads, your business can generate traffic, grow your leads, and build a stronger customer base.