B2B Reputation Marketing – What it is, what it isn’t, and why you need it

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Reputation can be broken down into three key components

  1. Discoverability – Is your brand easily identified as a solution to the problem you’re solving? Is it discoverable by the right people, and by a large number of these people?
  2. Credibility – Once your brand is found, to what extent is it perceived as a credible and trustworthy solution to the problem you’re solving? Fundamental marketing like pricing and positioning are obviously hugely important to credibility, but this is also about working on prospects’ perception of your brand.
  3. Relevance – Once you’ve been discovered and deemed credible to solve a generic problem, you’ll still need to show your brand offers a relevant solution to the specific prospects’ problem. This is typically where one-to-one relationships and segmentation come into play with narrowly focused content to help prove your solution’s relevance.

This article explains what reputation marketing is, what it does, and how it helps B2Bs build an impactful online presence. It also shares four key strategies to help you drive an effective reputation marketing strategy.

What is reputation marketing?

Reputation marketing is proactively creating and showcasing good things about your brand. 

It involves:

  • Influencing the outside world’s perception of your brand by sharing all the great things customers, experts, and media have to say about your business and products
  • Finding opportunities where impactful stories exist so you can use them to build a positive online presence.

The most obvious example of reputation marketing in action is using reviews, ratings, testimonials, accolades, awards, and badges across your website, marketing, and advertising material to build trust. 

But reputation marketing doesn’t stop there.

There are two other places you can turn to if you want to accelerate your efforts.

The first is social media and online communities. The second is your people. 

Both can be powerful reputation builders, but they can also (unfortunately) be reputation blasters that trigger the need for reputation management. 

Let’s take a look at the difference between these two linked concepts.

Reputation marketing vs reputation management

The main difference between reputation marketing and reputation management is that the first is proactive, while the latter is reactive. 

Where reputation marketing builds a positive online brand presence, reputation or crisis management works to resolve and regain trust when your reputation has been damaged. 

When done right, reputation marketing increases trust in your brand among customers and prospects. Fostering a good public image leads to a growth in sales. 

On the other hand, good reputation management involves immediate and strategic action to target bad reviews, bad press, and any other harmful content linked to your brand. It works to resolve an ‘issue’ so your brand can regain trust and rebuild its reputation.

How reputation marketing helps B2B brands

An effective reputation marketing strategy helps B2Bs in three ways: it increases discoverability, promotes credibility, and proves your products’ relevance. 

Let’s see how each one works.


Reputation marketing activities help you get discovered online. If prospects can’t find you in one or more of the channels they search, you have no chance of even being found, let alone being considered. 

One of the first things prospects will do when searching for a product is Google middle-of-the-funnel keywords like ‘review monitoring software’ or ‘media monitoring software.’ These are high-volume, high-intent keywords that focus on a particular type of product without brand names. So, it’s important you find a way for your brand to be included somewhere in the results of these spotlight keywords.

In most cases, the SERPs for these types of searches will bring two types of results:

  • Review platform pages that list providers in this category – Industry review platforms are one of the first places prospects turn to create a shortlist. So, if you haven’t claimed your profile on these sites, that’s the first thing you should do. It’s one of the easiest ways to get discovered online, especially if you are a relatively new brand or startup.
  • Listicle-type blog articles – These are your stock-standard articles with titles like ‘Best customer success software’ or ‘Top media monitoring tools.’ You can write your own and post it on your website, or you can do a bit of digital PR to get a mention in the listicles that appear on the first SERP. Not only will this help you get on these all-important lists, but it may also earn you some organic backlinks. If you can invest in both, that’s the best option. If not, focus on the one you think will give you the best return. 

To make yourself visible, you must put yourself (and your brand) out there. You need to find ways to showcase your brand in the best possible way across:

  • Review platforms
  • Blog posts
  • Social media platforms
  • Various traditional and industry-specific media outlets


Having the right amount of the right kind of social proof to confirm your positive reputation among customers builds brand credibility and inspires trust.

Whether you like it or not (and whether it’s true or not), people believe what customers have to say about a brand. This is why reviews and third-party review platforms are among the top four most influential resources prospects use in the buying process.

Source: B2B SaaS Reviews

Buyers will look first at your reviews and then testimonials to confirm that you are a reliable provider. If you have no or minimal reviews on leading industry review sites or many negative reviews, it’s highly unlikely you’ll make a prospect’s shortlist.

That is why you need to make sure your presence on these sites is an impressive one and that its reflected on your website.

Embedding your good reviews alongside testimonials from your most prominent and reputable customers across your website shows the world what your happiest customers think about you and your product. Together, these assets create an online image of your brand.

Here is how reviews and testimonials inspire credibility:

  • By showing off positive feedback in reviews from third-party platforms, you prove to the world your product is a reliable solution. One that people have used and found success in. 
  • By flaunting testimonials from key industry influencers and logos of big brands using your product, you provide an additional layer of validity that is hard to refute.

The more good reviews you have and the more recognizable the brands of your customer base are, the more credible you become.


Once you’re discovered and credible, you still need to prove to prospects that your solution is the right fit for their problem. You need to prove that you are not only reliable but also the ideal provider. 

This is where B2Bs need to dedicate time to creating and sharing reputation marketing content that addresses specific points of interest and answers key business use case questions.

What the prospect is looking for here is a satisfied customer with a similar business profile and almost identical business challenge to theirs. One that your product has resolved. They want to identify their problem and business case is your target market. 

Case studies (and, maybe to a lesser extent, good-quality video testimonials) are the best and most effective reputation marketing assets that display the relevance factor buyers are looking for. 

Source: Uplift Content

This is because most case studies include three key things:

  1. Customer profile – Customer information such as industry and company size, which helps the prospect identify with the customer (or not)
  2. Challenge/Solution scenario – A detailed explanation of the challenge a customer experienced and then how your solution resolved these issues. 
  3. Measurable impact—Through quantitative and qualitative feedback from the customer, prospects can see value for money and authentic insights via quotes that reflect positive changes experienced after signing up for your product. This can be a powerful conversion tool for many prospects.

To sum it up, reputation marketing that showcases relevance is not about how many people have good things to say about you. It’s more about who is behind the feedback and what they are saying.

How to implement a reputation marketing strategy

When we talk about reputation marketing, we are talking about sharing and amplifying all the good mentions, positive customer experiences, and brand-building initiatives that endorse your brand.

To implement a successful reputation marketing strategy, you need to establish a plan of action for each of the four key channels that produce assets and support your reputation-building efforts. 

They are:

  1. Reviews
  2. Testimonials
  3. Social media & online communities
  4. Earned media

#1 Reviews 

(Review platforms)

With 89% of B2B software buyers reading user reviews on review platforms ‘often’ or ‘always’ when making a software purchase, it’s no surprise that positive online reviews are the cornerstone of a good online reputation. 

Source: B2B SaaS Reviews

But it’s not just a matter of asking all your happy customers to write you a good review on third-party platforms and leaving it there. Yes, prospects will visit these sites and see what your customers say, but you need to take it a step further. At a bare minimum, you must repurpose these reviews for your website landing pages and marketing and sales collateral. 

On top of that, if you want online reviews to be the driving force in your reputation marketing strategy, you need to have a review monitoring and review management system in place. This will make sure you have a comprehensive plan that covers and actions every review. You have to remember that prospects are viewing all reviews. Not just the stellar one. The fact you have taken the good one and copy-pasted it on your website won’t help much if five negative reviews sit at the very top of your profile and haven’t been replied to. 

So, from a reputation perspective, you have to look at the big picture as a brand. Collaborate with your colleagues to develop streamlined processes that will maximize the reputational opportunity in reviews and minimize reputational damage.

You should also consider the ranking criteria and paid options you have as a vendor when you claim your profile on these third-party sites.

First, review platforms have specific ranking criteria determining your place on a software category page. So, just claiming your profile and doing a sprint campaign to boost the number of reviews won’t be enough. You need to invest in continuously building and maintaining your review generation.

Some of the key things these sites focus on when ranking vendors are:

  • The number of comprehensive positive reviews you have (more detailed reviews beat vague ones)
  • The customer rating you have been given (higher ratings, rank higher)
  • How recent and regular your reviews are (more recent reviews get you ranked higher)

Second, if you have the budget, leading SaaS third-party review platforms offer paid plans that give you access to additional features that may influence or help you rank better.

#2 Testimonials 

(Written or video testimonials & case studies)

When it comes to using testimonials in reputation marketing, it’s about sharing the authentic, personalized experiences of your happiest customers with your products. 

These can be:

  • Short and impactful direct quotes from a customer or influential leader in the industry
  • Detailed, comprehensive written case studies between 700-5000 words, with several customer spokespeople and embedded video testimonials.

According to a 2024 report from Uplift Content, 93% of SaaS companies use case studies as reputation endorsers on their websites, and 84% use them for social media posts.

Source: Uplift Content

What makes testimonials stand out is their storytelling narrative that pulls at the heartstrings of prospects.

As mentioned above, testimonials are mentioned towards the end of the buying journey. They confirm that your product is a reliable option by giving insight into how customers have used it to solve their challenges. 

From a strategic perspective, when you produce case studies, you want to cover three things:

  1. Clarity—An effective case study clearly demonstrates your product’s strongest and best features and shares the tangible results your customers have seen (quantitative and qualitative).
  2. Connection—Unlike reviews, testimonials need to connect with prospects for them to work. So, you need to focus on making the challenges and successes as vivid as possible.
  3. Suitability—You want to make sure your case studies appeal to the right type of customer. If you have one target market, that shouldn’t be a problem. But if you (like most SaaS companies) have a product that can cater to a broader customer base and be used for a variety of business cases, then you need to showcase each one. 

Once again, when it comes to reputation, another thing to remember with case studies is to S-H-A-R-E and showcase them for all they are worth.

Recently, there has also been an increase in SaaS companies using case studies as the basis of blog articles on their websites. In some cases, they have even been presented as thought leadership pieces. 

#3 Social media & online communities

(Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, X)

Social media and online communities cannot be ignored when it comes to reputation. First, because they are places where you can find your new customers. According to Databox, in the B2B space, the top three social networks for conversions are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Source: Databox

Second, they present unique opportunities for you to communicate with your prospects one-on-one to instantly influence their perception of your brand. Remember, these spaces feature the most honest Voice of Customer feedback, so there is every chance you’ll come across some interesting insights.

However, social media is still a risky and grey area for many businesses because it can be hard to track, monitor, and manage. And because it’s a real-time, public channel, your brand representatives (employees) may feel reluctant to post or reply to anything out of fear they might cause brand damage.

However, with 85% of consumers using social media to research new brands, it’s a channel with great potential. 

So, here are a couple of things you can do to leverage this space as a reputation marketing channel in a structured and targeted way:

  • Media monitoring tools – Get yourself a media monitoring tool. There are many tools on the market that can simplify your efforts across all the platforms mentioned above (yes – even Reddit and Quora!) as well as traditional media outlets. 
  • Prioritize online community activity—I mentioned earlier how platforms like Reddit and Quora are becoming the next best thing for unbiased SaaS reviews and customer insights. If you can, it’s well worth your while to get someone on your team to take a more active role in responding to questions and positioning your product in a favorable way. You could even suggest your customers leave feedback for prospects. It might be a long shot, but you won’t know unless you try.
  • Find influencers and brand advocates—Your customers say nice things about you on these platforms, so don’t let them go to waste. Reach out, connect with them, thank them for their kind words, and ask if they would share their experience through other channels. Onboard them as your ultimate customer advocates and brand ambassadors, AKA reputation builders.

#4 Earned media 

(Mainstream media,  industry news platforms & podcasts)

Earned media is a PR initiative that has everything to do with reputation and maintaining a positive public image. 

If you can put yourself in the shoes of a journalist and identify a newsworthy angle (like the one Asana did in the example below), it’s something you can leverage and share across your channels. You have to remember that positive media mentions in mainstream media and across leading industry news sites and portals are worth as much as product award wins for many prospects. So you’ll find many B2Bs adding their earned media mentions under headings like ‘Featured in’ across their website.

These types of reputation-building mentions do a couple of things for your brand. They: 

  • Position your business as a trustworthy and prominent leader in your industry
  • Endorse your brand representatives and spokespeople as experts and thought leaders whose opinions and insights are highly valued by the media and general public.

There are two ways you can go about developing your earned media strategy:

  1. Newsworthy company news – Look for stories in your brand and business that appeal to the mass audience or a specialized media outlet (such as tech, business, startups, etc.). With media mentions, you have to remember that while your aim is to get your brand a mention, to the journalist, their primary focus is to get a newsworthy story out. So you have to serve them the right angle on a platter.
  2. Thought leadership engagements/op-ed – Founders, CEOs, and employees of B2Bs can be a powerful tool that bolsters reputation marketing efforts. Offering expert insights from your brand’s thought leaders to journalists to share in their stories is one way of getting your brand’s name published. Also, taking part in reputation-building activities such as guest speaking engagements at industry events and partnering with and supporting community initiatives with a wider newsworthy angle can also be a way to land this kind of publicity indirectly.

A 2020 Forrester-commissioned study found that 74% of respondents believe their customers moderately or considerably tie their perception of a brand to their perception of its executives. So, if you have a charismatic leader who has the right kind of potential for media appearances and mentions, get them out there. 

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