The Role of Reputation Management in Customer Acquisition

Last year, due to the reduction in advertising space, many companies lost their usual channels for attracting customers. Some have even been forced to cut marketing budgets in order to optimize costs and stay afloat. 

There were difficulties in attracting an audience. This can be justified, among other things, by the fact that many domestic companies have long underestimated the work with online reputation. 

Tatyana Kosyrkina, a reputation management specialist at Sidorin Lab, spoke about how to strengthen audience loyalty and save acquisition budgets.

First impression

Over the year, according to Kommersant , the cost of attracting customers increased from one and a half to five times. It is predicted that businesses will turn to offline channels, where the cost of customer acquisition is lower and its growth is not so rapid. This is more likely to push the audience to search for information. The effectiveness of online and offline attraction in one way or another depends on the established reputation.

At the stage of getting into the sales funnel, the audience already has some idea about the brand. Most often, this is superficial information from different channels – high-profile media publications, viral content from social networks or echoes of word of mouth. A potential consumer decides how much he is interested in a product or service.

Even if the target audience is defined correctly, the right offer is selected and other nuances are observed, it may happen that the consumer ignores the message only because he previously had a negative impression under the influence of information from social networks, the media and the social circle. According to VTsIOM , Russians trust relatives by 90%, friends by 81%, and social circles on the Internet by 28%. At the same time, only 12% trust advertising. Whatever channel and method of attracting the audience a brand chooses, reputation is of primary importance.

Loyalty building

Brand relationships are formed by meeting expectations. If the consumer is satisfied, he is ready to recommend the product, but at the same time, the high level of service no longer encourages customers to share positive information online. Quality is taken for granted, and a deviation from it in a negative or positive direction evokes emotions that motivate you to write a review or mention the brand in another way.

Many brands are characterized by an overwhelming number of negative mentions in the information field. In an attempt to reduce the amount of negativity, they resort to removal, finding out the root causes and resolving conflict situations. At the same time, positive mentions are at best answered, at worst they are ignored. The lack of support and attention from the brand reduces audience loyalty and does not motivate you to create positive content on the Web, share information about it and recommend it. Whereas research claims that UGC content influences the buying decision by 90%. UGC (Editor’s note: user generated content) includes user-generated mentions – photos, videos, reviews, reviews, etc.

Strengthening the status

Customer experience can be both positive and negative. The polar recommendations of the circle of communication and primary information obtained from other sources cause uncertainty. This encourages the potential consumer to look for more information if they are really interested.

In Russia, for search, they most often turn to Google and Yandex. If, at the request of information about the advertised object, the consumer sees negative feedback from other users and low ratings on review sites, then he will probably refuse not only to purchase, but also to further study information about the brand. And in order to convince him, the brand will need to not only invest again in attracting a client, but also work on a more convincing offer.

How to start making the right impression

According to statistics, there is more trust in user-generated content than in branded content, but this does not mean that the brand cannot influence the information field in any way. Reputation management involves the use of diverse methods to create impressions for an audience that is already a consumer, and for those who are just getting to know the product. The choice of an impression-building technique depends on the current state of the reputation and the capabilities of the brand.

The assessment of the current reputation is made by analyzing the information field.

  1. To find brand mentions and start working on increasing loyalty, use automatic monitoring systems – Brand Analytics, Medialogy, IQBuzz, etc. They can also be used to study the audience’s reaction to marketing campaigns, collect data for competitive analysis, etc.
  2. Evaluate search results for brand and reputation queries. Reputation queries include phrases that characterize the user’s intention to find reviews or opinions of other Web users. This will allow you to understand how search engines represent the brand, and what the consumer will see when turning to certain sites for information.

Based on current reputation analysis data, you can form a strategy on how and what to do to increase audience loyalty. An important aspect here is what the brand is ready to go to change for the better for the sake of its current and potential customers.

Speaking about reputation management, it should be remembered that this is not only work with the negative, but also complex work with the positive. We are talking about improving the internal processes and products of the brand company, developing a decent user motivation system, etc. All this, in turn, will have a positive impact on the effectiveness of attracting new customers.


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