People talk, and it’s time to start paying attention.
If you aren’t monitoring your brand mentions, you’ll want to get started right away. Brand monitoring allows you to do market research and make sure your brand stays relevant and popular with its target audience.
People will tell you what they like, don’t like, and compare you to your competitors – all of which is valuable information that will help shape your marketing strategy.
What is brand monitoring?
Brand monitoring is the process of tracking your brand’s mentions across different channels to discover how your brand is perceived. You’ll collect information, analyze it, and implement what you’ve learned from monitoring your mentions.
There’s a duality to brand monitoring that includes being proactive and reactive. Proactivity means listening and use what you discover to influence future decisions. For example, if you notice your consumers shifting to Tik Tok to discuss your brand, deciding to create a profile and produce content on the platform is proactive. Reactivity is acting in the current moment to respond and engage with your audience and those who mention you. Replying to both positive and negative tweets on Twitter about your brand is an example of being reactive. By doing both, brand monitoring allows you to listen to and learn from your audience while playing an active role in shaping your brand’s perception.
Brand monitoring requires a holistic approach. Look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Don’t just pay attention to the positive mentions. Negative mentions may prove to be the most helpful in showing you where your brand can improve.
How to monitor your brand
Marketers must understand how brand monitoring works to reap all of the benefits. Brand monitoring starts with knowing where to look, deciding what to look for, and using tools to achieve your goals to implement what you learn into your marketing strategy.
Know where to look for brand mentions
Brand mentions can happen anywhere. Channels to look out for are:
Print media (newspapers, magazines)
Social media channels
Online news sites
Online review sites
Online brand monitoring, such as on social media or online sources, is much simpler to do since there’s software available. Monitoring print media would require an employee’s manual attention and may not be worth the extra labor depending on your scope. Today, many print media sources also have online sources where duplicate or very similar information is published. Odds are, if you’re mentioned in print media, you’re probably mentioned in their online space as well.
The intention of your brand monitoring is also relevant when deciding where to look.
If you're trying to gather more information on customers’ opinions, social media monitoring would be a good choice. Social media is the most accessible platform for the typical consumer because people can speak to your brand directly via tag (@) and may even get a response from you. Hashtags also provide a means of identifying related social media posts to gather more information. Review sites and forums will also be popular for average consumers, but these platforms are best for consumers looking to connect with other consumers. A site like G2 is an example of a review site. You can find out what people like or dislike about your brand in extensive detail on a credible review site and can use this information to make internal changes. On review sites, people know that the brand will see what they’ve said, but with these platforms, the primary purpose is to inform or discuss with other people. Use those discussions to be proactive in future updates or plans. You can also be reactive if the review site allows you to reply to reviews, such as on the Apple App Store.
Professional opinions are more likely to show up in print media, online news sites, and social media. You’ll likely find commentary from experts evaluating your brand and the important news concerning your brand in these mediums. Social media platforms that would be most relevant for professional opinions would be Twitter and LinkedIn.
The internet will likely hold all of the answers you’re looking for when it comes to monitoring your brand mentions; it’s only a matter of deciding what you’re looking for.
Decide what metrics to track
There are several different metrics that you can track depending on your marketing goals. Clarifying how you want brand monitoring to serve your business will ultimately help you decide what to look at.
Some standard metrics to track are:
Brand name variations help you understand how people are talking about your brand online. If people are constantly shortening your brand’s name or getting it incorrect, recognize that you may need to clarify or rebrand. It is essential to track name variations because if no one calls you by your brand’s real name online, you won’t be able to find any mentions to monitor. Coca Cola is a great example of this. Many people shorten the name to Coke, so it's important that Coca Cola also looks for this variation. They also need to track the different product lines that people may mention, like Diet Coke or Coca Cola Light as it is called in some countries. If Coca Cola didn't track all of the variations of its brand names, it would miss a lot of online mentions.
Watching competitors and their performance will give you a competitive advantage when planning your strategy and help you understand any growth opportunities or strengths for your brand in comparison to others in the industry.
Industry buzzwords and trends give insight as to what is popular in the moment. It’s important to monitor the industry to keep your brand relevant and current.
Checking what people are saying about CEOs in your industry, especially your CEO, is important. The CEO is viewed as the leader and face of the brand, so it’s important that the CEO also maintains a good relationship with your brand’s audience. It’s also helpful to see what kinds of content competitors’ CEOs are putting out. Analyze what content is successful for other CEOs and have your CEO follow suit.
Monitoring influencers and public figures associated with your brand will help keep your brand out of scandals and maintain a clean reputation. If the people you partner with get into controversial matters or are upholding values that don’t represent your brand, it’s time to cut ties and align your influencer marketing with someone who accurately represents you.
Metrics will help you maintain your brand, plan ahead, and pivot when necessary. Choose metrics that will allow you to benefit the most from brand monitoring and achieve your goals.
Find a brand monitoring tool
Brand monitoring tools can be a significant timesaver when it comes to tracking mentions online, but you must choose a tool that suits your needs. Media monitoring software will allow you to monitor your brand online and is designed to enable you to take action with the information you learn.
Common capabilities include:
Tracking online media
Targeting specific metrics like names, trends, keywords, etc.
Current updates and alerts
Collection and storage of mention data
Analysis of data collected
When looking for the best media monitoring software for your brand, it’s essential to understand what’s on the market. Reviews and software descriptions are a great place to start. Read about various software to find the one that will work best for the size of your business, your pricing budget, and the metrics you want to track.
Before deciding on a brand monitoring software, you can also see if the software has a trial or demo available so that you can see if it will work for you.
Once you’ve decided on brand monitoring software, you’ll efficiently track metrics and start using the data to improve your marketing strategy.
Use data to make actions
Once you have brand monitoring software and have a collection of data, start analyzing your findings so that you can use the information to plan for success. Decipher the meaning behind the metrics you chose by looking into what it means for your brand. Marketers should ask themselves:
Is the external brand perception consistent with the internal idea of the brand personality?
Are people happy with our brand, or do we find ourselves managing conflict frequently?
Is there something that our competitors are doing that makes them more successful?
What is currently working the best for us in our marketing strategy, and how can we use this going forward?
Data is collected for a reason. Use your brand monitoring information to plan your next marketing campaign, pivot in any way necessary, and ensure that your brand is growing in success.
Benefits of brand monitoring
Brand monitoring today can keep the business consultants away.
Brand monitoring will help you actively monitor the health of your brand in the public eye. You’ll understand the good and the bad and integrate this information into your marketing strategy to plan future campaigns and messaging.
Discover the popularity of your brand
Monitoring your brand will allow you to track your mentions and backlinks, ultimately showing you who talks about you and how often they do it.
Tracking mentions will give you an understanding of where the popularity of your brand lies, which will either reinforce your target audience or help you find new demographic segments that may be interested in your brand. Mentions allow you to find out who talks about your brand and in what context. Dive into this information and learn how people interact with your brand through their mentions and how that shapes your brand’s outward perception.
Backlinks are created when one website links to another website. Tracking backlinks is an excellent opportunity to see where people are finding value or importance. People will typically link to your brand if they report on big updates/news or have found value in one of your resources and are citing it or passing it to their audience. Backlinks help generate traffic to your page, so they also point to the audience of your brand.
Tip: If your brand has been mentioned professionally, but does not have a backlink, reach out to the post’s creator and ask them to include a backlink. Link building will benefit your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
By monitoring the attention your brand gets, you’ll be able to learn more about your target audience and how people find your brand useful.
Learn how people feel about your brand
The context around your brand mentions or backlinks will also provide insightful data about how people perceive your brand. You’ll find out if your marketing is successfully making people feel the way you want about your brand. If your brand isn’t perceived in the way you intended, you can shift the narrative around your brand using the data you collect from brand monitoring.
Social listening is an important part of understanding how people feel about your brand. It analyzes the data you collect from monitoring your brand and gives meaning to the information in the context of the greater industry. By utilizing social listening tools and elements, you can ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity with a mention of your own brand or competitors.
Pay attention to the sentiment surrounding your brand. Sentiment analysis is done by looking at the context of your brand and deciphers if it is positive, neutral, or negative. This will allow you to actively understand your audience’s view from an external perspective and prevent offensive or unpopular messaging with your consumers.
Tip: Interested in learning more about how sentiment analysis works? Read more about sentiment analysis as a component of a text mining strategy.
Understanding brand reputation is also another benefit of brand monitoring. Look at how people talk about your brand and what keywords they consistently use to describe it. Not only will this be good for reputation management, but you’ll also be able to ensure if your brand personality and voice are accurately portrayed in the market.
Through brand monitoring, you’ll truly understand if your marketing conveys its intended message to your audience.
See how people interact with your brand
Brand monitoring also allows you to manage the interactions people have with your brand in real time. This will ensure that social media or content marketing campaigns are performing well and crisis management is handled correctly.
You’ll be able to assess which part of your marketing campaigns performs the best by looking into what people are interacting the most with whether via reply, comment, or repost. This will allow you to plan future marketing campaigns with better precision to ensure they are successful with your consumers.
Crisis management will also be much simpler when you monitor your brand. Since you’ll be tracking your mentions and the sentiment surrounding your brand, you’ll be able to catch the negative comments much quicker and reply in an adequate amount of time. This will improve your online reputation and ensure that consumers have positive and gratifying interactions with your brand online through enhanced customer service.
Brand monitoring also allows you to benchmark and make sure your brand is keeping up with the competition. You can track industry trends to ensure that your marketing strategy and communication are relevant.
You can analyze strategic gaps, understand what works for your competition and fulfill needs where others are falling behind. Tracking your competition also provides an insight into industry influencers that are promoting them. It'd be a good idea to set up campaigns to sway influencers into promoting your brand instead.
Brand monitoring is a crucial aspect of maintaining an edge over your competitors. It allows you to evolve your marketing plan and meet the needs of your target audience.
The time is now
Brand monitoring allows you to understand how your brand is perceived by consumers and is a useful tool for marketers. It implements strategies that allow for dynamic strategic planning and active upkeep of the brand reputation. By tracking a variety of metrics, using a media monitoring tool, and implementing findings, brand monitoring can bring great success to your business.
Looking for ways to improve your brand perception? Learn more about making a good impression with these branding statistics.
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Want to learn more about brand monitoring software? Explore media monitoring products.
Melanie Maggine is the Content & SEO Intern at G2. She is also a student at the University of Notre Dame studying Marketing and Spanish with a minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Outside of work, Melanie enjoys working on photography! (she/her/hers)
Start your search
Want to learn more about brand monitoring software? Explore media monitoring products.