Brand monitoring, an essential component of modern marketing strategies, refers to the observation and analysis of a company’s online presence, reputation, and customer sentiment. In an age where consumers wield unprecedented influence through social media and online platforms, understanding what brand monitoring entails and recognizing its importance are paramount to thriving in a competitive market. In this article, we delve into the essence of brand monitoring, exploring its definition, significance, and the vital role it plays in shaping a successful and resilient brand identity.
What is Brand Monitoring?
Brand monitoring is the process of tracking and analyzing a brand’s online presence, reputation, and customer feedback across various digital channels. It involves monitoring social media platforms, review websites, blogs, news articles, and other online sources to gain insights into how the brand is perceived by its target audience.
By closely observing mentions, sentiment, and engagement, businesses can proactively manage their brand’s image, promptly address negative feedback, and capitalize on positive sentiment. This real-time vigilance allows companies to make data-driven decisions, cultivate customer loyalty, and stay ahead of their competitors in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Why Brand Monitoring Matters for Your Business
Brand monitoring can provide valuable insights into how people view your brand in an organic context. This can help you make more informed marketing decisions, tweak and adapt marketing strategies, and create campaigns that are aligned with customer interests.
Organizations using social media listening can be alerted about negative comments and trends in real-time, and respond quickly to manage and even avoid a PR crisis. Brand monitoring is a key element in building brand recognition, creating brand awareness, assessing brand sentiment, and ensuring brand loyalty.
Types of Brand Monitoring
Consumers post about brands on various platforms, so you should aim to monitor mentions of your brand across as many channels as possible. Here are the main online sources you can monitor to keep track of your brand reputation.
Social media monitoring
Brand monitoring is essential on social media platforms as consumers use these channels to share their opinions and experiences. Monitoring social media platforms helps brands understand diverse audience sentiments and conversations. It will also help you to identify influencers for potential partnerships.
Online review forums are a popular source for consumers to read reviews about a brand or a product, so monitoring what they are saying on those platforms is imperative. You can analyze review sites to understand how customers feel about specific aspects of your company, such as customer service and product quality. By responding to reviews, you can build trust with current and potential customers, and accordingly improve your brand’s reputation.
News monitoring involves tracking media outlets, both traditional and digital, to identify mentions of your brand, product, or related industry topics. You can monitor news sites and their social media channels, as well as local news broadcasts to verify the accuracy and sentiment of their coverage. By staying up-to-date with the news, your brand can swiftly respond to emerging issues, capitalize on positive media coverage, and safeguard your brand reputation.
If influencer partnerships are part of your marketing plan, brand monitoring can help you evaluate and track the effectiveness of these campaigns. One example is hashtag tracking — where you can create specific hashtags for campaigns, and track those associated posts to understand what type of content appeals to your audience.
By monitoring what your competitors are doing and what their audience is saying, you can compare and measure your performance against similar brands in your industry. This will also enable your company to stay up-to-date with industry news.
Brand Monitoring vs. Social Monitoring
Social monitoring focuses solely on your brand’s social media coverage. Brand monitoring encompasses the entirety of your monitoring strategy, the tools you utilize, the objective, and the platforms within that scope of work. Often brand monitoring includes social listening and audience insights, whereas social monitoring can be as limited as tracking for keyword mentions.
What Elements Should You Be Tracking?
You must determine what exactly you want to monitor, and on which channels, to avoid collecting additional unnecessary data. Excess data will slow down or complicate your process. Select elements that are relevant to your brand and industry when deciding what to monitor. Below we’ve outlined common key elements to consider.
Brand and product mentions
Tracking for brand mentions includes all variations, abbreviations, nicknames, and misspellings of your brand name in order to gain more comprehensive insights and accurately assess your brand’s reputation. It is also useful to track mentions of your product names to identify areas of improvement or customer satisfaction.
By tracking your competitors, you can identify your share of voice on social media. This refers to how much people talk about your brand in comparison to competitors. Additionally, you can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ products, their marketing campaigns and product launches, and their customer service.
Links to your website
Brand monitoring allows you to track how consumers reach your website through backlink identification. These incoming links can be used to identify other brands or sites that mention your brand online. Backlinks are beneficial to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy as they can inform web traffic data and customer sales funnels.
By tracking customer sentiment using sentiment analysis, you can determine if your brand is being discussed positively, negatively, or neutrally. This data can help help you assess how people are reacting to specific posts, products, campaigns, or crisis moments.
User-generated content can help increase trust, authenticity, and engagement for your brand, with 84% of users trusting peer recommendations over any other advertising. Brand monitoring allows you to identify who is sharing content about your brand. This is an excellent way to find new influencers to partner with and source new content for your social media channels.
Best Practices for Implementing Brand Monitoring
So what are the best practices for incorporating brand monitoring into a successful marketing strategy? Let’s take a look.
Set goals and objectives
Brand monitoring can provide you with large amounts of data to analyze. Setting and tracking specific goals can help you make the best use of all that data. For example, you can incorporate brand monitoring in order to evaluate specific campaigns, compare the success of various campaigns, or even monitor how social media KPIs of your brand mentions evolve over time.
Pick your keywords
To select keywords, you need to identify and list all the different ways that people refer to your company or brand in conversations – including nicknames, abbreviations, and misspellings. Here are examples of indispensable keywords to include:
- Company name
- Product names
- Specific branded hashtag
- Campaign-specific hashtag
- Company CEO and other prominent people in leadership positions
Choose your tool
Successful brand monitoring can only be achieved through the use of specific software that tracks all mentions across social media and non-social websites. However, when selecting a tool, it is also important to take into consideration the data and analytics that it can provide for a comprehensive look at your brand’s online presence.
Brand monitoring is crucial to protecting your brand’s reputation, as conversations online are happening around the clock. Using social listening and social media moderation, you can monitor sentiment and changes in the number of people talking about your brand in real-time. As an early warning system, it alerts you to positive and negative changes to the perception of your brand across different channels.
Engage with customers
You can respond much more effectively to people’s concerns about your brand when you know where they are talking about it. Replying publicly to reviews or comments shows your audience that you are actively listening and that you value their feedback. Additionally, it indicates that you are readily available to address their inquiries and assist them. Missing the opportunity to respond to questions or criticism online might indicate that your brand is unavailable or unwilling to listen to consumers.
Test and optimize
To determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, you need to regularly measure and evaluate your marketing campaigns. Brand monitoring will allow you to easily determine which initiatives are driving results and optimize your campaigns according to your audience’s interests.
Monitor your Brand Reputation With ICUC
By monitoring your brand, you can protect your reputation and increase your audiences’ trust by listening and responding to online feedback to handle customer issues in a timely manner.
Wait no longer, ICUC’s Social listening service allows you to effortlessly monitor your brand 24/7.