Brand monitoring explained: What and why?

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring is an umbrella term for tracking conversations about your brand, product or service, etc.

Brand monitoring is the process of monitoring various channels to find mentions of your brand and assessing what is being said about it. This could include a newspaper article about a merger or complaints on social media.

The purpose is ultimately to be able to respond and act on these mentions. It can help you jump on good publicity or spot a crisis before it becomes a crisis. It’s also great for getting info on how your products are viewed and talked about.

What to monitor?

Whether you’re a tiny business or a multinational one, more and more people are finding their online voices. With smartphones, they could be talking about your brand even while they’re in your shop. Communication moves much faster now and you need to keep up with it.

Here are a few key channels and areas:

  • Print media, from newspapers to magazines
  • Online publications and blogs
  • Forums
  • Social media platforms
  • Review sites
  • Broadcast media

What to track?

you want to track mentions of your brand for brand monitoring, but there are other areas to consider as well. People won’t always talk directly about you and general industry talk can have a secondary effect on your business.

So, here are a few main things to track:

  • Brand and product mentions
  • Major staff mentions
  • Incoming links to your website
  • Industry-related publications, influencers, and terms

Why is it important to monitor your brand?

1. Improve your marketing impact

Marketers have to be more relevant and targeted than ever. And customer information is key. Demographics, intent, sentiment, likes, and dislikes –  the more you know, the more personal you can be. Brand monitoring gives you those insights into customers.

Some specific ways of monitoring help maximize your marketing efforts:

  • Listen to your customers: The best kind of marketing needs to speak to your customers’ core interests. The simplest way to know what they want? Listen to their discussions.
  • Know who your customers are: Targeting is impossible if you don’t know who you’re marketing to. Find your target customers by looking at the demographics of discussions around your brand and industry.
  • Go where your customers are: Picking the right channels is essential for marketing, be it for a Twitter chat or paid social campaigns. By monitoring conversations around your brand, you’ll learn on which platforms your customers are most active, and where you should invest the most.
  • Monitor market trends: If you’re Apple, you’d want to know what Samsung is doing. In addition to your own mentions, monitor your competitor’s.
  • Track campaign impact: Find out when your brand is mentioned in the news and see how well your marketing campaigns are performing by measuring mentions before and after campaigns.
  • Find influencers: Reach out to top influencers talking about your brand or industry to maximize the reach of your campaigns.

Keywords to monitor

  • Your brand, product, or service name (e.g. Apple, iPhone)
  • Industry-specific keywords (e.g. iOS, Android)
  • Competitors names and products (e.g. Samsung, Galaxy 6S)
  • Campaign names and keywords (e.g. Apple Music trial, Apple Reuse, and Recycling)

2. Improve your customer support and retention

Attracting customers is just half of the work. Keeping them happy and loyal is what keeps revenue coming. Customer success includes listening, reacting, and supporting – all of which you can do with a brand monitoring tool.

How your customer support or community management team can benefit from monitoring:

  • Track social support inquiries: Many customers turn to social media for support. A monitoring tool will keep track of these mentions, and make sure no customers are left hanging.
  • Monitor social media channels from one place: Most brands use multiple social channels. It’s much easier to have one instead of five different accounts to manage, especially if you have a small team. 
  • Collaborate efficiently: Monitoring tools often offer team collaboration features. Assign mentions to the best person for each query to ensure quick responses.
  • Evaluate customer satisfaction: Get a general idea of how happy your customers are about your brand and products with sentiment analysis.
  • Identify at-risk customers: Unhappy customers are unlikely to buy from you again. Identify them at an early stage and offer help.

Keywords to monitor

  • Product and brand name
  • Variations and common misspellings
  • Product/brand name + issue/problem, e.g. iPhone 7 + broken, iPhone 7 + not working
  • Industry-specific keywords

3. Increase sales

If all other teams are leveraging brand monitoring successfully, you’ll have impactful marketing for a customer-centric product that has exceptional customer support. Your brand and product will speak for itself, and your sales team will naturally reap the benefits of their hard work.

But brand monitoring can be used to generate leads and speed up closing in the following ways:

  • Identify sales opportunities: People often discuss a product online before buying. Find sales opportunities by profiling those discussions.
  • Connect and engage with customers: If done well, offering valuable help when a customer is making a decision will help close the deal.
  • Find potential resellers: A lot of companies look for great products to sell to their customers. Research resellers for your product, and find out whenever relevant conversations pop up online. 
  • Convert competitors’ customers: Unhappy customers of your competitors are more likely to buy from you. Monitor their discussions and engage when the opportunity is right.

Keywords to monitor

  • Product and brand name
  • Competitor name + alternative
  • Competitor name + problem
  • Industry-specific keywords

4. Leading C-Level Strategy

Apart from overseeing the brand monitoring strategy, you can monitor your overall brand performance or industry trends, and use the data collected to make informed decisions.

Here are four ways you can leverage monitoring to guide your strategic decision-making:

  • Monitor brand reputation: Have a clear idea of your brand’s perception. Keep an eye on brand sentiment, and look out for online crises.
  • Track industry trends: Discover what’s new and benchmark your brand against your competitions.
  • Improve team communication: Stay on top of how team members are working together with the collaboration features.
  • Measure performance: Evaluate marketing and PR campaign impact, or customer support efficiency, etc.

A lot of companies think brand monitoring is reserved for tech-savvy marketing teams with elaborate PR campaigns. But the truth is, every department – in companies of all sizes – can benefit from more customer insights.

Want to make sure you have a solid monitoring strategy? We can help you. Contact us.