W hat is brand monitoring? Well, it's hard to offer an all-inclusive definition. But we can try a softer definition : brand monitoring is watching your brand performing online, growing, and even failing sometimes.
The reasons to perform brand monitoring are very different and, if at least one of the following aspects is vital to your business, then you should include brand monitoring in your daily routine. Here are some of the reasons to perform brand monitoring:
- Know Your Competition
- Provide Better Support & Manage Your Online Reputation
- Build a Community Around Your Brand
- Get Dozens of High-Quality Links
- Find Endless Content Ideas
If the reasons weren't precise enough, I invite you to read why brand monitoring is a must and not a whim.
You might be familiar with this sweet-dark joke:
- How do you put an elephant in the fridge?
- In thin slices.
We're not going to talk about elephants (nor to slice any), yet, the metaphor behind the joke is that when tasks seem overwhelming, try to divide them in smaller assignments. This way, they will be more "doable". Same thing when it comes to brand monitoring. You don't have to do it all at once, but one at a time. And we found the perfect solution for this. A weekly action plan.
A Weekly Action Plan to Perform Brand Monitoring
With such an impact on the essential business elements (clients, competitors, marketing performance and even budgets), brand monitoring must be included in the daily work of a marketer and not only. To make an easy inclusion of a new process in your work routine, we came up with a weekly action plan for performing brand monitoring.
Monday - Setup, Brand Engagement, Target Research
Before any action, you need to create the setup
It works in cinematography, theatre and brand monitoring, too. When monitoring brand reputation, you need to make a decision regarding the list of branded keywords that are relevant for your business and will lead you straight to your mentions.
- brand name
- abbreviations of brand name
- misspelled brand name
- product names
First on the list goes your brand name. Abbreviations and even your misspelled name are perfect words to monitor online. Besides that, you can include keywords out of your industry that applies to you. Some other good words you can include are slogan, hashtags, and product names. With this starting pack, any brand tracking tool will take you right to your mentions.
Moreover, some of those management tools might offer you even more options, as BrandMentions does. If you take a look at the next screenshot, you'll see the options for excluding keywords. You can exclude keywords that mislead your search results. Just take "Apple" as an example. If you search for the brand name, there is a high probability you get a lot of noise. But if we exclude words such as "fruit" from search, then your mentions results will be more accurate.
How do I enjoy my brand monitoring results?
First, we do a SPRINT ROUTINE (must be done every day, 5 days a week):
Check your brand mentions, spot those that need your interaction and take some time to answer them. Those mentions are very diverse. There might be some positive comments about your product and a simple “thank you” answer would already bring big value to your online reputation. This simple action helps you perform customers care.
It is even more important to be responsive to negative mentions. If we follow a process of reputation management we know that dealing with negative mentions is the first thing that needs to be done. In the online world, ignoring them is even more damaging than answering them. To fulfill this need, some social listening tools have sentiment analysis.
Urgency is (sometimes)the best policy.
While brand tracking, filter negative mentions and answer them immediately. Answering an unhappy customer will stop the negativity around your brand. Besides that, take any negative mention as very honest feedback for your product/service. In this case, I advise you to take it seriously and read more on how to deal with negative brand mentions.
Sprout Social confirms by their study that 29% of users are more likely to switch to the competitors after being shunned by a brand on social media.
We are not done with urgency. To double secure your PR crisis caused by a negative mention, choose analytics tools that let you set mail alerts so every time there is a new mention you get an email. So in case, it is a toxic mention you will be able to neutralize it instantly. Make crisis management one of your marketing goals.
MONDAY ROUTINE. On the first day of the week, we all search for motivation. Don't take any difficult tasks today, just because you're curious. Take more time to analyze what type of people mentioned you, by age, demography or profession.
Is there a new kind of potential customers you didn’t expect to mention you? They might become your new target audience. Look for the mentions made by your employees. It’s a cool way to check what your employees love about your company and assure their personal brand helps you grow your company’s brand.
Tuesday - Sprint Routine, Content Research
* SPRINT ROUTINE first.
Tuesday is statistically the hardest day of the week but we are going to fix it by flirting with some creative tasks. Today is all about content marketing and strategies.
You might be surprised but brand mentions offer you a perfect context where you can extract new content ideas from. Remember those mentions of your brand? Well, go through them again and extract what does and doesn't your public like about your brand. This is a priceless content tip for your tutorials, how-tos, explanatory books, Q&A section, FAQ, etc. You will be able to give your users the information they need and for sure they would appreciate that about your product.
People are talking about your industry but not necessarily about your brand? That means there are subjects you fail to cover.
Do a quick research on the industry trends. This way you can join the discussion in your niche. Out there you can see for yourself what are the hot topics or painful problems. Understanding customer behavior from the conversations will help you create personalized campaigns and make viral pieces of content. Brand monitoring would be an alternative way of doing market research based on the things people like to share.
Wednesday - Sprint Routine, Competitors' Analysis
*Doing SPRINT ROUTINE again.
Then, this day is dedicated not to us but to our competitors.
You are not the best as long as
your competitors are better.
Brand monitoring is a very polite way to see what your competitors' success is due to. The way you monitor your brand you can monitor your competitors’ brand too. Search for their name, scroll through their mentions, basically do a competitor analysis. First of all, do they have more mentions? Check it just for yourself and find out what your audience’s preferences.
In this case, McDonald’s is definitely winning.
Let's continue with a more advanced competitive analysis:
Find mentions with the biggest performance and check what is the trigger behind them. Is it due to a recent competitors’ campaign or update? Take it as a best practice and find a way to replicate it in an even better way.
Don't forget to track your competitors' negative mentions. The audience is the best source of learning about your competitors’ disadvantages. It is also a source of feedback that you might be first to notice and implement. Your competitors' former clients might become your new clients.
76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
Pay attention to the companies and people that are mentioning your rivals. Investigate on those. It is a win for you to discover your competitors' partner programs, influencers, brand ambassadors and even affiliate marketing collaborators.
Apart from it, you should investigate much more on the social activity of your competitors. Your rival is right there in the online world, like an open book, you just need to know how to analyze it and here are 8 easy steps to check on your social media competitors.
Thursday - Sprint Routine, Backlinks Building, Influencer Research
*Go ahead with the Thursday plan only after doing the SPRINT ROUTINE.
Clients appreciate you based on your recommendations and reviews; Google does the same by counting your backlinks, which is one of the most important factors in search engines. Google appreciates your site more if other sites appreciate yours by linking to it.
As you can see that from this industry study on almost 40,000 keywords and around 4 million pieces of content made by CognitiveSEO. It turns out that it is an exponential dependence between page performance and rankings (page performance represents links that page has).
Brand monitoring and SEO are two things that don't usually come together but actually they meet more as you think; especially when it comes to backlinks.
Unlinked brand mentions are piece of cake for your ranking in Google Search. All you need to do is identify those mentions. Unlike basic tracking tools such as Google Alerts, some brand monitoring tools, as BrandMentions, have a specific filter that shows you only unlinked mentions. Check them out, spot the author or the owner of the platform/site and send them a nice message asking for linking his mention to your site. Make sure you link only positive mentions. Looking further, it might be a nice start for a new collaboration.
Still, the process has its technical particularities you must pay attention to and we already revealed them in this guide on how to quickly find unlinked brand mentions & turn them into links.
It was too easy for Thursday.
As a bonus, we will get social and trendy. Influencer marketing is in vogue right now but the biggest misunderstanding is that you don't necessarily need stars, popular vloggers or Kardashians to be your influencers.
The best influencer is the person that already loves your product, talks easily about it online and doesn’t expect anything back. Usually, these are micro and nano influencers. This kind of brand ambassadors can be easily recruited in your influencers army.
The way you spot them is - please don’t be surprised - by doing brand monitoring. Start by identifying the most popular mentions. The brand monitoring tools thought about that in advance and already included a specific feature.
Next thing to do would be to research on those who made the most popular mentions. If they appear to be public people, with a lot of followers, a dedicated audience that appreciates their content, then you are set. You found your first potential influencer! At that moment, think about a creative campaign to do together and start a new collaboration.
Don’t get too excited because you still have to avoid some common mistakes in influencer marketing.
Friday - Sprint Routine, Report Analysis
*Leaving the office after doing the SPRINT ROUTINE would be awesome but no.
Reports! The moment when reality kicks in. As tough as it might get, with the right attitude, the report analysis will bring you smart actions to do for the next week. We know it’s Friday and we, at BrandMentions, made it easy for you - at least to generate reports. Basically, we do it for you, gather all the possible and impossible results in one place.
- Mention History
- Mention Counts
- Mention List
- Top Mentions
- Top Domains
- Sentiment Analysis
- Top Authors
Then comes your part to interpret brand mentions from different perspectives. Let's take Facebook and its analysis for the last 2 months as an example. Right from the start, in the Mention History graph, it is obvious that on April 30 there was a big hype about the brand. Let us tell you the secret behind it, that was the day when Mark Zuckerberg announced new updates at F8.
An interesting thing to observe is sentiment analysis. Even though the announced keynotes were very brave and shocking, there were no massive negative reactions about that. Well played Facebook.
But we are not here to open up all the cards. Now it is your turn to generate a report and discover all its colorful, clear and comprehensive insights.
Reaching out to your audience, adjusting your content strategy, spying on competitors, fixing SEO with backlinks, hunting influencers and digging into report numbers and graphs, it definitely was an intense week. Cheers for that!
Enjoy your honestly-earned weekend. And don’t forget: with your Monday coffee you should start it all over again because mentions keep coming and users have no weekends, they are your clients 24/7/356.
One more thing. In case you need guidance in going through this weekly plan, you can request a demo for Brand Mentions. We are more than happy to help.