Best Practices for Online Brand Monitoring

Online brand monitoring is critically important in today’s market climate. Our global marketplace, together with the interconnectedness of social media, means brands can rise and fall at the drop of a hat. Keeping tabs on your brand health should be one of your brand’s top priorities, so you always know where you stand.

Not only does online brand monitoring measure your brand health metrics, but it covers quite a few other areas of business intelligence as well. Here, we’ll share a few of the best practices for online brand monitoring, so you’re getting the maximum return from your social listening and media analytics tools.

Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • Online brand monitoring in a nutshell
  • Why you need brand monitoring
  • Owned and shared brand monitoring
  • Paid mentions and custom audience targeting
  • Earned mentions: The gold ring of online brand monitoring

Before we get underway, here are a few statistics we uncovered that speak to the value of understanding your brand mentions using online brand monitoring:

  • Monitoring your brand’s media mentions is essential since 92% of consumers trust a user’s experience related on social media more than they trust a brand’s advertising efforts.
  • 63% of adults habitually talk about a brand’s products and services online. 81% of social media users read and consider what others say about a brand and its products.
  • Online brand monitoring informs your marketing strategy for targeted audience impact. This is a worthwhile endeavor as leads generated through earned media outperform paid media leads by 10 – 15%.

With that, let’s jump in and take a deeper look at online brand monitoring.

Online Brand Monitoring in a Nutshell

Online brand monitoring tools use social listening and media analytics tools to uncover your brand mentions across all forms of digital media, such as social platforms and news articles. It’s much more than a one-off process though.

The idea is to capture and track your brand mentions continually over time, so you have a precise understanding of volume and sentiment in addition to knowing who and where people are talking. This allows you to establish baseline measurements to understand where your “normal” is and when your brand mentions have traveled outside of them.

Understanding your brand health metrics with online brand monitoring provides a keen awareness of where you stand with the media and consumers, so you know when things are going south. This gives you the ability to pull the trigger on your crisis management strategy sooner rather than later.

Additionally, everything that you monitor with your brand can be duplicated on your competition. What this does is help you establish your share of voice within your category. For instance, here’s an example of three major whiskey manufacturers share of voice using a social listening analysis:

Brand comparison and analysis

Brand comparison and analysis

This is a simple analysis of three brands, but it yields much information on social media volume and sentiment. Replicating this analysis monthly or quarterly shows movement in your chosen metrics and is the essence of online brand monitoring.

Why You Need Online Brand Monitoring

Without online brand monitoring, you’re operating your business without a safety net. A crisis can come in any form, and it’s not an if but a when scenario. Setting alerts based on your performance metrics allows you to pivot when lightning strikes, saving you valuable time and money.

We don’t have to look further than last year to find brands that made lemonade at the onset of the pandemic – a testament to the efficacy of online brand monitoring. Uber shifted laterally into its Uber Eats platform as rideshare evaporated. Airbnb created its “online experiences” in light of rapidly shifting consumer behavior.

Airbnb’s primary business model was crippled, and the brand could quickly have sunk like so many other businesses. Instead, online brand monitoring gave them the insight they needed to pivot and weather the storm. Here’s what their news media mentions looked like this time last year – not only is it well into the pandemic, but these news articles are also the story they created, and it’s full of beautiful green sentiment.

positive sentiment shared by consumers around airbnb virtual experiences

That’s the power of using online brand monitoring to track your brand mentions. But not all brand mentions are created equal – let’s take a look.

Owned & Shared Brand Monitoring

You can use your online brand monitoring analyses to break down your social media mentions by type so you can benchmark and track performance. Owned media is any content authored by your brand. Common examples include content published on your websites, blog posts, or social media content such as tweets or Instagram stories.

Shared media content can originate as owned, paid, or earned media but includes a viral quality that leads to organic shareability across the web. It’s not always easy to come by, but when you hit paydirt with your social media marketing, you can track performance as they’ll show up as popular posts within your brand analysis.

The key to successful owned and shared media is a nuanced understanding of your consumers and what makes them tick so you can organically maximize their engagement with your content. Again, monitoring your online performance over time tells you what works and what doesn’t.

Paid Mentions – Better Have Targeting on Point

Paid mentions, also known as partnered media, consist of content resulting from a collaboration between two or more organizations. It could be the result of an influencer marketing relationship, paid ads on social media or online publications, or partner-authored posts on blogs, product review sites, or forums.

Success with paid media hinges on a water-tight custom audience analysis, so your marketing is locked on a specific audience like a heat-seeking missile. Otherwise, you’re likely wasting a chunk of change putting your content in front of Joe Bob in Kansas, who doesn’t give a lick about your irrelevant sponsored post.

Again, online brand monitoring tracks your campaign performance with paid mentions over time, so you know what’s hot and when to go back to the drawing board.

Earned Mentions: The Gold Ring of Online Brand Monitoring

There’s no doubt about it; earned media is the Holy Grail of brand mentions – well, the good ones anyway. Earned media consists of brand mentions, social media posts, or news media articles completely unsolicited by your brand

However, they can be either positive or negative, and that’s where online brand monitoring comes in. You need to know who is talking about your brand and where these conversations are taking place online. Consumers are more apt to be influenced by the opinions of others regarding your brand than they will be by your owned content.

Therefore, it’s critical to keep a finger on the pulse of the online conversation – your brand health depends on it. And as we mentioned earlier, your social listening tools should be able to isolate owned, paid, and earned media, so you always know the lay of the land.

converged media tracking

Drilling into your earned media conversations can also help you adjust your messaging to boost narratives that are getting organic traction. Tracking these conversations lets you measure growth so you know you’re on the right track.

The key takeaway here is that online brand monitoring is a must for brand health and crisis management. It gives you an ongoing consumer behavior and brand perception foundation, by stratifying your online presence into owned, paid, and earned media mentions so you can adjust your marketing strategy as you go. And those informed adjustments are crucial.

Reach out for a demo, and we’ll show you how online brand monitoring puts you in control of your brand’s online presence.

brand passion report 2021

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