Brand marketing is an absolutely essential part of your online marketing strategy. You need to monitor your brand – and your competition, too.
You may have SEO locked down so people can easily find the relevant content your company produces, but if they are not satisfied with the product, service, or customer service experience, they may be making that displeasure widely known throughout social media channels.
But it’s not enough to pay attention to what they’re saying about you. By keeping a close watch on what people are saying about the competition you can learn from both their mistakes and their successes.
Check out this list of tools that can help make monitoring your brand easier.
Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe is perhaps one of the most recognized names in the field of technology due to their many design and marketing applications. They offer brands the ability to monitor mobile marketing, customer experience, cross-channel marketing, programmatic advertising, and social platforms. The amount of data the various applications are able to collect make it possible to create detailed customer views and predictive models. The self-assessment helps brands identify strengths and weaknesses and provides prioritization advice.
Ahrefs is a backlink and SEO champion. In addition to checking SEO keywords and being used as a powerful research tool, it is also a rank tracker. The Domain Comparison feature is especially useful when monitoring competing brands. The tool shows a breakdown of domain ranking, social media engagement, referring domains, backlinks, referring pages, crawled pages, and more.
BirdEye is focused on revealing customer engagement and satisfaction. In addition to giving brand’s insight into what customers are saying on social media channels, it is also possible to monitor reviews on sites such as Google and Yelp. They also offer a service that solicits reviews from companies via email, text message, Facebook, website, and mobile kiosks.
Brands Eye constantly scours the internet to find any mentions of the brand based on the predefined metrics selected by the customer. This can include social, broadcast, print, and online media sources. The algorithm then processes the data to ensure relevancy and accuracy. The processed data is sent to a group of real people to make sure the data is contextually relevant before being visually processed for the brand to review.
Brand Watch has three different services;Brandwatch Analytics, the Vizia Platform, and Brandwatch Audiences. The Analytics service uses 70 million sources to create a comprehensive overview of your brand’s image. It shows exactly where individual mentions are found and the type of social reach they experienced.
The site delivers a substantial amount of data to sort through but the company makes it more manageable by providing several visualization methods. There is also an option to customize your dashboard to make it easier to track your brand in comparison with targeted competitors.
Most people use Buzzsumo to generate content ideas and to make sure they are choosing topics people are interested in. However, it can also be effectively used to track mentions of your brand as well as mentions involving competing brands. Instead of setting up alerts for the latest trends it is possible to input your brand name, or that of a competitor, and receive alerts for mentions in real time.
One of the biggest issues facing those who are responsible for tracking metrics across multiple channels is that each one tracks data in a slightly different way. Cyfe helps to streamline the process. The website allows users to create a customized dashboard that is capable of tracking only those metrics that are specifically desired for each brand.
Widgets are available for most social networking platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. It also has the ability to evaluate SEO, marketing platforms, and email marketing efforts.
Glassdoor is an effective way to find out exactly what current and past employees are saying about your company. This tool can also give valuable insight into how employees feel about competing brands and what you can do to ensure your company culture is evolving to meet the needs of employees. There is even a place for reviewers to give feed back on company CEOs and interviewing procedures.
Google Alerts was one of the original monitoring tools available. Because it is a Google tool it is easy to use, but as one of the first of its kind it has fewer features than some of the other options. However, for those familiar and comfortable with the reporting style of Google applications this is an intuitive and useful option.
Google is often regarded as the king of the internet for good reason, the company offers valuable insights into virtually every aspect of internet use. Their Analytics tool allows brands to find out exactly how well the chatter taking place online is translating into conversions.
Google Trends does several powerful things for those interested in monitoring their brand’s image. When you first look at it,you’ll immediately see what topics are trending across Google searches at the moment and over the past 24-hour period. By searching a particular website, it is possible to see how much traffic they have received and from which regions. It is also possible to compare interest over time and by region between two or more brand websites.
Hootsuite is a familiar tool for those who are scheduling their social media posts but it can also be effectively used to keep track of how often your brand is being mentioned across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
How Sociable monitors brand reputation across a total of 36 social media networks, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, EBay, Etsy, and Instagram. It has a broad scope and breaks down the information into intuitive magnitude scores that range from 0-10 to quickly show users the level of activity their brand experienced on specific channels. The site also has a feature that allows users to compare their magnitude score with that of brands of similar size and niche.
HubSpot allows brands to monitor their entire funnel with detailed metrics that analyze marketing materials, your contacts database, and website traffic. Individual customer profiles show companies exactly how well their brand is being received on an individual level but it is also possible to analyze broader population segments based on specific marketing parameters.
Cognos has several product lines; Analytics, Express, and Financial Performance Management. This is another robust tool that will provide potentially more information than smaller companies truly need, but for larger brands the level of insight would be invaluable. It is able to automate and integrate data across computing environments and provides collaboration capabilities, modeling, reports, and data analysis. The company prides itself on giving brands the information they need to make informed decisions based on data.
IFTTT offers a great number of ‘if this, then that’ actions that utilize and combine the functionality of other apps to help you monitor your brand and the competition. When actions are put together they are called recipes. There is a bit of a learning curve but the functionality and remarkable amount of customization available make it worth the effort. To make it easier you can use recipes for marketers that were created by other people.
The stated purpose of Klout is to ensure brands are known for what they love. Specifically, it helps pinpoint brand or individual influence so that it can be leveraged effectively. It is an excellent resource for discovering who the top influencers are in a specific niche and who those people are talking about.
Mention is a very easy to understand tool that has free and paid accounts. They offer social media monitoring, brand tracking, and web monitoring. The brand tracking feature has a dashboard that also facilitates tracking competing brands and keeping their information in an easy to access location. They are especially strong in monitoring trending topics and the company has a mobile app to make accessing data even easier.
Eloqua is a comprehensive option that offers a depth of monitoring that may not be relevant to all brands. The company will integrate all data from web, social, email, and any other sales pipelines to create reports and dashboards that clearly show response trends, ROI, campaign success, and performance analytics based on geography, product line, or sales team. This tool will monitor virtually every aspect of your brand.
Pinterest has an analytics feature that makes it easy to begin looking for specific brand data points right at the source. Some of the metrics you can follow include the number of people pinning directly from your company blog or website and how many people see pins from your site and click through. It is possible to analyze specific time frames to better understand engagement trends and focus on what is working and what needs to be revised. Finally, it is possible to monitor how engagement differs depending on the device users are accessing with.
SEMrush helps find mentions of a brand in blog and social media comments. This is different from finding direct mentions in blog or social media posts, which is also useful. However, locating what is said in the comments sections can be much more challenging. This is especially true when the comments thread is filled with thousands of remarks. This tool cuts through all of that noise to locate specific mentions of your brand.
It has the added functionality of tracking competitors easily. You can set it up to look for specific keywords they are using and how well they are ranking with those words in organic and paid search.
Spark Central is fantastic for monitoring customer support efficacy. Specifically, it was designed to help brands monitor request for customer support across social media platforms. It has the ability to track chats, tweets, and Facebook posts in real-time and forward them to the brand’s customer support team. This gives a company the ability to engage with customers who may initially be reporting a frustration and flip the situation into an opportunity to solve a problem quickly and improve the brand’s reputation at the same time.
Sprout Social is another social media tool that has the ability to help brands schedule their social sharing and also monitor engagement with users. It is possible to pull statistics from several platforms and share the information in report form with team members in order to keep everyone on board with how well received their efforts have been.
Tweet Binder helps take Twitter analysis to the next level. It makes it easy to search for specific hashtags your brand, or a competitor, is promoting and then turns the data into an easy to understand report. It also allows companies to learn more about individual tweets that are related to your query or learn more in depth information about targeted Twitter profiles.
The analytics platform for Twitter makes it extremely easy to monitor engagement with your brand on the site. There are options to follow retweets, links clicked, and impressions.
Twitter Counter markets themselves as the place to be for companies who want actionable stats. Not only will it track exactly what users are doing but it also offers a number of tools which can be added to websites, blogs, and social profiles to show real time Twitter stats. As for comparing the competition, the site lets you monitor how well your brand is doing against individual competitors.
So Many Options – So Little Time
With so many monitoring tools available, it is possible to find the perfect one to fulfill the needs of your brand. These range in price from free to several hundred dollars each month and in complexity from basic to comprehensive. For most brands it will be necessary to use several tools to create the most accurate image of a brand’s reputation across multiple channels and a detailed understanding of targeted competitors.