How to use brand monitoring in your market research program

You’ve worked hard to make your brand stand out. People are talking about it. Do you know what they’re saying and where they’re saying it?

If you aren’t monitoring your brand as part of your market research program, you don’t have all the data you need. 

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring is the process of finding and studying mentions of your brand on social media channels, search engines, review sites, blogs, forums, and news sites to find out how your brand is perceived. You’re looking for what kinds of conversations are happening around your brand—and collecting information, analyzing the data, and implementing any necessary responses. Brand monitoring can be done manually or with the aid of a variety of listening tools.

Brand monitoring vs. social monitoring

You may have heard of social monitoring. It’s the process of monitoring social media channels for messages that are related to your brand and responding to those messages swiftly and appropriately. Social monitoring is solely focused on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

Brand monitoring involves tracking and responding to mentions of your brand across the internet. Not only are you monitoring social media, but also blogs, websites, reviews, news, online publications, forums, and any other mentions, and responding appropriately.

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Importance of brand monitoring

Your brand’s fate is in the hands of your customers. Brand monitoring allows you to gather customer feedback, analyze the data, find out what matters most to customers, and act on the information. Read on for more benefits of brand monitoring.

Understanding sentiment

Use brand monitoring to analyze customer sentiment. Sentiment analysis uses artificial intelligence (AI) to examine online communications and provide insights into the feelings associated with a topic, in this case, your brand. Find out if mentions of your brand are positive, negative, or neutral, so you can adapt and make changes as necessary. 

Identify issues and areas for improvement

Monitor for feedback that can lead to product improvements. If you find that there’s a particular feature or issue with a product that is being mentioned, take action and implement changes before the issue negatively impacts your brand.

Reputation management

Stay on top of customer issues with brand monitoring. Make sure you have a process in place to respond to feedback—both negative and positive. Effective interactions with your customers will increase trust in your brand.

Create a feedback loop

Public response to reviews or comments shows that you are actively listening to customer feedback. It indicates that you care and are ready to assist your customers as needed.

Customer satisfaction

Another way to gauge how your brand is perceived by customers is through surveys. A customer satisfaction survey can reveal exactly how your target customer segments feel about your brand and products.

Brand loyalty

Used effectively, brand monitoring data will increase loyalty to your brand. You’ll cultivate more brand loyalty by responding appropriately to online sentiment, feedback, and reviews of your brand.

What should you monitor?

For the most comprehensive brand monitoring, you should monitor as many elements as possible. Online references are the easiest to find and track, but keep an eye on print sources as well. 

  • Print
    • Check publications that are relevant to your industry or local newspapers if you are a local business. 
  • Social media channels
    • Monitor Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and LinkedIn. Customers often communicate freely on social media and your quick response will positively impact your brand reputation with the customer who mentioned you and their followers. Include hashtags associated with your marketing or industry in your monitoring.
  • Online news sites
    • These may be local or industry publications that are related to your product or service.
  • Online reviews
    • Watch for reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, or industry-specific review websites.
  • Online forums
    • Internet discussion forums dedicated to your industry, type of business, or socialization, may yield posts and comments from users about your brand.

Product monitoring

Discover advantages and problems associated with your products through social media mentions or online reviews. Use the information to make informed decisions about your products and marketing campaigns.

Name variations

How do people refer to your brand? Do they spell it correctly? Do they have a nickname for it? Track all the variations of your name that are mentioned. You may need to consider some rebranding to clarify what names are associated with your brand. For example, Coca-Cola is also known as Coke. Dunkin Donuts recently rebranded to what many customers call it: Dunkin.

Competitors

Add your competitors’ names to the monitoring mix. Watch for opportunities for your brand to grow and fill needs the competition can’t.

Industry trends

Are there buzzwords associated with your niche? Track trends and buzzwords for your industry even if they don’t directly mention your brand. It’s a great way to stay informed about your industry and may offer inspiration for marketing campaigns or new products.

Public figures

Monitor mentions of your CEO or public figures associated with your brand. Their reputations can directly influence brand reputation, whether the conversation mentions your brand or not. 

It’s also a good idea to monitor influencers in your industry. The collected information will indicate whether they are a good fit for an influencer campaign.

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Key brand monitoring metrics

Now that you have an idea of what brand monitoring is and what you should be looking for, it’s time to talk about what metrics are important for brand tracking.

Net Promoter Score® (NPS­®)

Our online NPS survey gives you a quick read on what customers feel about your organization or brand. NPS is the gold standard for measuring customer loyalty. With SurveyMonkey, you can create your NPS survey, calculate your score, and get context for your results in one place. Use our NPS survey template to get started. 

Brand loyalty

How likely is it that your customers will continue to interact with your brand? Measure loyalty with feedback to the question, “How likely are you to purchase from our company again?” It’s important to foster brand loyalty—it’s easier to keep the customers you have than earn new ones.

Brand awareness

This is a two-part metric. Brand awareness is the customers’ ability to recognize your brand either with or without a specific prompt, like an image. Brand recall is the ability to remember your brand after using a product or viewing marketing or sales materials. This will help you ensure your brand messaging is clear and impactful.

Brand associations

This metric measures what customers’ perceptions are about your brand. Use open-ended survey questions through your brand tracker to allow respondents to answer without prompting. The analysis will reveal what associations are strongest in your customers’ minds. 

Brand usage

How often do customers purchase your brand’s product or service? This can be measured via a survey question about what brands the person buys regularly. Include your brand and your competitors in the choices.

Brand monitoring tools

As we mentioned, it’s easier to monitor brand mentions online. While this is true, it’s still difficult to do without a brand monitoring tool. These are a few tools that we find particularly useful.

Our brand tracker tool allows you to easily monitor brand metrics so you can build effective marketing strategies to drive company goals. The always-on statistical analysis platform allows you to easily compare key metrics and watch for changes. Use the AI-powered insights to interpret data and then present it to your teams on a custom dashboard. You can improve your marketing like Elephant Insurance did by using the SurveyMonkey Brand Tracker.

Google Alerts is a free, easy-to-use tool for brand tracking. Just enter the keywords you want to track and Google Alerts will send you an email with mentions. Note that there is no analysis or long-term tracking with this tool.

If you have a website, make sure you have Google Search Console set up. This will offer information as to what sites are linking to yours. It doesn’t have a lot of tracking information, but it’s still very important to have for search engine optimization (SEO).

Another free tool from Google, Trends offers the ability to search for keyword or name and compare it to others. You can compare up to five search terms, choose locations, and time intervals, to view interest over time in a line graph. The data can be embedded into reports, downloaded, or shared. This tool is helpful for comparing your brand and keywords against your competitors.

While Ahrefs is mainly used for SEO, it does allow you to look at inbound links to your site, what anchor text was used, and the strength of the referring domain. 

This tool tracks social media mentions and hashtag performance on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as web mentions. 

How to use brand monitoring in your market research program

Brand monitoring is a must for any company. Keeping an eye on mentions of your brand ensures that you’re on top of customer sentiment, feedback, compliments, and complaints. In addition to effectively managing your brand, you can also use brand monitoring for new product launches and market expansion.

New product launch

When you launch a new product, brand monitoring will reveal how it is perceived by customers. Are they receiving it positively or are there problems you did not foresee? Fast response, especially to any problems, will help gain loyalty and trust for your brand.

New market expansion

Brand monitoring will show you how your efforts to capture a new market are working in real-time. Are the consumers in your new target market talking about your brand? What is their perception? Use the collected data to align your marketing to what the new market wants, needs, and expects from your brand.

Use brand monitoring in your market research

Brand monitoring is critical to your company’s success. Gain insight into customer sentiment, areas for improvement, reputation management, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.  Check your NPS, brand awareness, associations, and usage. And most importantly, use monitoring to respond appropriately to online mentions in a timely manner.

Monitor your brand health, grow awareness, evolve brand perception, and more, with SurveyMonkey Brand Tracker. In fact, SurveyMonkey has market research solutions for all of your brand’s needs. 

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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