As part of your affiliate program, it’s a good idea to invest in brand monitoring. Not only can it help you understand how well your affiliate program is doing, but also it can give you insight into how your competitors are spreading their brands.
If you’re interested in bolstering your affiliate program with this type of monitoring, then here are some tips to help you get started.
What Is Brand Monitoring, and Why Is It So Important?
Brand monitoring is a general term that refers to any monitoring processes that you may use to understand how many people are talking about your brand. It can also give you insight into the reasons they’re talking about you and the overall opinion people have about your brand.
Brand monitoring helps you understand the benefits of your various marketing programs. Because affiliate marketing takes place primarily online, online monitoring can also give you an idea of how frequently affiliates are producing content, as well as what percentage of your mentions are sponsored and what percentage is earned.
Why Should You Be Monitoring Your Competitors?
You don’t have to just use brand monitoring for your own brand. It’s also common for companies to monitor their competitors’ brands as well. This way, you can see how your statistics measure up to your most prominent competitors.
You can also see whether your competitors have started to try out new advertising strategies, as well as whether those advertising strategies seem to be paying off. Understanding your competitors’ strategies is an important part of understanding your own.
Top Free Brand Monitoring Tools
If you’re just getting started with brand monitoring, then you probably don’t need any especially robust tools. You need tools that are good enough to help you develop a brand monitoring strategy. Here are a few free tools that can help you start understanding your brand’s identity online.
Mention is a great way to start looking into real-time search and generalized brand content, especially if your company is fairly small and you’re just starting to discover brand monitoring. It offers up to 1,000 mentions per month for free, with monitored websites including Twitter, Instagram, and many content publishing sites.
Tweetdeck is unique because it’s Twitter-specific. It’s an official Twitter tool, allowing you to follow your notifications, account feed, and mentions all at once. It’s also easy to set up a search stream that will allow you to see all mentions of any keyword, which may be your webpage or your brand name, and you can even choose to see tweets with a specific number of engagements or sent from a specific location. As an official Twitter tool, it’s also free forever.
- Social Searcher
Social Searcher gives you access to specific information about brand mentions, including an analytical breakdown of mentions by source, time posted, and general sentiment. The free plan allows you to track these keywords manually, with paid plans available to set up email alerts and consistent general monitoring. It also tracks many different sources, like Facebook, Reddit, and YouTube, among others.
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a tool that allows you to get email alerts when new web content shows up for a specific topic. That topic can be as wide as the term “Google” or as narrow as your brand’s specific hashtag. If you don’t mind hand-sifting through whatever information Google’s very wide net catches, then this can be a great starting point for brand monitoring.
Top Paid Brand Monitoring Tools
If you’re interested in taking your brand monitoring to the next level, then you’re going to need to opt for paid brand monitoring tools eventually. Here are a few of the top paid tools to consider.
- Brandwatch (Previously Falcon.io)
Brandwatch has been around since 2010, which means it has quite a track record. It’s especially great for large brands with a multinational audience, as it allows you to track conversations about your brand in multiple languages. You can also identify the common hashtags and topics used in these conversations. With over 600 metrics available for tracking and unlimited search inquiries, it’s not hard to see why Brandwatch is so popular.
Brand24 is another older brand monitoring tool, founded in 2011. It allows you to access brand mentions in podcasts, social media, blogs, forums, and videos and can segment those mentions into positive, negative, and neutral discussions, with instant notifications when it identifies a negative review. Plus, the pricing is great for an entry-level company.
If you’re currently using Hootsuite for your social media management, then Hootsuite Insights can be a great add-on to quickly get information about your brand. Plus, if you’re already paying for Hootsuite, the Hootsuite Insights add-on can be an extremely cost-effective option to help you kick-start your brand monitoring system.
Semrush is primarily an SEO tool, but along with tracking SEO information, Semrush can also provide you with brand monitoring tools. It can measure traffic from online mentions that contain links, and although it monitors content-related websites most prominently, it can also keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram. Although the cost can be fairly high, if you’re already using Semrush for SEO management, you may not need to upgrade to gain access to brand monitoring.
The Bottom Line
Brand monitoring can help you turn raw data from the internet into actionable insights that allow you to tweak your marketing programs. However, in order to use that data, you first need to have marketing programs that you’re able to adapt. Make sure you’re working with Refersion so that your brand monitoring information can tie back to your affiliate marketing program.