Marketing is such a vast area of knowledge that sometimes it can be overwhelming. It feels like you need to do a ridiculous amount of things at once: think through your marketing strategy, plan out content, keep an eye on SEO and social media marketing and so much more.
Luckily, there is always martech to help us. Marketing tools can take a load off our shoulders and automate the tedious or less exciting parts of marketing. Moreover, sometimes they can provide us with insights that we can’t get any other way — just like brand monitoring does.
What Is Brand Monitoring?
Brand monitoring is the process of tracking conversations related to your brands online: on social media, forums, review aggregators, websites, and so on. Some online channels, like most social media platforms for example, allow users to tag brands to draw their attention. But even those tagged mentions can be easily missed in the social media noise.
With the number of online channels at our disposal, it is humanly impossible to track everything manually. Brand monitoring tools help you track your company’s online activity, keep an eye on your reputation, spy on your competitors and so on.
Why Do You Need Brand Monitoring?
But do you really need to monitor what others are saying about your brand online? Of course you do!
Monitoring your brand allows you to:
- Better understand your target audience: you can find out what social media platforms and websites they use, what languages they speak, where they live, etc.
- Realize what your brand’s strengths and weaknesses are. When doing brand monitoring you can find customers’ complaints and requests and figure out how to improve your product.
- Safeguard your brand reputation against a PR crisis. By quickly finding negative mentions of your brand you can deal with them right away before they turn into a social media crisis.
- Find marketing opportunities: find new platforms, backlink opportunities, and communities to market to.
- Discover influencers who want to collaborate with you.
And that’s only the beginning. Brand monitoring tools can do all this and more — you just need to choose the right one for your business.
Brand monitoring tools vary in their capabilities, some are more analytics-oriented, others combine monitoring with posting and scheduling features, some focus on a specific platform. In this list, I gathered a plethora of tools for any goals and budget. I hope you’ll be able to find the one that fits.
All the brand monitoring tools on this list are either free or offer a free trial.
Awario is a social listening tool that can monitor your keywords (including your brand name) in real time. Awario is a perfect choice for small and medium companies and marketing agencies: it offers powerful analytics at a quite affordable price tag.
It finds all the mentions of your brand on social media, in media outlets, blogs, forums, and the web. There’s an elaborate set of filters that allows you to make your monitoring more precise and a Boolean search mode to help you create very specific queries. This can help if your brand name is also a common noun (think Apple).
With Awario you get access to the individual online mentions and to the analytics of these mentions. The tool gives you demographic and behavioral data on the people discussing your brand, allows you to compare your brands to your competitors, and offers a separate report on Influencers mentioning your brand.
You can set up Awario to send you notifications with new mentions by email, Slack, or push notifications.
Pricing: $29-299 when billed monthly; yearly plans save you 2 months.
Free trial: 7 days for the Starter plan.
Social Searcher is a great option for those who are especially interested in working with individual mentions. It’s an easy-to-use web platform that provides you with mentions of your brand from a multitude of sources including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube and more.
The first advantage of Social Searcher is its intuitive design — when you go to the official website you’re immediately asked to put in your keywords and start monitoring. You don’t even need to sign up with an email. Social Searcher takes a little bit of time to find mentions and then shows you a feed full of mentions from different sources. You can also click on the analytics tab to see the breakdown of mentions by sources, by the time they were posted, and by sentiment.
Social Searcher is a great option if you want to quickly check the mentions of a keyword online. If you want to have an established brand monitoring process, perhaps look into other tools with more convenient UI.
Pricing: free, but you can pay for a plan (from €3.,49 to €19.49 a month) to set up email alerts and consistent monitoring.
Free trial: the tool is free.
Mentionlytics is a social media management tool that offers brand monitoring along with publishing functionality. And it excellently manages to do both of these things.
It allows jumping into conversations it finds in real time and interacting with social media users. It’s able to track your brand both on social media and the web and in more than 20 languages.
What makes Mentionlytics stand out is Social Intelligent Advisor. It’s an AI service that derives actionable insights from social data. For example, if you’re monitoring your brand, it’s automatically able to find main pain points of your customers and highlight them to you.
In addition to that, Mentionlytics offers analytics on reach and influence of the found mentions, competitor monitoring, and a Boolean search mode.
Pricing: from $39 to $299 a month.
Free trial: the tool offers a 14-day free trial.
Tweetdeck is an official tool from Twitter to help you manage it more effectively. The dashboard is organized in streams so you can follow the feed, notifications, and mentions of several accounts at once.
As for brand monitoring, you can set up a “Seach” stream that will deliver all the mentions of your keyword (brand name or your web page) to your dashboard. It uses the same logic as Advanced Search on Twitter so you can choose the location, authors, and number of engagements for your brand monitoring settings.
The main advantage of Tweetdeck is its reliability: since it’s an official Twitter product, you can be sure that it finds ALL the mentions possible and won’t ever have troubles connecting to Twitter.
The downside is that it’s focused on one platform only. If your brand has an established Twitter presence and needs a free solution to monitor it, Tweetdeck is a perfect option.
You might be surprised to see Semrush on this list — after all, it’s primarily known as an SEO tool. However, it has robust brand monitoring capabilities, first and foremost, focusing on websites, of course.
The tool offers an intuitive feed of mentions where you can work with individual posts and pages, tag and label them, and filter the results for a more precise picture. Along with websites, Semrush also monitors Twitter and Instagram.
Since Semrush is so website-oriented, it provides users with an ability to monitor specific domains. This can be especially useful for monitoring industry-related media or a specific review website where your brand is discussed the most.
Moreover, Semrush is a rare tool that can measure traffic from online mentions that contain links — its integration with Google Analytics allows you to track all the clicks to your website.
Pricing: brand monitoring is included in Guru Plan that costs $199 a month.
Free trial: there is a 7-day free trial available.
Mention is a French company that is devoted to monitoring and listening to online conversations. It’s perfect for mid-sized companies and Enterprise-level brands since it offers a lot of different analytics and integrations with other tools for robust brand monitoring.
It places a lot of importance on the real-time search — unlike some other tools on this list (Awario, Brandwatch) it only offers historical data (i.e. mentions that are older than a week) as an add-on. It pulls data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, forums, blogs, videos, news, web, and even radio & TV to ensure that you stay in the know of all the conversations happening around your brand.
The brand monitoring tool offers a detailed analytics dashboard with all sorts of metrics including gender, sentiment analytics, reach and so on. It also has an API integration that enables you to build their analytics into your own tool or website.
Pricing: the tool is free up to 1,000 mentions. From there, the prices start at $25 a month.
Free trial: Mention offers a 14-day free trial for the paid plans.
BuzzSumo is a content marketing tool so its brand monitoring capabilities might be of special interest to those brands who are prioritizing content.
The tool lets you track all the content mentioning your brand and analyzes engagement around each piece of content. It gives you the number of shares on social media, number of likes, views and clicks. It also shows the overall stats for your search.
By setting up alerts you can stay up-to-date with each new article and blog post mentioning your brand. You can create alerts to track brand mentions, competitor mentions, content from a website, keyword mentions, backlinks, or an author.
Pricing: the prices start at $99.
Free trial: there’s a free 30-day trial.
Talkwalker has a name in the social media analytics community — it is considered one of the main social listening and monitoring tools. And rightfully so!
It’s an Enterprise-level tool for large marketing teams with several analytics dashboards and AI-based insights. Talkwalker delivers data in real-time but it also collects and analyzes brand mentions that go back up to two years. One thing that differs Talkwalker from its competitors is visual recognition: the tool is able to find your logo on images and in videos across the Internet.
Talkwalker sources data from 10 social media networks including more obscure ones like Webo and TV and radio news.
Free trial: no free trial, but there is a free demo.
Another Enterprise-level brand monitoring solution is Meltwater. It’s a social media and marketing analytics platform that heavily relies on AI to provide actionable insights.
It looks at more than just social media, examining millions of posts each day from social media platforms, blogs, and news sites. It filters out irrelevant mentions and assigns sentiment to the mentions that interest you
Meltwater includes multiple dashboards that monitor, benchmark, and analyze your online activity. You can also design customized dashboards to meet your needs better.
Free trial: no free trial, but you can request a free demo.
NetBase Solutions is a giant marketing intelligence platform that also includes competitive intelligence, crisis management, technology scouting and other solutions.
It’s brand monitoring tool is pretty advanced — it allows you to track your brand across social media, websites, and traditional media channels; identify key factors that influence brand passion through sentiment analysis and tie all this data to your business KPIs.
In addition to data sourced from social media, it uses other sources such as surveys, focus groups, ratings, and reviews, to discover as much as possible about your brand.
Pricing: NetBase doesn’t publically provide information on its pricing, which is common for Enterprise-level tools. You can get custom pricing by contacting the sales team.
Free trial: you can request a free demo.
What Are Your Goals?
Brand monitoring is a must for any company, but what tools you’re going to use completely depends on you. Look at your budget, the platforms you want to cover, and your goals.
Do you want to focus on individual mentions to take care of customer requests and increase engagement? Or maybe you want to analyze your target audience to improve your marketing strategy? Or are you interested in the feedback from specific websites or review aggregators?
There’s a tool for any need and budget, and most of them offer free versions or free trials so I encourage you to find the one which fits your needs and try it out!