We live in a world where information travels faster than the speed of light. With the advent of technology, social media, the internet, and other related tools and technologies in today’s day and age, interacting and engaging with the latest in the world of news and media isn’t all that difficult. And if there is one aspect of it all where the impact can be seen far and wide, it has to be in the domain of business. This is where media monitoring comes in.

Today, as your business grows, your marketing efforts quadruple, processes get into place, and so on, a word about your brand starts to spill out in various circles. 

People start talking about your business – not just on social media, but also online media sites and directories that start to cover your brand, mention it, quote it, review it, and more. Then there are also people interacting with it all in comments. 

In all honesty, it is not just hard to keep track of, but also almost impossible to derive any insights from all the scattered media mentions

This is where media monitoring and analysis comes into your rescue. 

Before we delve deep into it, it’s best to set the right expectations about what the rest of this guide will focus on. 

If you have never heard the term media monitoring before and would like to learn the A to Z about it without having to overwhelm yourself, you are at the right place. In this guide, we will focus on the aspects of media monitoring that will enable you to leverage it as a marketing moat as well as a brand shield, rather than just something you observe from the sidelines. So, without any further ado, shall we get started?

What is media monitoring?

In a nutshell, media monitoring refers to the process of keeping a tab on news, media, publications, and other outlets to scourge for information, insights, and mentions around particular topics, especially those relevant to your brand and business. 

More often than not, the aim of this is to glean insights that could have business value for you.

From covering as many sources of relevancy as possible, including but not limited to radio, TV, print, internet, magazines, social media, online publications, and more, everything about tracking these channels comes under the umbrella of media monitoring.

In today’s day and age, however, with the internet becoming the most important carrier of information for the populace, it has become the most important source of information for a lot of businesses, especially those that are digital-first or have the majority of their activities done online. 

For a business, the pieces of relevant data and insights collected by a media monitoring platform (more on that in the later sections) or service can give you valuable insights into your company, marketing, product, campaign, services, or even your competitors’ brand perception, recall value, and similar measurements. 

Through the help of media monitoring and analysis combines, you can empower your business to take care of numerous avenues in your marketing or PR, including: brand monitoring, online reputation management, customer support, customer feedback, crisis management, public relations, including improving media coverage and media relations, earned media value, market research, PR and marketing campaign analytics, hashtag analytics, and competition research, among others.

New to media monitoring? Get a demo of Radarr today to see how it works.

Why is media monitoring important?

Over the past couple of years, the importance of media monitoring, particularly online and social media monitoring and analysis has increased multifold due to a plethora of reasons. 

Today, the consumer makes use of the internet to share with the wider world their experiences, exchange ideas on their interests and likes, seek recommendations for products they want to buy, and so much more. 

Every other person out there with a smartphone and a working internet connection can be called a content creator as an individual, and their influence on how others perceive a brand they have had an experience or interaction with can have a substantial impact on the brand. So, for businesses and brands with an online presence, it’s a huge opportunity and a huge challenge: to reach consumers, shape, and manage their perception, and, ultimately, win their trust.

With this thought in your mind, it is always good to know what exactly is being said about your business online: by your happy, or unhappy customers – especially by industry media or publications, as they have a wider reach. 

You can only remain on top of these things with real-time media monitoring and analysis. 

So, how exactly does media monitoring help you grow your business? 

1. Monitor your brand’s reputation at any instant, in real time

They say bad news travels fast, but, in all honesty, bad news, especially online, travel even faster. When it comes to your reputation getting harmed online, it can barely take minutes before any sort of such news travels around like wildfire. 

This is what makes it super-duper essential for you to keep a tab on the media and related coverage around your company. Media monitoring and analysis can help you build and protect your brand’s reputation with ease. 

From helping you identify potential crises and mitigating their negative effects, media monitoring and analysis can help you achieve it all with much ease. If you do put in the effort to set up the processes and project management mandates around it, you will be able to receive mentions containing the keywords most relevant to you in real-time. 

And once you receive a notification about a new mention for those keywords, you can react right away, preventing a crisis from escalating then and there itself.

With media monitoring and analysis tools like Radarr, you can command the narrative which your brand is built around. Rather than just being a spectator, you will become a more active entity when it comes to the online presence of your brand. Moreover, you will be able to control earned media coverage effectively and to your benefit.

2. Prevent crises before they happen, and mitigate the ones that do

The fact of the world is, sooner or later, you, your company, the brand, or even the employees will face a crisis. Whether you come away unscathed from the crisis situation depends largely on how well you’ll be able to prepare and battle out the cause. One of the key elements of crisis management is having the ability to spot a negative mention early on.

More often than not, a crisis usually comes to hit you in the face from some of the most unexpected places, such as one of your company’s vendors, users, or some others.

A media monitoring and analysis platform will help you to stay one step ahead of the news that is available out in the open, giving you enough time to react to negative mentions and shielding your brand from any further harm.

3. Know your audience, customers, and market inside out

For a business, the most important element that helps put food on the table is the fact that at the end of a good day, you need to be able to serve your target audience, customers, and market the best way you possibly can, and hell, do it better than your competitors.

In order to gain this headstart over your competitors such that it acts as an advantage for you, is to listen in to the online conversations of your customers and identify their pain points before your competitors or a new market entrant can.

Given that media monitoring is all about being able to listen in to these conversations at scale, it helps you discover and deliver exactly the experience, product, service, or campaign that your audience expects you to deliver. Not a bit better, not a bit worse.

In addition to all of this, you will also get to know how to reach out to your target audience more effectively with the insights you derive from media monitoring their online convos and interactions. Hence, in a nutshell, media monitoring is one of the most ideal ways to get to know your target audience better.

4. Measure the results of your PR and marketing campaigns effectively

One of the tenets of marketing is attribution – that is, being able to tell where money is being spent, how well it is performing for you, and so on. This is why you need to measure the results of your marketing and any other campaigns that you launch. Although, a lack of which will not give you insights to learn what is working to your advantage, and what you need to improve in your strategy and communication plans, would you not?

Now, since the most important aim of any marketing campaign, well, most if not all, is to raise awareness around your brand and/or promote its product or services, you must know how the campaign resonated with your target group. 

Public relations and communications professionals are able to glean a ton of valuable insights through just monitoring the online conversations that their existing or targeted audience is indulging in. Contrary to how most just end the conversation around public relations and press releases with a generic note that says ‘boosts brand awareness.’ 

5. Identify public profiles for your brand’s influencer marketing campaigns

When it comes to media monitoring, whether it is on news websites, or elsewhere in places like a community, identifying influencers is of prime importance for you for many reasons.

Endorsements from such easily recognizable public personalities can help your business to verify the brand, products, services, or even your workforce, helping build trust in your company and get ahead of your peers in the industry. 

Since the key to a successful media endorsement lies in being able to pinpoint the right influencers, one that has absolute authority over your niche, is trustworthy, and is genuinely interested in promoting your brand, media monitoring helps you in finding such people, and those that are already talking about your business niche, product, or service. 

With a list of public profiles, you can delve into deeper and investigate for your growth, you can make the most informed decision about choosing which influencer you should invest your budget for the same in. 

Think about that one reporter for instance that tends to give you an unabashed take on what’s happening around the world. Media monitoring helps you identify those strong voices as well! 

Ready to tap into the insights media monitoring can offer? Get started with Radarr today

How does media monitoring work?

So, okay, by now we know what media monitoring actually is, and how it can affect your business’s growth, top, and bottom line, but, how exactly does it work? And what sources of monitoring does it actually cover? This and the next few sections will be focussed on exactly that. 

Thanks to the rapid advent of technology in the twenty-first century, monitoring online conversations around any topic or theme nowadays is a cakewalk. 

With the help of dedicated tools like Radarr, you can monitor and collect each and every mention around your brand, its keywords, and more, all in real-time, without having to pull any strings. In a nutshell, the entire process can be easily broken down into the following steps:

  1. First, choose the keywords, clusters, and topics that you would like to monitor. Media monitoring tools then comb the whole wide world to search for every mention containing your query parameters, given that they are indexed on search engines. 
  1. Now, depending on the goal and aim of your media monitoring strategy, you could choose the analytical metrics that you are going to be tracking closely. There are a ton of brands out there that do it well, from tracking content performance for their or their competitors’ content, data or insights from the industry, and much more.
  1. Once you are armed with the insights from your media monitoring efforts, the next thing you should do to ensure what you are doing has a long lasting impact, is to share the learnings within your organization. There are tools out there that offer Slack integrations for the same, so you can easily make all the parties involved in the process about their next steps.

In a nutshell, the entire success of your media monitoring efforts depends solely on how well you set up your project and knowing how to act upon the insights that you glean from them.

What sources does media monitoring cover?

In the olden days, media monitoring and analysis used to be limited only to print and broadcast media. However, in the last two decades, especially with the rise of the internet, you can now gather every mention about your organization, company, industry, vertical, or even more granular things as much as you would like to go. 

And, it’s not just that you can do so, you need to, in order to make the most informed decision about your strategy, even if they appear somewhere you don’t even know of before discovering. So, what all sources do media monitoring now cover?

Online

Almost all of the cloud-based media monitoring software tools cover the majority of online sources that exist today, however, the scope of monitoring and the number of mentions in each of the projects depend on the media monitoring platform of your choice. For example, Radarr monitors blogs, forums, online news sites, podcasts, newsletters, and other publicly available online sources at your convenience.

Print media

As is clear from the term, print media refers to the portion of media such as newspapers and magazines, and it makes up a big chunk of media monitoring. Some target audiences still consider print media a crucial source of information for their efforts. The icing on the cake is, most newspapers and magazines nowadays have an online edition that can be accessed from a web browser anywhere in the world, so it becomes super easy for you to track the same through your online media monitoring and analysis tool.

Broadcast

It may seem as though streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and others have a major, substantial threat to the traditional TV or cable networks, but there’s only so much fact in that. Radio and TV still have substantial advantages over their peers, depending on where in the world and in what context are you comparing the two. While millennials might have never gotten used to these, the majority of the population in the United States still get reached through these.

Social media (yes, it does!)

Now it goes without saying that social media monitoring will make up an integral part of any media monitoring strategy or project, mostly because the majority of conversations about your industry vertical, products, or services will take place on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and the likes. And add to that the fact that now even YouTube is considered a social media platform first, and a streaming giant later. And already is the second most used search engine in the world. 

Ready to know what the media has to say about you and how it is impacting your brand reputation? Time to sign up on Radarr. 

What should you be monitoring for your brand?

It goes without saying, that for your project to be successful, you need to be monitoring keywords that are relevant for your business and help you gain insights that help move your business forward even in the slightest, if at all. 

Here’s where an effective media monitoring software tool will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and get the most return on your investment in the way of actionable insights.

So, what exactly should you be including in your media monitoring strategy for your brand?

Yourself

Obviously, duh? You need to be monitoring what you and your business, its related keywords, and anything even remotely relevant to you is ever referred to in any conversation over the internet. You should know, no matter which media monitoring software you decide to choose for this purpose. 

You should be able to track your brand across different services, news sites, publications, and beyond. Tracking your own brand will help you figure out who is talking about you, and what they are talking about. Giving you more information about the sentiment that is out in the market about your brand.

Forget NPS, if you want to figure out who your biggest promoters and detractors are, this will give you a bird’s eye view into identifying them up and close. Use this insight to power your campaigns and reach newer heights with your marketing and communications.

However, two things you need to make sure of is that you monitor the keywords related to you for a long period of time, and even consistently, never losing sight of why it is so important for you. That way you will be able to set up benchmarking metrics for these, and that will give you all the context on the data that you have collected.

Competition

Whether you are a newcomer in your industry, a seasoned player, or a leader, you always need to know what your peers are up to when it comes to how the world is talking about them. So, tracking your competition and its related avenues becomes a no brainer, really.

Startups know that it is important to know what the goliath, aka the big fish, is doing, and try to get inspired from the secrets behind their enormous success. Especially if you are someone wanting to disrupt the market, you need to know what you are up against.

Industry

Well, this one goes without saying. If you want to succeed beyond a point, you need to know what your industry is up to. Are there any new trends or news you should be aware of? Any new policy changes that you should be aware of? 

Any new compliances that are coming your way to take care? Media monitoring will help you be the first to know of anything new happening, and that will be a great competitive advantage for your brand.

Who should be doing media monitoring?

Although it is recommended for any organization or entity that exists in today’s day and age, there are a few that take precedence over others. Especially if you work for a firm that has engagement with other human beings, perhaps as its customers, users, investors, audience, readers, employees, or literally anything similar, and you care about your brand reputation and how the public perceives you, then a media monitoring tool should be one of the things of priority in your marketing technology stack.

In a similar vein, if you are someone who likes to think ahead of time, and want to be able to spot opportunities and threats that could jeopardize or alter the course of action of your brand, vertical, or industry as a whole, you should invest in media monitoring in whatever capacity you can manage to. 

Media monitoring and your brand’s reputation: The real game

Since we already established that online conversations can hurt brands and organizations in dramatic ways, it is also important to learn how the different applications of media monitoring works, especially in the context of crisis management, or whenever something breaks and might need a good fixing.

One of the top benefits of media monitoring and analysis is that it helps you prepare for a public relations crisis, and save your brand a ton of shame and public loathing, if not revenue.

The very first step which comes in trying to recover from a public relations crisis is to be fully aware of what is happening, that is, knowing the situation at hand well enough to be able to think of solutions to control it effectively. We bet you can think of numerous instances where brands suffered from getting flak for things they could have responded to easily and mitigate all the trouble.

Just to reiterate, there’s a reason they say bad news travels fast, but bad news, especially online, travels even faster. So, how does media monitoring help combat a public relation crisis effectively?

Prepare before a crisis

If there’s one thing you should know about a crisis, which is also true for literally everything in life, it’s that it can come anytime, and especially when you least expect it. Which is why, you should always have your preparation with the worst in mind, so that even if the best happens, you are only pleasantly surprised. And not blown out of your wits!

When it comes to dealing with a crisis, preparation is one of the key elements of coming out on the other side a victor. As a suggestion, you should invest well in a crisis response plan, just as you would have other processes and plans set up for literally every other thing for your business.

A ton of companies, especially the savvy ones out there, run drills and mock tests to manage such crises, and we believe that is a good way to get yourself familiarized with the same.

Here, media monitoring can empower you in two specific ways:

First, you should monitor mentions, keywords or anything that you can regarding your brand. Pay special attention to mentions from social media and similar platforms. Complaints made on various social media platforms tend to catch people’s attention faster than other avenues.

Secondly, you should monitor mentions regarding your most important competitors. You can learn from your competitors’ mistakes. What’s more, you might be blamed by association, so you need to always have an upperhand.

During the crisis

During a crisis, the role of media monitoring becomes even more crucial. Once the volcano erupts, you want to be the first one to know where the lava is going to spread to. Which is why your media monitoring tool should have a solid real time alerts and updates system.

Media monitoring will help you catch complaints made by your customers and react to the problems before they escalate beyond the point of no return. Moreover, a media monitoring tool will monitor the sentiment. That will help you assess the severity of the crisis and act accordingly.

After the crisis

Might be the last step, but definitely not the least important. If anything, after the crisis you need to be even more vigilant and proactively prepare from your learnings to ensure you do better the next time. Now would be the perfect time to reassess your crisis management plan.

Conclusion

To sum up the entirety of this guide, which wouldn’t really be a simple thing, media monitoring is definitely something that can benefit your business if you are able to comprehend and execute it well.

With the help of its numerous insights and features, a media monitoring tool can help you glean valuable info into your brand’s online presence, your competitors’ status, latest industry trends, and much more. 

We hope that through this piece you would have been able to learn more about media monitoring and analysis, and why it is worth your attention, and investment. For more, stay tuned to more such informative content from Radarr.

But if you’re ready to take the next step and make media monitoring your go-to on how to reach your audience positively, book a demo with us!