You are a professional marketer or PR specialist who cares about your brand. Media monitoring is for sure an inherent part of your work: you want to know who is talking about your brand, when, and where. But are you doing it right?
Most online media monitoring focuses around one task: to see where the brand is being mentioned. But this is not enough. There is a whole world of things you can do while monitoring media about your brand, which will give you a fuller picture of your brand’s online visibility, and enable you to improve it.
At Boost the News, we’ve analyzed articles about dozens of brands, and came out with a list of important questions to ask yourself while monitoring media:
1. Where did the article appear?
Start with the most basic question (which is probably what you were doing so far anyway): where did the article about your brand appear?
This is important for a number of reasons:
- If the website on which the article appeared is big and known, you can quote this article and use the website’s logo on a “media about us” or “as seen on…” section on your website to increase trust and credibility.
- What is the target audience of the publication on which the article about your brand appeared? Have you considered this target audience before? If the article appears on this certain website, it means that it is of interest to its audience, so think why are they suddenly interested in your brand, and whether you have explored enough this audience.
2. How many people actually read it?
Step II – after you know the article has appeared, what is its actual impact? How many people are actually reading it? Pay careful attention to this parameter – you can have an article about your brand published on a major website, but research by Boost the News shows that a few days after publication, the traffic of online articles drops by over 90%! What is worth an article that nobody reads?
3. What was the article’s impact on social media?
Social networks are the big bosses of online content distribution. After an article about your brand has appeared online, follow the conversation. Here’s what you should check:
- How many people shared / liked the article?
- In which social networks was the article most popular? (It’s important to know because it might hint something about where your biggest potential audience is, and where you should focus your social media efforts).
- Who shared / liked your article? Get deeper insights about the audience that is talking about your brand. What is their age, profession, interest, background? This will help you to improve your communication efforts later.
- Who are the biggest influencers who shared the article? Find out who shared the article and generated the biggest amounts of other likes and shares from their profile – keep them in mind when future content comes up, you might want to have them sharing it again!
4. What is the context of the article?
It’s great that your brand hit the headlines…if the context is positive. You need to know what the context of your brand’s appearance is, and whether it’s a positive mention or a negative mention. If it’s negative, you should take immediate action to fix the crisis. If it’s positive, learn what your brand did that made the news, and how you can repeat it to gain more visibility!
5. What are the reactions to the article?
Not less important than the article itself, is how it was perceived by the audience. What discussion followed the article? Do readers agree with it? Do they support the brand? Are they curious for more information? There is a lot you can learn about your brand from listening to what people say in the commentaries to the article and in conversations on social media.
6. Are there links to your website on the article?
If an article mentions your brand, the best would be if it would also put a link to your website. Otherwise, it makes it harder for readers to follow-up and check more about your brand. Look for a link to your website in the article, and if there isn’t, don’t be afraid to request one (see more below).
7. How can you follow up on the article?
This is the most important part of your monitoring. An article about your brand does little if you can’t take it forward and make the best out of it. Here are different considerations on how to follow up on the article:
How should you react to the article?
The first and most obvious question. If the article mentions your brand negatively, develop a response in which you address the problems brought up by the article. Of course, journalistic ethic would demand the reporter to ask for your comment before the article is published, but not all writers follow this rule, so you should be ready to react after the publication. You can react by addressing the criticism either on the article itself (comments, or by sending your answer to the website) or on your own website / social media accounts. Of course, crisis management is a whole world of PR in itself, so make sure you do it wisely.
Increase the reach and impact of the article
If the article mentions your brand positively, make everything you can to increase the number of people who are reading it. Help by sharing it on your website and social media accounts, and by increasing the buzz around it. Interact with users who shared and liked the article, and join the conversation.
Are there more places in which the article could be shared? Consider who else could be interested in reading the article – share the article with prominent influencers, on relevant social networks, groups, and forums.
Follow up with the reporter
A reporter that wrote about your brand once is more likely to do it again in the future. If you didn’t have any prior contact with the reporter, make sure to establish it. Congratulate the article, and offer to stay in touch for more information, updates or questions. If you play it right, this could be the beginning of a great friendship!
You can also get in contact with the editors of the publishing website regarding future promotion of the article – if you want to increase the reach of the article, offer them to promote the article by posting it more often on the website’s social media profiles or by keeping it on the home page for a longer while.
Media monitoring is much more than checking where your brand appeared online. Ask yourself these 7 questions to be sure that you’re covering all the necessary aspects of your media monitoring in the most professional way. And don’t forget – the mention itself is not what matters, what matters is the IMPACT of the article.
Sart monitoring media the right way!