Brand monitoring benefits any company in any industry. It’s no surprise that businesses, no matter their line of work, are progressively leaving a digital trail behind. It might be from an interaction with a customer on social media or reactions to traditional media campaigns.
People will talk about you. You might not be actively on the Internet, but that doesn’t mean you’re not finding your way to the Internet in one way or another.
Brand monitoring (or online reputation monitoring as it’s referred to in some corners) lets you in on what people are saying about you on the Internet, whether it’s a social media post, a YouTube video or an article in the Atlantic.
Following the conversations surrounding your brand creates opportunities to change trajectory and take control over the narrative.
Marketing aside, there’s one fundamental truth to commit to memory – you’re a problem solver, or at least you should be. That’s the story behind any product that keeps on selling for years (razor blades, frozen dinners, vegetable peelers). You identify a need and deliver a cost-effective solution.
Yes, there are marketing gimmicks and celebrity endorsements that spark curiosity and move units, but without a strong product at its core, not even the most viral commercial in the world can help you achieve longevity. The product is what sells itself.
Through brand monitoring you’re able to see where your product fails. Read the reviews. Follow social media conversations. Pay attention to any mentions in the digital trade press. A product should evolve, so source the one person who knows it best – your customer.
Marketers are currently waking up to the potential of brand monitoring as a foundation for future marketing efforts. A marketing strategy should maintain a certain level of flexibility to withstand any significant changes in their market, their region and the economy as a whole. Attitudes change and brand monitoring provides much-needed self-awareness and preparedness to act when needed.
A survey from Clutch has noted the rising profile of brand monitoring as a resource with 54% of all surveyed marketers confirming that they consider brand monitoring to be vital to their work. In the same survey, 42% of those who monitor their brand do so daily. The motivation is clear – spot opportunities as they arise and edit the brand messaging in real time.
In the quest to generate qualified leads and increase sales conversions, brands often neglect their existing customers. I guess this is done on the assumption that once you’ve won over a customer, they’ll stay loyal without any additional effort. That’s not always the case and your cash flow can hemorrhage badly, if you’re losing on repeat business due to poor customer retention strategies. It isn’t complicated though.
Think of it this way, you’re in a relationship with your customers. A healthy, long-term relationship entails continued efforts on your part to meet needs, appreciate loyalty and listen. Listen actively and act accordingly. Monitoring tools identifies the customers at risk of switching to a competitor.
Listening means responding when you’re being talked to and talked about (more on that later). A chief reason why customers take their business elsewhere is poor customer service. No one wants to be ignored and poor handling of complaints sours customer attitudes towards a brand fast.
Isn’t it utterly infuriating, when you reach out to a company on social media and you receive no sign of acknowledgement? Customer support is one of the first things that improves easily as you start to pay attention to brand monitoring. Of course, you have to be committed to being available to customers online.
You shouldn’t only look at direct mentions either. Track down mentions of your brand or products’ name online and reach out. It makes all the difference and impacts your reputation positively.
Now you’re starting to see cumulative effects from your efforts thus far. A better product, a better understanding of your customers and an emphasis on ‘customer first’ create positive buzz around your brand. Just as easily as customers take to the Internet to complain they do so to praise. Online, unprompted praise is a sign customer retention rates are healthy and your brand is in good standing. Your cash flow steadily increases as does the volume of repeat sales.
But that’s passive benefits. Let’s talk about lead generation. There are many online conversations that don’t directly concern you, but present a strong sales opportunity. Think people crowdsourcing opinions on a new purchase or a disgruntled customer of a competitor. These people are at the easiest to convert. All you have to do is slide into the conversation and offer great value.
It’s easy to be forgiven for any PR blunder, when you’ve established a prior relationship with your customers based on honesty and respect. Treat your customers well. Talk to them as they’re talking to you. This levels out the playing field, so that they don’t feel like they’re talked down to. Many big brands feel unreachable and inauthentic because they maintain distance.
That’s how you cultivate good faith over time. If (or when, realistically speaking) you find yourself in hot water, your mistake can be rectified early on without snowballing into a full-on PR crisis.
Brand loyalty is the end goal.
You want to be the first and only choice in people’s minds like how Pampers is synonymous with diapers or Xerox with photocopiers. We’ve touched upon customer retention rates. Couple customer-centric support with outreach to brand ambassadors, and you’re on your way to solidify yourself as the only product / service provider to your customer base.