Article

The Ultimate Guide to Brand Monitoring and How to Track Brand Mentions

·
Dan Cucolea
·
11 min read

Keeping a clear record of brand mentions can help you protect your reputation, track brand awareness campaigns, and assess how people feel about your brand.

There are many brand monitoring tools on the market, and to keep things simple, we break them down into 3 categories:

1. Social media archive and monitoring tools;

2. Search engine monitoring tools;

3. Other channel monitoring tools.

It's only natural that most of your brand mentions will happen on social media rather than on any other type of website (like blogs or news portals). People are keen to engage in conversations on Facebook and Twitter rather than publish articles about your brand.

But simply browsing social media may not be enough to assess how people feel about your brand entirely.

In this article, you will learn the best ways to keep track of your online brand mentions and discover the best tools you can use to automate brand monitoring.

What is brand monitoring?

Brand monitoring is a process companies use to ensure their brand is represented positively in public. They may do this by monitoring how their brand is portrayed in the media, on social media websites, monitoring online reviews, and keeping track of search engine results.

How do you monitor brand reputation?

The best way to monitor brand mentions is by using a tool that makes it easy to capture and store all of your brand mentions.

Once you have enough data, you can analyze it to see how people feel about your brand and assess your overall brand reputation.

What is social listening and why is it important?

Social listening, or social media listening, is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about you, your company, your product, or your brand on social media platforms.

This data produces massive amounts of information you can use to improve your business operations and create hyper-targeted marketing campaigns.

Best brand monitoring tools to keep track of online brand mentions

Using an online brand monitoring tool can help you easily keep track of all brand mentions.

We've compiled a list of 5 of the best tools in this category using the following criteria:

  • the tool should monitor all online mentions (social media tracking, SERPs tracking, domain tracking);

  • the tool should create an archive of all mentions, which makes analysis and comparisons easier during any timeframe;

  • the tool should be reliable and easy to use, even by non-technical people.

Urlbox - Best for archiving online brand mentions

Urlbox is an online screenshot service API, making it a great tool for brand mentions tracking. The great thing about Urlbox is that it can screenshot virtually any URL and save the images in multiple formats.

This means you can create a comprehensive archive featuring all online mentions regardless of where they have been published.

image2

How it works

Urlbox captures screenshots of URLs and converts them into image files. You can save these files to any cloud storage provider or upload them to S3.

You can set up Urlbox to automatically capture screenshots at specific time intervals using the Zapier connector

Here are a few common examples of how brands can use Urlbox to keep track of online mentions:

  • capture and archive any social media post or comment
  • capture and archive search engine results based on specific queries
  • Twitter screenshots based on specific search queries or hashtags
  • archive any website by simply instructing Urlbox to screenshot a specific URL
  • keep track of online reviews (even the ones that get deleted) by capturing a daily snapshot of the platform that displays them (Google Maps, Trustpilot, BBB etc.)

Urlbox is by far the most robust solution in this list because it can capture screenshots of virtually any URL. You might need to spend a bit of time when you first set it up, but it requires little to no maintenance once you have everything up and running.

Pros

  • As mentioned before, Urlbox can capture any URL, making it a great choice for medium to large brands looking to capture all online brand mentions.
  • Since Urlbox is an API, minimal maintenance will be required once your system is up and running.
  • Urlbox features a Zapier connexion, which enables you to connect it to thousands of other apps.
  • You can track an unlimited number of keywords on any website.

Cons

  • You will need a dedicated cloud storage provider to save your archive.  
  • You will have to spend some time when you first set up Urlbox.

Best For

Urlbox is a great solution for medium to large brands that people might talk about on various different platforms.

Price

You can try any Urlbox plan for free for 7 days.

The cheapest pricing plan is $10 per month and lets you capture up to 1,000 monthly screenshots.

The most expensive pricing plan is $995 per month and lets you capture up to 300,000 monthly screenshots. Each additional capture will cost you $0.004.

Brand24

Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool that tracks brand mentions across various online channels using specific keywords.

It has built-in analytics tools and various filtering options to help you easily assess how people feel about your brand.

image4

How it works

Brand24 analyzes social media websites, forums, news websites and blogs for specific keywords related to your brand or product.

When you first sign up, you'll have to create a project and specify what keywords you want to track. The number of keywords you can track corresponds with the plan you choose.

Once Brand24 finishes its analysis, you will see a list of all websites and social media posts that feature your specific keyword.

In addition, Brand24 will analyze these mentions and show you detailed analytics featuring:

  • how many people they reached;

  • their sentiment (negative, neutral or positive);

  • where they have been posted;

  • the estimated Advertising Value Equivalent (how much money you'd have to spend on advertisements to reach a similar exposition).

Pros

  • Brand24 is easy to set up and does all the heavy lifting, as all you have to do is specify what keywords you want to track.
  • The built-in analytics tools work great if you want to get an overview of how people feel about your brand.
  • Their estimated Advertising Value Equivalent is an excellent metric to get an idea of how well your brand awareness campaigns are doing.

Cons

  • Brand24 does not allow you to configure the websites it tracks.

  • It comes with hard limits on the number of keywords you can track.

Best For

Brand24 is best for small and medium businesses looking for a social media mentions aggregator.

Price

You can sign up for Brand24 for free for the first 2 months.

After that, you can upgrade to one of their paid plans starting at $49 per month. This plan lets you configure 3 keywords and track up to 2,000 monthly mentions. Data will be updated every 12 hours.

The most expensive plan goes for $299 per month. This plan lets you configure 25 keywords and track up to 100,000 monthly mentions. Data will be updated in real-time.

BrandMentions

BrandMentions is a comprehensive brand monitoring tool to keep track of brand mentions across all social media platforms and even track backlinks.

image1

How it works

Similar to Brand24, you can use BrandMentions to track a certain number of keywords across various social media platforms and websites.

Once a match has been found, you can see it on your dashboard or receive an alert via email. You will also get access to sentiment analysis tools, filters and analytics, and mention research tools.

With a higher plan, you can configure your own mention sources and generate white-label reports.

Pros

  • BrandMentions provides historical data from a minimum of 6 months before the moment you open your account. This increases to 10 years for the most expensive plan.
  • You can set up daily alerts for new mentions, which means you can act quickly in case of negative feedback.

Cons

  • Regardless of your plan, you will only be able to see a specific number of historical mentions.
  • More expensive than the other brand monitoring tools on this list.

Best For

BrandMentions works best for marketing and PR agencies.

Price

BrandMentions provides a 7-day free trial, after which you will have to upgrade to a paid plan.

The cheapest plan goes for $129 per month and lets you create up to 3 projects, track up to 14 keywords and get 6 months of historical data.

The most expensive plan is $499 per month and lets you create an unlimited number of projects, track up to 150 keywords and get 10 years of historical data. This plan also comes with boolean query tracking, access to an API, priority phone support and extra mention sources.

Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a complete social media management suite that tracks social media mentions and helps you analyze results.

image5

How it works

Brandwatch is more of a research and social media management tool than a brand monitoring tool, but that doesn't mean you can not use it to track brand mentions.

Once you create an account, you can search for specific keywords related to your business and use the data to analyze how people feel about your brand.

Pros

  • Brandwatch is a complete social media management tool that comes with extra research and brand monitoring functionalities.
  • You can use Brandwatch to run market analysis and uncover trends.

Cons

  • This is the most expensive tool on this list (if you want access to all features).
  • All its functionalities might be overwhelming if you just look for a brand monitoring tool.

Best For

Brandwatch is best suited for agencies and large enterprises looking for a single tool to manage social media posting and analysis.

Price

You can try Brandwatch's Essentials plan free for 14 days, after which it will cost you $108 per month. This plan allows you to create a social media calendar, manage all your social inboxes in a single place and get all your data in a single dashboard.

If you want to get the full power of Brandwatch to will need to go for their Full suite plan. It has been reported that pricing can start at $800 per month and go up to $3000 per month. You will have to book a call with their sales department if you want to pick this plan.

Mediatoolkit

This is perhaps the most comprehensive tool you can use to track and store brand mentions from all over the web. But this much power also comes at a cost.

image3

How it works

Similar to some of the previous tools, all you need to do to start monitoring your brand is to add specific keywords you want to track.

Once you've added these keywords, Mediatoolkit will look for them across 100+ million online sources. You can then use advanced Boolean operators to filter this data, or stick with simple filters based on language, location, sentiment, author, influencer score, and source.

Moreover, Mediatoolkit can send instant notifications on your phone (from their app), by email, or via Slack when it discovers a new mention. This can help you spot opportunities or tackle crises right as they happen.

Last but not least, you can use this tool to create reports that can be exported in various formats (PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, email, JPEG, and PNG).

Pros

  • Mediatoolkit is the most complete brand monitoring tool on the market.
  • It does not have a limit on the number of keywords you can track (regardless of the plan you choose).
  • They provide an API to integrate data into your own tool.

Cons

  • Only 90 days of historical data (more available on special request).
  • It's rather expensive.

Best For

Big brands or large agencies looking to track brand mentions online.

Price

As mentioned before, Mediatoolkit is on the pricier side.

The cheapest pricing plan is $135 per month and lets you track unlimited keywords. It has basic feed filters and real-time mention alerts via email and mobile app.

The most expensive plan goes for $2700 per month and gives you unlimited access to all features.

What is the best brand monitoring tool?

There isn't a universal best brand monitoring tool, as each individual business has different needs.

All the tools we've presented in this article are doing a great job at keeping track of brand mentions, so in the end, it all boils down to how much you are willing to spend and how many extra features you need.

If price is not a decisive factor for you, then the best tool to go with is Mediatoolkit. It features everything a business needs to track and analyze online mentions, but it is rather expensive.

On the other hand, if you want more flexibility and a better bang for your buck, then you can go with either Brand24 or Urlbox.