Press coverage can serve as an excellent promotional tool for your business. Even better, it’s free of the monetary investment that typically comes with traditional advertising. This earned media can come in the various forms of news coverage, customer reviews, or articles. While generating a lot of press can seem like an indisputably good thing, it can also come with its challenges. Namely, keeping track of and making sense of all of your mentions.
In 2021, 54% of Internet users turned to social media to learn more about brands and products. With these social platforms gaining such an extreme influence over consumer decisions, it's important that you're aware of the information that your potential customers are encountering.
Fortunately, you don't have to take on this problem alone. There are many tricks and tools available to track press coverage so that you can focus on the many other tasks that come with running a business.
What Is News Tracking?
News tracking involves systematically tracking mentions of your company, digital growth of company assets, and trends in stakeholder opinions. This is done to ensure that — before every new product launch, campaign, or press release — you have a clear picture of what your target audience wants from you and how you are being perceived.
At its most basic level, news tracking, also typically referred to as media monitoring, involves scanning print, broadcast, and other digital sources for mentions of your brand's name, slogans, or other entities. This is a process that can be automated or done manually, depending on the scope and depth of your research.
Although this may seem like a tedious task, there is tremendous payoff through the information you can gain. Performing media monitoring tactics can bring benefits such as:
Increased awareness of customer needs
Improved customer retention
Faster reaction times to stakeholder backlash or concerns
For an even deeper understanding of the marketplace, you can track news coverage on competitor brands. This can be extremely useful when identifying competitive advantages you have over them. It can also help you gain a better understanding of your digital market share — that is, how big your digital footprint and influence are compared to similar brands.
Although it may not be realistic to catch every stray Twitter mention or Instagram comment, every data point that you do collect could strengthen a relationship or spark a new idea. Missed media can often translate into missed opportunities.
Press Release Distribution
Luckily, you can build media monitoring into your media pieces themselves. Press release distribution services allow you to track where a press release is being published and how it is moving online. Similar to social media data features, these services often come with real-time analytics to make the expansive Internet measurable and more comprehensive.
Some features of this analytic software include:
How many people are reading your press release
How many people are sharing the information
How many people are engaging with embedded links
Once again, thoughtfully monitoring the trends within this data can lend key insight into the behaviors and desires of your target audiences. If you discover that a certain structure or call to action results in more clicks, you've unlocked a tool for creating more conversions with each subsequent press release.
Social Media Monitoring
The many platforms and never-ending feeds of social media can be intimidating settings for monitoring. However, social media listening presents an opportunity to uniquely engage with this data in a way that is more manageable and meaningful.
This special subset of social media monitoring involves using keywords to collect social media conversations. This takes the process from simply "monitoring" to listening, giving you easy insight into the specific tones and attitudes of your consumers. By coding keywords based on their sentiment, you can quickly understand the general feeling of your target public.
This has myriad benefits. Performing social media listening over time can help you track your online reputation and respond to any negative comments that may arise. Implementing this process throughout a marketing campaign can also help you see the effectiveness of your methods. Ideally, you would like to see an increase of consumer satisfaction and positive sentiment as the campaign continues.
The prospect of having effective media monitoring is exciting, but it can be challenging to execute on your own. Fortunately, there are many tools that exist to ease the burden.
Google Alerts: The most common form of news tracking is something that we've all done at one point: Googled our own name. Google Alerts saves you the burden of Googling your company every few moments. With this tool, you can receive an email each time your selected keywords appear in a digital publication. The rate of these emails is entirely up to you, allowing you to gather and analyze data at your own pace.
SocialMention: SocialMention looks like an average search engine, but it performs insightful analysis on all of the results it delivers. Type in your brand name, and you'll discover the average sentiment, level of passion, and reach associated with it. You can also learn about the top related keywords being used with your brand, helping you to identify trends and useful buzzwords for your own marketing efforts.
Tracking Software: Turbine Labs naturally integrates into your existing technology to provide real-time feedback about your digital presence. Using automated tools from a reputable company also gives you the backing of a professional team, available to answer questions and help you make sense of all the valuable data you get in return.
Turbine Labs has years of experience helping companies make the most of their media mentions. The insight you gain from these actionable monitoring tips and our innovative software can help you make wiser decisions that closely align with your customers' wants and needs. By helping you to have a clear picture of the media landscape, we eliminate any marketing guesswork and free up more time to do the work that you love.