Media Monitoring: The Complete Guide + Tools

Media Monitoring: The Complete Guide + Tools

Communications professionals are often asked: What does media monitoring mean? Since it’s a very important process for businesses

Communications professionals are often asked: What does media monitoring mean?

Since it’s a very important process for businesses that want to know what people think about them, you also should know.

Well, if you’re not completely familiar with the term, we have good news! You’re going to be, right after reading this article.

We will cover types, benefits, sources, and tips on how to do media monitoring successfully. Additionally, we’re going to be discussing some of the best media monitoring tools.

So, let’s get started!

What is Media Monitoring?

In general, media monitoring is the process of scouting all media for information that’s important to you. In detail, it’s about collecting media mentions of your business, competitors, industry, or any other market-related topic. No matter the medium, companies need to listen to what’s being said about their brand, products, or services.

It’s also about identifying the sentiment of brand mentions, including both text and imagery.

Types of Media Monitoring

Media monitoring tracks the full range of media coverage of a business, including traditional and digital media outlets. But what are the differences between traditional and digital media monitoring?

A graphic table explaing the differences between traditional media monitoring and digital media monitoring

Traditional Media Monitoring

While the fact that there even was a pre-Internet era seems unbelievable, it’s true. However, even then, businesses still cared about what people said about them.

Traditional monitoring was focused on two categories:

  • Print monitoring (Newspapers and magazines)
  • Broadcast monitoring (Radio and television stations)

Actually, the importance of print media monitoring was more distinct back then. That was due to the fact that printed mentions were the only ones that were eternally available. So caring about how your business looked in newspapers and magazines was understandable.

How did media monitoring work back then?

On one hand, print media monitoring required scanning through newspapers and magazines to discover brand mentions or market-relevant topics. Subsequently, one had to clip the articles and archive them in a folder, before analyzing them. In fact, press clippings were the most important process in PR clipping reports –today they’re focusing on online mention monitoring.

On the other hand, broadcast media monitoring included the manual recording of industry-relevant content on tapes, speech-to-text transcription, and analysis.

At the present time, traditional media monitoring tools are less popular among communications professionals, but still useful on numerous occasions.

Digital Media Monitoring

Today, press clippings and broadcast recordings have been replaced with social listening, online tracking of social mentions, and sentiment analysis.

In this real-time media monitoring landscape, everything –from online news to review sites– is tracked fast and effortlessly.

Social Media Monitoring

Without a doubt, most digital monitoring efforts today are focused on social media. It makes sense though, as the majority of user-generated content is shared through platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

While this may be true, these aren’t the only media monitoring platforms that are important to keep an eye on. In addition to social media channels, there are blogs, forums, news websites, and review sites to monitor. This is a major difference between social mention monitoring –bound to social media– and intelligent monitoring –including the web too.

Another important difference is that you have the option to conduct social channel monitoring manually as well. However, most companies turn to essential social media monitoring tools to do the job.

Intelligence Media Monitoring

So, this is the way online monitoring works most of the time for professional marketing agencies and businesses. As you might have guessed, artificial intelligence and machine learning have influenced digital monitoring in many ways.

Because of these changes, many monitoring tools leverage AI to create more accurate and real-time media coverage. For example, intelligent tools, like Mentionlytics, help agencies and individuals track media mentions, excel at review monitoring, and target audiences.

We’ll talk more about software and tools in the following sections.

What Are the Benefits of Media Monitoring?

Here are some of the advantages of monitoring media.

Benefit #1: Being Aware of What’s Happening in Your Industry

Unless you’re working in the marketing business, you could wonder Why is media monitoring important?

The importance of media monitoring lies in knowing exactly where your industry is going and how to leverage this information.

Firstly, tracking industry-related topics and news helps you identify gaps and find ways for your brand to cover them first.

Secondly, industry conversations and media content lead companies to discover successful trends and use them before their competitors.

Benefit #2: Analyzing Your Competitors

One of the benefits of monitoring several media is taking the time to dig into your biggest competitors.

What’s the people’s –or the media’s– perception of your rival companies and their products/services? Perhaps, comparing their social share of voice levels to your own will help you understand your current market positioning.

In addition to what’s said about your competition, competitor analysis includes the media content monitoring of their own marketing efforts.

Benefit #3: Finding Influencers in Your Niche

In general, influencer outreach strategies are hard to sketch and execute successfully.

How can you be sure you’ve chosen the right influencers for your brand?

According to your brand philosophy and message, there’s only a fair number of influencers that will benefit your marketing campaigns.

Intelligent monitoring guides businesses to find influencers that fit their brand in terms of content and target audiences.

Benefit #4: Performing Market Research

There are many media monitoring benefits. One of them is that you can easily use it for market research.

Market research is important for any type of brand assessment –for example, the process of a brand audit.

However, less than 40% of marketers are using consumer research to drive decisions.

As important as competitive monitoring is, your brand can’t move forward unless you really observe what’s happening in the market. It’s a crucial step toward identifying customer insights, industry risks, product satisfaction rates, and new content ideas.

Perform Media Monitoring in 4 Steps

A graphic plan of 4 steps for easy media monitoring

So how does media monitoring work? Let’s go over these simple steps.

Step 1: Decide What Media You Want To Monitor

First of all, you must make some important decisions. For example, what types of media are you going to monitor?

Actually, daily monitoring leaves little to no room for small businesses to manually track mentions across all media. In this case, you might have to rank your media priorities.

Are you focusing on mainstream media outlets, social media platforms, online news, blogs, forums, print, or broadcast media? How about podcast monitoring?

In any case, you should make a clear choice about the focus of your monitoring efforts.

Step 2: Choose the Keywords and Phrases to Monitor

This is very important.

Sometimes, one of the advantages of media monitoring software is the inclusion of a function called Boolean search. Basically, it’s a structured online search process that allows you to use words or phrases such as AND, OR, and NOT. By doing that, you get faster and more accurate results.

So choose the right keywords and phrases for your brand. For example, it might be a product name, a rival brand, a featuring function of your product, or something industry-related.

Step 3: Choose the Right Tool to Monitor

Without a doubt, choosing the right tool is so important!

Based on your company’s needs and budget, there are a few media monitoring tools that could be fitting for you. We’ll cover some of these in the next section.

Furthermore, even traditional media is now available online –most of the past print or broadcast content at least. So even if you’re focusing your efforts on print and broadcast media monitoring, you still can do it digitally –as you should.

Step 4: Gather and Analyze the Data

What data points will your media monitoring system set out to gather?

There’s a wide selection of brand KPIs and social media metrics to choose from:

  • Sentiment analysis (ideal for customer satisfaction identification)
  • Audience analytics
  • Social share of voice (great for competitor monitoring)
  • Engagement, awareness, and conversion metrics

Once you’ve chosen what data points you are going to monitor, you can start collecting and analyzing them. You can do this manually or you can use an advanced monitoring tool.

Top 5 Media Monitoring Tools

Here are some of the tools to effectively monitor media.

Tool #1: Mentionlytics

Mentionlytics is an all-in-one media monitoring tool that offers valuable insights to marketers.

A screenshot of Mentionlytics's homepage.

Operating with one of the best social media monitoring software, Mentionlytics tracks all conversations about your brand online. Discover what’s being said about you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, TikTok, Google Reviews, Reddit, and more.

Moreover, Mentionlytics promises quality and quantity of brand mentions and insights about numerous important metrics.

Mentionlytics features

  • Social Intelligence Advisor (SIA) for personalized advice on social media strategy optimization;
  • Intelligent media tracking and sentiment analysis for brand mentions in 24 languages;
  • Social media analytics and industry-related news monitoring;
  • Advanced Boolean search for result filtering via keywords and hashtag combinations with operators such as AND, NOT, and OR;
  • Free social media report builder for customized reporting;
  • Simplified team collaboration, with real-time notifications, tags, labels, and task assignments;
  • Competitor & review monitoring and influencer identification

Mentionlytics pricing

  • Basic ($49/month)
  • Essential ($99/month)
  • Advanced ($199/month)
  • Pro ($299/month)
  • Agency ($450+/month)
  • Enterprise ($950+/month)

Tool #2: Brandwatch

As one of the popular media tracking tools, Brandwatch identifies it as the world’s pioneering digital consumer intelligence platform.

A screenshot of Brandwatch's Homepage

Basically, Brandwatch is an advanced social listening platform that’s earned the trust of many popular brands.

Their AI-driven monitoring software helps businesses understand their target audiences better and learn how their brand is perceived.

Brandwatch features

  • Crisis management and real-time notifications
  • Brand monitoring and management
  • Competitor analysis and share of voice calculator
  • Data democratization and segmentation
  • Market research and trend analysis
  • Social media management and unified social inbox

Brandwatch pricing

Brandwatch’s Essential plan (basic social features for small businesses) is available at $108.00/month. The subscription plans for the full product suite aren’t available but can be shared after contact.

Tool #3: BrandMentions

As the name suggests, BrandMentions is a multi-channel monitoring tool that analyzes each platform for your brand mentions.

A screenshot of one of the best media monitoring tools, BrandMentions's homepage

In addition to social media, the tool’s monitoring networks include news websites, blogs, forums, and review sites.

By helping you track and listen to online conversations about your brand, this tool helps you protect your brand reputation.

BrandMentions features

  • Brand monitoring and sentiment analysis
  • Reputation management and real-time notifications
  • Competitor spying and social media analytics
  • Social mentions search and analysis
  • Hashtag tracking and performance monitoring
  • Social listening and influencer identification

BrandMentions pricing

  • Growing Business ($99/month)
  • Company ($299/month)
  • Enterprise/Agency ($499/month)

Tool #4: Mention

Mention is a prevalent social listening and monitoring tool that helps businesses understand what the audience thinks of them.

A screenshot of Mention's homepage.

Mention collects brand mentions and insights from websites, blogs, forums, and social media channels. By doing that, it helps companies evaluate their online performance and measure their marketing strategy’s impact.

Mention features

  • Instant alert options variety and reputation monitoring
  • Precise reporting and key metrics monitoring
  • Real-time web and social media tracking
  • Social media strategy optimization and publishing automation
  • Insight-driven social listening and noise elimination
  • Trend tracking and comprehensive analytics

Mention pricing

  • Solo ($29/month)
  • Pro ($99/month)
  • ProPlus ($199/month)
  • Company (Custom pricing after contact)

Tool #5: Meltwater

Our last pick on the best media tracking tools is Meltwater.

A screenshot of one of the best media monitoring tool, Meltwater's homepage

As a social media all-in-one solution, Meltwater specializes in media intelligence. In other words, its intelligent monitoring software tracks and analyzes online content –articles, news, podcasts, reviews, and social media posts. Then, it provides users with valuable insights and intelligent advice to help them make smart business choices.

Meltwater Features

  • Social listening and consumer insights
  • Brand management and instant alerts
  • Brand mention tracking and insights
  • Market research and influencer identification
  • Exportable and customizable reporting
  • Social media post-scheduling and publishing

Meltwater Pricing

Pricing information isn’t available before professional contact.

What Sources to Cover When Performing Media Monitoring?

Here are some of the suggestions for sources to be covered during the media monitoring process:

Online Media

Online media include every type of professional and user-generated content that one could find when searching the web.

Digital monitoring is often focusing on social media. While this is a common mistake, don’t forget to monitor other platforms, such as:

  • Brand websites
  • Blogs & forums
  • Online news platforms
  • Review sites
  • Podcasts

Social Media

This one is a no-brainer!

You can’t monitor media outlets without checking these social media platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

Well, you can. But you don’t want to. Social networks–as the ones mentioned above– are some of the most legitimate platforms to monitor. The majority of customers and target audiences are already active on them and vocally expressing their opinions.

Print Media

The blueprint media of monitoring aren’t dead –as highlighted before. Newspapers and magazines still exist –both in the real and the digital world. So, don’t forget to cover these aspects when you’re setting out to conduct a well-rounded mention monitoring. If manual print monitoring is something you want to avoid, search the web for digital copies of magazines and newspapers.

Broadcast

Today, broadcast media tracking is as important as print. As said before, the majority of broadcast media content is available online. For example, most TV shows and series are always uploaded online as well –in a free or paid format. But even if it’s not available in a digital folder –for example, radio– it’s still important to have a look at what’s being said there.

5 Tips to Perform Better Media Monitoring

Here are some tips to make your monitoring efforts more successful. Starting with a classic one!

#1 Monitor Several Languages

Conducting digital monitoring only in your language might get tricky. Even if we’re talking about globally spoken languages –like English, you’d still miss out on numerous brand mentions probably.

Moreover, monitoring several languages is crucial for staying updated on industry news from all over the world. Unless you’re doing it manually, try to find a monitoring tool that works for multiple languages.

#2 Use Alerts for Critical Mention Monitoring

In general, intelligent tracking software is vital for a company today. It helps marketing teams and business owners to be constantly alert about any mention that can harm them.

As of today’s climate, businesses shouldn’t develop a public figure without having carefully planned a crisis management strategy.

Lucky for you, most media monitoring tools include real-time notifications and alerts –via e-mail or even text.

#3 Take Care of Negative News/Sentiment

Media tracking services –like review monitoring– are excellent when you’re focusing on protecting, maintaining, and improving your brand reputation.

Taking care of negative comments, reviews, news, or brand mentions that display an overall negative sentiment is important. Try responding in a polite way that shows you’re respecting the user’s opinion and opt to improve your customer experience.

Tip: Watch out for fake reviews and delete them immediately!

#4 Pay Special Attention to Your Competitors

Well, this one is self-explanatory, don’t you think? Since there’s no business with a competition-free experience, be extra careful with rival brands and new products in your industry.

In fact, benchmark your online performance against your competitors in order to find gaps in your content marketing strategy. For instance, what do media and online users have to say about your competitors? Moreover, how do they respond to negative news?

Find room for growth by looking at other players’ successes and risks.

#5 Try Different keywords/Phrases

Don’t stick to your brand name and products as a monitoring keyword. There are plenty of choices that will help you understand your customers, competitors, and industry better.

For example, don’t just track your store’s keywords if you’re running a local fashion business. Try looking for conversations that will lead you to fashion trends, new collections, or suitable influencers for your brand.

Now Over to You

So, this is everything you need to know about the process of monitoring your media mentions. Hopefully, the information, tips, and examples shared with you above will help you make informed decisions.

Undeniably, there are plenty of media monitoring tools, like Mentionlytics, out there waiting to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Have more questions? Book a live demo with Mentionlytics to let our experts explain how our media tracking software can help you.

FAQ

Are Media Monitoring Tools Free?

There are free media monitoring tools and services, like Google Alerts. In fact, this comes in handy for individuals who are just starting or small-sized businesses that can’t afford expensive monitoring tools. Additionally, most paid tools offer a free trial for a small period of time.

What is Media Monitoring Report?

A media monitoring report is a document that includes a compilation of selected data points, KPIs, and numbers. In detail, a report contains analytics, graphs, and goals that help businesses evaluate their marketing efforts and content strategy.

About Nicolas Braoulias

Passionate about social media and communication, Nicolas is a junior content writer at Mentionlytics. His interests include writing & editing, pop culture, and graphic design.