There is too much content in the world to keep up with it. At the end of 2013 it was estimated there over 14 trillion live webpages on the Internet. Out of those, just 48 billion were indexed by Google. So if Google is the Internet made visible, we can basically see about 0.3% of the whole online content. At least we could. It’s not just that the Internet is unfathomably huge, it also grows at an absolutely staggering rate. With this soaring growth, having access to the all the content out there seems like an impossible task.
Just three of the biggest publications out there, New York Times, the Guardian and the Huffington Post, published over 11,000 articles last week. And when it comes to blog posts, the content world gets even larger: over 86 million blogs published just on WordPress.
Even this is nothing when compared to the explosion of information that social media has brought to the table. Every minute Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, Instagram users post 200,000 photos, while YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content . Can you imagine the rate of that? It takes just 1 minute to post 4320 minutes worth of video!
In fact, it’s gotten so bad, a few years ago the Daily Mail was warning us that we might be running out of words to express just how much information there is in the online world.
The latest word accepted by the International Committee for Weights and Measures was yotta (a digit followed by 24 zeroes) and by all estimates we might have already passed that in terms of bytes of information available online.
In all this sea of content, how can you make a difference?
Be a Pacesetter!
Making a difference amounts to standing out of the crowd, which is crucial in terms of being a little better (at least in some aspects) than your competitors. In the critically acclaimed The Wire, one of the main characters on the show warns his nephew about the perils of the crime world:
All it takes to ruin everything is to be a little slow, be a little late, just once.
The reverse is just as true in the online world: all it sometimes takes to make it is to be a little faster, a little earlier than your competition.
The following is a list of tips and tricks you can employ to stay ahead of the curve. This is a system where you get just the relevant information about what interests you and you get it straight in your inbox. You get ideas about what works for you, but also what works for the competition. You don’t always need to invent something completely new. Sometimes improving on something that’s already being offered can be enough. This is why we’re focusing on keyword mentions around the web and offer you a tool that lets you know when certain words are mentioned online.
1. Relationship Building Using Brand Mentions Monitoring
A business may be defined as a system where goods and services are exchanged for one another in return of (usually) money. Yet, we all now that at the end of the day it’s not just a simple transaction we are talking about, but that there is a human relationship involved. And the sum of all these relationships is actually the business’ engine.
We often get by with a little help from our friends. If you have content you want to amplify, one thing you can do is to identify the sites you may be able to partner with. It’s quite a common tactic and it might bring you some benefits. However, another less used tactic is to do the reverse: constant monitor your mentions, check out who wrote about you and start building relationships with the persons who mentioned you. As it might sound a bit difficult to put in practice, let’s see what steps one should take.
I. Identify the mention and its author
You probably get to browse through dozens of mentions. Each of those mentions is posted somewhere and very likely has an author. Dig a bit into the mention and see exactly where is that mention posted and who is “responsible” for it. You can easily do this with the new tool BrandMentions.com
II. Connect with the person who mentioned you
Once you identified the person who posted the content you are mentioned in, in the era we are living in, finding his contact details is not such a big of a deal. Especially if you know not only that person’s name, but also his affiliation with a publication, channel, blog, etc. As a first step in the building relationship process, add that person on your social network channels.
III. Contact the person in question
Along with connecting on social networks, you can always send an email, letting that person know that you are the one trying to connect with him. You can also tell him a bit about what your opinion about the content you were mentioned in and why that is important to you. Try to build a relationship on a long term as it might bring you a lot of benefits: you may receive precious feedback or you may have future collaborations.
2. Know How Your Competitors Are Moving in the Market … The Minute They Do
Checking what and how competitors are doing should be part of a routine and not a one time job. Yet, this task may consume more resources than you’d expect and you might often feel like the James Bond of the web, a spy with a very difficult mission to accomplish. However, you can use Brand Mentions to look at your own site , but there’s also another handy use: looking and analyzing the content and presence of your key competitors. Let’s say you’re a New York restaurant that’s doing fairly well but could do better. You have 4 or 5 other restaurants in your area that are your direct competitors. Let’s say we are looking for some marketing strategies for Gramercy Tavern (a top rated restaurant from Manhattan ) and we want to see how the competition is doing: Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park, other 2 well rated restaurants from the same area.
As we look at the screenshot above, we can easily see that the restaurant we are analyzing is doing pretty well. Around 51 new mentions in a week, most of them coming from high authority sites.
Yet, what is the competition doing? Why should they be faring better than our restaurant here in question? Let’s look them up and see what kind of mentions they have.
With 108 mentions in the same period of time, Le Bernardin seems to be doing far better than Gramercy Tavern as far as the online occurrences go. As we take a look at our other competitor, we see that is not “as famous” as the first one, yet Eleven Madison Park seems to be also more visible than Gramercy Tavern, the restaurant we are analyzing.
The first step has been made and now we know how our restaurant is standing overall. What we can do next is go through the results and evaluate how positive each of the mention might be. We can also look at where the mentions come from – is it an article or an ad? What’s the hosting publication and what are the chances you can get them to have your name in there as well? Is it a generalist website or a specific, even niche one? Does it have a high or low authority? There’s plenty more questions to explore and some important decisions to make once you’ll have some answers to those questions.
3. Get Notified When Your Brand Is Mentioned on the Web
As mentioned above, we can agree that data are overwhelming. More and more producers, buyers, consumers are creating content everywhere they go. In this context, brand monitoring, or better said “web listening” is essential . Not only does the brand monitoring help you to create marketing strategies and build relationships with your users, but it also helps you to protect your brand’s reputation. Putting at your disposal the world’s widest database, Brand Mentions help you to collect and monitor mentions and conversations about businesses from across the whole online world, giving you a clear idea of any threats , as well as any opportunities to your business.
One of the ways that can guarantee you always being a step ahead of your competitors and a top player in your niche is to be up-to-date with how you and your competitors are doing are doing at any moment. And the best way to monitor this is through setting the relevant alerts required for this. This way, you can be the first to know when your brand is being discussed online. You can be notified, with the frequency you choose, whenever your brand name is mentioned in any type of content on the web. Simply create an alert with the topic, keyword, brand you are most interested in and customize it just the way you want, as seen in the screenshot below.
4. Get Fresh Content Ideas by Researching “Topic Mentions” in Your Niche
Let’s say you are the content marketer for Gramercy Tavern and you’re more than exhausted of searching and researching, of writing great pieces of content that don’t have the traction you were hoping for. There are cases when the content is not a quality one but sometimes we just need to turn around, have an airplane view and search for alternative content ideas. Good content isn’t found just in articles and forums. It can be also found in videos, slide shares or images. BrandMentions returns mentions coming from all types of sources, therefore it will be easy for you to identify such content that works.
Furthermore, Gramercy Tavern is a restaurant located in New York, therfore most of the mentions will be in English. As a restaurant located in a highly touristic area in a country where several communities coexist, it might be wise taking a peek at the mentions written in other languages as well. Eleven Madison Park, one of our Gramercy Tavern’s main competitor seems to have understood the intercultural dimension as it has such mentions.
Music knits people together in some strange way. So does food. We can find so many similarities between music and restaurants and it seems that so did Le Bernardin. They were mentioned in The Telegraph, in an interview held with the famous singer John Legend. Of course, this mention might be out of their control and they can only be glad that they were mentioned. Yet, this type of content, as interviews, might be a great content idea for this type of business.
Looking for topic mentions in your niche is always a good idea. As we are looking at the restaurant niche, if you look up “wine tasting” results for the past week, you might notice that a lot of the titles are about wine tasting events in unexpected settings: by bicycle, at a costume event, on the Mississippi river, at the ruins of a historic plantation etc. Not to mention the high number of mentions: 881.
Is “outdoors” wine tasting the new thing? It might be. After all, how many wine tastings in a cellar next to the grapevine can you go to before you get bored with the view? Maybe it’s not necessarily the outdoors factor, but the unexpected setting that draws people, or the unlikely combination of event and setting.
5. Identify a Brands’ Popularity by Looking at the Number of Fresh Mentions in the Last Month
There are many ways to measure a brand’s popularity, but this would probably be one of the more relevant ones. Something that’s popular should constantly be in the news. But to what extent? Are you trailing behind competition because you don’t get picked up by news as often?
Take 2 of the best known batteries producers, Duracell and Energizer. They’re both known to be reliable brands and with no prior experience of either, you could probably make a random choice when buying new batteries. It’s just that there’s a higher chance of having heard more often about one instead of the other in the past month.
The popularity remains in favor of one brand over another even when we switch the time frame to last week, but the difference is much smaller now.
That’s very useful information in terms of what works and what doesn’t. Three weeks out of four I might be neck to neck with my competitor, but then one week I trail behind quite a lot. What happened during that week? Where did all the mentions come from? Were they positive or negative? There’s just so much room for analysis and useful conclusions. If you monitor the results constantly, you can find out which day of the week gets you more mentions and what resources for mentions you can tap into. Find out what works for your competitors and whether or not it can work for you as well.
6. Spot Influencers Using “Topical Mentions” Research
Another key strategy is the ability to identify the key influencers. What you can do is see who are the most influential people in a particular subject area and create a list of people to engage with. Creating a relationship with these people in advance may convince them to retweet or support your content when the time comes, which will place in front of their many followers. Take the example of Le Bernadin, one of Gramercy Tavern’s competitor and a New York’s restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. It’s clear it has its own established audience already, but a mention on an MSN page dedicated to expensive and exquisite restaurants in New York, or in a Washington Page article about a controversial public figure, couldn’t possibly hurt its business.
This could be a great piece of information for Gramercy Tavern, the restaurant fpr which we are looking new marketing strategies for. But even if you’re not a top of the line restaurant, those are still ideas you can draw influence from. MSN is likely to do pieces about more than one style of restaurant. Next time it does a piece about a category you fit in, will you have something to draw its attention? And sure, not all your employees (present and past) are likely to become famous enough to be the center of attention of the Washington Post, but if they did, how would they remember you?
Yet, the question might still pop in your mind:
With millions of fresh webpages and billions of comments posted on social media daily, how could you ever hope to find, follow and manage them all?
To offer an answer to this question (and possibly calm several existential crises we may have started with the intro), we created a brand new tool that aims to give you back some control: BrandMentions. It goes beyond what’s available on the market for the moment, but it also allows you to go deeper. Google Alerts doesn’t report fresh and accurate data for a while now and other tools that are intended to do a similar job fail to offer relevant results.
The ideas listed above are just some “hints” on how you can best make use of mention research and monitoring. The truth is that each person is unique and each business has its own particularities. Hence, these are just some useful cases for brand monitoring but we are sure that anyone working in the field will find even more opportunities they can exploit. As there is no better way of finding out what Brand Mentions can do for you than trying it, we invite you to take the tool for a spin and get access to the widest web mentions database.