Building a solid brand reputation is incredibly important. And now that we’ve covered how to do just that, it’s time to start measuring brand reputation.
Brand reputation: why measure?
So why is measuring brand reputation so important? It seems like a lot of bother having to set metrics and get a team on the case when you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your marketing labour, right?
Well, in short, how will you know whether your brand is being perceived positively or negatively without measuring? There’s absolutely no point creating excellent work, spending ample budget on campaigns, if you’re not going to track how this work is affecting how the market views your brand.
Chris Lawson, Content Sales and Marketing Director at GNM, explained in an article on campaignlive.co.uk:
“Reputation matters because it represents your point of view on the world and values. It’s why people come to trust you and it gives your media channel or brand credibility. In today’s digital world, if you break that trust your legitimacy crumbles, more swiftly than ever. Whereas if you nurture your reputation, your influence will grow and so will engagement and reach.”
Positive brand reputation suggests you are trusted by customers, and in turn builds a level of trust in potential new customers – they’re much more likely to spend their money with a brand that’s perceived well by those they trust. Meanwhile, negative reputation can destroy a brand.
Metrics to consider when measuring brand reputation
You’ve made the decision to build measurement into your key activities. A great start! Now you have to consider what metrics you’ll be working from, and which influence your brand reputation.
We asked a team of experts what they thought – and they had a lot of opinions. They were all in agreement that the following metrics are a great place to start.
The first place to start is sentiment.
Say you’ve created a campaign you’ve spent a solid six months working on. You can see that you’re generating a ton of chatter online, and you’re getting some press coverage. Good, right?
Well, volume is only part of the equation. Sure, you might have been bringing in the column inches, but do you know how much of that is positive, and how much not so?
Being able to measure this is incredibly important in gaining context on your brand reputation.
Share of Voice (SOV)
We just touched on volume – but do you know how much share of voice you’ve generated? Share of voice is how much of the conversation (on social, or in the press, or in broadcasting) you own in comparison to your competitors and the rest of the market.
By tracking your share of voice along with the rest of your market over time, you’ll be able to see how your brand reputation stacks up, and make informed, strategic decisions. It’s always handy to track the share of voice of your competitors, too. Keep your friends close, as they say.
Reach is essentially your brand awareness. How far do your key messages travel? How can you be sure that the content you’re putting out is reaching your target audience, and beyond?
Being able to measure the reach of your brand and its reputation, you’ll be able to tell what’s working and what might need tweaking to get the best results. But focusing solely on reach breeds a reliance on vanity metrics and fails to show the true impact of comms’s strategic value.
You’ve worked hard on the key messages you want associated with your brand. The Digital Marketing Institute claims that ‘92% of consumers have a more positive image of companies that support social issues and environmental efforts’.
So, say you’ve decided to push the angle of CSR, and your company has dedicated time, effort and budget to this cause – you’ll need to measure whether your brand is actually being associated with it so you can deem whether your activities have been a success.
Not seeing results? You’ve now got the knowledge to be able to rework them.
Tier 1 media and top publication penetration
Measuring the different types of coverage you get can also help you determine your brand reputation. Different brands have different ways of categorising their media coverage, but generally speaking, tier 1 is the big shot publications. If you’re used to seeing tier 2 coverage, but you have a goal of hitting 25 pieces of tier 1 media coverage in the next quarter, you’re going to need to be able to track and benchmark this.
You can then look into the sentiment of each piece of tier 1 coverage for greater context.
Another way of helping to ensure your brand is perceived positively is by seeding quotes from key spokespeople within your business (and also customers, and industry leaders) – and most optimally, in tier 1 media.
Measuring how well using trusted voices in trusted places works for your brand will allow you to be able to see, again, what’s working for you.
Public Affairs and broadcast monitoring
Broadcast monitoring is a useful tool for organizations who want to know how they’re being spoken about on TV or radio (or podcasts etc).
Being mentioned on the news could be a win for your brand reputation, but the other end of the scale means your reputation could be taking a battering! But it can be very difficult to measure this. So to ensure you are accurately measuring brand reputation, it’s good to get a media intelligence tool that can do the heavy lifting for you.
Choosing a media intelligence tool
If you want to measure all of what we’ve discussed (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ll need to scope out some media intelligence tools to do the job. When doing your research, you’ll need to consider whether the PR software of your choosing has the ability to do it all.
Signal AI uniquely allows organizations to create and draw upon an unlimited volume of searches and results across the globe, enabling PR teams to align organizational objectives and comms objectives with their PR strategy so that they aren’t limited to working off vanity or outdated metrics.
Start measuring brand reputation with what we’ve covered today and you’ll be in a great place to ensure your brand reputation is exactly where you want it to be!