These are most often used as a link-building tool. Unlike Shared Count, it’s not free, but on the plus side, it does more of the hard work for you. Brand mentions Another great way to measure how awareness of your brand is changing is to track how often it is mentioned online. Many tools will track where your brand name is being used online. Simply type what you want to track into the box and click “create alert.” Bear in mind that the same search syntax you use in a Google search will work with Google Alerts. Media mentions Some marketers measure the impact of their digital campaigns almost solely by the number of links the campaigns generate. If publishers are talking about your brand online as a result of the content you’re creating – with or without a link – your content is impacting brand awareness. Before Google started hiding keyword data under “not provided,” monitoring branded searches was simple. Keyword Planner also allows you to view how this data has changed over time. Conclusion That’s four metrics that are well worth tracking if you want to understand how your content marketing is impacting general brand awareness.
Editor’s note: Given the never-ending need for metrics to prove the value of your content, we wanted to bring back this article published last year about how to measure brand awareness.
Before you create content to boost brand awareness, it’s important to consider whether you’re creating the right type of content.
Take infographics. These are most often used as a link-building tool. That’s fine if gaining links is your goal. Infographics aren’t so effective, however, if what you really want is to increase awareness of your brand. That’s because publishers tend to favor infographics that keep branding to a bare minimum – usually a logo hidden right at the bottom of the content.
Conversely, if you want to create content that exposes your brand to more people, you may want to look at content such as:
- Guest articles for other publications (choose topics linked to what you do and publications that will publish your bio – ideally, at the top of the post)
- Videos (with you as the star)
- Branded how-to guides
- Third-party media coverage or reviews
- Research with firsthand data
These are all content types in which it’s OK, if not encouraged, to highlight your brand.
Now that you know what sort of content you should be creating to boost brand awareness, let’s look at four ways of tracking its impact.
1. Social media reach
The social reach of your content is an indicator of the impact it’s having on brand awareness – at least, if it’s the right type of content (as discussed above).
Unfortunately, measuring the full social reach of your content isn’t as easy or accurate as it used to be. At the end of 2015, Twitter – a big source of social shares, especially within the digital industry – stopped supporting share count on tweet buttons.
Thankfully, share stats are still available for three of the big social sites – Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.
How can you get this data?
Shared Count is my favorite tool for checking how many times a piece of content has been shared socially (or at least shared on Facebook, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon).
It’s free and easy to use (paid versions available). Just pop the URL you want to check into the box and click “analyze.”
Shared Count’s main disadvantage is that you can only check one URL at a time. To accurately track the social reach of your content and, in turn, the impact it’s having on brand awareness, you need to check each URL where your content appears.
Get Social isn’t a tool I’ve tried personally, although I’d like to, because it appears to offer some exciting features.
Namely this: Get Social promises to track “all social interactions, not just the 20% happening on share buttons.” This is key to getting a complete picture of how widely your content is being shared and what’s working to boost brand awareness and what isn’t.
Unlike Shared Count, it’s not free, but on the plus side, it does more of the hard work for you. Packages start at $32 a month for use on a single website. This will track up to 100,000 visits per month, which should be more than enough for small brands.
2. Brand mentions
Another great way to measure how awareness of your brand is changing is to track how often it is mentioned online.
If you have a unique brand name, this is much easier. If mentions of your brand get mixed up among mentions of a similarly named entity, filtering out chatter could prove to be time-consuming.
However, let’s assume you have a unique name (or at least you don’t share your name with a big brand). Many tools will track where your brand name is being used online.
Mention is one of the simplest brand-tracking tools as brand tracking is its primary purpose. It crawls websites, forums, blogs, social media platforms, and more to find mentions of your brand and let you know about them – in real time via push notifications or through email alerts.
Pricing starts at $29 a month for a solo plan. This should be adequate for small brands. For $99 a month, you can track your competitors as well. Custom plans are available for bigger brands and agencies.