A crucial step when it comes to digital outreach is tracking coverage and mentions. This can be quite the feat to do manually and will often mean that you have to search for coverage multiple times a day. So, what’s the best way to search for mentions of your brand across multiple platforms and websites? 

Monitoring tools are an essential part of the digital PR process and can provide valuable insights compared to manual searches. We’ll look at the various types of monitoring and the best tools for the job, including some free options!

Types of media monitoring

There are plenty of media monitoring tools out there, so finding the right one for you can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Generally, three tiers are applied to monitoring tools, these are; free tools, paid tools, and premium packages. The size of your team and your budget will determine which of these you require. 

Free monitoring tools

Free tools are great for smaller teams and those with a tight budget, however, the capacity tends to be pretty surface-level in what you’re able to track as they’re typically offering a free version of a paid service. Here are some examples of free monitoring tools: 

  1. Google Alerts 

Google has its own free service for tracking any new mentions that meet your particular search criteria. If a site mentions your brand or identified keywords you’ll receive an email with a summary of alerts. The downside to this tool is that it only send alerts for news sites, you won’t be able to track social media mentions this way. 

  1. HubSpot

HubSpot offers limited free access to its social media tracking and analysis tools. Unfortunately, the capabilities of this tool are limited as the main function isn’t tailored to media monitoring. 

  1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs has a multitude of uses for SEO and marketing. The tool is host to a diverse range of features including backlink analysis, rank tracking, and site auditing.

Paid monitoring tools

Paid monitoring tools tend to be fairly affordable but are necessary for teams that require a deeper analytical analysis of their coverage. Premium media monitoring tools are usually developed by larger companies that specialise in media intelligence. They’ll often come with their own tailored support and consultation services.

  1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an extremely popular tool used by publicists and marketers across the globe. This tool is great for finding trending content, connecting with influencers, monitoring mentions and link tracking. It’s a one-tool-fits-all job! 

  1. SEMrush

SEMrush is another tool that offers a whole host of functionality including market research, social media, content and search analytics. One of the uses that makes SEMrush stand out among the rest is the seamless integration it offers with Google and other task management software. 

  1. Meltwater 

Meltwater has a huge database of over 300,000 news sources available for monitoring. One of the biggest draws of this tool is its usability – the UX is extremely intuitive and easy to use. 

  1. Mentionlytics

Mentionlytics is an excellent tool that actually offers historical mention tracking across all sites and social media. For those who already use Hootsuite to track their social media accounts, Mentionlytics offers full integration.

What’s so important about monitoring tools? 

Without the right monitoring tool it’s almost impossible to see what progress you’re making through digital PR efforts. As well as keeping track of how well campaigns are performing, these tools provide valuable insights into what you can do better next time. It also allows you to track campaigns in live time so you can make adjustments and refinements reactively, if need be. 

To find out more about digital marketing, head over to the It Works blog. Alternatively, get in touch to find out more about our services.