Feb 25, 2016

4 Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Media Monitoring and Targeting Tool

Media Monitoring and Targeting Buyer's Guide: Questions to ask before investing in brand monitoring, media outreach, distribution and reporting tools

Reaching your audience at the right moment, with the right content, on the right channel is a goal every communicator dreams of.

And achieving this goal is possible if you have the right data … Data that gives you insight into what your sector is talking about, who’s talking about it, where they’re talking about it, and whether or not the content you’ve already created and distributed is aligned with these conversations.

However, there’s so much data and so many places to collect it from that there’s not nearly enough time to sort through all of it by hand. Having to combine brand and industry monitoring from multiple sources is a time-consuming process. To then analyze and act on this research is even more resource intensive.

Cutting corners on any step in the process can result in inaccurate intel and ill-informed decisions.

One way to ease the pain is to look for a tool that packages your monitoring, targeting, distribution, and reporting into one central location. You need to ask the right questions, though, to make sure you’re selecting a tool that’s truly multifunctional.

Ask these four questions of the monitoring and targeting tools you’re considering to determine which one will work best for you.

1. Can you monitor multiple topics across multiple mediums?

Having to jump between multiple tools to examine what’s happening on social, online, broadcast, print and other media is not just inefficient, it can cause you to miss overlapping trends.

At minimum, a multifunctional monitoring tool should enable you to observe different mediums and see how brand and/or topic mentions compare and contrast on each one.

Moreover – whether you’re an agency representing different clients or a brand targeting different audience personas – you need to be able to monitor conversations around more than one topic.

Competitor intel, emerging trends, and customer behaviors are a few of the things you should monitor beyond brand mentions.

After identifying what type of information is important to you, look for a tool that makes it easy to save all of your searches in one location, customize notifications for each, and update searches as new needs arise.

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2. Can you maintain media and influencer lists based on your monitoring?

Monitoring what’s being said about your brand and your industry will not just help you understand what your audience cares about, it will also connect you with the journalists and influencers shaping those perspectives.

Using your monitoring intel to inform your media research can result in targeted outreach lists that include journalists, bloggers and influencers who specifically cover your niche and are more likely to be interested in your content.

Of course, journalists and influencers come and go, which adds another wrinkle to your search for a multifunctional monitoring and targeting tool.

Your time is valuable. Spending it managing the freshness of your media database is not its best use. A tool that updates your saved lists can save you time.

3. Can you efficiently distribute your message across multiple channels?

While targeted outreach lists can be an effective way to reach a portion of your audience, you don’t want to limit yourself to only one promotion channel.

Your audience is engaging with content across social media, websites, apps, and other platforms. For your message to successfully reach everyone that matters, you must tap into a variety of distribution methods.

Planning and executing a multichannel campaign isn’t easy, though. You have to define which channels you want to target, what those channels’ requirements are, how you plan to stagger your promotions’ timing across them, and much more.

A multifunctional monitoring and targeting tool can help you streamline the distribution of your communications not only to saved targeted lists, but also newsrooms, websites, social media and other channels.

4. Does the platform allow you to create, customize and share reporting?

Distributing content over multiple channels means there are multiple types of metrics you need to stay on top of.

Media clippings, email outreach success, and website visibility are just three of many things you should be tracking. The reporting you gather is crucial not just for informing your future efforts, but also delivering tangible results to your company’s leadership.

Choose a monitoring and targeting tool that makes it easy to compile, save, share and access comprehensive reporting at any time. The reporting you gather is vital to understanding exactly what your target audiences want.

Content that once may not have been considered “newsworthy” enough for a pitch to top-tier media may be of incredible interest to today’s other core audiences.

Download Redefining Newsworthiness: New Opportunities to Earn Media & Attention for Your Brand to learn how to map out a multichannel content plan that ensures your message is seen.

Lucie Vietti-Curtis is the program manager for channel and advocacy marketing at PR Newswire. As head of the advocacy program, she enjoys collaborating with advocates on creating thought-leadership content.

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