Monitoring the web is an essential part of a strong digital marketing strategy; however, historically, monitoring tools have been inaccessible to smaller businesses due to their pricing. With Brand24, though, businesses of all sizes finally have access to a pro web monitoring tool. Read on for a full review of Brand24 and why you need to get it now.

What is Brand24?

If you know me and have followed my blog for a while, then you know about my passion for tools. And if they’re analytics tools, as well…all the better! And recently, I had the chance to try out web monitoring tool Brand24.

So, what is Brand24?

Brand24 is a web and social media monitoring tool designed for businesses of all sizes. It provides:

  • Monitoring tools for keywords, brand names and more on the web: social media, forums, news websites, blogs, photos, videos and more

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

  • Marketing analytics with actionable insights
  • Influencer marketing research: find relevant influencers in different mentions and discussions
  • Sentiment analysis: find out what the sentiment surrounding your mentions is
  • Social media monitoring
  • Team collaboration – depending on the plan you choose, except for the cheapest option, you can add team members to your profile to help you manage your monitoring
Is @Brand24 the perfect #monitoring tool for SMBs? via @lilachbullock #SMBClick To Tweet

Why use it?

Web monitoring is an essential part of any strong digital marketing strategy. Knowing as much as possible about the market you are in, as well as the mentions of your brand, helps you make better, more informed decisions about your marketing plan.

Depending on the size of your business, there are multiple ways that you can use Brand24 to your benefit:

  • Brand mentions: keep an eye out on any brand mention about your brand, positive or negative, so that you can quickly respond – you can respond from within the app to help you save time
  • Market research: whether you want to start a new business, or expand an existing business, you can use the tool to research the market to see what people are saying, if there is a demand and what the sentiment regarding this market is
  • Lead generation: be where your audience is looking for your products or services so that you can grab those leads
  • Study your online presence
  • Manage customer service: identify and customer service issues and deal with them in a timely manner, directly from within your Brand24 dashboard
  • Competitive analysis: keep an eye out for your competitor’s online activities and find out what others are saying about them
Is @Brand24 the perfect #monitoring tool for SMBs? via @lilachbullock #SMBClick To Tweet

Knowledge is power – and with Brand24, you can find out everything there is to know regarding your business, online.

You can also set up alerts so that you quickly get by email; for example, if there are any negative comments coming in that need your attention, or if there is a huge spike in mentions that doesn’t normally happen.

Getting started with Brand24

Getting started with Brand24 is very easy, as their platform is very intuitive and easy to get from the get-go.

As you log in to your account, you are taken to a page where you can start your first project:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

To create a new project, simply click on “add new project” and you will be given a few different options from what you can monitor:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

As you can see, there are 4 different options: brand or company, sales leads, competitor and hashtag monitoring.

Next, it’s time to enter the keywords you want to monitor:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You can then make some more settings to configure your monitoring search, which you can also do after setting up your project, by clicking on ‘edit’ next to the project’s name:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

As you can see, you can set up required keywords (i.e. keywords that must appear in every mention), as well as excluded keywords (i.e. if these keywords are in a mention, the mention won’t be pulled up). With these features, you can better filter your results so you only get the most relevant ones in your project dashboard.

You can take your filtering a bit further by excluding sources from your search.

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Click on “Sources” and there you can select whether you want to exclude Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, or any other source. You can also choose to exclude particular websites or authors, however you need to first identify a mention from that source or author, click ‘delete’ and then select ‘delete the result and block the domain/author’.

Is @Brand24 the perfect #monitoring tool for SMBs? via @lilachbullock #SMBClick To Tweet

If you want to receive notifications, you can set them up manually by clicking on ‘notifications’ and then ‘add more notifications’:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You can choose the frequency you want to receive them in, the number of results you want to receive each time, as well as where you want to get the notification (email or mobile). What’s great is that they offer extensive filtering options to make sure you get only the most relevant results:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You can filter them by sentiment, by influencer score, by number of interactions, domain or author, source and more.

Finally, you can also select the email frequency of your reports and set up new recipients:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Brand24 Projects & Dashboard

After you’ve set up the projects you want to monitor, you can finally dig deeper into the results you the tool finds. This is what your dashboard would look like:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

In the main chart, you can see the exact number of mentions by day, as well as the estimated social media reach:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You can then click on ‘show interactions’ to see the mentions broken down into different interactions: reach, likes, shares and comments:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Another option here is to see the sentiment of your mentions, by clicking on ‘show sentiment’:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

As you scroll down in your project dashboard, you will be able to see the mentions, which you can search through, as well as filter in multiple ways in order to get the most relevant results.

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

By clicking on the sources at the top (Facebook, Twitter, All, Blogs etc.) you will be able to see the results from that source only. On the right-hand side of your dashboard, is where the real fun is.

You can filter:

  • By sentiment: see only negative mentions or only positive mentions
  • By influencer score: you can search for influencers of all ‘sizes’ with the influencer filter. It basically uses a score from 1 to 10 to determine a person’s influence, so you can select the score number you want to find anything from small influencers mentioning the subject you want, to the top influencers in your niche
  • By interactions: you can filter by number of shares, likes or comments
  • By visits: select to see only over a certain amount of visits
  • By domain
  • By author (alternatively, you also have the option to mute an author, by going to one of their mentions, clicking on More and then Mute)
  • By mark: if you’ve marked any mentions, you can see those directly
  • Mentions order: see only recently created or recently found
  • By date: only get new mentions since you last logged in
Is @Brand24 the perfect #monitoring tool for SMBs? via @lilachbullock #SMBClick To Tweet

As you can see, their filtering options are quite extensive, so that you can more easily find relevant mentions. The only issue is that they don’t offer geo-targeting filtering options, which is again, a feature that they decided to take out in order to keep the price of the tool down. This could be a problem if your language is spoken in different countries, but in some cases, with some creative filtering of keywords and keywords to avoid, you could still be able to use it and only get the results you need.

Analysis

When you head over to analysis, you can go over your mentions results in more detail.

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You will be able to filter your mentions by most interactive or choose to only see mentions from the most popular authors (great for discovering top influencers in your niche). You can also see a more complete breakdown of your results, such as interactions, positive vs. negative mentions, number of likes and so on.

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can see all of your mentions by category and see lists of the top authors.

There is also a word cloud with the most popular words used, which is great for helping you filter your results further and for finding out what other keywords people are using.

Another cool feature is, if you head over to Comparison, you can create comparisons between your different projects to see how they stack up against each other:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Reporting

In terms of reporting, you have a few options. First, you can export all of your data to an excel file, or you can create a PDF report with your choice of colours, as well as with your own logo and, finally, you can choose to have an infographic created with your most important insights.

Let’s start with the infographic. Basically, it lets you see a graph with the number of mentions in the last month, a list of the most active sites and categories, a graph with sentiment, as well as a list of the most influential users:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Next, by exporting your data, you will have an Excel file handy with the mentions gathered and all of the stats related to them.

With the PDF report, as I mentioned earlier, you start by configuring it yourself and adding the colour you want and your logo and Brand24 will create the report in “several dozens of seconds”:

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

You will then have an extensive PDF report, that includes your mentions stats, a sentiment chart, lists of the top authors and influencers, the most active websites and some examples of mentions gathered. As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also add some of your own comments – if you choose to do so, these comments will be included to the end of your report.

Brand24: the perfect monitoring tools for SMBs?

Pricing

As I mentioned earlier, Brand24 is a much more affordable option for web monitoring. In fact, it’s 4 times cheaper than other, similar tools, which makes it much better choice for small businesses.

Their prices start at $49 per month for personal use, which includes 5 keywords, as much as 50k mentions, as well as data and sentiment analysis.

The Professional Premium plan is $99 per month and allows you to set up monitoring searches for up to 10 keywords and provides as many as 400k mentions. There are also a few extra features included, such as live help and the ability to export your findings to an Excel file.

Is @Brand24 the perfect #monitoring tool for SMBs? via @lilachbullock #SMBClick To Tweet

Finally, their most expensive plan is the Professional Max at $399 per month and it includes 25 keywords, up to a million mentions and you even get your own consultant to help you through the process.

The reason why they are so much more affordable than their competitors, is that they chose not to provide historical data. Meaning, you only get mentions from the date you start using it and set up your searches. You do get some older data, though, but it won’t be 100% accurate if it’s from before you set up your project. Because they don’t need to store all of this data, like other tools, they were able to make their tool much less pricey.

It’s up to you to decide what is most important to you; if you need historical data for performing market research, for example, you might be better off trying a different tool. If, however, you don’t necessarily need historical data (say, for example, you want to use it to monitor mentions of your brand or certain keywords, then it’s a great option as you get to save a lot of money, while also getting the data you need with a very user-friendly interface.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that Brand24 is a great professional monitoring tool, perfect for businesses of all sizes, but particularly for small businesses and entrepreneurs who couldn’t previously afford such a complex monitoring tool. And although it might not have as much historical data or geo-targeting, I think that the trade-off is very much worth it, considering how much more affordable the tool is than its competitors.

It’s great for monitoring your brand online, as well as your industry, to keep up with the latest trends and the biggest authors and influencers and it’s particularly useful for lead generation, as you can more easily monitor the web for potential clients and customers which you can then turn into leads.

Have you tried Brand24 yet? What did you think? What would you use Brand24 for? Let me know in your comments and please share:)

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