Performing Online Brand Monitoring With Web Scraping

Hannah Benson
February 17, 2021
Community

brand monitoring

About a year ago, I went through a phase of trying out different coffee beans when making homemade cold brew. Some beans are better for the cold brew process than others. Once I found a brand that really worked, I became loyal to it and stopped trying new brands–the coffee was that good and the company engaged in ethical and environmentally friendly practices. Building a strong brand following requires great products, marketing, and consistent monitoring in order to truly understand what’s working, what isn’t, and what your customers ultimately choose your business. Monitoring your brand performance helps you gauge consumer sentiment, discover fraudulent online reviews, and build brand loyalty amongst the public.

Online brand monitoring is an essential skill you’ll need to develop. By using online data sources, you’ll be able to analyze your brand performance among the public, customers, and competitors. In order to do this, you need the right tools. Web scraping, the automatic extraction of data from web pages, is the perfect tool for collecting data for brand analysis. Scraping saves you time, money, and gives you access to valuable data. Having this understanding helps you make wiser choices in the future to help your brand become the next Xerox.

If you already know the basics of monitoring brand performance, use the table of contents to learn web scraping strategies that increase your chances of success.

Table of Contents

What Is Online Brand Monitoring?

what is monitoring a brand

Online brand monitoring is the process of checking various online channels to determine how and where your brand is mentioned. This gives you valuable insight into the public’s perception of your brand, good or bad, and can help you generate ideas for how to grow. Monitoring software and services help you manage reputation crises, gauge public sentiment, and understand how you compare with the competition. The costs of ignoring brand analysis can do harm to your brand/company name, loss of sales, and loss of market share. Therefore, online brand monitoring is a make-it-or-break-it skill for succeeding in any industry.

Benefits of Brand Monitoring Services

 online brand monitoring benefits

There are many online services that specialize in monitoring your brand. Below are a few examples of how dedicating yourself to brand analysis can strengthen your brand and product.

Build brand loyalty

While a great product is a requirement for building brand loyalty, you also need a strong image to go along with it. For example, if I found two equally great coffee brands but one of them was fair trade, I would pick the fair trade brand since that is something I value. Through analyzing brand data, you can discover which aspects of your brand speak the most to consumers. If they value great coffee, then they have many options. But if through this analysis you learn lots of your customers value ethical production and consumption, then you can either incorporate that if you haven’t already or make sure to emphasize it in your next marketing campaign to ensure existing customers feel a stronger tie to the brand. This also helps bring in new customers that are looking for ethical coffee brands.

Detect fraudulent reviews

Similar to many lots of my friends, I scour online reviews before deciding to try a new restaurant or buy from a brand I’m unfamiliar with. In addition to protecting your brand, detecting fraudulent reviews also helps protect consumers by making sure their decisions are based on actual experiences instead of false ones.

Our era of eCommerce makes it easier for consumers to post their opinions about various brands and products online. While such reviews are great sources of data for organizations and individual sellers alike, there is also a risk of fraudulent reviews placed by competition to dissuade people from using your products and services. Brand monitoring software can help you detect fraudulent reviews before they impact your brand image. By noticing this opinion spamming, you can stop these reviews from impacting your customer sentiment data so that you don’t accidentally incorporate fake reviews into your research and analysis. This ensures your data is more accurate.

Manage customer reactions

Whenever a brand releases a new product or ad campaign, managing the reaction is a crucial part of the process. If there is a design problem or a backlash to a commercial, regularly monitoring your brand helps you detect strong customer reactions early on so they can be managed before getting out of hand. This method can also be used to analyze competitor brands so that you avoid making the same mistakes they made. By performing brand monitoring on both your brand and competitors, you can stay updated on any dramatic reactions in the market so that you can manage a solution before the competition gets a chance to take advantage of your mistake or correct their own.

Look to these examples of strong brand positioning for more tips on differentiating your brand from the competition.

Web Scraping and Brand Monitoring

Web scraping is an essential tool for any brand looking to monitor the strength of their brand online. Below are different ways to incorporate web scraping into your brand monitoring routine.

Discover customer and press sentiment

I already discussed how useful brand monitoring is in the age of online comments. In addition, we are also living in a moment where lots of websites and online publications are dedicated to reviewing products and brands. Larger organizations might even have their projects mentioned in larger newspapers on a semi-regular basis.

Web scraping is the perfect tool for analyzing both customer, press, and industry sentiment. You can scrape online comments but you can also scrape current and old articles relating to your brand. Insights from different sources may help you recognize problems the average consumer doesn’t and also gives you tips for winning over the press in the future. Learning how to scrape news for sentiment analysis is a crucial skill for anyone looking to better manage their brand.

Find social media influencers

During my childhood, advertising was filled with celebrity ad campaigns. I remember thinking a true indicator of success was getting your own ‘Got Milk?’ ad. Now, social media influencers have somewhat taken over the role celebrities used to play in advertising. While you still see star athletes selling shoes and team merch, influencers are becoming increasingly important in the world of food products, household items, and fashion brands. Social media data helps you discover what ways you can enhance your brand by partnering with influencers or celebrities. Additionally, you gain consumer sentiment insights.

Scraping social media accounts of consumers helps you discover who they’re following and what kind of content they post. Back to my earlier example, there are many Tik Tok influencers who make various coffee drinks, sometimes turning famous Starbucks drinks into homemade versions. If you sell coffee and discover lots of your customers follow these accounts for tips on making the best drinks at home, then having one of those influencers use your coffee beans or your creamer in their videos will bring your brand more recognition and from someone consumers trust to have good opinions on coffee.

Using Brand Monitoring Software

There is brand monitoring software that helps you achieve all of the benefits mentioned above. You may be wondering “How much does brand monitoring cost?” Unfortunately, these fancy software and services can be hard for organizations with limited budgets unable to take on more monthly expenses. Not all organizations have access to these programs, especially individuals selling their art online or other small business owners.

Web scraping, the automatic extraction of data from web pages, is a great tool for those intimidated by or unable to afford software programs and those looking to supplement these programs with more data. With web scraping, you can access eCommerce review data, public data, social media data, and more that give brand insights (reviews, articles, demographic data) all with one tool. Web scraping and other free tools for monitoring brand mentions work quickly and save money for organizations or individuals too limited to create an entire team dedicated to brand management.

While scraping is applicable to many data projects, there are always times when your data needs become more specific and unique. Creating a custom scraping solution with the Scraping Robot team is a great way to gather data specific to your field or brand identity. Custom scraping solutions are also cheaper, allowing you to scrape by the millions or billions for less per scrape. Working alongside the Scraping Robot team rids you of the pressure to create a data analysis department since our team helps you out with managing and developing proxies. For those with smaller budgets and businesses, having our team on your side can make all the difference. If a custom scraping solution sounds right for your project, contact us to get started.

Conclusion

Web scraping takes you to the next level by making it easier to collect relevant data and find new ways to grow. Brand recognition can take a good company to great successes. Once regular consumers know and trust your brand, you will have a strong base to work with. However, getting to the point of becoming a household name takes lots of time and effort. Online brand monitoring is an essential process for anyone trying to increase their brand recognition. Performing this analysis helps you manage public sentiment, discover new collaborators, and detect fake reviews before they impact your bottom line.

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