Brand Reputation Audit: 3 Effective Tactics You Should Use

A brand reputation audit helps you determine your audience’s sentiment towards your company or product or service. Performing such audit has never been easier thanks to the adoption of digital platforms such as social networks and search engines. (If you're new to digital, here are 4 major digital marketing pitfalls you should avoid)

By monitoring conversations on Twitter, searching for branded keywords on Google Search, or going through reviews on Foursquare, you can easily discover comments online users are making about your brand and assess the comments to gain insights that let you determine your brand reputation. (Related article: 8 Analyses You Should Perform in a Content Audit)

Here are three tactics you should use to perform a brand reputation audit:

  1. Use Google Blog Search

    Google Blog Search is a feature which lets you generate lists of blogs that have mentioned your targeted keyword. For example, you can enter your brand name in the search box to find blogs that have mentioned your company name.
    Here’s how you can use Google Blog Search:
     
    • Enter a target keyword in the search box (e.g. your brand name)
    • Click on the News button right under the search box
    • Click on Search tools
    • Click on All News
    • Click on Blogs
     

    To use Google Blog Search effectively, enter more specific and negative keywords in the search box in addition to your brand name to gain insights.

    For example, to generate a list of negative articles about your brand, enter your company name followed by “sucks”, a term frequently used by frustrated bloggers. Once you’ve reviewed these blogs, you can determine whether there are relevant insights that provide direction for improving your brand image.

  2. Leverage Google Autocomplete

    Google Autocomplete is a Google Search feature which makes search predictions or suggestions based on your queries. It’s built in to Google Search as a convenience to users, but it’s also turned out to be very helpful for marketers.

    For example, if you enter the keyword “Apple” in the search box, Google Autocomplete will recommend queries such as “Apple store,” “Apple Canada,” and “Apple ID.” These suggestions are based on historical data about other searches with ‘Apple’ as the first word of the query. For example, if a large number of users have previously searched for “Apple Store” or “Apple Canada,” Google Autocomplete will suggest these keywords when a person enters the keyword “Apple” in because there is a good possibility that you want to perform a search using those keywords.

    You can leverage Google Autocomplete to assess your brand reputation by discovering which keywords come up frequently when users are searching for your brand or offerings.

    For example, if you’re Apple, you might enter the keyword “iMac” in the search box and discover that “imac won’t turn on” is a frequent search term. This gives you an indication of where you need to dig deeper for issues.  

  3. Perform branded keyword searches on industry-specific forum

    Search for your brand name on industry-specific forums. For example, if you’re a health product retailer, search for your brand name on health food-related forums such as Whole Foods Market Forum, Epicurious.com, or Why Eat to discover complaints or raves about your products or services. Both types of feedback better your product or service. 

    Forums today usually have an internal search function. It’s easy and quick to access comments users are making about your brand by entering your brand name in the internal search box. 

    If a forum does not provide an internal search function, try using Google Advanced Search to find mention of your brand on a specific website. 

    The wide adoption of Google Search, blogs, and forums has made gathering consumer data incredibly easy. By searching for targeted keywords on Google Search, Google Blog Search, or industry-specific forums, you can easily discover complaints or compliments customers are making about your brand. The discovery of these issues lets you identify problems you should address quickly to avoid bad publicity and maintain a positive brand reputation.

    If you’re looking for branding services such as Brand Strategy Roadmap or Brand Identify Creation, or other services such as website audit or digital marketing roadmap, please contact us via contact form.