Media listening is more than just typing your own name on Google. It means keeping track of what is being written about your brand, your industry, your competitors, and your marketing strategy. There are many tools you can use to set up media listening, including Cision, Meltwater, Brandwatch, Google alerts, and more. Understanding media trends and news cycles is extremely important in building a brand, but it’s especially critical for trade associations for several key reasons.
Trade Media Shares Your Target Audience
Instead of just marketing to the general public, trade associations have a very specific demographic they are trying to reach to boost their bottom line, and more often than not, there are media outlets specifically targeting that same demographic. In the era of fake news and polarization, writers and editors in the press are under more pressure to earn the trust of their readers, and therefore they will be extremely careful to only elevate names and trends they feel their readers trust and agree with. For that reason, when evaluating your marketing strategy, it is worthwhile to see what words and ideas have been determined will play well with your target audience. Those writers have done their homework on how to communicate with your consumers, there’s no reason not to take advantage of their insight.
There Are Larger Industry Conversations Your Brand Can Be A Part Of
Writers at trade publications love to write about trends that are reshaping the landscape of their industry, and you might have people on your team that have extensive firsthand knowledge of those trends. When media listening shows you a larger conversation that you and your company could have a role in, this gives you an opportunity to reach out to and engage those reporters and editors to offer input on the topic. This input could land you in a prominent article which will drive web traffic and exposure to your company. It also showcases your company as an expert that reporters will turn to again in the future.
You Can Keep An Eye On Your Competition
This might be the most obvious advantage of media listening, but it is crucial nonetheless. If you work at a trade association, there is someone competing for your business. You have an opportunity to keep track of their progress and determine what benchmarks you need to set in order to stay ahead of them. Furthermore, they are trying to establish their brand, just like you, and media listening allows you to see what strategies work and don’t work. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when marketing your company. Looking at what coverage your rivals have garnered lets you assess what approaches will work better for different situations. This lets you control the messaging around your brand by anticipating the angles different publications will take in covering you based on how they covered your rival.
Establishing and marketing a brand identity is not easy in this era, and you need every advantage you can garner. In the era of shrinking advertising budgets, economic uncertainty, and industries that are trying to bridge the gap between the traditional and digital landscapes, you need to make sure you make good use of your time and money. Media listening helps you understand and keep track of your industry, your customers, and your competition, and each one of those is crucial for mapping out your communications strategy.
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