There are many different strategies that web designers can use to grow their business. But very few web designers have even heard about media monitoring. Media monitoring is the process of monitoring various media channels from TV, radio, social media, news outlets and the general Internet for business opportunities and intelligence. Many companies use media monitoring to notify them about news stories related to their brand, conversations about their products/services, and to help protect their online reputation.
How Do You Set Up Media Monitoring?
The easiest way to use media monitoring is to use Google Alerts to update you on content based on the keyword phrase. For example, by using Google Alerts to notify you about “artificial intelligence”, you’ll be forwarded an email with content from news outlets, blogs, social media, etc. There are other software tools that allow you to set up more advanced campaigns for media monitoring. You do not have to install these tools onto your web hosting server as they are typically third party tools.
How Can Designers Take Advantage of Media Monitoring?
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like media monitoring is something that designers can get much benefit from. The way to make it a viable tactic is to use it creatively. Big brands obviously have many established ways to use media monitoring to their advantage but designers need to approach it from a different angle. They need to be less direct in how they approach media monitoring. Here are some examples.
Market and Competitive Intelligence
Many brands use media monitoring to keep track of what’s happening in the market so that they can understand all the different aspects of their large audience. Their competitors are also in the public eye, so it’s easy for them to keep track of what they’re doing in their businesses. Designers, on the other hand, have a very small target audience and compete with many small business based designers that are not as public as bigger businesses.
In order to benefit from media monitoring, designers need to focus in on the problems that their target audience is having. For example, it will help to know what other businesses are struggling with in the mobile design aspect of their websites. Getting an idea of what competing designers are doing can provide inspiration for restructuring their own design business. Having this knowledge will help web designers better serve their clients and stay updated of design trends and best practices in the industry.
Build and Protect Your Personal Brand
Big brands build their business by capitalizing on the press they get and adding to it. As a designer, you want to focus on hot topics related in the design industry. Look for conversations that you can add value to in order to get your name out there. You can go as far as to posting links of your content, case studies or portfolio provided that it is relevant. Just be careful about the channel you’re engaging in as some may discourage heavy promotion. If your contribution is relevant and in the right context, it will be okay most of the time.
Big brands have a team of people working to protect the brand’s reputation in the press and online. Since you’re probably a small business, you’ll have to do it yourself. You want to be notified when a disgruntled client complains about your work in an industry forum, on popular social media platforms or on a well-known blog. You want to use media monitoring tools so that you have the ability to respond to negative comments.
Find Business Opportunities on Social Media
Designers can also use media monitoring tools to capitalize on business opportunities. Again, pay attention to the problems that business owners are having related to their website. Social media is a great channel for spotting business potential opportunities as people tend to vent their frustrations there. If you find a business that’s asking for advice or complaining about a website problem, offer them some help and follow up with information about your design services.
By doing this, you’re establishing your authority and credibility as an experienced designer. You’re also offering an immense amount of value that the website owner will be inclined to reciprocate. You may be surprised at the results you can get just from reaching out to a few people on social media. In one moment, you may be giving advice about web hosting. The next moment, the website owner may look over your portfolio and get back to you about a project.
As you can see, designers can also use media monitoring to help their business. Unlike big brands, designers will have to approach it from more of a grass roots angle to get the most out these software tools. These tools are completely automated and it doesn’t require much time to go over the results once a day. For this reason, media monitoring can be a great business asset for designers looking to grow their personal brand and bring in new clients.