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How to Use Metadata in Media Monitoring

All modern-day businesses interface with metadata, whether they know it or not. Any time a company engages with digital information, they have engaged with metadata. But, what exactly is metadata? And, wouldn’t it be more useful if you could readily identify it, understand its specific strengths and then use it to its greatest extent in your media monitoring?

From internal documents to public social media content, metadata is being created and available to analyze every second of the day around the globe. We want to help you filter out the noise to focus in on the most beneficial metadata for your particular media monitoring needs, then rapidly and fluently leverage it for significant and extraordinary benefit to your business.

In this article, we will get to the heart of the complex concept of metadata, how to effectively use it in your media monitoring, and explain how media monitoring tools makes this easy.

What is metadata?

The easiest way to understand metadata is that it is data about data. It’s a description of data plus context or a summary that provides information about the particular digital data. It allows the algorithms in search technologies to organize, find, and then understand results, with maximum efficiency. Metadata is what powers and prioritizes the content delivery to further empower your discoveries, adding more detail to the metrics you’re already monitoring.

For example, basic metadata from a social media post would include information like the post’s author, the kind of post, as well as the date, time, and location of the post. But it doesn’t end there, metadata would also include the post’s likes, links, and comments (really, this is all just the tip of the metadata iceberg).

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Basic metadata

While metadata could seem like something highly technical to those unfamiliar with the term, in reality, it’s something that you're already viewing.

There are several examples of basic metadata that you're likely already pulling, including:

  • Region
  • Language
  • Date/Time
  • Audience Size/Reach
  • Word Count
  • Publication Type

The metadata can help your company see a fuller picture of the who, what, when, where, why, and how you’re being discussed.

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Next level metadata monitoring

When we get into next level metadata, we can see how it is the secret sauce that powers content delivery and discovery because of the additional level of detail and context it provides. What’s more, it helps prioritize the content that gets delivered to you, making it much more accessible for your entire team.

Next level metadata helps you:

  • Overcome information overload
  • Efficiently and accurately pinpoint results
  • Boost search relevancy with a single click
  • Analyze relevant topics
  • Eliminates the need for tedious parsing of data by hand

Using a tool like Nexis Newsdesk that includes metadata in its media monitoring, you can utilize different combinations to really zero-in and discover the proverbial needle in the haystack, allowing you to focus on the exact topic, angle, or idea to share with your audience.

There are four main types of advanced metadata monitoring can improve your media intelligence and provide you a better picture of your brand’s reach and impact: subject and industry indexes, source level ranking, advanced and custom tagging, and entity recognition and linking. In the next sections, we’ll explore what they are and how they can help your media monitoring.

Subject and industry indexes

Subject and industry indexing lets you take advantage of pre-created structures to easily find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, you can:

  • Capture very broad concepts in a single term. Rather than having to come up with an endless set of keywords for topics like airlines or trade agreements, subject and industry indexing lets you take advantage of testing and analysis that's already been completed by professional indexers.
  • Find companies with common names or high-volume news generators: There are companies with common names like “Orange” or “Saturn” and major companies that consistently have major stories in the news like Google and Amazon, that make it hard find relevant sources in an open web search. Subject and industry indexing adds contexts and provides only pertinent information.
  • Research industries: It can be very difficult to build out a keyword search that can capture an entire industry with traditional searching. Indexing technologies make these searches easier because you can roll up some of the narrower terms under a broader parent term, which makes your search much more inclusive.
  • Add context to monitoring results: It can be very difficult to disambiguate words like “discovery”, “bonds”, or “futures”, but using index terms and indexing technology, the task becomes much easier.
  • Find results that are otherwise difficult to represent keywords or phrases: Searching broad statements like “market share”, “rankings”, “statistics or trends” can yield too many results. Indexing, however, can save a tremendous amount of time paring it down to relevant information.
  • Search by subject and industry, proper names, multiple languages: Indexing covers a wide range of topics, subjects, industries, and proper names. It can also be captured across multiple languages.

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Source level ranking

Source level ranking helps you eliminate noise by removing sources that are characterized as press releases or low value mentions such as global market index reports, if these are not what you’re looking for.

It also will rank articles higher based on the merit of the source. This is the difference between picking a rank one source like The New York Times over an obscure blog that may be a rank six source. You can even use this component to sort by different levels, so things like circulation, reach or other factors can come into play while you’re sorting.

Source level ranking also allows you to selectively report on what many executives care about from the sources they care most about, meaning you can quickly and easily remove unnecessary, lower value content when share your report with your team.

Advanced and custom tagging

Advanced and custom tagging gives you the benefit of being able to create your own brand specific metadata beyond what you find with subject and industry indexing. Here, you're able to layer in your internal and external data points to give you a much more valuable set of results.

This includes things like point of view, time and place, or even event-based tagging for a higher level of accuracy. For example, if you work for Gucci and you’re hosting a special dinner for some key influencers during New York Fashion Week, there would be a wide range of very specific keywords from the event that you would want to use to tag articles to give you a more comprehensive understanding how you did during that period.

Entity recognition and linking

Finally, entity recognition and linking ensures you are not missing out on valuable content and that you can identify specific entities when names are ambiguous.

Entity recognition helps you differentiate between things like Apple (the company) and apple (the fruit) or Shell (the company) versus physical seashells. Additionally, it will distinguish between people with the same name—like Anne Hathaway, the actress, and Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare—depending on the context of your search.

In the same vein, entity recognition will link mentions of the same entity that might be referred to in different ways. For example, the handles @POTUS and @JoeBiden refer to the same person, though their titles are different. With metadata, you’ll be able to link these distinct handles to one search and find the information you need.

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How metadata makes a difference

Metadata is an incredibly useful and prolific source of data that can help your business in innumerable ways. It prioritizes and streamline your media measurement, eliminates the noise and inefficiencies through source ranking and produces more meaningful analysis when layering searches and data. The possibilities are endless and can easily be tailored to your specific industry and unique company needs.

Rapidly and thoroughly analyze top industry and subject terms and indexes to move your metadata understanding to the next level. You can simply assess and understand what’s being said about your brand, how you stack up against competitors, and which top industry and subject terms will improve your brand.

With nearly 100K news sources and millions of social posts and articles added daily, from across the globe, there has never been a better time to level up your media monitoring with metadata. Gain access to unlimited media monitoring searches today, all in one place. Start your Lexis Newsdesk free 7-day trial today!

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