Birdeye vs Brightlocal: Which Online Reputation Management Platform Is Right for Your Business?

Online reputation management has become increasingly important for local businesses in recent years.

Over 95% of people research businesses online before engaging with them. With review sites like Yelp and Google becoming the first impression for many customers, managing your online reputation is now a critical part of running a successful local business.

Positive online reviews and ratings can attract new customers, while negative reviews can drive them away.

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means just a few bad reviews can severely impact a business’s bottom line.

That’s why investing in a robust online reputation management platform is so important. The right software allows you to monitor customer feedback across the web, respond appropriately, generate more positive reviews, and analyze your overall online reputation. Choosing the platform that best fits your business’s unique needs is key to managing your brand’s reputation and improving visibility online.

Brightlocal Overview

Brightlocal is a UK-based online reputation management company founded in 2009, which has helped over 100,000 businesses worldwide improve their online reputation.. They primarily target small and medium businesses looking to monitor, generate, and respond to online reviews across various sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Some of Brightlocal’s key features include:

  • Review monitoring—Track mentions and reviews across the web with alerts and reporting. Monitor review sentiment and volume over time.
  • Review generation—Collect reviews by sending review requests via email and SMS. Automate review collection.
  • Review responses—Receive alerts when you get a new review. Respond publicly or privately. Automate responses.
  • Insights—See analytics on review volume, sentiment, rankings, competitors. Identify opportunities.
  • Listings management—Sync business listings info across 90+ sites. Claim and optimize listings.

Brightlocal offers different pricing plans depending on the number of locations you need to manage. They have a free plan, a starter plan at $29/month, a standard plan at $99/month, and custom enterprise plans (quoted upon request).

Birdeye Overview

Birdeye is an online reputation management and customer experience platform founded in 2007 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Birdeye aims to help multi-location brands manage customer feedback and experiences across various touchpoints. Some of Birdeye’s key features include:

  • Review monitoring—Birdeye offers review monitoring across 100+ sites to track customer feedback and sentiment in one place. It sends alerts for new reviews and urgent issues. 
  • Insights and analytics—The platform provides dashboards and analytics to benchmark performance and identify opportunities. This includes reputation scores, response times, sentiment analysis, and more. 
  • Review generation—Birdeye enables businesses to generate more reviews through email and SMS review requests. They can customize templates and set automated triggers. 
  • Listings management—Businesses can manage info across listings on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp from one dashboard.

Birdeye aims to provide an all-in-one CX platform tailored for multi-location enterprises. Key capabilities focus on reputation management, review acquisition, and customer insight analytics. 

Review Monitoring

Both Brightlocal and Birdeye provide robust review monitoring capabilities to help businesses stay on top of new reviews.

Brightlocal monitors reviews across 100+ sites including Google, Facebook, Yelp, and more. It sends email or SMS alerts when new reviews come in so you can respond quickly. You can also set review response templates to streamline the process. Brightlocal also tracks review sentiment and metrics like star ratings over time.

Similarly, Birdeye monitors reviews from various sites and sends real-time notifications when new ones are posted. It tracks sentiment, ratings, key words, and more. You can set up custom alerts tailored to your business needs. Birdeye also lets you assign reviews for response and provides canned response templates.

Both platforms provide robust review monitoring and alerts to help businesses stay on top of their online reputation.

Review Generation

Both BrightLocal and Birdeye provide tools to help businesses generate more online reviews. This is a key part of reputation management, as positive reviews boost a company’s online reputation and help drive more customers.

BrightLocal enables users to send review requests via email and SMS. The platform integrates with Google My Business to find customer emails and phone numbers. Review requests can be customized with merge fields and scheduled to go out automatically. BrightLocal also offers resources like review sticker templates to encourage customers to leave reviews.

Birdeye has an advanced review generation system that uses AI to determine the best time to send each review request. Businesses can customize review request templates and set up automated workflows. Birdeye’s SMS review generation feature can pull customer phone numbers from the POS system. Users also get access to review stickers and other collateral to promote reviews.

While both platforms provide robust review generation features, Birdeye offers more customization options and smarter targeting based on AI algorithms. However, BrightLocal provides a simpler and more affordable solution for most small businesses’ needs.

Insights and Analytics

Both Brightlocal and Birdeye provide insights and analytics on reviews and online reputation. However, Birdeye offers more advanced analytics capabilities.

Brightlocal allows you to see review volume and average star rating over time. You can filter reviews by source, status, and sentiment. However, the insights are relatively basic compared to Birdeye.

Birdeye provides robust analytics through its “Insights” dashboard. You can analyze review volume, ratings, sentiment, keywords, and categories. Birdeye offers metrics on response times, resolution rates, competitors, and reputation trends. Custom reporting and data exports are also available.

One standout Birdeye feature is its “Reputation Benchmarking,” allowing you to compare your metrics to competitors in your city and category. Brightlocal lacks a competitive comparison feature.

Overall, Birdeye is the winner when it comes to actionable insights and analytics. The depth of reporting allows for tracking KPIs and identifying reputation gaps. Brightlocal provides sufficient high-level insights for monitoring overall trends.

Listings Management

Both Brightlocal and Birdeye provide tools to manage your business listings and profiles across various online directories. This allows you to update and synchronize your listing information like business name, address, phone number, website, hours, and description.

Brightlocal focuses on managing listings on the major directories like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Tripadvisor, and others. It provides a dashboard to monitor the health of your listings and push updates across over 100 directories. You can also track local SEO metrics like review counts, photos, and more. However, it lacks some more advanced features like managing duplicate listings.

Birdeye also manages listings on top directories but offers more advanced capabilities. You can audit existing listings to identify duplicates and errors. It also allows you to create and verify new listings in bulk. Birdeye offers deeper analytics into local SEO performance factors beyond just reviews. It’s regarded as one of the most powerful listings management solutions.

Overall, Birdeye provides more robust listings management capabilities, though Brightlocal covers the basics well. For most small businesses, Brightlocal should suffice, but those wanting maximum control over listings should choose Birdeye.

Pricing and Value

When comparing pricing and value, Birdeye and Brightlocal take different approaches. Birdeye has tiered subscription pricing starting at $199 per month for their Starter plan. This includes features like ten locations, review monitoring, and custom review links. The Plus plan is $399 per month for 25 locations, and the Pro plan is $599 per month for unlimited locations. There are also one-time setup fees.

Brightlocal uses a pay-as-you-go model with no subscription required. Features are priced individually—for example, review monitoring is $30 per month, and review generation is $50 per month. Listings management costs a one-time fee per listing. This à la carte model can work out cheaper than Birdeye’s subscriptions if you only need a limited feature set.

When evaluating value for money, Brightlocal argues that their pay-as-you-go model provides better value as you only pay for what you use. However, Birdeye provides more features in their subscriptions, so can work out better value if you make full use of them. Birdeye also emphasizes their reputation benchmarking as a key point of value.

Overall, Brightlocal has lower entry costs while Birdeye offers more robust features and analytics in their subscriptions. The right choice comes down to your specific budget and needs.

Brightlocal Pros and Cons

Brightlocal has several advantages as a reputation management platform, especially for small businesses on a budget. 

Pros:

  • Brightlocal starts at just $29/month, making it budget-friendly for small businesses.
  • Brightlocal includes robust review monitoring, alerts, and response tools.
  • The platform has an intuitive interface that is easy for beginners to navigate.
  • Brightlocal is known for providing helpful onboarding and ongoing support.

Cons:

  • Brightlocal does not offer competitor benchmarking or more sophisticated analytics.
  • Managing multiple locations and sub-accounts can be tricky.
  • Some users report minor technical glitches.

Overall, Brightlocal delivers excellent core reputation management capabilities for the price point. But businesses wanting more robust analytics or multi-location management may need to consider other options.

Birdeye Pros and Cons

Birdeye has several notable pros and cons that potential customers should be aware of.

Pros:

  • Robust analytics and insights into customer satisfaction and reputation 
  • Allows benchmarking against competitors’ reputations 
  • Integrates well with other systems like POS and CRM 

Cons:

  • More expensive than some competitors 
  • Interface can be complex for basic users

The Best Birdeye (and BrightLocal) Alternative

ReputationStacker offers a more well-rounded solution for businesses looking to monitor and manage their full online reputation. The featuress for responding to reviews, analyzing sentiment, removing fake reviews, and managing listings make it better suited for reputation management.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.

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