Share of Voice: Why Is It So Important

20 mins read

Imagine that you’re traveling, your backpack has broken and you need to buy a new one in a good shop. There are many shops in the neighborhood to choose from, so you turn to Google to find a shop. How would you make your choice? Easy! The results show a particular shop with thousands of positive online reviews and even Instagram posts they’ve been featured in. You click for directions and head out the door. This is how Share of Voice works.

Share of Voice (SOV) is important for every business. You’ll get more customers by increasing your positive presence in the online discussions. In this article, we´ll cover what a share of voice is, how to calculate the share of voice, ways to increase your share of voice on social media, tools for Measuring SOV,  and more. Let’s start.

What is a Share of Voice metric?

Share of voice measures your brand’s presence compared to your competitors. It’s a key metric in brand marketing that tells you how much you’re being mentioned, compared to others in your industry. 

An example of SOV:

Imagine you sell pet supplies. If there are 100 mentions of pet supplies shops on social media and 20 of those mentions are about your shop, your share of voice would be 20%. This directly impacts your brand visibility and engagement. A higher SOV usually means your business is top of mind for clients, increasing the chance to choose you over competitors. 

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Why do you need to measure the Share of Voice?

Share of voice is not just another number; it’s a crucial metric of your brand’s real-time health and competitive stance. It serves as a scoreboard that not only estimates your market presence but also offers valuable insights into customer engagement and brand authority. 

Let’s look at a real-world illustration to underline its importance:

Amazon dominated the online fashion retail sector in the US, featuring a share of voice of 16% from April to June 2023. This number doesn’t show just the great professionalism of Amazon’s marketers; it reflects the power of a strong SOV in carving out market leadership. By tracking and optimizing its SOV, Amazon has managed to not just exist but excel in its niche. 

Knowing your SOV provides several advantages such as:

Competitive benchmarking:

Allows you to see your place in the marketplace. Understanding Share of Voice is one of the best ways to do this. 

Brand health:

Share of voice plays a pivotal role in shaping brand reputation and consumer trust. An upward trend in SOV usually signifies that your company is gaining popularity and establishing itself stronger in consumers’ minds. This improves your brand’s appeal and boosts customer loyalty. 

Strategic planning:

Assists you in making data-driven decisions for future marketing campaigns. 

ROI perspective:

This can help in estimating the effectiveness of marketing strategies over time. If you notice an uptick in your share of voice, you can be sure of the effectiveness of your marketing techniques.

By knowing the SOV metric, your business has a better understanding of the challenges and your current position in the market, giving you more data on how to achieve growth and captivate users.

When you have a clear picture of what goes into the competitive landscape, you’ll not only have the opportunity to improve your product, but you’ll also see unmet needs in the market and create a strong lead generation funnel.

How to calculate the share of voice

Share of Voice has the following formula:

Share of voice = Your brand metrics / Total market metrics

For instance, if your company was mentioned on social media 200 times in the last week, and all brands in your category were mentioned a total of 2,000 times, then you have a 10% share of voice in terms of social media mentions.

Types of SOV

SOV in Social Media

This is one of the most reliable indicators as it is based on people’s posts and comments. Analytical tools for social media help automate this process by identifying all online references to a company or product. You can then compare your company’s metrics with those of competitors.

Use the formula: 

(Your brand’s mentions / Total industry mentions) x 100 

SOV within media

If the previous one is the voice of the users and the customer, the share of voice in the media could be called the metric of the “sector voice“. It reflects how consolidated the company is in the eyes of industry experts and peers.

The SOV calculation for online media is particularly useful for gauging our public relations and content strategies and finding the media to focus on.

Use the formula: 

(Your brand’s mentions / Total industry mentions) x 100 

Remember, the credibility of the source and the sentiment of the mention can add weight to your SOV. PRNEWS.IO provides a list of credible and the most popular local and national outlets. Check it out on this page. 

SOV in PPC

With the paid search share of voice metric, you can measure your position relative to competitors in search engine results. It calculates the share of impressions your ads received compared to the total number of possible impressions (for example, 730 out of 1000 impressions). 

In the same way, you can find out the number of impressions competitors received. There is also the concept of “win rate,” which shows the number of impressions that secured better positions than competitors.

Use the next formula: 

(Your brand’s ad clicks / Total ad clicks) x 100 

Remember to keep an eye on the advertisement position and Quality Score, as they impact your visibility. 

SOV in SEO

Share of Voice SEO helps you to see the percentage of clicks your website receives compared to all ranked domains for specific keyword groups. 

Here’s the formula:

SOV = (Total Traffic / Total Search Volume) x 100

Of course, you may also specify this formula and calculate the Organic Search SOV:

(Your brand’s organic traffic / Total organic traffic) x 100 

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is considered for each position in search results. SOV helps estimate a website’s competitiveness and visibility in the context of specific keywords. It is useful for measuring the effectiveness of SEO efforts compared to competitors.

Share of Voice vs Share of Market: What’s the Difference Between SOV and SOM?

Both metrics serve to evaluate your competitiveness. While Share of Voice estimates the brand’s recognition on specific media channels, Share of Market focuses on the percentage of the market share you have in terms of revenue or the number of customers. 

In other words, SOM shows you the percentage of your sales, while SOV measures the percentage of discussions about your business in the media.

Compare the formula of SOM:

SOM = Your Brand’s Sales / Total Sales in the Category

There is also a correlation between ESOV and increased brand awareness or improved audience perception of the brand as high quality.

What’s ESOV?

Excess Share of Voice (ESOV) is another important metric for marketers. It was invented in the 1990s to determine the right amount of marketing spending in relation to the overall goal of business growth. 

For example, if a brand generates 10% of sales in its category but has a 15% Share of Voice, its ESOV is +5. A brand has an Excess Share of Voice (ESOV) when its Share of Voice (SOV) exceeds its market share.

Use the next formula: 

ESOV = Share of Voice – Market Share.

Tools for Measuring SOV

For calculating SOV having reliable data is crucial. It’s hard to do it without AI and automatization, so check out our list of tools and services. 

SOV for SMM

Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is an optimal share of voice service. It helps manage social media, providing such features as tracking brand mentions, keywords, and hashtags. Hootsuite Insights allows users to track their brand mentions, sentiment analysis, and social media analytics in real time. 

Talkwalker 

Talkwalker helps you find brand mentions in news, social media, and blogs. In addition to Share of Voice, it also provides you with data on user sentiment. You can use Talkwalker in 25 languages, making it a great option for businesses that work internationally.

Brandwatch

Brandwatch is another share-of-voice service that can help monitor this metric in social media and news mentions. Among its features are comparisons of the Share of Voice between brands and the analysis of customer sentiment, location, and other demographic indicators. Brandwatch’s customer sentiment analysis can help discover any risks and provide valuable data in your share of voice reports.

Brand24

Brand24 is a cutting-edge share-of-voice tool that empowers businesses to track and analyze their online presence comprehensively. This service provides unparalleled access to mentions across a lot of media channels: social media, news outlets, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews, and more.

SOV for PPC

Google Ads

When it comes to measuring the Share of Voice in PPC advertising, it’s hard to find a better tool than Google Ads. To estimate your Share of Voice in contextual advertising, you can use their Impression Share metric. What’s valuable is that Google’s tools work seamlessly together, so if you already have Search Console, you can link it to your Google Ads account.

Semrush

Semrush is a comprehensive digital marketing service that offers a range of tools for SEO, PPC advertising, content marketing, and social media management.

SOV for SEO

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a reliable tool for measuring the Share of Voice in SEO. You can easily take a metric of your organic traffic compared to competitors using the batch analysis feature. Additionally, you can use backlinks to monitor your competitors’ Share of Voice by comparing them with the keywords you want to rank for. 

SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is a tool that measures the total amount of traffic different websites get. It allows you to see the insights about your webpage and competitors’ top traffic sources, broken down into six major categories, including referring sites, social traffic, and top search keywords.

How To Improve Share of Voice

To keep your business ahead of its competitors, you’ll need to look at ways to improve its Share of Voice. If you don’t know where to start, here are some valuable tips: 

Improve Content Strategy and Social Media Mentions

When creating content, keep in mind your target audience. Create useful content for them. Experiment with videos, infographics, and other formats of content to address pain points and interests. 

Remember that consistency is key. Your marketing team should be posting regularly. 

In addition, use a social listening tool to understand and track online conversations about your brand. These services alert you to social media mentions, reviews, and other pertinent discussion points where your company is presented. 

Engage More on Social Media Platforms

Engaging with your prospects or clients on social media is another great way to improve Share of Voice. Customers enjoy interacting with businesses they want to support. Also, building a community online around your own brand helps foster positive customer sentiment and drive brand loyalty. 

Enhance SEO Efforts

Optimizing your website for search engines is essential for boosting the organic visibility on search engine results pages. Research and target high-potential keywords that align with your industry and audience. 

When creating valuable content for outlets or your blog, you want it to be keyword-rich content that answers a searcher’s question. Conduct comprehensive competitor research and look into keyword and campaign settings to increase your website traffic. 

Reach out to news outlets to see if they would be interested in featuring your products or services. Getting a backlink from news sites builds credibility and boosts organic traffic. Moreover, gaining the endorsement of trusted voices expands your reach, thus improving your share of voice in public discourse. 

Use Paid Advertising Effectively

Measure PPC share with a Share of Voice tool to see how ads are positioned within the market compared to competitors. Information such as paid advertising clicks reflects areas of strengths and any opportunities for improvement. 

Use a variety of platforms for paid advertising beyond Google Ads, including social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This will increase the chances of reaching the prospects, and you’ll be able to measure the share of paid media presence. 

Improve Email marketing strategy

Personalize your emails based on user behavior and preferences of your audience. Highly targeted messages resonate more, reinforcing your company’s presence in a crowded inbox and contributing to your overall share of voice.  

Manage customer reviews and testimonials

Use services like Capterra to gather and showcase positive feedback. These third-party tools enhance credibility, making your brand look more solid and reliable. 

Common Mistakes When Measuring Share of Voice

Be careful: even if you use a tool to measure Share of Voice, there are still some common mistakes you’d like to avoid so you can spend more time on important tasks instead of handling data errors. 

Here are some of the common pitfalls marketers make when measuring Share of Voice: 

Incomplete Competitive Analysis

You may think you already know your main competitors. However, focusing solely on your biggest competitors results in inaccurate data. 

Avoid overlooking new and emerging businesses or niche competitors–they have the potential to affect your SOV measurements significantly. Use a competitor analysis tool to identify both direct and indirect competitors across platforms, ensuring a comprehensive analysis that truly reflects your client’s industry.

Ignoring Major Social Media Networks or Marketing Channels

Another common mistake is ignoring specific media platforms or marketing channels. In today’s diverse digital ecosystem, there are so many media channels out there and they are used by distinct audiences. Ignoring certain platforms deprives you of the visibility of some groups of prospects.

Think of local or industry networks, online groups, news articles, or forums (yes, people still read them). This provides you with a more holistic view of your client’s online presence.

Misinterpretation of Data

Misinterpreting Share of Voice data is a frustrating but rather common mistake. Keep in mind that a higher SOV doesn’t necessarily mean success, especially if it’s driven by low-quality content or negative sentiment. At the same time, a lower SOV might be acceptable if it’s the result of a strategic focus on specific high-value channels. 

Analyze other metrics. Focus on sentiment analysis, engagement metrics, and qualitative insights to gain a nuanced understanding of your brand’s Share of Voice.

Wrapping Up

Using Share of Voice is another helpful tool to win new clients and improve the loyalty of the current clients. Understanding SOV helps identify growth opportunities, build solid strategies, and deliver results that matter. 

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