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What is Share of Voice and Why Does It Matter?

Author:  Katy Flatt


Reading Time: 9 minutes
What is Share of Voice and Why Does It Matter?

Any talented digital marketer knows that they must understand and leverage key metrics to help their campaigns succeed. Share of voice (SOV) is one such metric.

SOV may have been developed decades ago, but it is no less relevant to marketers of today. 

This article will dig deep into SOV, giving readers a clear understanding of what this metric is and why it is still crucial in modern digital marketing.

Defining Share of Voice

SOV is a metric that measures how much conversation or coverage a brand receives compared to other brands in the same industry. Digital marketers use SOV to assess a brand’s market presence and visibility.

Traditional advertisers originally used this term to signify the percentage of media spend that a brand commanded in its industry or category. However, the digital age has caused the definition of SOV to extend to include a wide range of metrics.

What Metrics Does Share of Voice Consider?

In digital marketing, SOV can measure both quantitative and qualitative aspects of a brand’s online presence.

Marketers can compose this holistic measure by considering various individual metrics, including the volume of mentions a brand receives (for example, on social media, blogs, or news outlets), the share of search engine results, the brand’s advertising reach, and the social media engagement the brand receives. 

Why Does Share of Voice Matter?

By measuring and interpreting a brand’s SOV, marketers can leverage two main benefits to their advantage: improved market performance and invaluable competitive analysis.

How Share of Voice Impacts Market Performance

SOV’s usefulness does not end with better brand visibility. Studies have found a strong correlation between SOV and market share. This synergy suggests that increasing a brand’s SOV can lead to increased sales and revenue. SOV can also enhance key performance indicators such as lead generation and customer engagement.

Curve comparing Share of Voice (SOV) with Share of Market (SOM)
Curve comparing Share of Voice (SOV) with Share of Market (SOM)

Share of Voice Can Be a Competitive Analysis Tool

Marketers can use SOV to perform competitive analysis. The metrics that SOV encompasses can provide a bird’s eye view of a brand’s position in the marketplace. When a marketer understands how their brand’s SOV stacks up to that of other brands, they can gauge the effectiveness of their marketing strategies and identify areas in need of improvement.

The Role of Various Marketing Strategies in Shaping Share of Voice

Different marketing strategies have varying effects on a brand’s SOV. The key to improving SOV (and, therefore, brand perception, visibility, and presence) is to employ a blend of tactics, from the old favorites to the new innovations. This section takes a close look at four marketing strategies and their effects on SOV.

Email Marketing

Harnessing the Power of Direct Communication

Email marketing is an oldie but a goodie. This powerful tool can help marketers shape a brand’s SOV by building lasting positive relationships with customers. Those connections will influence both the volume and the sentiment of brand mentions for the better.

Crafting Impactful Email Campaigns

The key to building positive brand-customer relationships through email marketing is to craft relevant, engaging, and impactful campaigns. Personalization goes a long way toward creating an excellent campaign. When a marketer tailors emails to the interests and needs of the recipient, open and engagement rates can soar. Plus, a successful email campaign can result in more brand mentions and discussions.

Engagement Rates For Email and Social Media Campaigns
Engagement Rates For Email and Social Media Campaigns

Measuring and Optimizing for Share of Voice

Marketers should focus on tracking a few critical email marketing metrics to effectively influence a brand’s SOV:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rates

This data will provide key insights into whether the email content resonates with the target audience, thereby helping marketers predict the volume and tone of brand mentions. Marketers should also be sure to cleanse disposable email addresses from their mailing lists, as delivering to these email addresses can negatively affect brand perception and SOV.

Influencer Partnerships

Leveraging Influencer Reach

Influencer marketing is a relatively new strategy, but marketers should not underestimate its effectiveness. When brands collaborate with influencers who have a large, strong, and engaged follower base, they can see their brand messages amplified. And influencers can not only help brands break into new niches but also drive brand discussions.

Strategically Aligning with Influencers

Selecting an influencer may seem like a daunting task, but it is really quite simple. Marketers should reach out to influencers whose values and audience align with the brand’s target market. This kind of compatible partnership will ensure that the brand’s message reaches the right people in a way that feels genuine, natural, and engaging.

Public Relations and Media Outreach

Enhancing Brand Visibility Through Public Relations

Public relations (PR) and media outreach fall into the tried-and-true category. However, these strategies can be revamped for the digital age to increase a brand’s visibility and credibility. 

Examples of effectively leveraging these strategies include getting featured in digital news articles, podcast or video interviews, and media reports.

Building Relationships with Media Outreach

Marketers hoping to build successful PR should build and maintain relationships with journalists, bloggers, and media outlets. These entities can open the door to press releases, media events, and more, all of which will increase a brand’s media coverage and SOV.

Paid Advertising

The Impact of Paid Advertising on Share of Voice

Paid advertising is another traditional marketing strategy that remains effective through the digital age. In digital marketing, paid advertising takes the form of search engine advertising, social media ads, and more. These kinds of campaigns can positively affect a brand’s SOV by elevating its brand presence and reach.

Strategic Campaign Planning

Strategic planning is crucial to the ability of any paid advertising campaign to enhance SOV. There are four steps marketers can take to plan a campaign strategically:

  1. Selecting the right platforms
  2. Targeting the appropriate audience
  3. Perfecting the ad copy for maximum impact
  4. Establishing a feedback loop and adjusting the approach based on performance data

How to Enhance Share of Voice Through Strategic Initiatives

Marketers seeking to improve a brand’s SOV should consider the following four powerful strategies.

Leverage Social Media

Engage and Connect on Social Platforms

Social media platforms are excellent, unique spaces where brands can actively connect with their audience in a personal way. These platforms are also a great way for brands to amplify their voice.

Marketers hoping to leverage social media should be sure to post regular content and engage in actual conversations with followers in addition to posting content. The more quickly a brand responds to comments and participates in discussions, the more quickly they will see increased SOV.

Launch Innovative Social Media Campaigns

User-generated content is a rather new type of content that marketers are leveraging. Marketers can launch innovative campaigns that encourage user participation by hosting challenges, contests, or hashtag campaigns. These campaigns can drive users to mention the brand, therefore boosting SOV.

Implement Search Engine Optimization

Understanding SEO Best Practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital strategy for brands hoping to maintain an effective digital presence. Higher search engine rankings can contribute to SOV. However, this tactic requires more than just using the appropriate keywords. SEO works best when a brand creates high-quality, relevant content that focuses on answering questions and solving problems for its audience. 

Improve Technical SEO and User Experience

SEO features such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and structured data not only boost rankings but also enhance the user experience. By treating site visitors to a seamless user experience, a brand can encourage those visitors to engage more with the brand’s content.

Invest in Content Marketing

Develop a Strong Content Strategy

Content marketing is a long-term strategy. Its purpose is to provide high-quality, informative content such as blogs, videos, podcasts, or infographics to build a relationship with a brand’s target audience. The heart and soul of a strong content strategy is going beyond selling a product to offer value to the brand’s audience. This method fosters trust and increases engagement, thereby enhancing SOV.

Diversify Content Distribution Channels

Content should be delivered through multiple channels, for example social media, email newsletters, and blogs. This tactic helps a brand reach a wider audience.

Content Marketing - Customer Centric Storytelling
Content Marketing – Customer Centric Storytelling

Measure Through Analytics

Using Analytics Tools

Analytics is perhaps the most important tool marketers can use to improve SOV. Using analytics tools to track mentions, sentiment, and engagement across multiple channels, marketers can gain valuable insights into how and where the brand is generating buzz. Once a marketer has a clear idea of the brand’s position in the marketplace, they can map out an appropriate course of action to drive improvement.

Continually Analyze Share of Voice and Refine Strategies

It is all well and good to perform one analysis of a brand’s SOV metrics. However, continually checking in on those metrics and adjusting its strategy accordingly is a brand’s key to success over time. With a bit of agility and adaptability, brands can stay ahead of the curve and not only maintain but, you guessed it, grow their SOV!

Integrating Share of Voice Measurement for Competitive Brand Positioning

For brands aiming for superior positioning in the market, understanding and integrating SOV measurement into marketing strategies is indispensable. And as digital marketers tackle the complexities of marketing in the digital age, understanding how their marketing efforts influence a brand’s SOV is paramount.

Share of Voice FAQs 

  • How do I calculate share of voice? – For social media, the equation we use is: SOV = Your brand mentions / (Your brand mentions + Your competitors’ brand mentions) X 100%
  • How can I track share of voice? – A social media analytics tool that automates the process of social listening is the best way to make sure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to SOV. 
  • How does SOV differ from impressions or reach? – SOV adds depth to the concepts of raw impressions and reach by comparing them to competitors to show how much of the total possible audience you’ve touched. It’s an important metric for understanding your brand awareness in the context of your industry.  

Key Takeaways

The importance of Share of Voice (SOV) cannot be overstated for digital marketers, as it serves as a critical metric that offers deep insights into a brand’s market positioning and the effectiveness of its marketing initiatives.

The impact of various marketing strategies, ranging from email campaigns to paid advertising, on SOV is significant, as each approach can affect a brand’s visibility and presence in the digital arena in distinct ways.

To enhance SOV, businesses can adopt multiple strategies, such as harnessing the power of social media to boost engagement or employing analytics to refine and improve their marketing tactics continually.

Therefore, integrating SOV into the core of marketing planning is essential for companies aiming to secure a stronger brand position and sustain their competitive edge in the market.

Share of Voice FAQs

How is Share of Voice (SOV) calculated in the context of social media?

SOV can be calculated using the formula: Your brand mentions divided by the sum of your brand mentions and your competitors’ brand mentions, multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. This calculation provides a quantitative measure of your brand’s presence in social conversations relative to competitors.

What are the best methods for tracking Share of Voice effectively?

Utilizing a social media analytics tool that offers social listening capabilities is crucial. Such tools automate the process, ensuring comprehensive tracking of SOV by capturing every mention and conversation relevant to your brand and competitors.

In what ways does Share of Voice differ from impressions and reach?

Unlike impressions or reach that quantify the extent of content dissemination, SOV delves deeper by comparing these metrics against those of competitors. This comparison helps to contextualize brand awareness within the industry, offering insights into the competitive landscape.

Why is Share of Voice a critical metric for digital marketers today?

SOV provides invaluable insights into a brand’s market positioning and the impact of marketing strategies on brand visibility. By understanding and optimizing SOV, marketers can enhance brand perception, visibility, and presence in the digital sphere, thereby improving overall market performance and competitive advantage.

About the author

Katy Flatt
Katy Flatt

Katy Flatt works as a freelance marketing consultant for Stampli and other agencies. She’s passionate about streamlining workflows, comms, and improving employee and customer experience. When she isn’t digitally organizing or writing, she can be found corralling foster animals.

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