PPC is an industry awash with metrics, many of which are less important than others. One which you cannot afford to ignore is Share of Voice. Beyond “visibility of your campaigns compared to your competitors” what actually is Share of Voice? And why is it important?

A person with a megaphone representing share of voice

By the end of this post, you’ll be in possession of a comprehensive conceptual understanding, plus you’ll be fully versed on how to make use of it to inform your PPC campaign decision-making.

What is Share of Voice?

Share of voice, which you might also hear referred to as SOV, is the metric used to measure the visibility of your brand compared to your competitors. Needless to say, the more market share you own, the more authority and awareness you gain among users and potential customers.

Share of Voice can be used to measure a brand’s share across different digital marketing channels, such as volume of mentions on social media, PPC, SEO, and PR. 

Why Is It Important To Calculate Share Of Voice?

SOV is a powerful enough metric to help you understand where your brand stands in the grand scheme, giving you the insights you need to scale, and convert new users.

Here are three areas where SOV can change the game for your business. 

1. Track User Conversations

How do you determine your product success across the different marketing channels? Using metrics, of course!

Using social media share of voice metrics to determine users’ opinions regarding certain brands and topics is a terrific idea. The metric does all the heavy lifting to help you align your product or service with the consumer’s thought process and needs.  

Share of voice data can help you figure out all of those things consumers are struggling with—a unique opportunity to hit the pain points and offer real solutions. 

Let’s assume that your company provides business assessment services. After calculating the SOV metric, the data tells you that many clients aren’t satisfied with your competitor’s lack of comprehensive financial analysis tools. Your best bet is to offer a strong and advanced financial analysis feature to gain that competitive advantage straight away.

2. Keeping an Eye on Your Competitors

No matter what your marketing game plan is, keeping tabs on your competition will always allow you to stay ahead of the curve. Calculating Share of Voice is one of the best ways to do this. 

When you paint a clearer picture of what goes into the competitive landscape, you’ll not only have the opportunity to enhance your product, but you’ll also identify unmet needs in the market and create a solid lead generation funnel.

3. Brand Reputation Management

“What about the conversations about my personal brand?” Guess what? You can measure those too! This allows you to slice and dice your data, and see how your brand reputation stacks up against the competition.

Never underestimate the power of those brand conversations, whether they’re about product pricing, performance, new fundraising — or even a small feature update, as they can help you get that first-mover advantage, and enhance your brand reputation.

What’s the Difference Between Share of Voice and Market Share?

Share of Voice calculates brand awareness on a particular marketing channel, while market share refers to the percentage of a market that a business owns, either by income or number of clients. 

These two metrics might sound very similar, and they both measure your performance compared to your competitors. Market share, however, is the percentage you get in terms of sales, while share of voice is the percentage of the conversations you earn across various marketing channels. 

So imagine you’re in the smartphone industry production, and you’re launching a new model called the Spider Phone. Now, let’s say there are two major players in the market: company A (we’ll call them Techies) and company B (let’s call this Innotech).

For example, if Techies have a 40% market share, this means they hold 40 out of every 100 customers. On the flip side, if Innotech has a 50% share of voice, this signifies that half of the conversations about smartphones in a particular market are dominated by their brand.

How Do You Measure Share Of Voice? 

Here is the formula to calculate your brand’s share of voice across all the marketing channels:

Share of voice = (Your brand metrics / Total market metrics) x 100

Getting it right manually will take a little more work than that, since there are variations on certain metrics. The good news is that there’s a whole bunch of tools out there that complete this process with just a few clicks.

Social Media SOV 

Social media share of voice is a valuable metric to be in possession of, and it’s not hard to see why. You are actually measuring consumer conversations straight from their actual posts. This is where social media analytics tools can do their magic. 

Social media analytics software will automatically identify your brand or product mentions across platforms. You can then benchmark your brand against the rest of the direct competitors. 

The features are pretty advanced, giving you a ton of valuable data at your fingertips, while allowing you to conduct a comprehensive social media competitive analysis. You can play around with metrics like impressions, engagement, unique authors, and more.

PPC Share Of Voice

Your PPC share of voice tells you basically how often your ads actually get seen versus how often they could have been seen. Google AdWords helps you measure this through a feature called Impression Share. What this feature does is analyze your campaign and keyword settings to figure out just how far your ads could reach.

Find out your SOV in four simple steps:

  1. Log in to your Google AdWords account.
  2. Head over to the Campaigns tab and hit up the columns icon.
  3. Choose “Modify columns” and then click on “Competitive metrics.”
  4. Select the impression rate you want to keep an eye on.

PPC share of voice data will tell you how well the campaigns you run are performing and where you should be allocating your budget.

SEO Share Of Voice

When it comes to SEO share of voice, your one-stop solution is SEO tools. The in-built features found in software like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz allow you to effortlessly compare your brand’s visibility to your competition. 

Semrush’s Position Tracking tool is the name of the game. This tool will reveal the traffic your website is getting for a targeted keyword compared to your competitors. 

It’s simple to set up a Position Tracking campaign, conduct a keyword research and list out these targeted keywords. Once Semrush does its job and updates its data, you’ll see your share of voice right there on the main graph in addition to other metrics like average position, visibility, and estimated traffic. 

Best of all? You can seamlessly switch between each metric to see how you compare in each one. 

Amine Boussassi is a Marketing Manager for Hustler Ethos.