Share of voice guide for marketers
Do you know your share of voice? Do you know what SOV means? How important is it? Think competitive advantage, customer engagement, campaign effectiveness, brand awareness. I'm going to explain why you must start tracking your SOV. The metrics to measure, and how to increase your share of voice in your industry. Let's make some noise...
Table of contents
- What does share of voice mean?
- Why is share of voice important?
- How do I measure my share of voice and which SOV tools?
- How do I increase my brand’s share of voice?
- Example share of voice report - Tesla
Definition of SOV - a measure of the market your brand owns
compared to your competitors.
Talkwalker’s consumer intelligence platform measuring airlines’ SOV.
Definition of share of voice in marketing
In digital marketing, the share of voice of an organization is usually defined as the share of conversations generated around their brand, products or services on different channels - news sites, blogs, forums, social media, offline channels - compared with its direct competitors.
Coca-Cola vs Pepsi shows that YouTube is driving the most engagement for both brands. (Talkwalker simulated report)
It’s an indicator that helps you measure brand awareness on your different marketing channels compared to your competitors. Share of voice is a form of competitive analysis.
This indicator can also be further broken down by topic, region, or language to extract additional insights for your marketing strategy.
Some marketing professionals go beyond brand mentions, and look at the SEO ranking and click through rate - CTR - of owned content for specific keywords.
Share of voice best practice
Don’t limit yourself.
Go beyond measuring your voice on social media and check out your brand presence on other channels.
Share of voice vs share of topic
While these terms are close in meaning, there are differences…
- Share of voice might refer to a more general context - overall comparison with competitors
- Share of topic specifically indicates that you’re comparing brand mentions within a specific topic of conversation
Okay, let’s look at an example of share of topic. You’re an automotive brand who produces electric cars. You should monitor public conversations on the topic of electric cars, and compare how many times your brand is mentioned compared to your competitors. You could also measure your brand mentions linked to autonomous cars, or the safest cars, and compare these results with the previous topic.
The share of voice among most automotive brands varies
depending on the region, except for Tesla.
In February 2022, we looked at the conversations surrounding EVs across regions, and saw variations in the brands that led share of voice. It’s evident that Tesla leads discussions across all regions, while other brands have higher presence in certain regions, such as Ford and GM in the Americas, and Hyundai in Asia-Pacific. Limiting your research to a global share of voice can mean that you overlook what happens at a regional level.
Share of topic is similar to the concept of share of voice, but it’s focused on a specific subject matter.
The share of topic indicator is used to evaluate the performance of a brand’s communication strategy. Your overall share of voice might be very strong, but are you top of mind in discussions surrounding topics that are directly linked to your products and services? Are your key messages reflected in the conversations of your consumers? This metric will help you determine whether you’re reaching your target audience.
Share of voice vs impression share
Impression share looks at the percentage of people doing an organic search for a specific keyword that’s included in your paid advertising. This number will be impacted by the size of your budget, compared to the daily search volume of said keyword.
Impression share allows you to measure the audience penetration of your ads. While the share of voice measures your overall brand awareness. This metric is typically used to measure the performance of Pay Per Click - PPC - campaigns.
If you want to learn more about this metric, take a look at this article from the Digital Reach Agency.
If you want consumers to buy your products, they have to be able to find you. You need to be visible.
Brand awareness has to be a top priority for your marketing team. But, which competitive metrics should you use to measure your performance?
The share of voice of your brand is a great metric to help you gauge the visibility of your brand, as well as to evaluate the results of your marketing efforts over a specific time period, in a specific region, or across your different marketing channels.
In June 2021, food delivery brands were a lifeline for consumers stuck in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic…
Using consumer intelligence, we looked at the global view and found the shifting share of voice of delivery apps, with some taking a big slice in certain markets, but competing in others.
Food delivery brands expanded into new markets, as others consolidated their presence in existing ones. For instance… Rappi dominated conversations in Latin America, Deliveroo in Europe, Africa, and Australia. For food delivery brands, it was essential that they understood the global scene… which competitor had the loudest share of voice, and where, before they tried to enter a new market.
A thorough analysis of your share of voice will help you understand the impact your brand is making on your industry, as well as identify how you can improve your social strategy and meet your business goals.
The “Elbow Grease” Approach
Identify all mentions of your brand for a set period of time, as well as those of your most important competitors through automated alerts.
Yes, this’ll take time!
Once you have your total number of mentions - own brand + competitors - it’s time to grab your calculator or excel sheet and calculate the percentage represented by each brand.
Here’s a formula to help you picture this, if you’re looking at your own brand (brand X) in comparison to your competitors (brands Y & Z).
(Number of mentions of brand X / total number of brand mentions (X+Y+Z)) x 100 = share of voice in %
If you want to go deeper in your analysis, remember that not all brand mentions are equal. Comparing absolute numbers is an interesting exercise, but context is everything.
Add a qualitative analysis next to your share of voice pie chart to put these results in context. For instance, a surge in social media mentions from Taylor Swift fans is probably not valuable if you’re a high-level SaaS provider, as it’s unlikely these consumers will buy your product.
You could qualify these mentions based on…
- The sentiment of the post - positive/negative/neutral
- The nature of the publication (is it the Wall Street Journal? Is it a relevant trade publication?)
- The prominence of your brand in the text (is it in the title of the article? Is it mentioned in passing? Is it the main topic of the article?)
Best share of voice tools
Use a free mention or alerts tool, such as Google Alerts or Talkwalker Alerts (pssst... ours includes Twitter results).
Use Talkwalker Alerts to capture every mention of your brand, product, service, CEO, etc., to measure your share of voice in your industry.
If you want to go beyond the spreadsheet approach we suggested above, here are a few SOV tools you may consider to help you automate this task.
Talkwalker's consumer intelligence platform
Automate your share of voice monitoring.
Pepsi mentions spiked in August due to the brand's announcement of Hong Kong rapper, Jackson Wang, as a new brand ambassador. Overall, the global market share of mentions for Coca-Cola accounts for almost 3/4 of the market. (Talkwalker simulated report)
Calculating share of voice can be tedious and time-consuming without a social listening tool to help you collect all of your brand mentions.
Additionally, let’s face it, you won’t be able to capture everything manually or through freemium solutions. Take a look at our client HelloFresh, who’s finding 400% more monthly mentions thanks to the monitoring system it put in place!
Advantages of a professional social listening tool when it comes to share of voice…
- Broader coverage - news sites, blogs, forums, social media platforms, podcasts, hidden visual mentions in images and videos
- One platform for all your data - online, social, own company data
- Ability to slice and dice the data based on specific topics, channels, total markets, languages, etc.
- Ongoing monitoring of your brand reputation through real-time dashboards
- Save time with automated reports delivered straight to your inbox at the end of each month
Share of voice best practice
Consider monitoring visual mentions of your brand - earned mentions of your brand logo in images and videos - especially if you’re a B2C brand.
In the age of the smartphone, people upload billions of lifestyle videos and images on social media, and several of these feature your brand logo without mentioning your brand in the text.
Using Talkwalker's image recognition feature, we identified the various brands that were being talked about during Dry January.
Get your audience and others to talk about your brand.
Told you it was simple.
Here are the three main channels you should consider if you want to increase your share of voice…
These traditional media mentions are generally achieved through a great sponsorship and PR strategy.
There’s a good reason why 94% of marketers use influencer marketing… because it drives 11x more ROI than traditional marketing.
A brand mention from the right influencer will increase your brand awareness, and bring authenticity to your business. Start building long-term relationships with key influencers of all sizes - nano, micro, macro - your target audience.
User-generated content - UGC
As Jay Baer puts it in one of his articles, “the best way to grow share of voice is to delight your customers. Delighted customers create satisfaction-driven content, which reaches other customers and prospective customers of your brand, essentially doing your marketing for you.”
90% of consumers say that user-generated content influences their buying decisions, out ranking all other forms of marketing. 81% are willing to pay more for products that have received positive user-generated content.
Consumers trust their peers over brands.
Using UGC isn’t a new marketing strategy. But with 86% of millennials regarding consumers’ comments as an indicator of brand quality, marketers are taking notice.
If you’re curious as to what a share of voice report looks like. We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our simulated brand report for Tesla, one of the automotive industry’s most radical players. And that goes for the boss too!