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What is “share of voice” and why should you start tracking it for your brand?

In a sea of content similar to yours, you may feel like you’re commanding the space with your well-written material, but without any real metric, how do you know for sure if you’re staying afloat or if you are lost in the swell? 

The answer: Share of voice (or SOV for short).

SOV measures just how much your brand dominates the market. It helps businesses gauge where they stand in the market with their customers and competitors.

Content is king, but with more people recognising this, thousands of pieces of content are being created daily. Even if your content is amazing, it might not be able to stand out amidst all the other blogs, thought pieces, podcasts or videos that share the same topic, making you less likely to attract customers.

If more people are familiar with your brand compared to other similar businesses, your SOV is more significant compared to your competition, letting you know your marketing and content campaigns are working. To see just how many people you’re reaching and how relevant your content is to them, you need to use SOV tools and adjust your advertising and content marketing efforts accordingly to widen your audience. 

What is “share of voice”? 

Share of voice is a metric that allows you to understand the popularity of your brand compared to others in your industry. It’s defined as the visibility value of your brand amidst competitors. 

It allows you to assess how prominent you are in the current market. It doesn’t just measure content marketing, it also gives you feedback on traditional advertising and brand presence. As a business owner, it’s important that you are able to know how you’re faring in your industry against competitors because you want to determine whether or not you’re beating them out in terms of presence. 

In order to get this data, you need SOV reports which are made up of social media engagement, advertising and online traffic. These reports allow you to measure your online exposure compared to other businesses in the same industry.

There is a direct proportion in the relationship between SOV and market share. When one is performing well, so is the other. This is because the more an audience is aware of your brand, the more likely they will purchase from your business because of your prominence in the market.

Share of voice graphic that depicts the proportional relationship between SOV and market share from AHREFS

Here are some benefits of share of voice:

  • Improved brand management – SOV helps you determine how much of your industry’s audience is aware of your brand. You need to know how much they talk about your business and what they’re saying in order to better adjust your marketing efforts.
  • Track ongoing campaigns – Looking into SOV for your brand alone is not enough. By investigating the SOV of other campaigns in your industry, you can discover what your audience wants. 
  • Easier competitor analysis – You can find just how powerful your competitors are in terms of their brand presence and marketing and examine their strengths and weaknesses.

How to solve share of voice

There is a standard formula for calculating SOV:

SOV = [Your brand metrics (or how much you spent for advertising) / total industry metrics (or the total of all marketing spent for that product)] x 100

You can always use online tools like Media Toolkit and other SOV calculators that can help you gain more insight into how much exposure your brand has.

The first part of your equation (the division portion) will end up being a decimal, which is why it has to be multiplied by 100 in order to get the precise percentage.

So for example, if you spent $5,000,000 for your advertising and marketing and the entire industry spent $100,000,000, your formula would look like this: 

SOV = (5,000,000 / 100,000,000) x 100

SOV = (0.05) x 100

SOV = 5% 

This means that your SOV is 5% in your industry. The higher your SOV, the better position it is in relation to competitors in your industry. SOV must always consider the other businesses in your industry and how much was spent as a whole, it can’t stand alone. 

3 ways to boost your share of voice using content marketing 

SOV can be boosted through traditional advertising and brand presence, but content marketing is definitely one of the strongest ways to go about it. Follow these three steps and you can strengthen your share of voice. 

1. Engage with your target audience using social media 

Even if you’re writing the absolute best content that addresses the concerns of your target audience, they won’t reach anyone if you don’t take advantage of social media. Engaging with your community in a way that stands out is necessary in a time where people will scroll past your content if they’re not wowed by it. You don’t want to release content and have it sit there without engagement because everybody’s busy on Facebook and Twitter and not encountering your blogs, podcasts or videos. 

You can improve your brand through social listening, the method of tracking conversations around your brand online. By tuning in to what people are saying about you, your services and the industry in general, you can ascertain their likes and engagement preferences for a wide range of communications, including social media. Consistency is key when releasing content as well as updating your social media to promote your existing content. 

Social media is also a great way to stay connected with your audience, answering their questions or responding to their concerns. 

2. Create keyword-rich content 

When you’re able to seamlessly integrate keywords into your blogs, you increase your chances of driving traffic to your website and increase your SOV advantage. When people look up what they need through search engines, they use specific words to find them. When these search words become a frequently occurring pattern, they become keywords in a search for a particular area. If they’re looking for a running shoe brand, they use the words “running shoes.” If they’re looking for good ice cream in the area, they’ll type in “best ice cream in X area.” If keywords appear in your content naturally, you have a higher likelihood of your content showing up and increasing your SOV.

Having a basic understanding of SEO practices is important in understanding how to integrate keywords without keyword stuffing (i.e. Overusing the keyword to the point of not being understandable). 

In order to make the most of your SEO keywords, you can hire SEO copywriting services that are experts in keyword-rich blogs, podcasts and videos to create keyword-rich blogs and videos and boost the share of voice for your business.

3. Be creative in your content 

There are tons of “how-to” and listicle blogs, podcasts and videos out there that all sound the same (and even have similar titles) so you want your content to stand out. The more interesting and creative your content is, the more likely your customers are to share and start discussions around it, increasing your share of voice in the process. 

Diversifying your content is just as important as creating unique content. Different kinds of content cater to different social media channels. Gifs, images and videos work better in visual digital mediums. Repurposed blogs work well on Facebook pages and even long-form sites like Medium. It’s all about knowing where your audience will be looking and their media preferences in order to deliver what they want and increase your brand awareness. The more visible your content is, the more your audience will recognise your business brand and the bigger percentages you’ll see in your SOV numbers. 

When it comes to your content marketing, traditional marketing and advertising, you want your brand to be more visible and memorable than your competition. Brand familiarity creates trust and a sense of reliability that helps your audience recognise you and what you’re doing. This trust helps drive SOV and market share numbers. 

SOV helps you attract more customers and convert leads because you command the market and are easier to find. With SOV, you can easily become a household name and have people lined up around your business. Using effective content marketing and strategising how to diversify your content in order to expose your brand to more of your industry’s target audience can help you dominate your market and boost your SOV.

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