Share of Voice: How to Master the Art of Standing Out Online

Share of Voice: How to Master the Art of Standing Out Online

Everybody and their mother is vying for consumers’ attention online. You work hard marketing your business to get a bigger slice of the pie, but how do you know your hard work is paying off? 

Share of voice (SOV) is a powerful metric that embodies your brand’s footprint not just online, but in the hearts and minds of your target audience across all marketing channels. The more aware you are of your SOV, the more competitive and cost-effective your marketing efforts will be. 

While many analytics platforms don’t provide direct SOV tracking, it’s essential to understand this metric and learn how to calculate it yourself. In this guide, we’ll demystify how share of voice works, from search engine optimization (SEO) and social media to its role in shaping brand awareness. We’ll even guide you on how to measure share of voice and use it to increase your market share. 

What Is Share of Voice, and Why Does It Matter?

Share of voice measures your brand’s visibility. Think about it this way: What’s the first company that comes to mind when you hear the word “soda pop?” Some people might think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Regardless of your favorite fizzy drink, it’s clear that these companies have share of voice because they overshadow all of the other businesses in their industry. That’s what you want to do in your own field. 

SOV is a metric that assesses your popularity and clout in a certain industry or topic. The idea of SOV comes from traditional marketing via TV, radio, and print media, but it’s also a helpful tool for measuring digital marketing success. Today, most brands track share of voice with pay-per-click (PPC) ads, but it’s also good for assessing social media and SEO success

Gaining a dominant share of voice is far from simple, but optimizing this metric will help you:

  • Boost your market presence: SOV reflects how recognizable your brand is. The higher your SOV, the more aware people are of your brand. Awareness is the first step to making a purchase, so this is a critical step to increasing sales. 
  • Benchmark performance: SOV makes it a cinch to gauge your market position relative to competitors. It’s a crucial component for any competitive analysis, telling you exactly where you stand in the total market. 
  • Calculate marketing ROI: How effective are your digital marketing efforts, really? Return on investment is everything in business, and calculating SOV will tell you how fruitful your social media campaigns, content marketing, and PPC ads actually are. 

How Do You Calculate SOV?

“Brand awareness” might sound like a qualitative metric, but SOV gives you quantitative measures to track this important but elusive benchmark. Follow these steps to measure share of voice.

Pick a Metric

You’re measuring “voice,” but what, exactly, does that mean to you? Common metrics include social media mentions, impressions, SEO rankings, PPC share, or website traffic. We recommend picking the metric that’s most aligned with conversions and sales. That might be PPC clicks or blog impressions—it’s up to you!

Gather Data

Use analytics tools and social listening tools to collect data about your brand and its competitors. Tools like Brandwatch, Ahrefs, and Google Ads Keyword Planner will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. 

Be sure to conduct a true apples-to-apples comparison here. For example, if you’re calculating SOV based on impressions but can only pull data on your competitors’ PPC performance, your SOV data won’t align. 

Calculate SOV 

Take your data and plug it into the share of voice formula: 

(Your Metric / Total Market Metric) x 100

For example, let’s say you’re measuring SOV based on number of mentions. There are 1,000 mentions of your brand out of a total of 10,000 mentions in your industry on that topic. Your SOV would be: 

(1,000 / 10,000) x 100 = 10%

When it comes to share of voice calculation, 10% isn’t necessarily high or low. What matters is what your SOV was before and how it compares to the SOVs of your direct competitors. This isn’t a static number—it’s a dynamic metric that you should calculate and monitor regularly as you fine-tune your marketing campaigns. 

5 Ideas to Boost Brand Visibility and Share of Voice

Brands with a high share of voice are leaders in their spaces. Leadership usually comes with respect and revenue—two things every business wants! 

So, what do you do if your SOV is lower than expected? Not to worry; you just need a marketing revamp. Try these five ideas to boost your market influence and share of voice. 

1. Watch the Competition

You can’t fully manage your share of voice without understanding the competition first. Use a variety of analytics tools, sentiment analysis, and social listening tools to get the lay of the land before marketing your business.

Use competitor analysis tools like Ahrefs, Spyfu, or Brandwatch to get the 411 on your biggest competition. These tools aren’t 100% accurate, but they’ll give you a better idea of how your competitors market themselves. Some platforms will even tell you which keywords they’re ranking for and how much they spend on paid ads. 

Analyze at least three competitors. Look at what they’re doing well and identify any gaps in their marketing strategies that you can take advantage of. 

2. Invest in Social Media Management

You’re likely already using at least one social media platform. But is that platform generating meaningful traffic to your site? If not, that doesn’t mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water; you just need to revamp your social presence. 

For starters, only promote your brand on platforms your audience uses. Instead of diluting your efforts across platforms, you focus your presence on one or two channels to build deeper relationships with your followers. For brands targeting primarily Baby Boomers, that might be Facebook, while brands targeting millennials and Gen Z might go for Instagram or TikTok. B2B brands should stick with platforms like LinkedIn. 

Create engaging, shareable content with relevant hashtags to boost your visibility on your platforms of choice. Set a daily reminder to reply to comments, ask questions, and encourage engagement. You should be online at least once daily to build a meaningful social media following.

3. Engage With Influencers

Need to build clout quickly? Partner with well-known influencers in your space. Influencers have a readymade audience primed for connection, so this option will put your brand in front of thousands of people in no time. A classic example is how Daniel Wellington grew into a multi-million-dollar brand by collaborating with thousands of influencers across Instagram.

Try to incentivize purchases by offering the influencer an affiliate arrangement where they earn a commission on every sale they generate. This will maximize your marketing budget and incentivize the influencer to promote your brand to more people. It’s a win-win!

4. Create Compelling Content Optimized for SEO

Organic search is one of the best ways to boost your share of voice on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO requires keyword optimization, creating quality content, and improving the website user experience. You won’t see overnight results with this strategy, but doggedly keeping up with content generation will help you surpass other brands in your space. 

So many brands miss out on the benefits of content marketing because they just don’t have time to write. That’s where Growth Machine comes in. Our expert SEO team creates well-researched, expert content designed to rank in search and boost your share of voice in just a few months. We helped a keto brand get over 2,000 #1 keywords at the height of the keto craze, giving them a significant SOV in a trending niche.

5. Try PPC Campaigns

Organic content is the best way to boost your long-term share of voice, but if you want short-term gains, ads could be the way to go. Pay-per-click advertising isn’t cheap, but it’ll put your brand in front of its target audience in just a few clicks. Platforms like Google Ads and social media ads boost both organic traffic and share of voice. However, you need to keep a close eye on expenses and ROI here. The last thing you want to do is to bleed your marketing budget dry with ads that don’t generate revenue. 

Get Your Brand’s Share of the Pie

Share of voice makes “untrackable” metrics like brand awareness easy to measure. Whether you’re the top dog in your industry or you’re preparing to launch a new business, gaining share of voice in your space is one of the best ways to win hearts and boost sales. Following the tips in this guide won’t make you famous overnight, but consistently showing up and taking up space boosts visibility—and revenue. 

Share of voice is great if you can get it, but executing SOV campaigns isn’t always easy. Lean on Growth Machine’s expertise to get across the finish line. Our team strategizes, manages, and meticulously tracks every aspect of your content strategy to get results without the hassle. 

Now’s the time to make your voice heard. Contact Growth Machine now to create your head-turning content strategy.


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