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Tools for Measuring Share of Voice (SOV): How to Measure and Analyze for Effective Marketing

Digital Marketing
October 4, 2023
12 min
Content

Do consumers associate your brand with specific products you present? Do they consider you an authority in your industry? To quantify answers to these questions, the world uses the Share Of Voice (SOV) metric. It allows you to measure how often your audience mentions your brand compared to competitors when planning to purchase products in your category. This metric not only enables the analysis of the effectiveness of social media, marketing, and PR campaigns but also helps understand where your brand stands in a competitive environment. In this article, we delve deeper into a share of voice analysis, 

What is Share of Voice (SOV) in Marketing?

First of all, let’s figure out the share of voice definition. Share of voice (SOV) is a marketing metric that allows you to measure the impact of advertising activities on brand recognition compared to competitors.

This metric was initially used primarily for measuring PPC campaigns, but now it is much broader. It is also possible to calculate the share of voice for organic traffic and social media.

sov and som

How to Measure Share of Voice: Methods of Measuring SOV and Its Application in Market Analysis 

Let’s view how to calculate share of voice. 

Share of Voice = Your Brand Metrics / Total Market Metrics

In case the share of voice formula is not clear enough, take a look at the example of how to find share of voice. If your brand was mentioned on social media 200 times in the last week, and all brands in your category were mentioned a total of 2,000 times, then you have a 10% share of voice in terms of social media mentions.

SOV in Social Media 

With the increasing impact of social media on business, let’s discuss what is social media share of voice. Mentions of a brand by users on different social media platforms increase its digital presence. This is a reliable indicator as it is based on people's posts and comments. Analytical tools for social media help automate this process by identifying all references to a brand or product on the network. You can then compare your company's results with those of competitors.

SOV in PPC

With the paid search share of voice metric, you can evaluate your position relative to competitors in search engine results. It calculates the share of impressions your advertising received compared to the total number of possible impressions (for example, 80 out of 1000 impressions). Similarly, you can find out how many impressions competitors received. There is also the concept of "win rate," which represents the number of impressions that secured better positions than competitors.

“We also have a Promodo's development, namely custom reports for our clinets, that shows the percentage of impressions gained and the win rate. This allows us to track how we're performing in the market compared to competitors and whether we're losing our audience. If we are losing them, we can make adjustments to budgets, strategies, product placement, availability, and more”.

Anastasia Ilchenko, PPC Specialist

SOV in SEO

Share of Voice SEO reflects the percentage of clicks your website receives compared to all ranked domains for specific keyword groups. Here’s one more share of voice calculation example.

SOV = (Total Traffic / Total Search Volume) x 100

“SOV can be assessed not only in the context of keywords. You can also determine your share of voice across different channels, traffic sources, impressions, and more. This metric can be applied in various dimensions for evaluation. SOV is a fairly versatile metric”.

Valeriya Sorokoletova, SEO Specialist

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is considered for each position in search results. SOV helps assess a website's competitiveness and visibility in the context of specific keywords. It is valuable for evaluating the effectiveness of SEO efforts in comparison to competitors.

“It's important to understand the difference between share of voice and search visibility. Visibility provides a comprehensive overview of how well a website performs in search engines across all tracked keywords. It helps assess the overall state and effectiveness of SEO efforts but does not specifically consider competition. On the other hand, SOV evaluates a website's performance compared to competitors for relevant keyword groups”.

Marta Valenya, SEO Specialist

Why is Share of Voice Important for Marketing Strategy 

Measuring a brand's share of voice serves as a crucial indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and identifying potential growth and optimization opportunities. Let's explore in more detail the aspects in which online share of voice can be measured and what it offers to businesses:

Audience Research 

Metrics of share of voice in social media analyze information from authentic mentions. They focus on people's expressions regarding a specific brand, helping determine user sentiments and preferences.

Sprout Social
Example of an Audience Engagement Report on Sprout Social

Thanks to share of voice measurement, you can accurately determine why people choose one brand over others. For example, it could be the affordability of the product, exceptional customer service, or an intuitively understandable website interface. Additionally, it allows for the identification of untapped audience segments.

Competitive Research 

Using the SOV metric, you can clearly define a brand's position among competitors. It helps identify who holds the top position in mentions within a specific sector and the volume of those mentions.

Having answers to these questions can uncover ways to improve and emphasize the uniqueness of your brand. In-depth competitor analysis through share of voice opens up numerous opportunities for enhancement.

Competitor Analysis Report
Example of a Competitor Analysis Report on the Brightedge Website

Brand Management 

Share of voice activity measures not only the quantity of mentions a company receives but also the emotional response to those mentions. It's a tool for monitoring brand reputation and comparing it to competitors. Pay special attention to these metrics when launching new advertising campaigns. This will help you quickly respond to situations that affect the company's reputation.

Share of Voice vs Share of Market: What’s the Difference Between SOV and SOM?

While Share of Voice (SOV) analyzes the brand's recognition on specific media channels, Share of Market (SOM) focuses on the percentage of the market share you have in terms of revenue or the number of customers. Both metrics serve to evaluate your competitiveness, but SOM measures the percentage of your sales, while SOV measures the percentage of discussions about your brand in the media.

SOM = Your Brand's Sales / Total Sales in the Category

According to research from Harvard Business Review, there is a correlation between advertising spending and market share, based on the comparison of Share of Voice (SOV) and Share of Market (SOM).


On most mature markets, Share of Voice and Share of Market are typically equal. A specific brand is considered in equilibrium when its SOV is approximately equal to its SOM. Balance with competitors is achieved when market share leaders (SOM) have SOV that differs by no more than 10 percentage points from each other.

To achieve market share growth, your Share of Voice should be roughly twice that of the market share leader over about 18 months and account for approximately 25% of total category spending.

What’s ESOV?

Excess Share of Voice (ESOV) is another important metric for marketers. It was developed by John Philip Jones in the 1990s to determine the right amount of marketing spending associated with the overall goal of business growth. Does this tool remain effective in modern conditions?

A brand has Excess Share of Voice (ESOV) when its Share of Voice (SOV) exceeds its market share.

ESOV = Share of Voice - Market Share.

For example, if a brand generates 10% of sales in its category but has a 15% Share of Voice, its ESOV is +5.

ESOV is not a one-size-fits-all solution for advertisers looking to demonstrate value and set goals. Firstly, SOV becomes increasingly challenging to measure due to content proliferation, digital transformation, and media fragmentation. Secondly, if you are not a very large brand, it can be difficult to quantitatively determine and convey the precise relationship between ESOV and market share.

There is also a correlation between ESOV and increased brand exposure or improved audience perception of the brand as high quality.

esov

Thanks to ESOV, a brand not only appears in consumers' minds more frequently but also enhances its positive reputation. To strengthen ESOV, it's important to focus on highly creative advertising. The more a brand's advertising stays in people's memory, the greater impact it will have on ESOV.

Tools for Measuring SOV

Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is an optimal share of voice software for those who are unfamiliar with social media monitoring. It is suitable for managing social media, providing the ability to track brand mentions, keywords, and hashtags. Users can easily obtain all the necessary information through a convenient dashboard without the need to switch between different social profiles.

Hootsuite Report
Example Hootsuite Report

Talkwalker 

Talkwalker monitors brand mentions in news, social media, and blogs. This tool provides data not only on Share of Voice but also on user sentiment. Talkwalker operates in 25 languages, making it a great option for businesses with international operations. Its visual listening feature with artificial intelligence even allows tracking brand logos for the most comprehensive competitive insights in the market, shown in the share of voice reports.

 Example Talkwalker Report
Example Talkwalker Report

Google Ads

When it comes to measuring Share of Voice in PPC advertising, it's hard to find a better tool than Google Ads. To determine your Share of Voice in contextual advertising, you can use their Impression Share metric. What's convenient is that Google's tools work seamlessly together, so if you already have Search Console, you can link it to your Google Ads account. Google Ads is so widely used that it's often already a component of marketing campaigns. The built-in Impression Share metric makes gathering this data a relatively straightforward task.

Example Google Ads Report
Example Google Ads Report

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a reliable tool for measuring Share of Voice in SEO. You can easily get a snapshot of your organic traffic compared to competitors using the batch analysis feature. Additionally, you can use backlinks to track your competitors' Share of Voice by comparing them with the keywords you want to rank for. It's a versatile tool that can meet most SEO needs, from thematic research to website audits.

Example Ahrefs Report
Example Ahrefs Report

Brandwatch

Brandwatch is another share of voice software that can help track your brand's Share of Voice in social media and news mentions. Among its features are comparisons of Share of Voice between brands and the analysis of customer sentiment, location, and other demographic indicators. Brandwatch's customer sentiment analysis can help identify any obstacles or risks and provide valuable context to the data in your share of voice reports.

Example Brandwatch Report
Example Brandwatch Report

Measuring Share of Voice allows you to assess your business's effectiveness compared to your competitors. This methodology helps better understand your audience's needs, track current trends, and stay ahead of the competition.

Written by
Valeriia Sorokoletova

SEO Specialist at Promodo

With over 5 years of SEO experience, I have been an integral part of the Promodo team for the last two years. My expertise extends to managing projects in both the US and European markets, collaborating with startups as well as established ventures.

Written by
Anastasiia Ilchenko

Senior PPC Specialist

More than 7 years in marketing. Experience of working with leading players of Ukrainian retail, western projects. Current lecturer at Promodo Academy on Contextual advertising, targeted advertising and digital marketing courses.

Published:
October 4, 2023
Updated:
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