What is SOV (Share of Voice) and How to Calculate it

If you’re looking for a way to determine where you stand in your industry and how well you are faring against your competition, then look no further than Share of Voice. The SOV metric is a solid starting point to gaining the information you need to move forward and rise above the competition.

What is SOV (Share of Voice) and How to Calculate it

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Some brands don’t understand how important it is to take note of what their competitors are doing and how well their tactics are performing for them.

However, insights into your competitors can really help you get a leg up on them and create a digital marketing campaign that works effectively.

One way to measure how you are performing in comparison to your competition is by calculating Share of Voice, which covers all of your online visibility, including PPC performance, social media, and organic search.

If you’re like “huh?,” don’t fret! We will discuss what Share of Voice is, why it’s important, how you can measure it, and how to improve it.

    What is SOV (‘Share of Voice’)?

    Share of Voice is the amount of the market that you are currently in ownership of compared to the competition.

    Basically, SOV refers to the number of times your brand is mentioned in various locations online vs. the number of times your competitor’s brand is mentioned.

    Therefore, this metric is able to gauge your dominance within the market. Ultimately, the higher your market share (or SOV), the more popular and authentic your brand is.

    SOV reflects the frequency in which a brand is seen online and how well people are engaging with the available content, allowing you to see where you stand in terms of customer engagement, brand awareness, and the like.

    Traditionally, Share of Voice referred to only advertising means — a brand’s share within the advertising market. It included print advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising, and even press coverage of the brand in the news.

    However, over the years, as technology has enhanced in terms of marketing, SOV now often reflects overall online visibility, taking into account traffic for your keywords, social media mentions, and much more.

    This all probably sounds pretty intimidating. You’re probably wondering how in the world can you calculate your SOV when the World Wide Web is so big. Don’t worry; we will cover this shortly.

    Why Does SOV Matter?

    When you are first attempting to figure out where you stand in the market, calculating your Share of Voice is a great starting place. 

    With SOV, you can learn not only where you currently stand, but also where you could potentially be and how you can get there.

    Sure, SOV offers you insight into where you are in comparison to your competitors, but there is so much more to Share of Voice than that.

    Awareness and Management of Your Brand

    One of the most common things SOV can tell you is where you are in terms of brand awareness. 

    With the tracking of any online mentions of your brand, you can learn how many people are familiar with your brand, how frequently they come across your brand online, and how much they mention your brand.

    By keeping tabs on your brand mentions, you will be able to interpret the feedback from your customers quickly and more effectively. 

    You will also be able to gauge where you stand in terms of brand reputation compared to your competitors.

    Tracking Your Campaign

    Outside of your brand, Share of Voice can be calculated to track the success of your marketing campaign.

    It is also possible to obtain specific insights into your audience, including country and social media platform.

    Calculating your SOV on a regular basis will help you get a bigger picture of what it is that works for your audience and what your competitors are using that could be uniquely incorporated into your own campaign.

    With your Share of Voice, you can also learn where improvements need to be made to your campaigns in the future.

    Insights into Your Customers

    Share of Voice can also help you uncover helpful information from your audience that can be used to improve your overall brand, such as industry trends and consumer behaviors. 

    This is especially true when you are using social listening tools to help calculate your SOV.

    In doing so, you learn more about your audience and your competitors while also learning from them. 

    You get to dig deeper into their conversations about your brand to find out what your audience loves and hates about your products. 

    You can also resolve complaints quickly and/or promote your products to the audience of your competition.

    When you know your Share of Voice, you can obtain a much better overall understanding of your brand’s current market position and the challenges your brand may be facing. 

    This provides considerable insight into how you can captivate users and achieve the growth you desire on all fronts.

    How to Measure Share of Voice

    Now that you’re a bit familiar with why calculating Share of Voice is so important and what it can do for you, let’s learn how to actually measure SOV.

    It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, the basic formula for calculating SOV is as follows:

    SOV = Your brand’s measures / Total industry measures

    State of Marketing Report 2024

    When it comes to figuring out the measures that you will want to use to calculate your Share of Voice, it will greatly depend on your brand’s goals. 

    The three main areas you will want to focus on include PPC, social media/blogs, and online media outlets.

    So, let’s say the hashtags for your brand appear 40 times among an industry total of 100. This means you have 40% SOV and your competitors take up the other 60%.

    Measuring SOV for Social Media

    There is so much power in social media when it comes to your brand’s reputation and success. 

    Social media platforms give you the opportunity to identify how frequently people are talking about your brand.

    You can calculate social media SOV a couple ways: manually or with a social listening tool. 

    Even when you do the calculations manually, though, you will need to utilize a social listening tool. A free tool will generally suffice, though.

    With a free tool, you can calculate how many mentions for every one of your competitors, but you can’t get deep into the analytics.

    To measure SOV on social media, you should:

    • Open up the social monitoring tool and type in your brand’s name.
    • Take down how many mentions appear in the tool.

    This same thing should be done for all of your competitors.

    SOV can be calculated by using the basic formula: number of brand mentions/total number of brand mentions (this last one includes your own as well as your competition). This number should then be multiplied by 100.

    Measuring SOV in PPC

    If you remember from earlier in the content, Share of Voice was traditionally used to measure your share of advertising. 

    Therefore, it makes sense that you should calculate your PPC Share of Voice.

    This can easily be done through your Google Analytics dashboard. Head to the Campaigns tab of your account. The metric you want to look for here is Impression Share, as this is equivalent to SOV.

    The Impression Score shows you the percentage of times your advertisements were shown related to the number of times your ads could have appeared based on your settings.

    The formula used is as follows: Impression Share = Your brand’s impressions/Total eligible impressions

    How to Improve Your Share of Voice

    Now that you are familiar with what Share of Voice is and how it can be measured, you may be curious as to what steps you can take to improve your SOV. 

    There are numerous ways you can improve your Share of Voice, but social media stands to be the quickest way of getting the job done.

    Here are a few tips to utilize as you try to improve your SOV on social media.

    1. Be Active

    It is imperative that you are as active as possible across all social media outlets that are relevant to your brand and industry. Don’t waste time on platforms where your audience isn’t at.

    By focusing on the proper platforms and following best practices, you can quickly grow your online presence.

    2. Create Valuable Content

    Apart from being active on social media, you also need to ensure you are creating good, strong content. 

    This content needs to be interesting and valuable enough for your audience to share with others.

    It has been shown that B2B brands spend almost $1 billion on ineffective content marketing annually. 

    If your content does not prove to be valuable to your readers, there will be no value added to your marketing campaigns or brand awareness.

    Familiarize yourself with your audience so you can develop content that caters to them.

    3. Communicate with Your Audience

    It is reported that 90% of consumers communicate with a brand through social media. Unfortunately, when this happens, only about 11% of response-needed messages receive a response.

    Your audience wants to form a connection with you, so you must be willing to put in the work and not only offer advertisements.

    Interact with your audience and start conversations that have meaning behind them. 

    While this can take some time on your end, it is well worth it in the end when you begin to see organic increases in your reach, impressions, and mentions.

    Wrap Up

    Share of Voice may not be as simple and straightforward as it was years ago, but nonetheless, it is an important metric to learn how to measure and use to your advantage as you work toward creating an enhanced digital marketing strategy.

    Using the information outlined in this post, you will be well on your way to boosting your brand’s presence online. 

    If you are ready to truly stand out from the crowd, take the time to learn some market intelligence practices that can ultimately help you make better decisions for your brand.


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