Calculating share of voice for paid search can be a challenge, but one that is well worth the effort. SOV can help drive visits to your website and keep traffic from your competitors’ sites, resulting in new opportunities and increased revenue.
SOV marketing is most impactful when implemented intentionally and measured against clear metrics. Unsure how to measure your digital marketing growth? Explore our in-depth guides on SaaS growth metrics and Digital Marketing ROI metrics.
What is Share of Voice? A KPI for Market Share
Share of voice is an important KPI as you measure your Market Share. Share of voice for paid search is based on the percentage of Total Ad Inventory that you own for your keywords. The greater your SOV, the more visible your website is compared to competitors.
There are three different shares of voice to consider when calculating your market share:
- Paid Search Share of Voice: Your market share for PPC ads placed in search results (Google, Bing, etc.)
- Social Media Share of Voice: Your market share for paid ads placed in social media feeds (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
- SEO Share of Voice: Your share of owned media ranking organically in search engines like Google and Bing.
Paid Search SOV
Paid Search share of voice measures your market share for pay-per-click ads. A larger PPC market share places your content higher in search results on search engine results page, driving more traffic to your site.
For example, if you searched “smartphone” in your favorite search engine, you’d expect to see Apple, one of the largest name brands in that space, in the ad space above your search results. In trying to increase your own search ad’s SOV, consider your target audience and purchase ads based on those keywords. Even a small increase in SOV can make the difference between a click for you and a click for a competitor.
Paid Social SOV
SOV on social media refers to conversations happening on various social media platforms and your brand’s share of mentions. Paid social media ads on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can increase your social SOV and encourage users to engage in conversations with or about your brand.
Even a small investment in paid social ads can move the needle of brand awareness and improve your digital marketing ROI.
Organic Search SOV
One of the most challenging elements of SOV is how to calculate share of voice for organic search. This requires strong SEO and a clear understanding of your target audience.
Wherever possible, consider variations on your top keywords to capture as much organic search traffic as possible. For example, if your keyword is “digital marketing solutions,” try adding variations like “digital marketing tools,” “online marketing,” and “how to improve digital marketing.”
Why Share of Voice Matters
Knowing where you stand in the market can be challenging, and knowing if your marketing efforts are paying off can be even more difficult. The more digital space you claim for your brand, the better you can achieve your growth goals.
Checking your SOV regularly allows you to address subtle changes to online behavior, and gives you the data to make more informed marketing decisions and maximize growth. In particular, the share of voice calculation can provide:
- Audience Insights: A huge barrier to effective marketing can be unclear targeting. With SOV tracking, you can identify who is engaging with your content and retarget as necessary.
- Competitor Analysis: SOV gives you direct insight into how your digital marketing strategy is performing in comparison to your competitors, allowing you to redirect potential customers to your website.
- Campaign Tracking: SOV allows you to track how your campaigns are performing across mediums and in relation to other campaigns (and your competitors’).
- Brand Management: Social Media SOV provides invaluable data for brand management, as you track conversations with and about your brand in response to campaigns, ad buys, or other marketing strategies.
While insights vary across digital platforms, SOV can help bring the information together as it informs decision making. share of voice can provide key audience insights such as:
- Age and location demographics
- Online conversation tone and keywords
- Engagement by market segment, including market segments with more potential for engagement
In your hands, these insights can lead to greater ROI for your digital marketing strategy.
In calculating SOV, you will compare your brand to your competitors. This yields data on market share, marketing strategy, preferred platforms, and more to help you pull more clicks toward your website.
For example, suppose your competitor focuses its budget on PPC ads. In that case, you can strategically focus on your paid social and organic search Shares of Voice to reach customers your competitor is missing.
Alternatively, you can target your competitor’s potential customer base by outspending them on PPC ads. This competitor analysis can be invaluable, especially if you expand to new market segments or introduce a new product offering.
SOV can be valuable in tracking campaign performance across mediums. Did your Twitter engagement spike after a strategic ad buy? Did your CTR dip after you changed your organic search strategy? SOV can provide insight into these elements and more, giving you another metric to measure growth.
With so many brand conversations taking place at any given moment, attention paid to SOV can help you redirect negative sentiment quickly and capitalize on positive conversations. Keeping track of subtle trends instead of just large spikes allows you to respond in alignment with your brand strategy and with nuance to support marketing goals.
How to Measure Share of Voice
At its core, SOV is the total market traffic divided by your brand traffic. The brand and total market traffic metrics may vary across types of SOV, based on what each platform provides.
For example, Twitter and Google Ads provide different data on users and user behavior. In this case, that is a good thing. SOV is a metric that can cross the divides between platforms, and the slightly different data can help inform approaches in PPC, Social Media, and Organic Search.
Share of Voice Calculations: The SOV Formula
When building a foundational understanding of SOV’s value, it is important to learn how to calculate share of voice. SOV is total market spend divided by your brand’s spend. With the data you already have, along with a bit of additional data, use the formula below and calculate your brand’s SOV.
Your brand’s advertising spend ($) / The total advertising spend in the market ($) x 100 = Share of Voice (%)
Share of Voice Calculation Examples
To measure your share of voice in paid search, follow the steps below.
- Make a list of keywords that you rank for.
- Use the average CPC and click volume to determine the total spend across all keywords.
- Divide your spend by the total spend across all keywords.
Tools for Tracking Market Share
The share of voice tools below will help as you determine how to measure share of voice and use the resulting metrics for your company.
- Awario($29-299/mo.): Awario tracks conversations across social media networks, blogs, news sites, and the web to determine your brand’s share of voice in the online conversation. Awario also provides deeper information about audience, conversation sentiment, and more, with built in analysis tools.
- SproutSocial ($99-249/mo.): SproutSocial focuses on social media, with management and listening features. Not only can you track your share of voice on social media, blogs, news outlets, and the web, SproutSocial includes the ability to track PPC Share of Voice. You can easily use this tool to track your individual marketing campaigns and their impact on your brand’s SOV.
- Brandwatch (pricing available upon request): Brandwatch monitors almost every source, and if a source you want to track is not on their list, you can add it manually. This rich data is most helpful for competitor research, particularly the specifics of your competitors’ customers.
- Social Searcher (free): If your budget is tight, you can use a combination of free tools and a spreadsheet or other internal trackers to measure SOV. Social Searcher gives you a basic sense of mentions, sentiment, and more on the web and social networks. You can input that information into your tracking spreadsheet and use the formula above to calculate your brand’s share of voice.
What is a Good Share of Voice Calculation?
A good share of voice calculation varies based on your market and competitors. SOV shows where your brand stands in comparison to competitors, and SOV goals should be aligned with other company goals such as market share and sales growth.
A good share of voice percentage will be different for every company, but should reflect marketing and leadership team priorities and goals.
3 Ways to Improve Market Share KPIs like SOV
SOV is one of many market share KPIs that can make your marketing strategy more impactful. If done well, improving your SOV can bring in new customers, increase sales, and redirect customers from your competitor. The strategies below can help you improve market share KPIs like share of voice.
Hone Your Organic Search Approach
Improve your SEO by identifying and advertising for additional branded keywords. This can preserve traffic and margins on your SOV and address any gaps in your current organic search approach.
Use a Social Media Analytics Tool
A social media analytics tool will allow you to get a general sense of your brand presence on social media and dive into more specific demographics and sentiments. You can monitor conversations on social media and quickly capture opportunities to engage with followers or take advantage of a trending topic.
Improve Your PPC Buys
Make the most of your time and money spent on PPC setup by improving your ads. Using the data available in GoogleAds, identify the Impression Share of your ads, and try using different ad types or extensions to increase clicks. The addition of a Gallery Ad or similar feature can drive engagement and boost click-through-rates.
Grow Your Digital Share of Voice with our Marketing Experts
SOV is an important metric for marketing leaders as your company continues to grow. This one metric takes into account performance across multiple areas and is an easily digestible number for internal and external stakeholders. Using SOV gives you a competitive advantage with customer and competitor insight, and allows for a greater ROI on your marketing budget.
The marketing experts at Augurian will provide the tools, support, and guidance you need to leverage and improve your digital share of voice. Our easy SOV calculation tools and industry expertise takes the guesswork out of share of voice calculation.