What do you call it when someone just can’t help but slip themselves into every conversation? Some sociologists and other killjoys have called it “conversational narcissism.” But we just call it good marketing.
If your goal is to dominate the conversation online in order to become your industry’s next household name, calculating your share of voice is the best way to track your progress. And with authentic creators to help amplify your volume, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the brand everyone is talking about.
What is share of voice?
Share of voice (SOV) is a metric to determine a brand’s online visibility compared to industry competitors. SOV considers paid ads, mentions, web traffic, and more, making it a useful metric to gauge brand awareness and audience engagement.
There are four main sub-metrics used to calculate a brand’s overall SOV percentage:
- Social media share of voice – Audience conversations across various social media channels
- PPC share of voice – Also known as impression share, this measures how many times your ads were shown to consumers versus how many times they could have been shown.
- SEO share of voice – The websites ranking highest for a particular keyword or organic search topic
- Media share of voice – Brand mentions across news websites and blogs
How to calculate share of voice
Use the following formula to calculate share of voice manually:
Your brand metrics / total industry metrics = your share of voice
There are also plenty of tools available if your budget permits. Some of the most popular include:
The difference between share of voice and share of market
While share of voice refers to the percentage of the conversation you’re involved with across different marketing channels, share of market measures the percentage of sales you earn versus your competitors.
Another way of looking at it is:
Share of voice = brand awareness
Share of market = revenue
Why measuring share of voice is important
Understand industry trends.
Because industry trends change constantly, it can be tough to keep up with who and what consumers want to engage with at any given time. Which latest release has the most buzz? Who are the new players entering the space? Share of voice helps keep you current on what’s hot and what’s not in your industry and will help ensure you’re always serving your audience the most relevant content.
It’s a lot harder to stand out from the competition when you aren’t even sure what the competition is up to. SOV enables you to keep tabs on the strengths and weaknesses of other players in your industry and position yourself accordingly. It also helps you pay attention to where the conversation is happening so you know where to establish your online presence.
Social listening tools are great for tuning into specific conversations consumers are having about your brand, but the scope can be narrow. Share of voice will help you determine exactly where to listen by showing you specific topics and keywords with the most engagement. From there, you can dive deeper into the discussion.
Remember that a sudden spike in share of voice doesn’t necessarily mean your brand is crushing it. Always double-click where the engagement is coming from so you can make sure the conversation is mostly positive.
Improve future campaigns.
Don’t limit yourself to only calculating the share of voice for your brand overall. You can also break down the data even further and zero in on SOV for individual campaigns.
- Which content got the most people talking?
- Did you have any sudden engagement spikes? What caused them?
- Was the engagement steady throughout your campaign? Did it start strong and taper toward the end?
- How did your SOV compare to your competitors overall?
These are all questions to ask yourself when judging SOV for specific campaigns. And using this information to iterate and optimize will help ensure your campaigns stay on an upward trajectory.
Segment your target audience.
Share of voice data can help you determine exactly why consumers choose you over a competitor and vice versa. And using this information to reach untapped audience segments can help you target (or retarget) those who make decisions based on one or two key factors.
For example, let’s say you’re a subscription box brand offering easy-to-cook meals. Your content always performs pretty well, but you’ve noticed engagement spikes on certain posts. You dig a little deep and find a lot of comments from consumers wanting more vegan meal options.
If these meal plans exist, this is a great opportunity to target this group to increase awareness of your vegan options. If not, now might be the time to consider expanding your offerings.
How to increase share of voice with creators
Drive meaningful conversation.
You hired your creators for their relationships with your shared target audience. Most of them have spent a long time building trust with their fans and boast an impressive engagement rate to show for it.
With that trust comes an opportunity to drive meaningful conversations. And by partnering with your creators to share your voice, you can combine brand awareness with a chance to educate consumers about your brand and products.
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Product tutorials – If it isn’t immediately obvious to everyone the best way to use your product, have your creator show them how it’s done. Just make sure you have someone in the comments answering any questions that come up.
- Unboxing videos – This content works great for new releases—especially if your creator and audience are both seeing the product for the first time. These videos are also a helpful way to gauge sentiment before a general release date.
- Live Q&A – Open the door to questions and let your creator take it away. Your brand doesn’t necessarily need to be the center of attention as long as your creator can find a way to slip it in organically.
Create shareable content.
Creating shareable content is one of the best ways to increase your share of voice. Images, GIFs, and videos are all solid formats, but the more original the content, the better.
Look back on the most viral moments over the last several years. For better or worse, nearly all of it has come from content creators. In fact, many brands can come off as cringey and inauthentic when their internal team tries to hop on the latest trend. As such, content creators are your best bet for creating viral moments that resonate with consumers and increase your share of voice.
Run multiple campaigns.
The more campaigns you run, the more likely you are to produce content that strikes a chord with your audience. But if you’re upping your campaign total, you probably need more creators to help fill them out.
When you’re on the recruiting trail, do your due diligence and find creators who know how to drive a conversation with their audience. You can also take a look at some partnerships they’ve done in the past to make sure they’re up to the challenge.
Your content will get lost in the shuffle if you’re not posting enough. And with social media algorithms rewarding frequent posters, you’ll need a consistent schedule to increase your share of voice.
If you’re worried you might not have enough original content to post multiple times a day, consider repurposing some of your creators’ content on branded channels or develop some unique hashtags to source user-generated content from people using and loving your products. But be sure to get all the necessary content rights before repurposing creator content and UGC.
Focus on community.
As your creators share your story and help you build trust with your audience, you’ll begin to notice a community forming around your brand. If you treat this community right, they’ll follow your content anywhere. With that in mind, consider offering your creators and community members some incentives or kickbacks to let them know how much you appreciate them being a part of the journey.
Partner with different creator types.
There are two main attributes to focus on to shake up your creator mix and increase your share of voice: size and industry.
There are pros and cons to every creator size. Those with smaller followings generally have less visible content but have a stronger connection and engage better with their audience. On the other hand, a single post from a celebrity influencer might give you an SOV spike with the number of eyeballs on the content. However, engagement rates with such large creators tend to be far lower than their smaller counterparts.
For brands intent on generating brand awareness as quickly as possible, it might be worth shelling out the extra cash for a celebrity influencer promotion. Otherwise, a team of hyper-targeted nano and micro influencers would be the next best thing—as long as you have the tools necessary to manage their content.
When it comes to industry, it can be easy to have tunnel vision for your specific niche. Do your best to think outside the box and find other similar industries that overlap with your ideal customer persona.
→ Beauty / Fashion / Fitness
→ Fitness / Nutrition / Cooking
→ Cooking / Sustainability / DIY
Leverage your employees.
You don’t just have to rely on the traditional “influencer” to get the best results. In today’s social media environment, anyone can be a creator and influence purchase decisions. So if you’re in a rut trying to find more creators who match your ideal profile, try looking a little closer to home and see if any of your employees are up to the challenge. They check most of the boxes already. They know your story, understand the product, respect the brand, and have a vested interest in helping you succeed. And if they have some creative chops, they could be the perfect solution to help produce the quality content needed to improve your share of voice.
Key takeaway: Increase your share of voice with creators and own the conversation online.
If you’re looking for a way to become the name that everyone is talking about online, the first place to look is at authentic content creators in and around your niche. Whether you want to leverage the powerful name recognition of a celebrity influencer or enlist a team of highly engaging nano and micro influencers, brand-aligned creators are your ticket to generating more awareness and owning the conversation.
Frequently Asked Questions