Where Is Your Share of Voice Analysis Falling Short?

A world full of flip phones, dial-up internet connections and AOL email addresses isn’t that far in the past. For some people, it’s still the present. But the last decade has seen unprecedented technological advancements. The internet has exploded—now containing nearly 2 billion websites. With all that information vying for everyone’s attention, share of voice (SOV) is more important than ever.

This formidable increase in competition is leading to what many industry leaders are calling “content shock.” In a 2017 study of 100 million articles, Buzzsumo found that social sharing had been cut in half compared to 2015. The study also notes that as WordPress posts have increased over the years, pageviews have started to decline. They ascribe these phenomena to the content shock theory—that there’s too much to consume to the point that it becomes overwhelming.

If you want to beat the competition in this atmosphere, you need to know how your audience is responding to your content and your competitors’ content. In this regard, SOV is the most useful metric at your disposal. And if you really want to be an industry leader, you must also consider where your SOV analysis is falling short.

What is share of voice?

The phrase does a pretty good job of explaining the concept, but let’s examine it further. Share of voice is the percentage of the conversation a brand holds in the market during a given time period compared to that of its competitors.

Often, it’s broken down to this simple equation:

Your Brand Marketing / Total Industry Marketing = Share of Voice

This can include your social media accounts, blog or any other area you’re trying to reach your audience. SOV will allow you to see when and where you’re leading the conversation and where others are beating you.

By tracking it on regular basis, you also get a sense of whether you’re gaining or losing ground in the marketplace. Moreover, this helps you judge other traditional content marketing goals such as brand awareness and target audience engagement.

Where are you falling short?

When content marketers talk about SOV, they’re usually talking about measuring mentions and interactions on social media compared to your competitors. Tools like PowerPost’s integrated SOV dashboard will break this down into an easy to read pie chart. It shows you just how relevant you are in consumers’ lives in comparison to the rest of the industry.

This is the most prominent use of SOV because it shows you a good baseline for the effectiveness of your content marketing. It also gives you valuable consumer insight into the content you’re distributing on social media.

However, if you’re willing to do a little more work or use additional tools, you can get more from your social SOV. This is the first place your SOV analysis is likely falling short.

Get Specific with Social

With tools like Brandwatch Analytics or TrackMaven, you can delve deeper into share of voice. One way is to look at specific topics. For instance, if you were running a campaign for a new product, you could isolate mentions of that product to better evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign. In particular, you would look for peaks in engagement to see which parts of the campaign were successful.

Topical or keyword comparisons in SOV can be used to understand how your audience sees your brand and your competitors. Essentially, you would select a handful of words and track how often they’re mentioned on your social channels vs. the competition. This can help you differentiate yourself from competitors or give insight into product development.

Depending on your business, there are other ways you might want to look at SOV. Businesses that sell in multiple markets can find value in breaking down SOV by geography. Likewise, it can be illuminating to break down SOV by social media channel. This highlights exactly where you need to focus your attention.

Finally, it’s also worth noting that basic share of voice measures don’t include sentiment. Thus, competitor sentiment analysis is necessary for a complete understanding of SOV. Sure, a competitor might have a slightly larger share of mentions on a certain platform, but a lower sentiment.

This way of looking at SOV is useful in showing you what not to do based on competitor sentiment and where there are gaps in your competitors’ content marketing on which you can capitalize.

Getting detailed when you measure SOV gives greater context to the progress you’re making in the competition for consumer attention. These details are also more evidence of the ROI of your content marketing program.

Social media is the obvious choice to see what your audience is saying. However, your audience also says a whole lot when they use a search engine.


Monitoring SOV on social media is incredibly useful, but monitoring SOV on social media AND on search engines is even more useful. For organic search, share of voice is measured in relation to your brand’s ranking on search engine results pages—SERPS.

As we recently wrote:

The goal is to determine how well your brand ranks for a subset of relevant keywords, under the assumption that the higher your SERP position is, the more clicks (i.e. traffic, eyeballs, etc.) you’re likely to win over those below you.

To actually calculate your SOV, put together a list several keywords related to your business or product(s). You’ll also need a list of your top competitors. Here’s the process:

  • Make a spreadsheet with your chosen keywords and record the search rankings of each for your brand and competitors.
  • Record the average click through rate (CTR) that corresponds to each ranking.
  • Calculate SOV for the keyword set by multiplying the CTR with average monthly search volumes, which you can get from Google Analytics, for each keyword. This is the estimated monthly traffic for each keyword.
  • Total the estimated search traffic for the keyword set.
  • Use this equation to get the final organic SOV: brand traffic / total market traffic = share of voice.

What you find from this can be used to refocus the SEO of your content marketing efforts. If you SOV isn’t as high as you hoped on certain keywords, you can then adjust your editorial calendar to prioritize content that will improve your rankings.

This is just as important as your social media SOV. People have questions and needs and are searching for the solution to both every day. Your analysis is falling short if you’re not sure if you’re reaching them.

The final piece of SOV analysis is paid media.


Many businesses use pay per click (PPC) marketing to supplement organic efforts and paid social media efforts. Brands pay a fee to a publisher when an ad is clicked on their site. It’s a way to buy traffic as opposed to earning it organically.

How is SOV a factor in PPC? Google AdWords includes a metric called “Impression Share,” which is basically its own version of SOV. Google defines it like this:

Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.

Impression share = impressions / total eligible impressions

Eligible impressions are estimated by using factors like targeting settings, approval statuses and quality. You can get impression share numbers for campaigns, ad groups, product groups and keywords. Impression share reveals whether your ads could possibly reach more people with an increased bid or budget.

With this measure, you can understand the current and potential reach of your ads. It easily adds the payed element—often crucial to the success of a business—to your SOV analysis, too.

The Full Picture

By addressing these areas in your SOV analysis, you will be able to see where your content marketing stands in organic, earned and paid media. Ultimately, you’ll start to see a full picture of where you’re in control of the conversation and where others are talking over you.

Are you having trouble tracking share of voice? Contact PowerPost today to learn more about our SOV dashboard and what we can do to help you.

By | 2018-10-17T14:45:10+00:00 September 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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