Increase your brand’s visibility by growing your share of voice so you stay front and center in the minds of your customers.
- Share of voice is a marketing metric that shows your brand visibility compared to your competitors.
- Share of voice analysis helps you measure campaign effectiveness and make better use of marketing dollars and resources.
- Share of voice formulas can be used across channels and should be based on the metrics that matter to your organization.
- Leveraging content marketing and actively engaging with customers are some effective ways to increase your brand’s share of voice.
Have you ever wondered how much your customers talk about your brand compared to your competitors? Good news: It’s easy to find out. There’s actually a metric (and a formula) to give you the answer. It’s called share of voice.
In the olden days, or pre-internet, share of voice referred to a brand’s share of paid advertising space (print, TV, radio) versus competing brands. Brands could increase their share of voice by simply buying more space than their competitors. Today, with a plethora of channels and opportunities for marketers to promote their brands, share of voice has become one of the most important measures of just how visible a brand is in the market.
What is share of voice?
Share of voice measures your brand’s visibility across channels compared to your competition. However, the specific share of voice definition can vary based on industry, channel and the type of visibility you want to measure. It can include practically any form of measurable brand awareness, from clicks to social media mentions to SEO to PR to website traffic.
For example, you can calculate your share of voice to gauge awareness of your website, social media and paid advertising campaigns.
Share of voice versus share of market
Share of voice is sometimes confused with share of market. While they’re both important and both relate to how well you stack up against your competitors, they’re also different. Market share measures your brand’s portion of sales or revenue in the marketplace, while share of voice measures your brand’s slice of consumer attention, awareness or visibility.
Why is share of voice important?
Share of voice analysis is one of the most effective ways to measure how well you’re reaching your customers and how familiar consumers are with your brand, particularly as compared to other brands in your industry. The higher your brand’s share of voice, the more likely it is that you’ll be top of mind for consumers — and that they’ll turn to your brand when they’re ready to shop.
As a retail marketer, using consumer retail share of voice reports can tell you if your marketing dollars are well spent and which areas of your marketing planning and strategy you may need to work on moving forward. For example, you might have a high share of voice on social media but not website traffic.
In this way, share of voice can help you measure campaign effectiveness and guide how you might allocate budget and staff resources. In addition, it can give your retail marketing team important insights into your customers, such as:
- What types of content they’re interested in and what factors matters most to them
- What channels generate the most — and least — interactions with your brand
- How audience segments, demographics or specific geographic markets impact your share of voice
- How share of voice impacts your customer loyalty program effectiveness
How do you measure share of voice?
If you’re wondering how to calculate share of voice, start by choosing your marketing channel and the metric you’re interested in. Then divide your brand’s performance result by the total results for your industry and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
Example: Calculating Share of Voice
Women’s shoe brand A wants to calculate their share of voice for Instagram likes. It has 100 likes out of a total of 1,000 likes for all women’s shoe brands. Women’s Shoe Brand A has a 10% share of voice for Instagram likes.
What is share of voice in social media?
For many retailers, social media is a major component of their digital strategy, and it’s easy to understand why. There were 302 million social media users in the U.S. in 2021, according to Statista.1 So it’s no surprise that social media, which makes it easy for consumers to post and share content and connect with brands directly, is crucial when calculating share of voice.
Measuring share of voice in social media lets you analyze what you’re doing well and identify gaps in your social media marketing strategy. By calculating share of voice as it relates to social media mentions, hashtags, reach or impressions, retailers can see firsthand which of their competitors are getting the most visibility — or if they’re the winning brand.
Let’s say you want to measure your share of voice on Twitter. One way to do this would be to take the branded hashtags your audience is using. If your company’s branded hashtags are used 50 times compared to 200 times for the entire market, your share of voice would be 25%.
Using tools to measure share of voice
Depending on the metrics your team decides to measure, calculating share of voice can be a DIY endeavor or you could take advantage of numerous platform automation tools, some of which you may already be using. Tools like HubSpot, Hootsuite, Google Ads, Google Analytics and Ahrefs can make it easier and more efficient to measure share of voice and use those findings to improve your customer loyalty and retention campaigns.
How do you increase share of voice?
Once you’ve learned how to calculate share of voice, the next step is to increase it. One obvious way is to focus on those channels where your share of voice is not as high as you’d like. Below are some other ways to toot your brand’s horn a little louder.
- Leverage content marketing by creating and sharing original, engaging content. Examine your customer data (or even survey current customers) for deeper insights into their interests, behaviors, concerns and the types of content they want from your brand. This lets you create relevant content and share it on the channels where your customers are. Even better: Make your content easily shareable, especially on social media channels.
- Actively engage with customers. Be helpful and positive, responding to social media chatter and customer service issues as quickly as possible. Happy customers are likely to share their positive experience with others, including those who may not yet be familiar with your brand.
- Encourage customer reviews and testimonials. Then thank customers for taking the time to do this by rewarding them with extra loyalty program points or a coupon toward a future purchase.
- Acknowledge those who talk about your company or share your content. Whether it’s positive or negative, actively participating in discussions shows customers that your brand cares about what they have to say or share.
- Be intentional and consistent. Make improving share of voice a marketing goal priority. Take part in consumer discussions, and react and respond to relevant industry news and trending topics. The more frequently you can get your brand in front of consumers, the more opportunities you’ll create to increase your share of voice.
Finally, be sure to track your progress. Regular share of voice reporting will show your team and the C-suite how your marketing efforts are paying off.
Greater Share of Voice Can Increase Customer Loyalty to Your Brand
Understanding your brand’s share of voice compared to your competitors shows you where you stand, where you could be and what areas of your marketing strategy you can focus on to get there. Using the insights from calculating share of voice can be an effective and cost-efficient way to better reach and serve your customers, building and keeping loyalty to your brand.
Could your brand visibility use a boost? Our experienced retail marketing consultants have been helping retailers increase customer loyalty and sales for more than four decades. Learn more about the retail marketing services and solutions we offer and contact us at 303.986.3000 for a free, no-strings consultation.
1 “Social Media Usage in the United States — Statistics & Facts,” Statista, published July 8, 2022, https://www.statista.com/topics/3196/social-media-usage-in-the-united-states/, accessed Sept. 19, 2022