Why does SOV Matter for Digital PR?

Share of voice (SOV) is a marketing and PR term used to measure the number of brand mentions or media coverage compared to the competitors in your market or industry, it acts as an indicator of how successful (or unsuccessful) your brand visibility is, plus how much you dominate the conversations in your niche.

Essentially, the larger your market share, the higher your authority and popularity amongst your current and prospective customers/clients. Makes sense right?

So, in terms of your PR campaigns, it’s a handy tool to be able to reference how effective they are/have been, or whether you need to put a little more effort in or change up your tricks. But first, let’s go into more detail on what SOV actually is and why it matters so you can measure and make the most out of it wisely…

Understanding Share of Voice

Still need some more info on the ins and outs? For those looking for a straight-to-the-point, no-nonsense SOV definition, listen up:

It’s the percentage of all conversations or media coverage within your industry that is attributed to your brand. You can use the metric to discover how well your social media mentions, ads, organic searches, and even web traffic are performing in comparison to your competition. With the ultimate goal being to utilise the info to make sure your brand and conversations lead the marketplace. 

The A-list version of your industry, if you will.

Here’s an example: If there are 100 total mentions of brands in a particular industry in a month, and your brand received 30 of those mentions, your SOV would be 30%. But we’re working for higher, obvs.

Why Share of Voice Matters for Digital PR

Share of voice plays a major part in digi PR, as it helps you to formulate solid ideas and angles for your campaigns. For example, where are you now and where could you be, and where do you want to go? SOV hands you the tools you need to be able to get there by establishing the following:

  1. Providing insight into your brand’s reputation and visibility compared to competitors 

Competitor analysis is probably the biggest reason brands measure their SOV. You don’t just want intel on if you’re being talked about – you also want to know how you can get more people talking about you, and the only way you can do this is by steering the chat in your direction. 

It also helps to know where you stand amongst your competitors so you can be conscious of how you attract the attention. Like, do your competitors have better visibility than you, or is their reputation more authoritative? If so, why? Look at what they do in terms of their branding and PR and adjust your own processes so that you can achieve their success. 

Plus, being aware of your competitors is the key to setting your brand apart from the others, too. 

  • Helping to identify areas of strength and weakness in your PR campaigns 

Got those competitive metrics? Now you can figure out the areas of strengths and weaknesses in the competition, compare them to your own and then create or adjust your strategy accordingly. You can also just look at your own campaigns and see which areas are performing effectively and which could do with a tidy-up.

  • Allows you to adjust your PR strategy to improve your SOV and increase brand awareness 

While tracking your SOV helps you to gain insight into your competitors and identify the strengths and weaknesses of your PR campaigns, it also matters because you can improve your share of voice. 

What we’re basically saying, is that having a strong SOV is the catalyst for bettering and growing your brand and its overall awareness, and we’re about to tell you how to measure it plus tips on how to develop it… 

How to Measure Share of Voice

We’ve listed a few ways you can measure your SOV to get a better understanding of how your brand is perceived and engaged with as a whole:

  • Use media monitoring tools to track brand mentions across various media channels

There are plenty of different platforms your brand could be mentioned in, so it’s important that you’re on the ball and across all areas. For example, social media, news sites and blogs are all channels that offer opportunities to get the word out about what you do, and consumer conversations across these platforms are often highly accurate and valued metrics. 

In terms of monitoring all of these mentions, you can use social media analytics tools to simplify the process. They work by locating all of your product or brand mentions and collecting them in one place. You can then compare these measures against your competitors to understand your position in your industry. 

Many tools will also help you to collate and visualise voice data. Plus breakdown the data based on things like engagements, unique authors, impressions and sentiment, not to mention narrow down results by keywords, networks and other advanced filters.

  • Calculate the total number of mentions for your brand and your competitors in a specific time period

It’s worth collating data from specific time periods, too. For example, say you launched a new product and you wanted to see how it fared in terms of SOV, you’d be able to zoom in on that particular time in your business journey and understand the impact and impression you made. If it’s not what you’d have hoped from a launch, you can evaluate what when wrong and adapt for your next product drop. 

Do this for a competitor brand around the same time, or when they’ve launched something new so you can take a look at their metrics in comparison to yours.

Seasonal periods are good too, especially if you primarily make your sales during holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Halloween, Easter or the summer months, it’s good to have an idea of SOV metrics during busy annual stretches.

  • Calculate your share of voice during that period 

For the final reveal (and to see how well or poorly you performed during a specific time period) you’ll need to calculate your overall share of voice to get the percentage we gave an example of earlier. 

Do this by dividing your total number of brand mentions by the total number of brand mentions in the market or industry during that time period. You’ll then be able to really see how much of an impact your brand has made, plus the scale of your visibility and awareness. 

Not the figure you’d hoped? Here are some strategies to help you take your SOV from that OG 30% to much higher…

Strategies to Improve Share of Voice

Here’s some thing you might not have considered, beyond the world of Digital PR to increase your SOV.

  • Develop a strong SOV strategy that includes targeted messaging and audience engagement across all platforms.

Rule number one: your PR strategy game needs to be strong – no ifs or buts about it. Firstly, look over your campaign and ask yourself – does it target those you want to target? For example, if you’re wanting to hit the Gen-Z audience, make sure you keep it short, include lots of videos, be transparent and accountable, and keep it authentic.  

Audience engagement is key, too, because this is of major importance for boosting your SOV. Think about it – if you don’t involve your audience and invite them into your brand, why would they bother mentioning you? It also alienates potential customers as they may not even know you exist.

Social media provides you with direct access to both your current and potential customers/clients in real-time. It’s a non-negotiable that your brand needs to be active and visible all the time so that you can grow and maintain a strong presence. Plus, be part of conversations as soon as they enter the public domain.

Pushing conversations not happening on socials to social platforms will also drive more engagement for your brand’s socials. (So many socials, sorry.) This helps to boost your (here it comes again) social SOV, because it will create more discussions and mentions of your brand on different platforms. 

Once out on social media, these conversations will be available to the public, so it’s also important you generate positive customer responses and have a good rapport with your customers, including answering any queries they may have ASAP. 

Aldi is a brand that wins at leveraging platforms every time. While they’ve already got the advantage of having a huge following, they’re experts at social media and translating that into positive SOV. Whether they’re bantering with consumers or generally responding to problems or queries, if you look through some of their Twitter threads, the majority of customers are satisfied with the replies they get.

Basically, demonstrating how you reply to customers with their concerns or questions can help convince other potential buyers to make that purchase, and in turn, increase your mentions and share of voice.

Next stop, brand domination

Share of voice is a crucial metric for digital PR that can help measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and increase brand visibility. By understanding what the marketing term is, why it matters, and how to measure it, you can develop a stronger PR strategy and improve your brand’s reputation in your industry.

Sophie Crosby

Head of Content (UK & ES) at Minty.

CIM qualified. Brand and content nerd. Cat lover and full time ice cream enthusiast.
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