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The Beginner’s Guide to Share of Voice

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The Beginner's Guide to Share of Voice

If you’ve ever been in charge of gathering reports for your marketing team, then you know there are a plethora of metrics you can measure.

One metric that gets overlooked is share of voice. However, this is a versatile metric that you can use in a competitive analysis for social media, organic traffic, or even paid advertising.

As a marketer, share of voice is important because it helps you understand how well your brand is performing against the competition. Below, we’ll review everything you need to know about share of voice.

This metric was mainly used as a way to measure success in paid advertising, however it’s much more than that now. You can calculate share of voice for organic traffic and social media, in addition to paid advertising.

By calculating your share of voice, you’ll have a better understanding of many people know about your brand, and you can identify areas to work on. For example, if you have a high share of voice in social media, but not as much in organic traffic, then you know you need to improve your organic traffic strategies.

While share of voice isn’t the same thing as market share (more on that below), share of voice tends to correlate with market share and revenue. For instance, the more you’re dominating in the conversation online, the more market share you’ll have and the more authority you’ll have among users.

Share of Voice Formula

To calculate share of voice, divide your brand’s measures by the total market measures. This could be your social mentions, paid advertising clicks, or website traffic.

To find these numbers, you’ll need to use some of your marketing tools. You can look at your social media automation tool, for instance, to count how many mentions your brand has. Then, you can calculate how many mentions your competitors have. After you add all those together, you can divide your mentions by the total to find the share of voice percentage.

Calculating share of voice should help you learn which channels need your attention the most and how you stack up against competitors. Now, let’s see which channels you should calculate share of voice for.

Share of Voice Metrics by Channel

Advertising

When it comes to advertising, it’s important to find your share of voice to see how much ad space you’re taking up compared to the competition.

To find this, you’ll divide how well you did in a paid advertising metric (such as impression shares), by the total number in the industry.

For PPC ads, you can look at impression shares, which represent the amount of times your ads were shown to users compared to the number of times your ads could have been shown, based on your keyword and campaign settings. If you’re using Google Ads, you can find “Impression Share” into your account, going to campaigns, clicking the column icon, selecting “modify.” From there click “competitor metrics” and then add impression share columns by checking the boxes next to their names. Then click “apply” and the impressions data should show up in your table.

Share of voice is important in advertising because it will help you budget, measure campaign effectiveness, and give you a competitive advantage.

News Outlets and Blogs

Measuring your share of voice across news and media tracks how often your brand is mentioned across these platforms. Find out which publications are talking about you and the context of these mentions.

Use this information to help you identify writers or outlets that would be interested in covering your brand or related topics, find out industry related trends, and compare how competitors are doing. Harnessing this information can simplify research for your PR team and give you helpful industry insight.

You can get notifications of mentions using Google News alerts, but for more in depth feedback, you’ll want to use a listening tool.

SEO and Organic Search

To measure your brand’s share of voice in organic search, you’ll need to look at your brand occurrence in search results pages (SERPS). Typically the number of impressions is the metric used to measure this, but you could also use clicks. There are several tools you can utilize to pull this information (more on those in the next section).

Performing an SEO share of voice analysis will help you figure out which websites rank most for a set of keywords of your choice.

Once you’ve decided on a list of keywords or topics you’d like to focus on, pop them into a keyword research tool. Pull the 1st page (SERP) rankings from the results for each topic. From there you can export this data into a table or chart to get a better visual of the data.

Social Media

Social media is one of the main channels where you can use share of voice as a measure of success since social media is where consumers go to be heard. Statista reports that in 2021 there were 295 million social media users in the U.S. alone. With even more users around the globe, you’ll want to tap into the conversations people are having and use that data to improve your marketing strategy.

With social media, you can measure brand mentions, hashtags, reach, impressions, or even sentiment.

To calculate, use a social media tool to measure brand mentions. Calculate yours, your competitors, then add those numbers together and divide your mentions by the total.

Share of voice is important in social media because it will help you determine which competitors are getting mentioned more, so you can analyze what you do versus what they do. This will help you identify gaps in your strategy. Ask yourself, what platforms are working for your competitors, which influencers talk about them, and where they’re the most popular.

While calculating share of voice may seem daunting at first, the good news is there are plenty of software and tools available that will help you gather the information you need. Here are some of our favorites.

1. HubSpot Social Media Management Software

share of voice tools HubSpotBest for: Social Media Share of Voice

This all-in-one tool will help you build and track marketing campaigns, but it is also an effective social listening tool. With HubSpot, you can create keyword monitoring streams, track social media interactions and trigger email alerts when prospects mention your brand. Save time as this tool allows you to track multiple social platforms in one spot, automate monitoring, and focus on the interactions that matter most.

Why we like it:HubSpot let’s you link all of your interactions back to your CRM and makes it easy to evaluate campaign results with their ready-made reports.

2. Hootsuite

share of voice tools HootsuiteImage Source

Best for:Social Media Share of Voice

Hootsuite lets you keep an eye on conversations mentioning your brand, monitor relevant keywords, and hashtags. Similar to HubSpot, Hootsuite allows users to access this information from an easy to use dashboard without having to toggle back and forth from various social media accounts.

Why we like it: Hootsuite is a great entry level option for those new to social monitoring tools.

3. Talkwalker

share of voice tools TalkwalkerImage Source

Best for: News, Blog, and Social Media Share of Voice

Talkwalker monitors brand mentions across news, social media platforms, blogs and the web. This tool also dives deep to help you get insight on not only share of voice, but user sentiment. Talkwalker will give you sentiment analysis for up to 25 languages, a great option for those who do business internationally.

Why we like it: Their AI visual listening feature lets you track brand logos on the web and across social media to help you gain a more comprehensive picture of how your brand is doing.

4. Google Ads

share of voice tools Google Ads

Image Source

Best for: PPC and Advertising Share of Voice

When you need to measure PPC share of voice, it’s hard to beat Google Ads as a tool. To find your PPC share of voice, use their impression share metric. Conveniently, Google’s tools work together, so if you already have Search Console, you could link it to your Google Ads account.

Why we like it: Google Ads is so widely used, it’s often already a component of marketing campaigns. Having the Impressions share metric built in makes pulling this data a simple task.

5. Ahrefs

Best for: SEO Share of Voice

When measuring SEO share of voice, Ahrefs is a reliable tool. You can easily get a snapshot of your organic traffic compared to your competitors using their batch analysis feature. Alternatively, you could use hrefs to track competitors’ share of voice by comparing them against the keywords you want to rank for. It’s a great overall tool for most SEO needs.

Why we like it: Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool that can help you tackle a myriad of SEO tasks from topic research to website audits.

6. SEMrush

share of voice tools SEMrush Position TrackingImage Source

Best for: SEO Share of Voice

Like Ahrefs, SEMrush is another great all-in-one SEO tool that can also help you measure share of voice. This can be done through SEMrush’s position tracking tool. You’ll need a business subscription to access it, but it’s worth it for large enterprises. In addition to the position tracking tool, you can measure share of voice by location or topic, as well as discover new competitors.

Why we like it: in addition to share of voice metrics, SEMrush can be utilized for content marketing needs and technical SEO. Their keyword gap feature can help you identify areas for organic search improvement.

7. Brandwatch

share of voice tools BrandwatchImage Source

Best for: Web and Social Media Share of Voice

Brandwatch is another tool that can help you track your brand’s share of voice across social media, web, and news mentions. You can compare share of voice by brand or opt to compare customer sentiment, location, and other demographics. This tool is great if you’re looking to dig into customer insights of your competitors.

Why we like it: Brandwatch’s customer sentiment analysis will help you identify any roadblocks or risks, plus add helpful context to the data in your reports.

Now, you might be wondering, “How can I generate these reports?”

Share of Voice Reports

To create a share of voice report, you should be able to use your marketing automation tool to gather the numbers. Most of the tools listed above, like HubSpot, will generate reports for you, or have the option to export the data.

If exporting you can put the data in whatever format you like as long as it makes sense to you and your team. You can simply create an excel sheet and begin calculating the share of voice for several channels including social media, news, advertising, or organic traffic.

Calculating share of voice is a great way to learn how well you perform against your competitors. Use the insights you gain to better serve your audience, stay on top of trends, and outperform the competition. The best part is that you can use this metric for several marketing channels, from advertising to social media.

This article was originally published March 10, 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How DocuSign’s Teams Tie Customer Value to Every Single Change

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How DocuSign’s Teams Tie Customer Value to Every Single Change

How do you deliver value at every stage of the customer journey? 
 
It’s the single most important goal held by almost everyone from marketing to sales to engineering to data teams. 
 
Even with a solid customer journey map, delivering that value — much less connecting it directly to the everyday work that happens on the ground — is easier said than done. Unless you’re the team at DocuSign.

DocuSign’s teams (with hundreds of individual contributors) tie customer value to every single change they make across their marketing and product strategies and deliverables. By doing so, they also happen to constantly find ways to deliver the best possible experience to every single one of their customers.

How has the team accomplished what for many feels like a distant dream? They’ve developed a strong culture of experimentation that their teams deploy for every proposed change, and their Marketing, Product, Design, and Engineering teams (to name a few) use Optimizely to bring those experiments to life.

In this post, Anjali Mehra, Senior Director, Analytics & Experimentation, at DocuSign, breaks down how DocuSign built their experimentation program from the ground up.  

Get the inside scoop: How DocuSign structures their experimentation program 

The DocuSign difference isn’t just that DocuSign uses an experiment like A/B testing to endorse every customer-facing change. Here at Optimizely, our team loves experimentation, but we know that, practically speaking, running experiments simply isn’t enough. 

The reason DocuSign has been so successful is their rigorous, holistic approach to experimentation across the company. Here’s the good news: Anjali from DocuSign has told us how they’ve achieved it.

Here are the program highlights: 

  • DocuSign’s experimentation program is a whole-company effort: more than 20 customer-impact teams amounting to hundreds of users are on the Optimizely platform. 
  • DocuSign Marketing, Product, and Design teams use Optimizely to test both web and product features. Plus, the DocuSign Engineering team uses Optimizely’s feature flag functionality to ship most features they deliver. Everyone can work from the same platform, which meant they can scale their programs and share their learnings easily. 
  • Because the whole DocuSign team uses Optimizely to run experiments, they’re generating data from across the customer lifecycle. All this data allows them to truly understand not only their current customers but prospective and lost customers.  

 

All of this happens because DocuSign has built not just a culture of experimentation but a strong experiment planning culture. All of the teams’ testing is backed by a clear strategy that includes: 

  • Planning the test and parameters 
  • Developing a clearly refined hypothesis  
  • Choosing a North Star KPI 
  • Achieving cross-functional stakeholder alignment 
  • Running an impact analysis 
  • Selecting a decision framework to take action   

 

Why DocuSign partners with Optimizely for their experimentation program 

Running a program like DocuSign’s starts with a business commitment, but they needed the right partners to bring it to life.

DocuSign began their journey towards their current culture of experimentation over ten years ago. At the time, they were heavily focused on building a website with a ground-breaking conversion rate. They chose Optimizely even back then to test and iterate on their web and commerce flows.

As their company evolved, they decided to grow with Optimizely to onboard more teams for feature optimization and experimentation and even feature flagging. Even better, they’ve reduced the resources otherwise needed for this program because they don’t need in-house engineering resources for experimentation.

 

The results transform day-to-day work for their teams 

As a B2B SaaS organization, DocuSign is most concerned with three KPIs: conversion, expansion, and retention rates.

But to create velocity and stay at the forefront of their category, they’re just as focused on tying every decision they make to powerful data, which allows all their teams to directly tie their work to business value.

The results across the business speak for themselves and are transformative for work flows.

As individual teams, DocuSign are: 

  • Not only hitting KPIs but understanding how they got there & tying it back to individual contributor and team work 
  • Creating real velocity to launch and ship faster through a data-driven, experimentation culture 
  • Building product and marketing roadmaps & making business decisions based on clear results 

Replicate DocuSign’s experimentation program in 5 steps 

Remember how DocuSign carefully plans every experiment and their underlying experimentation strategy serves as a foundation for every test they run?

Take another step back and there’s another framework they used to get where they are. And it’s the same framework that can help you set up a long-lasting program of your own.

According to Anjali, here’s the framework she used to build their experimentation program: 

  1. Get executive sponsorship. 
  2. Align with all your cross-functional partners. 
  3. Establish program-level goals and OKRs (like velocity, win rate, impact) 
  4. Create a test planning strategy and program 
  5. Build a test and learn culture 

Will 2024 be the Year you change everything (with data)? 

Check out our new report, The Evolution of Experimentation, to learn more about how Optimizely customers have run over 127k experiments and turned practitioners into champions. 

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Choosing the Right Tradeshow Exhibit Company: A Comprehensive Guide

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Choosing the Right Tradeshow Exhibit Company: A Comprehensive Guide

In the dynamic realm of trade shows, your exhibit is the face of your business. It’s the first impression you make on potential clients and partners. Therefore, selecting the right tradeshow exhibit company is a critical decision that can significantly impact your success. To help you navigate this important choice, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to ensure you make an informed and strategic decision.

1. Define Your Objectives and Budget

Before diving into the selection process, defining your tradeshow objectives and setting a realistic budget is essential. Are you aiming to generate leads, showcase new products, or strengthen brand awareness? Understanding your goals will guide you in choosing an exhibit company that aligns with your needs.

2. Research and Reputation Check

Start by researching potential exhibit companies. Look for firms with a proven track record in creating successful tradeshow booths. Check their portfolio, client testimonials, and industry reviews. A company with a positive reputation is more likely to deliver quality service and results.

3. Experience in Your Industry

Experience matters. Work with a tradeshow exhibit company that is familiar with your industry nuances is better equipped to design a booth that resonates with your target audience. They understand the trends, regulations, and unique challenges, ensuring a booth that stands out correctly.

4. Innovative Design and Technology Integration

A visually appealing and technologically advanced booth can capture attention and leave a lasting impression. Look for an exhibit company that embraces innovation, incorporating the latest design trends and technology solutions. This can include interactive displays, augmented reality, or other engaging elements that set your booth apart.

5. Customization vs. Modular Solutions

Consider whether your needs align better with custom-built or modular exhibits. Customization allows for a unique and tailored booth, while modular solutions offer flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Rise Exhibits & Environments should be able to guide you toward the option that best suits your goals and budget.

6. Sustainability Practices

As environmental concerns grow, many businesses are opting for sustainable exhibit solutions. Inquire about the exhibit company’s commitment to eco-friendly practices, such as recyclable materials, energy-efficient designs, and responsible waste management.

7. Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication is critical to a successful partnership. Ensure the exhibiting company you choose values collaboration, providing clear timelines, updates, and opportunities for your input throughout the design and construction process.

8. Post-Show Support and Storage Options

The exhibit experience doesn’t end when the show concludes. Inquire about post-show support, including lead follow-up strategies and analytics. Additionally, discuss storage options for your exhibit materials between shows, saving you time and resources in the long run.

9. Legal and Logistics Expertise

Navigating tradeshow logistics and regulations can be challenging. A reputable exhibit company should understand the legal and logistical aspects, ensuring a smooth experience from planning to execution.

Tradeshow exhibit planner services can propel your tradeshow experience to new heights; here is how:

  • Understanding Your Goals: The first step in the tradeshow exhibit planning process is a comprehensive understanding of your goals. A proficient exhibit planner will work closely with you to define objectives such as lead generation, brand exposure, or product launches. Clear goals form the foundation upon which the entire exhibit strategy is built.
  • Budgeting Wisely: Exhibit planners are adept at balancing creating an impactful display and adhering to a budget. They can help you allocate resources effectively, ensuring maximum ROI without compromising on the quality and effectiveness of your exhibit.
  • Designing for Impact: Exhibit planners leverage their expertise to create visually compelling and strategically aligned booths. From layout and graphics to interactive elements, they ensure that your booth captures attention and effectively communicates your brand message.

Choosing the right tradeshow exhibit company requires careful consideration of your objectives, budget, and the capabilities of potential partners. Following this comprehensive guide, you can make a well-informed decision that meets and exceeds your expectations, ensuring a standout presence at your next tradeshow. Remember, your exhibit is not just a structure; it’s a strategic investment in the future success of your business.

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Don’t Wait To See How Cookies Crumble; Cook Up a New Data Strategy Now

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Don’t Wait To See How Cookies Crumble; Cook Up a New Data Strategy Now

Imagine a world where you make candy and cakes. Almost all your competitors make similar candy and cakes, but you do well because your cakes are awesome.

In this world, you and your fellow confectioners in the marketplace rely on the same kind of chocolate. One company controls a huge percentage of that high-quality chocolate supply. Everybody grumbles that the company is too big and powerful, but they still buy it because the chocolate is good and cheaper than everybody else’s.

Suddenly, with much fanfare and public outcry, the world deems chocolate harmful to public health. It’s not like chocolate won’t exist. People will still make and consume it. But the biggest chocolate distributors, including that huge supplier, say, “No more chocolate!”

Do you change your business model and products to fit in the new world? Or do you turn into a chocolate outlaw?

Before you decide, the major chocolate provider says, “We’re going to make something that’s just like chocolate but without any of the dangerous things the public is worried about. Trust us. And you can only get this new chocolate from us.”

Does that affect your business choice? Would you think the chocolate supplier might be taking advantage of the situation?

Well, that’s where publishers and advertisers are today with third-party cookies. In response to privacy concerns, Google is stopping support of third-party cookies. But it’s also got a “new” version that it says you’ll want. Yet, you still have no idea what goes into that new bite.

Who knows what the right answer is? CMI’s chief strategy advisor, Robert Rose, has a few ideas. Watch this video or read on for his take.

The story of third-party cookies

We’ve covered the idea of privacy and the departure of third-party cookies a few times on this channel. But recent developments may have you saying, “I just don’t understand. Are third-party cookies going away? Is something going to change? Do I have to do something?”

The answer is yes.

So as not to let the many buzzwords, technicalities, and double-speak in the conversation continue to frustrate you, I’ll break it down.

A few weeks ago, I talked about Google and the status of the third-party cookie. I defined what a cookie means and how it plays into personalized or customized ads for a targeted audience across digital channels.

As I said, the third-party cookie has been an embattled feature for years. But now Google has large market shares for web browsers, content/publishers, AND search advertising. Google is the lynchpin of the ad industry.

So, about two months ago, Apple made a simple but extraordinarily significant change to how it manages podcasts. Prior to the change, a subscriber who skipped a week or two of a podcast would return to find the app downloaded all the missed episodes.

After its recent system update, Apple doesn’t retroactively download episodes, leading many podcasts to lose about 25% of their downloads. Podcasters had a collective meltdown. It’s a big deal for those who monetized their podcasts through advertising, given it’s a $2 billion industry.

Now imagine that impact almost 300 times bigger. Programmatic advertising is a $546 billion industry. Google is about $230 billion of that, so this third-party cookie change hits at a tectonic-scale level. When Google eliminates third-party cookies, everybody in business will see their ad performance take a huge hit. Publishers, media companies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and even tech companies are having toxic freakouts.

Google is smart, of course. It’s not just taking away the third-party cookie. After all, it fuels their revenue, too. In 2019, Google basically said,  “Uh, yeah, hey. We’re going all in on privacy, and we’re gonna start working on new solutions that don’t involve third-party cookies. We’d love to work with you on this. Let’s shoot for — I dunno, 2022?”

Around that time, it launched what became known as the Google Privacy Sandbox — an “industry-wide effort to develop new technology that will improve people’s privacy across the web and apps.”

Turmoil in potential cookie-free solutions

As Google started the work in 2019, great debates arose with groups like IAB, representing the affected industries, on how to do things. Delays ensued. In 2021, Google said, “OK, we get it. This is hard. So we’ll delay killing third-party cookies until 2023.”

Meanwhile, Google just kept doing stuff. It tried new technologies. It experimented. Nobody in advertising and media paid attention, or if they did, they didn’t like it. So, Google again said, “OK, we’ll delay it. But come on, we’re serious — 2024 is it.”

In 2023, it rolled out the solution to a cookie-free world — a clean room technology with partner vendors like Habu and LiveRamp. The concept would allow advertisers to match Google data with the product company’s data. It created a data exchange called “Switzerland,” a neutral place to identify people to target with ads without either side giving up their data identities. Google called this PAIR — Publisher Advertiser Identity Reconciliation.

To confuse things more and stretch the sanity of acronym bingo, Google also announced FLEDGE — First Locally Executed Decisions over Groups Experiment. It lumped people into a set of content categories. The test found that Google’s category definitions performed similarly to those using third-party cookies. Thankfully, they switched the name to Protected Audience API and were like, “Hey, this kinda works. So whaddya say?”

Underwhelmed publishers and others replied, “Meh, I don’t get it.”

And that brings us to today.

A few weeks ago, Google made good on its promise. It rolled out real changes, limiting third-party cookies on 1% of Chrome browsers, and people weren’t happy.

Now, the news is that IAB — that industry group representing advertisers and publishers — issued a report outlining all the things wrong with Google’s Privacy Sandbox approach and why it’s not ready for prime time. They cried, “What?! You’re actually doing the thing you told us you were going to do five years ago!”

In their outrage, they not so subtly tried to make the point Google might not be transparent in how it’s doing things. The Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom picked up on the unsubstantiated hint. It basically said, “Google must do more to address the issues with the Privacy Sandbox because, well, because Google may be building an advantage to Google in the way they are architecting the sandbox.”

Shocking, right? Google might structure the next generation of ad targeting to benefit itself over everybody else.

Overcome third-party debate with first-party solution

What does all this mean for you?

You’ll see similar headlines about third-party data fixes for a while. The thrashing will go on about standardized ways to target advertising. It’s in everyone’s interest to delay, obfuscate, and make everything complex about this. So, don’t expect this to resolve itself any time soon.

But don’t use all that as an excuse to delay your business, team, or you from refining your first-party data approach – and using that data collected from your customers, site visitors, etc., to manage how you target content and create value for the audiences and customers you desire.

Whatever the outcome of all this thrashing, it will fundamentally change how ad media is purchased. It’s not if it will change, but how much and what will change. I guarantee no matter which solution ends up being the standard, it’s not going to be easier to target content.

If you don’t have a first-party data strategy and a way to get a 360-degree view of your audience as they journey through your content experiences, marketing and advertising will get a lot more expensive. That I know for sure.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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