“Share of voice” is the percentage of all online content and conversations about your company, compared against those of your competitors.
Knowing where you stand on a quantitative, qualitative, and tonal basis is essential when evaluating your brand’s position in the online world. Is your company talked about positively or negatively? How are you responding? Is your company present in essential conversations? How does this compare with your competitors? Should you do more or less?
We regularly conduct share-of-voice analyses for our clients. Evaluations are often customized to focus on media relations, online reviews, social media, advertising, SEO, or all of the above, depending on client industries and marketing initiatives.
Using proven tracking methods, we tally client and competitor activity year round. Then quarterly and/or annually we evaluate share of voice, calculating percentage ownership or market share in each particular area of interest.
Specific media relations evaluations include:
An overall numerical evaluation. For example, if you appeared in the media 20 times in 2013 and there were 150 instances of total coverage among your company and its competitors, your quantitative share of voice would be 13.3 percent (20/150 = 0.1333 x 100 = 13.3).
A quality analysis. Perhaps your quantitative share of voice is lower than desired, but how strong are your media placements? We score placements a couple of ways to help evaluate them:
• Scoring placements by tier. Tier 1 can represent national and trade coverage; tier 2 most often represents local and nonspecific outlets. If the majority of coverage is tier 1, your qualitative analysis would be high.
• Scoring placements by type. Were you quoted as an expert source? Were you mentioned in an article or comment? Or were you featured in your own story? Some instances hold more merit than others.
Positive or negative. When your company is mentioned, is it in a positive or negative light? Having a large amount of negative coverage is not ideal and should spur an investigation and/or company change.
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It is important to look at your media coverage from multiple angles. The amount of coverage secured is not the only available metric. It is essential to not only track your coverage, but to look deeper and compare your company against its competitors. Analyzing share of voice provides tangible data that can help with ROI evaluations and strategic planning.
How do you evaluate your media placements? Please share your metrics protocol in the comments section.
Bethany Cramer is the public relations manager at Marketing Works and an active member of Toastmasters International. A version of this story first appeared on The Marketing Works Blog. Follow Marketing Works on Twitter @MktingWorks and Bethany @heybethanyrae.