Digital marketing 101: Share of Search vs Share of Voice

Digital Marketing has grown substantially over the years with the idea of connecting brands to potential customers via the internet. Digital marketing is more than just banner ads, it includes any form of communication that reaches a customer digitally. It is primarily used for promoting products or services, increasing sales, and increasing customer engagement with its brands.

In the digital context, two key measures that invariably comes up during Analytics and Insights discussions are –

  1. Share of Search (SOS)
  2. Share of Voice (SOV)

They are used creatively as a proxy to estimate brand equity, understand competitor’s tactics and to finetune forecasting and predictive models linked to long-term business strategies.

Share of Search, Share of Voice

A brand’s Share of digital Search (SOS) reflects how many organic searches it has received versus the total number of searches made by all brands in that category or industry.

If it is measured over time and compared to competitors, it is a good indicator of a brand’s health. In addition, because SOS and market share are highly correlated, more enterprising companies have been using it as a proxy to estimate their market share.

The Share of Search formula is –

Share of Search = (Number of searches for a Brand / Total number of searches of all brands) *100

Brand NameMonthly Organic SearchShare of Search
Alpha4040/90 = 44%
Beta3030/90 = 33%
Gamma2020/90 = 22%
 Total =90 

What Is Share of Voice (SOV)?

Marketers consider SOV to be one of the most important metrics. Using a SOV, you can determine your brand’s visibility and what percentage of online discussions revolve around your product or service. As your SOV rises, your authority within your business niche increases.

First of all, there are many metrics to consider as far as calculating SOV is concerned. A few of those are- Organic keywords, Pay per click (PPC) keywords, Impressions, Reach, Revenue, Mentions, Hashtags

How to Calculate Share of Voice:
Your brand metric / Total market metric x 100

Brand NameBranded hashtagsShare of Voice
Alpha100100/200 = 50%
Beta3030/200 = 15%
Gamma7070/200 = 35%
 Total =200 

Marketing SOV
SOV = (Brand spend / Total market spend) x 100

Social Listening SOV
SOV= (Total number of a brand’s mentions/Total number of mentions within the market) x 100

In the context of Digital Marketing, SOV refers to all forms of measurable brand awareness, including online mentions, PPC, website traffic, etc. It measures how popular a brand is compared to its competitors. The Share of digital voice is incredibly useful, and its prevalence tends to correlate with its market share and revenue.