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How to Use Share of Voice Data to Optimize Your Ad Strategy

It can be difficult to understand what really works in your ad campaigns based on ROI and ROAS alone. Most of the time, these metrics are a lagging indicator of success or missed opportunity, but not a diagnosis.

Want to really know how your brand is doing? Start tracking Share of Voice (SOV) to understand your position in the market. SOV covers both effective competitor research and brand health measurement, and it can provide a lot of insights into how to plan your ad campaigns.

Studying how your brand compares to your competitors in terms of impressions, clicks, and sales gives an indication of how visible your brand is and how saturated the conversations in your industry are.

Why Track Share of Voice?

The insights from Share of Voice are not limited to your brand alone.

By looking at the SOV of your competitors, you can perform a competitive analysis on a market-wide scale. Brands can understand exactly how they compare to their competitors in terms of market share, as well as identify things like:

  • Keywords their competitors bid on
  • Change in paid and organic SOV on a daily basis
  • How much competitors focus on different types of campaigns, such as Sponsored Products vs Sponsored Brands

One brand making use of SOV data is Tuft & Needle. The direct-to-consumer mattress startup used Pacvue’s Share of Voice tool to gather competitive intelligence around a spike in their CPC. They discovered a competitor was targeting their branded terms and running a 25% off promotion in an attempt to seize their customers.

Whether you are a newcomer or a dominant player, this data can be used to improve future campaigns. You can almost peek behind the curtain of your competitors’ campaigns to see their strategy and, potentially, their gaps.

By leveraging SOV tools, you can also better understand what keywords you need to focus on, as well as areas where your competitors are more vulnerable to market share loss. SOV can also be used to track organic and paid share of voice before and after any CPC spikes to understand why they are happening and what you can do to prevent them.

How to Use Share of Voice to Optimize the Effectiveness of Campaigns

As mentioned, SOV is a great indicator of a successful campaign. If you’ve gained SOV after a campaign launch, it’s likely that your messaging and tactics were successful. If the results are the opposite, you can use SOV data to improve ROAS on your campaigns for the future.  

1. What Share of Voice metrics should you be looking at?

One of the useful things about SOV is that it can be calculated in many ways. Generally speaking, you divide your brand share of a market by the total market size. This can be applied to impressions, clicks, traffic, sales, etc.

SOV can be used to provide a more high-level overview of your brand as a whole, as well as a detailed analysis of a product or a specific campaign. You can take a look at the overall search terms, and then do a deep dive into paid vs organic SOV, different keywords, consumer demographics, etc.

To get unique insights, you can segment the data based on location to see if your brand has a different influence in different regions. You can also look at customer demographics, such as gender, age, education, or occupation. Oftentimes, you will discover that you might have a competitive advantage in some segments, but not others.

2. How should Share of Voice data affect ad strategy?

This data can be used to specifically optimize your ad targeting. For example, Instinct consistently battled with a competitor over the #1 spot in their category on Amazon. Using SOV data, they were able to identify their competitors’ bid strategy and craft a more targeted strategy that prioritized must-win keywords and areas where their competitor wasn’t focusing enough of their ad spend. This resulted in an average of +1,255 bps of Paid SOV for their must-win keywords.

Digging deeper into SOV data can also help you uncover the things that bring your SOV down. This shows you what is not working well for your brand, and should be addressed when you are optimizing your ads and campaigns.  

3. How can you measure Share of Voice?

It’s possible to calculate SOV manually, but the process is time-consuming and static. To capture the benefits of tracking SOV on a regular basis, it’s better to use a tool that can capture fluctuations over time.

SOV is the closest you can get to accurately measuring the eCommerce market share of your brand. It allows you to monitor the buzz your brand is creating, but also keep an eye on what your competitors are doing.

SOV is a data-driven way to improve ROI on your campaigns and increase sales. Tracking organic search and PPC, in particular, is especially useful when you want to benchmark your marketing efforts and do a comparative analysis against your competitors.

Watch the video below to see how Pacvue helped Spectrum Brands increase ROAS using the SOV feature.

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