The amount of time and energy that should be spent analysing your competitive set’s performance vs your own is a topic that can often be debated internally.
On the one hand the lion’s share of your attention is best spent making your own brand the best it can be without too much time looking over your neighbour’s fence; but on the other, ignoring the context or relative success and gains (or failures and losses) against your competitive set can leave you celebrating wins, or licking your wounds, with no just cause.
Over the years the latter has been unhelpfully common. We have seen brands obsess over their growth or decline using only their own historic performance data as a benchmark. For both agencies and in-house teams alike, this approach is only so useful.
In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, with the advancement of innovative new solutions and AI, tracking your brand’s performance in context is both simple and vital for staying ahead of the curve. Measuring in isolation will not cut it.
And if you haven’t read a marketing publication for the last couple of years, a set of metrics known as ‘share ofs’ are a game-changing addition to give you this clarity.
In this article, we’ll delve into the method of tracking your brand’s ‘Share of Voice’, ‘Share of Search’, and ‘Share of Traffic’, along with key additional metrics to help ensure your tracking proves your brand is outperforming in its market.
And these metrics are all available, accessible, and in real time on your intuitive Market Intelligence dashboard within BoldLens.
‘The Power of ‘Share Ofs’
‘Share Ofs’ are metrics that provide a relative view of your brand’s performance within your market. They allow you to answer essential questions such as:
- Share of Voice (SOV): How much buzz does your brand generate compared to your competitors?
- Share of Search (SOS): Are potential customers looking for your brand, or are they searching for your competitors?
- Share of Traffic (SOT): How much of the online traffic in your industry is directed to your website compared to your rivals?
These benchmarks help you navigate your vast sea of data, guiding strategic decisions, and helping you refine your branding efforts. Let’s break each metric.
Share of Voice (SOV)
‘Share of Voice’ measures your brand’s presence and prominence in the media and on social platforms compared to your competitors. It’s a reflection of how much your brand is being talked about.
To calculate SOV:
SOV = Your Mentions (across press and social) / Total Market Mentions (of you and your competitor set across press and social) x 100
For example, if your brand is mentioned in 30% of all industry-related articles, blog posts, and social media conversations, your SOV is 30%. SOV can be tracked on a monthly or quarterly basis to assess the impact of your marketing and PR efforts over time.
To gain insights from your SOV:
- Monitor trends: Observe how your SOV fluctuates over time and identify correlations with marketing campaigns or industry events.
- Competitive analysis: Compare your SOV with key competitors to understand your relative position in the market.
- Track your progress closing or increasing the gap with key competitors.
Share of Search (SOS)
‘Share of Search’ is all about understanding what people are looking for online. It’s an indicator of how often your brand is being searched for compared to your competitors. Here we are talking about ‘Branded Search’ i.e. someone specifically typing your brand name into Google. Share of Search is also proven to provide an uncanny parallel with your actual Share of Market.
To calculate SOS:
SOS = Your Brand’s Search Queries / Total Market Search Queries x 100
For instance, if your brand’s name is searched for 400 times in a month, and the total search queries related to your industry amount to 2000, your SOS is 20%.
What SOS can reveal:
- Demand trends: Track how the SOS for your brand and competitors evolves to spot emerging consumer interests.
- Seasonal variations: Identify seasonal spikes in SOS to fine-tune your marketing strategy.
- Measure the impact of brand activity on both short-term spikes and long-term brand building over time.
Share of Traffic (SOT)
‘Share of Traffic’ measures the portion of online traffic within your market that your website attracts in comparison to your competitors. This metric is especially crucial for e-commerce businesses and online platforms.
To calculate SOT:
SOT = Your Website Traffic / Total Market Traffic x 100
For example, if your website receives 25,000 monthly visitors, while the combined traffic of all your competitors’ websites in your industry is 100,000, your SOT is 25%.
What SOT can unveil:
- Understand the effects of your marketing and PR month by month – know what’s working and what’s not across the entire media mix.
- Website performance: Assess how your website’s traffic share correlates with its conversion rates and user engagement.
- Content strategy: Analyse which types of content are driving traffic and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Beyond ‘Share Ofs’: Additional Metrics for Comprehensive Brand Tracking
While ‘Share Ofs’ are potent tools for competitor benchmarking, they’re not the only metrics you should rely on.
Consumer Pulse Checks
Another staple of the BoldLens ‘Market Intelligence’ dashboard, Pulse Checks provide monthly consumer survey data so you can understand the full effects of your brand activity.
We poll a nationally representative audience to understand how well consumers are moving down the funnel – measuring effects on awareness, consideration, intent, and purchase for both your brand and your competition.
Traffic by Media Type
Traffic by Media Type tells you exactly how you and your competitors are sourcing traffic. As firm advocates of PR and ‘earned media’ being tracked visibly and intently right next to paid, owned, and social activity, this gives you incredible insight into the successes, or failures, of differing media strategies.
Understanding not only where your own traffic has been referred from, but also how your competitors source their traffic is an unprecedented look behind the curtain of differing strategies.
To ensure a comprehensive understanding of your brand’s performance, you should also consider the additional commercial metrics we spoke about in our ‘Brand Data Cheat Sheet‘ article last week – NPS (Net Promoter Scores), CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), and CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) to name a core few.
In the world of business, knowing how well your brand is performing is essential. However, this knowledge becomes truly powerful when you understand your performance in relation to your competitors and the broader market. That’s where ‘Share Ofs’ come in: as invaluable metrics for competitor benchmarking.
Remember, tracking your ‘Share Ofs’ isn’t just about data collection; it’s about data-driven decision-making. By constantly monitoring and interpreting these metrics, you can refine your marketing strategies, seize growth opportunities, and ensure your brand remains competitive in a dynamic market. In an era where information is power, understanding your ‘Share Ofs’ can be the key to unlocking success in your industry.