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Practitioner Marketing How to Measure Share of Voice for Practitioner Content Marketing

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Chris Riley

October 7, 2022

When calculated correctly, your share of voice (SOV) measures the impact of your brand’s content marketing compared to that of your competitors’ over time. Marketers tend to stick to these metrics because of their familiarity, not their relevance to strategy. All of your marketing creativity has to be harnessed for one thing—revenue. In saturated markets, that’s not easy.

In the technology industry, the success of your marketing strategy depends on building relationships with your DevOps market. To this end, you need to implement practitioner marketing. It takes a lot of effort, and it can be hard to connect that effort to success.

Reconciling something as subjective as a company’s relationship with the market is very difficult. But, measuring the SOV captured by your practitioner content marketing campaigns provides practical insights that typical metrics do not. This data will help you improve your strategies for topic curation and content creation, which will, in turn, increase your share of conversation (SoQSO) and boost your developer relations.

Click-through rate (CTR), unique visits, and Marketing Qualified Leads give us numbers that are easily conveyed to others. However, these metrics are not enough. Focusing on those metrics alone doesn’t support healthy or effective marketing efforts. The goal of practitioner content marketing is to extend and deepen customer lifetime value by creating a unique relationship. Quantifiable metrics don’t measure the quality of relationships.

What Should You Measure?   

The two best metrics for practitioner marketing are share of voice and share of conversation; i.e., engagement. Unlike definitions of share of voice in public relations and advertising, SOV in practitioner marketing measures the percentage of content that originates from references or refers visitors to your product/content given a relevant industry topic. It’s how much of a say you have in a specific conversation within your industry and among your customers.

Because of the ways in which digital content and digital advertising are evolving, the definition of share of voice has changed. (For example, it depends on whether you are calculating your share of voice for marketing or advertising). This also means that the definition is dynamic. You have to constantly measure your share of voice based on the “conversation” and time frame in a shifting environment.

The level of engagement your customers have with your content indicates how attractive your practitioner-generated content is. It is measured by how many people interact with or share your content without a prompt. In other words, your content is a point of conversation among the DevOps market. Ideally, as a result of your practitioner marketing and practitioner-generated content, you show up in online discussions.

How Do You Measure Share of Voice?

The definition of SOV is not complex, but the way you calculate it is. Think of share of voice as a stock portfolio. You want to know what portion of each stock you own, and each stock represents topic areas you want to dominate.

For example, let’s take a DevOps vendor who sells release automation to developers. Their portfolio would likely consist of four DevOps terms: DevOps, release automation, software delivery, and software delivery chain. In that set of terms, you hope to have some portion of each of these conversations. However, the term “DevOps” is very broad, so you will target a smaller portion due to size and priority. Release automation is one term that you particularly care about because it is exactly what you do. Most of the other vendors in this conversation will be competitors.

Your goal is to increase your position in all the target terms. You’ll know you have done well according to the delta from one period to the next—usually monthly.

To calculate SOV, isolate every instance of when and where the term comes up in social media and content. When it does, if you participated or were mentioned (good or bad), then you get a share. The number of shares you have divided by the total number of instances of the conversation is your share of voice measurement.

The problem: it’s impossible to collect EVERY instance of the conversation—mostly because the venues where they appear do not allow you to do so, and the number moves. Fortunately, the law of big numbers helps greatly. A reasonable sample size will yield highly accurate results, as long as the sample size is suitably diverse.

The Takeaway

Share of voice quantifies the impact of practitioner content marketing over time. Using leads or unique visits alone can give you misleading information about the effectiveness of these campaigns, because they are only a function of engagement. Making decisions without a good estimate of SOV can lead to false conclusions, abandoned or bad campaigns, and ultimately, a failure to break through the noise.

Need practitioner-created content that improves your share of voice? Contact us.

This post was originally published in March 2019 and updated in October 2022.