Content Marketing

Grow Your Brand’s Share of Voice with Niche Content Strategies

Quick, what’s the brand with the biggest share of voice when you think of workplace collaboration software? Chances are, you probably answered Slack, which has been synonymous with messaging at work since it debuted a decade ago.

It’s so ubiquitous that “Slack” is even used as a verb in most offices (“Slack me that link” or “I’ll Slack you about it”). Given the tremendous share of voice the brand occupies, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s far and away the market leader.

But it’s not.

As of 2022, Slack had about 18 million active users. But its longtime competitor, Microsoft Teams, crossed the 300 million threshold at the end of Q1 2023. While Slack’s 2021 acquisition by Salesforce has helped it punch well above its weight in terms of marketing, one of the brand’s secret weapons is the way it dominates its share of voice in the industry.

Slack remains an instantly recognizable brand because it has carved out a space in the market as an authority on just about any topic related to workplace collaboration.

That’s the power of brand share of voice.

What Is Brand Share of Voice?

Brand share of voice (SOV) is one of many helpful metrics that can provide an indication of your content marketing’s effectiveness. It measures how often your brand is mentioned compared to the total mentions of all competing brands within the same market. The metric can be segmented to look at different target audiences, which may help you evaluate how effectively you capture their attention.

How to Calculate Brand Share of Voice

# of your brand’s mentions / total number of brand mentions X 100 = Share of Voice (SOV)

In more visual terms, think of the total industry conversation as a pie. Each slice of the pie represents the share of voice held by a particular brand. A higher SOV means that the brand dominates the discussion (and, critically, has a bigger slice of delicious pie). Brands with a lower share, on the other hand, are in danger of losing visibility and engagement to their competitors. Nobody likes having a smaller slice of pie, after all.

Why Is Brand Share of Voice Important?

Dessert analogies aside, SOV is important because it gives brands a clear picture of their competitive standing. By tracking this metric, marketers can monitor their brand’s progress relative to competitors, gathering insight into whether they’re gaining ground, maintaining their position, or losing their foothold.

The ability to benchmark a brand’s visibility against the competition is instrumental in shaping marketing strategies and steering business decisions. In other words, share of voice is a vital tool for navigating your brand’s journey through a crowded marketplace.

SOV can also provide an early warning sign for brands that they’re losing their presence in the market before more traditional indicators, like diminished revenue, become apparent. This is especially critical in industries where a decline in sales figures for a quarter or two may not be abnormal.

If a low SOV accompanies those declines, then it’s likely that more trouble is on the horizon as consumers turn to competing brands. But if your overall share remains high, there’s a strong incentive to maintain (or even increase) marketing budgets to push people already engaging with the brand further down the marketing funnel.

How to Measure Brand Share of Voice

Measuring share of voice requires a multi-faceted approach because it evaluates your brand’s presence across multiple platforms. One prevalent method is to leverage SEO analytics tools to track how frequently a brand’s name appears in search results.

Reviewing search engine data can help you determine how well your products, services, and branded content are being served up to audiences when they search for information related to your industry. As search engines increasingly incorporate AI into their search results, having a strong presence that draws the attention of generative algorithms will be incredibly important.

Another way to measure SOV is through social media analytics tools with social listening capabilities. These platforms monitor the frequency of brand mentions on various social media networks, helping you gauge your brand’s resonance among online communities. Social media has become a bustling marketplace of ideas and conversations, and understanding your brand’s presence in these discussions can be instrumental in shaping your social media strategy.

For some industries, traditional media monitoring tools remain relevant, enabling you to track your brand’s presence in newspapers, magazines, television, and radio broadcasts. By leveraging these different approaches, brands can get a comprehensive view of their SOV across digital and traditional media for a more holistic understanding of their market visibility.

How Focusing on Niche Topics Can Increase Your Brand Share of Voice

Delving into niche topics is an effective strategy for brands seeking to elevate their SOV within their respective markets and audiences. These specialized subjects often attract a unique, dedicated group of people who are easier to identify and more likely to share information with one another than the average consumer. By actively engaging with these groups through focused, niche topics, you can position your brand as a thought leader and credible authority within a particular industry.

Exploring niche topics offers an opportunity to cultivate a loyal and highly engaged audience. These groups may be smaller than broader markets, but they frequently exhibit higher levels of engagement and advocacy. Developing content that engages and resonates with them can significantly amplify a brand’s visibility and resonance within its target audience, which augments the share of voice.

Brands that address niche topics also have an easier time distinguishing themselves from competitors who focus on broader themes, allowing them to create a unique, differentiated voice that further boosts their share in the industry conversation.

Once your brand becomes a trusted authority among industry insiders and subject matter experts, it’s easier to expand to more general topics without getting lost in the crowd.

Building Share of Voice Through Niche Topics: Tech Company X

As an example of how this might work in practice, consider a fictitious cybersecurity company called Tech Company X (as somebody who has done a branding exercise or two, I made sure to verify this isn’t an actual company). Since there are many cybersecurity companies in the market, Tech Company X decided to focus on a niche topic within the industry to increase its share of voice. After lengthy debate and research, the team settled on quantum cryptography, an advanced field dealing with the use of quantum mechanics to secure data.

To build its authority in this niche, Tech Company X could develop a series of in-depth articles, white papers, and blog posts explaining quantum cryptography. At the same time, it could launch a podcast or webinar series inviting renowned experts to discuss this technology and its implications for cybersecurity. By promoting these resources across their social media channels using relevant hashtags and leveraging SEO strategies to drive paid and organic search results, Tech Company X can start reaching a wider audience interested in this specific topic.

Over time, creating quality content around quantum cryptography will help Tech Company X establish itself as a thought leader in this niche area of cybersecurity, effectively bolstering its SOV. This strategy not only amplifies its voice within the industry but also attracts a specific, engaged audience with an interest in quantum cryptography, fostering a committed community around the brand. Once Tech Company X has established that credibility, it can begin expanding to other topics, building upon its existing reputation to reach new audiences (and, eventually, market share).

Start Boosting Your Brand Share of Voice

You don’t have to be an expert in quantum cryptography to increase your brand’s share of voice (unless you’re a cybersecurity company, in which case, maybe take your nearest engineer out for coffee). The great thing about focusing on niche topics is that you can get started by talking about the things your brand already does best!

Take some time to identify unique problems your brand is solving or ask what topics interest your subject matter experts. Once you have a short list, you can build an SEO strategy that gets your niche content in front of the right audiences to expand your share of voice in the market.

After all, who doesn’t want a bigger slice of pie?

Need tips and strategies for growing your brand’s share of voice? Sign up for The Content Strategist newsletter to get the latest updates on how to build your brand’s reputation with audiences that are invested in its success.

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