Amanda asks, “How effective is share of voice as a measure? Is there a better way to measure PR?”
Share of voice is one of my least favorite measures of media and attention for a few reasons: – It’s often denominator-blind, meaning that it rarely takes into account the whole of a space. – It’s blind to the media landscape as a whole. You’re competing for the same 24 hours Netflix is. – It’s sentiment-blind. If you were Equifax is 2017, you had 100% share of voice for a while because of your massive data breach. – It’s relatively easy to game.
Is there a better way to measure share of voice? Watch the video for full details.
- Some companies have had good success with share in very specific slices of data. They know the top 10 publications their audience reads and measure their share of that versus competitors.
- Some companies have had good success with measuring relevant share. Using machine learning technology, we measure share of voice in relevant contexts and associated with specific topics.
- When I worked in PR, we looked at a basket of metrics in search, social media, earned mentions, owned clicks, and paid ad costs to provide a more balanced look at competitors’ efforts.
At the end of the day, however, what really matters are business results. At Trust Insights, in theory we compete with other analytics and management consulting firms, but realistically, our share of voice isn’t even a rounding error. What matters are our business results and whether they’re improving month-over-month. The way to reframe the conversation is to show that share of voice has, at best, a thin connection to downfunnel results, whereas website traffic to key pages or intake attribution matters much more. Modern, machine learning-powered attribution analysis is a great way to measure all your activities to find out what has a mathematical relationship to your results, and anything revenue-based is always going to be a better measure of your impact.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today’s episode Amanda asks how effective is Share of Voice as a measure is there a better way to measure PR? Share voice is one of my least favorite measures of media and attention, I totally get where it’s coming from where the interest in it is. Executives want to care a lot about competitors, they want to show that what they’re doing matters. It comes from a place of a scarcity mindset, it comes from a place of insecurity. And a lot of cases, it comes from an executive looking to justify their continued employment. So I totally get it. But it’s got four major flaws. Number one, share voices very often denominator blind, which means it really takes into account this the whole of space. If you are working in, for example, say cyber security and your startup, and you’re measuring your Share of Voice versus appear competitive, and that’s good. But if you’re not measuring against like semantic, you’re not capturing the whole of that particular space. And when you do, it comes out ridiculous, right? You’re You’re a rounding error. seconds Your voice is blind to the media landscape as a whole. I always used to laugh and I saw a report saying our our company got 38% share voice last month. No you didn’t you’re competing for the same 24 hours at Netflix is you’re competing for the same 24 hours that YouTube is that every podcast on the planet is competing for your share of voice in terms of your share of the day that you got is gonna be like two and a half seconds of somebody’s attention. Third share voice is sentiment blind. If you were Equifax in 2017. Guess what you got 100% Share of Voice for a little while Why? Because you got a he had a massive data breach. And you had everybody in the rafters yelling for you to be tarred and feathered. That’s not that’s not mentioned you want. But your voice doesn’t take that into account. And forth, it’s very well well delete, easy to game. So long as you got some money, you can fire up a network of Twitter bots, and you can crank out press releases, and you’ll win that share voice. But you probably won’t generate any actual business results. And that is where share voice to me really fair fails. Now, I have seen some examples in the past of companies that have had success with modified versions of it, not what’s built into most vendor monitoring packages. But there was one example of a company I worked with in the past that used to take a very specific slice of data they cared about because they knew their industry cold. They cared about 10 publications in their industry like tech target and it G and stuff. And they measured their share of articles that they got in those 10 publications versus competitors. That was a good way of measuring a very thin slice, to see did they get? Did they do anything that was newsworthy? That got them in those publications, I thought that was a good example, another company did relevant share. We built some machine learning technology that was very primitive at the time. And certainly, they would do it completely differently today. But measuring share voice in relevant context associated with specific topics. So identifying the topics of an article, and then saying is this is this company’s share relevant and positive within this. And it would be today you would do that with things like vector ization, much more advanced machine learning, but it is, that’s a good way of doing it as well to say like was our was our share positive and relevant. When I worked in a PR agency, I created a system of measurement that looked at a basket of metrics. So search data like number of inbound links, domain score, and scores of relevant articles, you know, URL scores and domain scores. Social media mentions, of course, with their sentiment, earned mentions, click stream traffic if it was available, which it is, by the way, there are a number of good API’s out there that can get you partial click data, but it will be directionally reasonable and then paid ad costs. Because if you’re doing a good job of building a company’s reputation, their ad costs should go down, their cost per click should go down. Because the more somebody knows of a brand, the more likely it is that they will click on that brands ad, right, you got two ads side by side. One is a company you’ve heard of ones company you haven’t heard of, if I click the ad that you’ve heard of.
And that was a good way of measuring a more balanced look at a competitor’s overall digital footprint. But here’s the thing about your voice, and competitive at in general, again, I get with a where people see that they’re important. But what really matters at the end of the day are your business results. For example, at trust insights, in theory, in theory, we compete with other analytics and management consulting firms. In theory, we compete with Accenture. In theory, we compete with Deloitte. Our Share of Voice isn’t even a rounding error, right? versus like a McKinsey or a Bain or BCG. We’re not close to the same league, right? We’re a startup. And so measuring share voice really is meaningless. For our situation, right? Now, if if I worked at McKinsey, yeah, maybe I want to measure how much more coverage I get than Accenture or Bain. But it’s not relevant for our scale of business. What really matters is our business results. And whether they’re improving month over month, right? The way to reframe the conversation around share voice, if you don’t want to use this as a metric, and you know that it’s lot is to show that share voice has a very thin tangential connection, down follow results. Whereas things like website traffic to key pages, intake attribution, when when somebody fills out a form on the website that says, you know, how did you hear about us? Well, if if they’ve all filled out, you know, I read your article in a martial arts magazine. Well, guess what, then you know that that media had an impact, you know, that’s something that you want to do over again, intake, attribution is one of those things that you’ve got to do. An awful lot of companies don’t. And, frankly, the end business results, the conversions on your digital properties, the number of calls, you get into a call center, the number of orders you get all the business results that come with dollars attached to them are far better measures of your of your efforts. And the way you measure that is with advanced attribution analysis, you have your outcome, like revenue or sales on they, they have all the activities you did, and as big spreadsheet, and you run a machine learning algorithm called predictor estimation, that says, hey, of all these things that we did, which ones matter which ones have a provable mathematical relationship in some way to the business outcome? And guess what, if press releases is one of them, then you do press releases. But by having all that data lined up, you can then run an analysis and figure Okay, what actually matters. That’s how that’s how you get away from the Share of Voice conversation and towards business metrics that have meaning. And that Dr. dollars because at the end of the day, especially if you work in public relations, your overall outcome is going to be measured somewhere along the line and dollars because somebody’s going to ask the question, What am I paying for? Right? So that’s what you want to be able to answer. So can share a voice if you can, by talking about these other ways of measuring your impact. As always, please leave your comments below. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments. And please subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon.
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