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What is Share of Voice in Online Advertising?

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Online advertising
Credit: Maya Maceka, Unsplash Creative Commons license

Share of Voice advertising is an objective method for measuring the total reach or share of an advertising budget within a target market or even an individual product.

The definition of Share of Voice (SOV) varies somewhat in the real world. For example, some traditional definitions describe SOV as the share or total amount of advertising in traditional media compared to all competitors.

A market with a single newspaper means that newspaper has 100 percent Share of Voice for all print newspaper advertising. Likewise, the same is true of a market with a single radio station or single TV station. But the percentages are different when the definition compares all three of these media outlets in that single market. They are competing with each other for advertising budgets.

Share of Voice in a Website

Yet another definition looks at the SOV for a single advertiser among all advertisers in a single product. For example, an advertiser who has 10 percent of all advertising revenue in a newspaper has a 10 percent Share of Voice for that newspaper. The same is true of all advertisers on a single website.

An even more narrow definition is share of voice for a page or section within a website. Consider the following homepage takeover campaign that targets SOV.

The advertiser signs a contract to capture 100 percent of the Share of Voice for the homepage of the website for a single day. There are three available ad positions on the homepage:

  1. A 728 x 90 Leaderboard at the top of the page.
  2. A 300 x 600 Half Page Unit on the right column.
  3. A 300 x 250 Mid Page Unit in the body of the page.

By occupying all three positions for a single day, the advertiser has captured 100 percent Share of Voice for that page on that day.

As an alternative, the advertiser might request a 50 percent share over a two-day period. The campaign might include 100 percent of all impressions in the 728 x 90 and 50 percent of all impressions for the 300 x 600.

How to Price Online Share of Voice

Pricing for online SOV depends on good analytic reports. The publisher can respond to a request by the advertiser by looking at the average page views and ad impressions for that homepage over a recent period of time. They also can base their estimate on the same day of the week for the most recent weeks.

For example, the advertiser wants to run a 100 percent SOV campaign on a single Friday. The publisher reviews all of the most recent Fridays for page views and ad impressions, comes up with an average and uses that average in the proposal.

The publisher might apply the average CPM that it has been receiving over the same recent period to the revenue proposal. There is little evidence that making the CPM higher or lower than the average is an advantage for the publisher.

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