Jeff Baker, one of the co-founders of Beach Commute, faced a challenge.
The whole point of his startup is to help professionals plan and create a “location-independent” lifestyle. Hence the name of the company.
But Baker had trouble identifying the correct industry language used by potential clients. He couldn’t find agreed-upon search terms and phrases that people might use to reach his website.
“There are very few people that live this lifestyle, and fewer still that believe it’s an option they can take advantage of,” Baker said. “Thus, there is no agreed-upon language the people use to search for the topic.”
Of course, that whole problem made it difficult for Baker to optimize the website for keywords.
That’s when he turned to SparkToro, a market research company.
Using SparkToro, Baker gained insight into the behavior of people in his target audience. He also identified search intent behind specific keywords and phrases.
And that’s the selling point behind the tool.
As Baker said: “SparkToro gives you the HUMANS behind the data!”
In this review, I’ll go over SparkToro. I’ll also cover its pricing structure.
So how does SparkToro work? Well, I’ll explain that in this review of SparkToro.
It starts off as a bot. SparkToro’s software crawls all over cyberspace and takes digital notes on social media profiles and websites.
It aggregates data from literally billions of sources.
Then, it creates audiences from that data.
And that gives you the opportunity to use the tool like a search engine for marketers.
Next, I’ll go over a few of the ways that you can use SparkToro.
In this SparkToro review, I’ll explain how the tool helps you find people based on what they talk about.
Let’s say you want to find people who frequently talk about canoeing. Simply go to the website and plug in the word “canoeing” in the search bar. Select “Frequently talks about” as the option for “My Audience.”
Click Search and the tool will show you the social media profiles of people who frequently talk about canoeing. But that’s just the default option.
SparkToro will also show you websites, YouTube videos, and even podcasts where people talk about canoeing.
How can that help?
Well, if you’re interested in reaching people who are canoeing enthusiasts, you can sponsor one of the podcasts where the host frequently talks about canoeing.
Or you could advertise on one of the websites that cater to outdoor enthusiasts.
But that’s just one option you have. In this SparkToro review, I’ll also explain how you can search for people who use words in their social media profiles.
One again, use the same search bar as before. This time, though, select “Uses these word(s) in their profiles.” as the “My Audience” option.
Now you’re doing a search exclusively on social media profiles. That’s going to help you find people in your target market. Or folks you can reach out to for partnerships.
Alternatively, you could advertise on social media to people who follow those accounts.
Keep in mind, though: SparkToro takes privacy very seriously. You won’t see any personally identifiable information (PII) in the search results. Instead, you’ll just see publicly available info.
But that’s enough for you to get started with whatever type of marketing campaign you’d like to launch based on the results you get back from your search.
In this part of the SparkToro review, I’ll cover how it helps you find people who follow a specific social media account.
You can tell a lot about folks based on who they follow on social media. Find their follows and you’ll find their interests.
And when you know their interests, then you know whether or not they’re part of your target market.
Fortunately, SparkToro lets you search for people who follow specific social media accounts. There are a couple of ways you can use that info.
First, find common accounts followed by people in your market. Then, identify why people are following those accounts. You might gain some insight into how you should market your own brand.
Another thing you can do is advertise to people on social media who follow accounts commonly followed by folks in your target market.
In this part of the SparkToro review, I’ll explain how the tool will help you find people who frequently visit specific websites.
Just plug in the domain name of the website and select “Frequently visits the website” from the “My Audience” dropdown.
You’ll find social media accounts, YouTube videos, and even podcasts that follow the website you entered.
It’s another great option to find people based on their interests.
Finally, you can use SparkToro to find people who use a specific hashtag.
Enter the hashtag in the search bar and select “Frequently uses the hashtag” in the dropdown next to “My Audience.”
You’ll find social media profiles that use that hashtag often.
And you might uncover some opportunities for marketing that you hadn’t before realized.
For example, the search could identify websites that use the hashtag. Yes, websites use hashtags too.
As do YouTube videos.
Hashtags aren’t specific to a few social media channels. SparkToro can help you find them from all over the Internet.
SparkToro starts off at a great price: free.
That gets you 10 searches per month with just a sampling of results.
Truth be told, though, you’ll probably need a little more than that.
For $50 per month you get up to 30 searches with the top 50 results shown.
For $150 per month, though, you get up to 100 searches with the top 100 results shown. That one also gets you email and social contact data.
The most expensive plan costs $300 per month. That will get you up to 500 searches per month with all results shown.
If you think you’ll only need SparkToro for a fleeting moment, you can pay for the 7-day pass. That costs $450 per week. For that, you get up to 1,000 searches with all results shown.
SparkToro also has the option to choose between Monthly Billing or Annual Billing for all tiered pricing options.
There you have it, an overview of SparkToro.
One thing I didn’t mention: it’s co-founded by Rand Fishkin, who also co-founded Moz. In other words, he’s a pretty big deal in digital marketing.
So you might want to try the free plan. Get a glimpse of what kind of data you’ll harvest for the money you’ll spend.
Then decide if it’s right for your business.
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