Welcome to the Audience Research Newsletter. This is where we gather our most valuable learnings on audience research and marketing strategy, which you can skim in under 6 minutes.

Today, we’re covering absurdly great ROI on a marketing tactic, media pitch advice from a PR expert, and a tip for positioning your content for Thanksgiving.

⚡️ 3 Audience Research Tips

1) Use Hidden Gems to unlock high ROI marketing opportunities: If you’re looking to do paid sponsorships in niche newsletters or podcasts, you can use SparkToro to find opportunities. Run a query to learn more about your audience, click on the Social tab, click Filters, and in the dropdown box of Hidden Gems, select “Only Gems.” You’ll see relevant social accounts that have good engagement and even a sizable following, but likely are not mainstream yet. Make a SparkToro List of these people to get their social media handles, and take a closer look at the individuals’ content. You’ll likely find their blogs, newsletters, and podcasts that are very relevant to your audience, and there’s a good chance you can do a sponsorship with them at a reasonable rate. One of our customers, content marketing agency Foundation Inc, did just this. They were able to reach more people than if they ran targeted Facebook Ads. Think it's too good to be true? Ask Foundation CEO Ross Simmonds. He joins Office Hours next Wednesday to explain all this and more. 

2) Learn your audience’s interests, create content that resonates: Whether it’s to create new content or repurpose existing content, consider what’s top of mind for your audience at a given time. You can do this with social listening, generally staying on top of trends, or using SparkToro. Let’s say your audience is nutritionists. Run a SparkToro query for “My audience uses these words in their profile: nutritionist” and look at frequently used phrases in the Text Insights. One of the current phrases includes “sweet potato” — apropos since we’re approaching Thanksgiving. You can consider creating related content: a Twitter thread of lesser known cooking methods, a newsletter roundup featuring doctors discussing the health benefits, and more. Check out the rest of the data in this free, full query in SparkToro

3) Think before you pitch to reporters: Newsrooms are shrinking. The average journalist now covers three or more topics, receives well over five pitches per day, and writes fewer than five stories per week. So make sure your pitch stands out. Create an effective press release, use original research, offer up interviews with experts (for primary sources), and include media elements. A unique and informative video or photo can make all the difference in getting covered. Lots of gems in this presentation with PR pro Michelle Garrett on YouTube.

Next Office Hours: Don't Sleep on Content Distribution

The king of content distribution, Foundation CEO Ross Simmonds, joins us for Office Hours! On Wednesday, November 10, Ross will explain how you can find hidden gem content distribution opportunities. You won’t want to miss this — and it’s our only event in November. Save your seat and mark your calendar.
RSVP for Office Hours

📓 3 Articles to Read

1) How ecommerce brands can prepare for shipping delays: Shipping demand is expected to be higher this holiday season, potentially 20% higher than the usual volume for carriers like UPS. Here’s how ecommerce brands can proactively step up their marketing efforts so they don’t disappoint their customers.

2) IKEA’s marketing through the years: A fun close look at how marketing at IKEA has evolved since 1926.

3) Why the red flag meme is terrible for accessibility: You probably saw this meme. It’s a pithy, snarky statement followed by multiple red flag emojis. Though it’s a nightmare for people who use screen readers — they’re subject to hearing “Triangular flag on a post,” over and over again.

🐦  3 Marketing Tweets

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