Zero-Click Content: The Counterintuitive Way to Succeed in a Platform-Native World

Update: We’re hosting a SparkToro Office Hours webinar about Zero-Click content on August 23. Sign up free to attend or watch the replay. It could be a chicken or egg situation: Maybe the platforms have made us lazy, or we’ve trained their algorithms to reward platform-native content — as in, content that keeps people on the platforms’ sites instead of…

SparkToro Demographics: 3 Underrated Ways to Upgrade Your Marketing

It’s been about one year since we launched Demographics in SparkToro, and it’s one of our most popular features. Many of our customers use the insights to develop personas, run programmatic ads, evaluate brand marketing partnerships, and more. But I have a feeling there are even more creative use cases that our community hasn’t yet tapped into. So I’m outlining…

The Episodic Content Creator’s Guide to Using SparkToro

Last Saturday, I received an email from Rich Wilan, founder of Fascinate Productions. Rich and his team help podcast creators build audiences and top charts, and they’re very good at their work, helping clients like Zoe: Science & Nutrition, Startup Dads, A Cuppa Happy (and more) launch, grow, and reach chart-topping numbers. Rich kindly gave me permission to make my…

Google, Apple, and Amazon Stifle Innovation When They Favor Their Own Products

The SparkToro team got an exciting surprise on Sunday evening: a mention of our research on Last Week Tonight by John Oliver. The full episode, Big Tech Monopolies, is available on YouTube. It covers an issue I’ve railed against before, but with a heightened sense of urgency: there is actually a bipartisan bill in Congress that might fix this. Thankfully,…
Marketing

You Don’t Need a Buyer Persona. You Need Multiple Audience Personas.

Update: We hosted a SparkToro Office Hours webinar about audience personas. Sign up to watch the replay. I have a bone to pick with buyer personas, but it’s only because I like them (in contrast to Rand who doesn’t like them; yes, we can disagree). My quibbles? There’s a misguided focus on demographics, arbitrarily chosen stock photos, and cutesy alliterative…

Provable Marketing Attribution is a Boondoggle; Trust Your Gut Instead

You’ve heard the marketing analytics spiel before. It goes something like: Marketing journeys are long, complicated, multi-channel paths. Tracking them is always imperfect, but if you employ an extensive, expensive, difficult-to-configure combination of tools, tracking systems, and deeply talented statistics professionals, you can build a high-quality, predictive attribution modeling structure that approximates reality with relatively minor gaps. My counterpoint: don’t…

What Your Marketing Needs is a Bad Guy

If you’re a big brand, already established, conservative in your ways and happy with your performance, this advice isn’t for you. But, if you’re a startup, an underdog, a challenger, you need to hear this. Villains are a good thing. Stories with villains make sense. They can be memorable. They can have depth and purpose. Stories without villains are meandering,…
Marketing SparkToro

How to Invest in Episodic Content that Promotes Itself

I’ve long been bullish on episodic content; in fact, I think it’s likely the best kind of long-term content investment most online brands can make. The challenges are consistent creation (gotta keep those episodes coming!) and finding the right marketing flywheel to bring in fans, subscribers, and amplifiers. But, these can be overcome by crafting episodic content that promotes itself,…