NEW SparkToro Feature: Discover the Press/Media Sources That Reach Your Audience

I’m excited to announce that today, SparkToro is launching a new tab, with new data, for all customers: free and paid. When you perform an audience intelligence search, you’ll see the new “Press” tab on the left sidebar, displaying media sources followed + engaged-with by the searched-for audience.

Sometimes, these publications will have overlap with the “websites” or “social” tabs, but often, they provide unique sources of influence that may not have been on your research radar.

I’ve put together a short (<2 minute) video overview showing off a few examples below:

The Press tab uses behavior data from website + social sharing, engagement, and following. The sources were hand-reviewed with help from our friend Dwayne Sorton, and cover thousands of publications across numerous segments of media. Sometimes, a search will pull back mostly mainstream media at the top, as in these results for the query: My audience uses these words in their profile: Journalism.

Other times, you’ll see more niche specific publications, as in these results for the query: My audience frequently uses the hashtag: #NintendoSwitch.

In either case, I urge you (as I always do in SparkToro) to scroll down. Often, the gems aren’t those in the first few results, but in rows 20, 30, or 40+. If you’d like to exclude some of the mainstream media’s usual suspects (like the NYTimes, Washington Post, CNN, etc), you can also use the filters to exclude “popular accounts,” just like the social & websites section.

How to Apply This Information

If you’ve been using SparkToro for activities like:

  • Identifying targets for PR/coverage outreach
  • Seeking to stay on top of your customers’ sources of influence
  • Finding publications that accept guest contributions
  • Uncovering targeted advertising opportunities outside of the programmatic networks
  • Applying sources to Google and Facebook’s ad tools to help narrow (or expand) your social, display, or YouTube campaigns
  • Building personas or layering audience intelligence for product or marketing strategy

These press sources will help add an element that’s been missing: bigger, more well-known publications. Those can be applied to almost every major use case in the product.

That’s not to say this data is always obvious. My expectations have been upended numerous times while using the Press tab, e.g. did you know Decanter had gotten so popular with sommeliers?! Bigger than Food & Wine?!

Not every discovery will be as shocking, but no matter what audience you’re researching, the media sources that influence them no longer need be a mystery. I’m especially excited about this tab helping to settle many of the “Wall Street Journal” Marketing Problem I know so many PR folks struggle against.

There’s other fascinating, useful ways to apply the Press tab, including for local, geographic searches, e.g. My audience uses these words in their profile: Seattle.

Or searches around a company’s or person’s account, e.g. My audience follows the social account: @SimilarWeb.

Or searches on a hashtag topic, e.g. My audience frequently uses the hashtag: #NASDAQ.

The applications are only limited by your creativity, so experiment! And if you find any amazing results, we’d of course love to hear about it in the comments.

What to Expect in Press Data

Before you dive in, I do have a few expectations to set and tips to provide:

  1. Many times, the Press sources for a given industry or audience group will be very similar (because popular media around a topic is often congruous). If you’re looking for more unique sources, try adding a location, applying a modifier, or searching for an adjacent niche.
  2. Press sources for some searches maybe relatively limited, because there’s fewer professional press + media outlets than there are social accounts, websites, YouTube channels, etc.
  3. Data is currently more robust for English, and for the US and UK, than for other regions. However, we do hope to expand more into German and Spanish profiles (at least) by the end of this year.

Whether you’re a user of SparkToro’s forever-free account, or a paying customer, we’d love to hear your feedback on this new tab, how you’re using, and the value you’re seeing. And stay tuned! This is the first of many SparkToro upgrades and features we’ve got planned for 2021.