Examples of useful SparkToro searches

SparkToro is very good at revealing the attributes and characteristics of audiences when certain types of searches are used. Conversely, we’re not so great if the search format, keywords, or structure isn’t on target. Here are some examples of the kinds of searches that work particular well (and not-so-well) in the tool:

There are three primary types of SparkToro queries:

  1. “Research the audience that searches for the keyword:”
    When using this query format, SparkToro is pulling back data about audiences that enter particular search terms into web search engines like Google or Bing. Choose keywords that have a high likelihood of being used by your audience, and that are neither too broad (meaning they’d be used by many people who aren’t in your target audience) nor too narrow (meaning they’d only be used by a fraction of your target audience).
  2. “Research the audience that visits the website:”
    This query analyzes an audience that’s likely to visit a particular website (currently, SparkToro only supports root domains, not subdomains or individual pages). Choose websites likely to be visited by your precise target audience rather than those that may be visited by a wide range of non-matching folks, or those that are so narrow they exclude large portions of your target audience.
  3. “Research the audience that uses these words in their bio:”
    Use this query to analyze a group of people who share a word or phrase in their job title, role, or self-description – anything that’s likely to appear in their social media profiles (like those on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.). Try to choose terms that are likely to match your target audience exactly. Avoid words that are generic and likely to be used by too many people outside your target audience, and those that are so specific they exclude significant portions of your audience.

Here are examples of good and not-so-good searches based on the SparkToro query type:

SparkToro Search Type
“Research the audience that…”
Good Searches(Potentially) Bad Searches
…searches for the keywordPasta recipes; B2B marketing; interior designReading 
(If you’re an author and want to find potential readers for your new book, you might be tempted to try this broad query. But, because book readers would rarely use a super-broad search terms like this, the query is unlikely to yield relevant insights. Try searching for a keyword that more closely describes your book and is likely to be searched-for by a relevant audience, e.g. “nonfiction history” or “young adult fantasy books.”
…visits the websitecancerresearch.org; thesill.com; apartments.com nytimes.com 
(The New York Times has a lot of visitors on every topic. This search is likely too broad to be meaningful)
…uses these words in their bioVP sales; php developer; journalistFormer baby 
(This is a jokey way that some people choose to self-describe on social media. But it’s not a great search because it doesn’t tell you about who this audience is.)

Are you trying to find sources of influences in a particular hobby or sector?
Say you want to learn more about the audience that’s interested in environmentally-friendly fashion. They might search for the term “sustainable fashion” on Google, so you can try that as your first SparkToro search:

  • Research the audience that searches for the keyword: sustainable fashion
    • You’ll see the influential websites, press, Social Accounts, YouTube channels, Subreddits and podcasts. You’ll also see their demographics and their other search keywords. One of the influential websites in this audience is TheGoodTrade.com. That can be your next search!
  • Research the audience that visits the website: TheGoodTrade.com
    • Voila! An even larger dataset that shows you more insights about this audience. These are more related to fashion than sustainability, however.
  • Research the audience that uses these words in their bio: sustainable fashion
    • If you have any paid SparkToro plan, you can go to Demographics > Bio/Profile Terms and see the popular words used in bios. These can power your next search! “Sustainable fashion” were some common words in the demographics of our original example search, and this yields even more insights. Remember, these are people who put the words “sustainable” and “fashion” in their public social media profiles. This is likely to signal that they work in one of these industries or that they’re very passionate about the sector.

Are you in the B2B space, trying to figure out what moves your audience, your clientele, or prospects? Try searching by their job title or by keyword.

  • Research the audience that uses these words in their bio: b2b marketing
    • This works well if the audience you’re trying to reach works in B2B marketing.
  • Research the audience that searches for the keyword: customer retention
    • Say you’re trying to reach folks in B2B SaaS. Is a person who works in B2B SaaS likely to search for the term “B2B SaaS” on Google? Probably not. But they might be searching for something like “customer retention,” because they’re cognizant of growing their business. 
    • When running a keyword-based SparkToro search, It’s helpful to think about what they might be searching for or what their intent might be. You could consider using pain points as potential keywords. For instance, a person who’s new to gardening might be searching for “indoor plant care.”

Hopefully, these examples can inspire you to broaden, iterate, and experiment with searches for your target market so you can find exactly the data to help your market research or marketing campaigns soar.