How to use audience intelligence to plan your marketing campaigns

Whether you're doing a one-time promotion or launching a brand new product, there are two things (at a minimum) every successful marketing campaign must do:

  1. Get in front of your target customer
  2. Capture that potential customer's interest

Audience intelligence tools can give you quick access to compelling data about your target customers' behavior and interests. And, you can use that data to identify the best strategy for reaching those customers.

In this post, we'll take a look at what audience intelligence is, and I'll share five ways you can use one of the latest audience intelligence tools, SparkToro*, to simplify your customer research. We'll also discuss how you can use audience intelligence data to plan your marketing campaigns.

Presentation Replay – Audience Intelligence and Marketing Research

I recently did a presentation about audience intelligence with SparkToro's Founder, Rand Fishkin. You can check out a replay of that presentation here.

*Full Disclosure

Just so you're aware, I am an investor in Sparktoro, LLC. I invested in this company for two reasons. One, I think the technology Rand and Casey have built is a game-changer when it comes to customer research. Two, I've known Rand for a while, and I have every confidence SparkToro will only continue to get better.

What is audience intelligence?

In the simplest terms, audience intelligence is data about how a group of people behaves.

For example, audience intelligence might involve information about how long people spend on your website, or which pages they visit.

This is the kind of data most of us can access in or own web analytics.

Google Analytics Behavior Data

But you can also use audience intelligence to analyze how people behave all over the web.

You can examine where your target customers go to get their news. Or which online personalities they follow. And what topics attract your potential customers to the content they consume.

Fastrack and validate your customer research

There's no substitute for getting to know your target customer in real life (socially distanced, of course).

But, you may not always have the time or budget to do customer surveys or interviews.

Gathering audience intelligence data can help you speed up your customer research.

Surveys and interviews are also highly susceptible to bias. The types of questions you ask, the people who participate, the motivators you use to get responses – all these variables can taint your research.

Using an audience intelligence tool, like SparkToro, can also help you back up your survey or interview data.


Here are five ways you can use SparkToro's audience intelligence data to research your customer and plan winning marketing campaigns.

1) Go where your customers are

It's basic math. If you want to get in front of your target customer, you need to be where they are.

You want to be seen in the publications they read. You want your brand, product, or service to be mentioned by the social accounts they follow. And you want to be referenced in the videos they watch or the podcast they follow.

It used to be collecting data about audience preferences on four to five different media channels took forever.

Using a tool like SparkToro, you can find this information in just one click.

And you can see-by-the-numbers where your audience focused their attention.

PPC Audience Intelligence Data

2) Find the hidden gems

There's a feature inside Sparktoro called hidden gems.

This feature allows you to find influencers who may not have a massive following, but are on the rise.

For example, if I want to reach more PPC marketers, my good friend Aleyda Solis would be a great person to partner with for a joint promotion. She reaches almost 15% of the audience I'm interested in reaching.

Hidden Gem account in SparkToro

I can use this information to reach out to Aleyda for a collaboration opportunity that mutually benefits our audiences.

3) Speak your audience's lingo

Here's another handy trick that will help you use the fast audience intel you can get from SparkToro.

One of the best ways to capture your potential customer's attention is to use the same words they do.

You want to talk like they talk.

SparkToro's Insights report shows you words and phrases your audience frequently uses.

Audience Intelligence - Common phrases and words

Using these words through your marketing content will help you gain your audience's attention. Speaking your audience's lingo will also help establish trust and credibility with prospective customers.

4) Cover the competition

Almost every marketing campaign leverages some form of competitor intel.

You can use SparkToro to learn about your competitor's audience quickly.

Simply enter your competitor's URL into the search bar. And use the “frequently visit the website search.”

Competitive intelligence research

Then you can check out the websites and social accounts your competitor's audience follows.

Using Audience Intelligence to research competitors

By promoting your content on the sites these visitors frequent, you can get in front of your competitor's audience. And you can expand your presence in places where you know you have the potential to reach your target customer.

5) Amplify your influence

Recruiting A-level influencers to promote your brand is one the fastest way to grow your reach.

Yet, doing influencer research can be tedious and tiresome— endless twitter and hashtag searches? No, thank you!

So instead, you can use Sparktoro to do this research quickly. With one search, you can find all the most critical influencers your audience follows.

Social Account SparkToro

You also can learn about the characteristics of the audience that follow a specific influencer.

For example, you can check out the influencer's geographic reach. You can also learn about their engagement with followers. And you can check out the other media sources their followers watch.

Social Intelligence data

Next Steps

We covered a few ways you can use audience intelligence to plan marketing campings that reach and connect with your target audience. But there are so many more ways you can use this data.

To learn more about audience intelligence, make sure to watch the full presentation above.

And if you have questions about using audience intelligence in your marketing plans, leave a comment below.

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