Where do my target audience hang out?

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If you’re building a startup business, you are going to be in need of information to help you understand how to reach your target audience.


This is one of the more common reasons to use research – BUT – it’s also one of the more tricky things to capture in an interview or survey.


So, how might you go about it?


Read time: 2.5 minutes (with optional 6 minute video)


tl;dr: Finding good data to help you target your potential customers is a genuine need for startups, but it’s one of the more difficult things to find. Using SparkToro (which has a freemium model) is a great way to help you hone down your activity to the right spot.


The problem

You have a great product or service, which you’ve invested money, sweat and joy into building. Some people will absolutely love your product/service; they just need to know, like and trust it.


So how do you find people?


Which channel(s) should you be using?


These are questions that are likely to give you headaches as you plan and execute your go-to-market strategy.


Asking people ‘Where do you hang out?’ in an interview or asking which media channels they consume on a survey is going to give you some data. But it’s not going to be very specific or particularly practical for you to use.


What you need is to utilise some observed data, some actual behaviour.


The solution

Step forward SparkToro!


A tool created by Rand Fishkin (the guy who founded Moz) which is based on observed, behavioural data.


(And there’s a free plan if you want to have a go first).


Caveat – SparkToro uses data from social networks (12 in all) and pulls together information from profiles, so you won’t be able to use it if you’re looking to lay down a traditional media campaign into TV, press etc. But traditional media is perhaps less effective for a startup.


Here’s Rand explaining the tool and how it works in a short video – with a lovely use of the verb ‘munge’!

So, what actually is it you can get from SparkToro?


Things like:


  • Hashtags and language you can use to speak to your audience
  • Social profiles they engage with
  • Websites they visit most often
  • Podcasts they listen to
  • Press they read
  • Youtube channels they subscribe to
  • Subreddits they engage with

Whilst this may not give you a full 100% media plan to follow, it will give you lots of stimulus for ideas on how you can go about speaking to your audience (ie the content you might produce) and where you can bump into them more frequently.


I’d very much recommend you give it a try, it’s a really useful tool to help you market to the right people in the right way.


There are tons of free tools you can use to help guide your decision-making and I’ll be bringing more to you over the coming weeks and months so keep an eye out.


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