Love your audience.
If you’re not creating for specific audiences, is content marketing “worth it?”
Understanding the demographics of your clients’ target audience is crucial.
Organic content (and paid ads) are almost useless unless they’re created for a specific audience. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to learn about – and create content for – your target audience.
Here are 16 paid and free tools for target audience research – enjoy!
Best for social media research, keyhole.co is an excellent resource for crafting social media campaigns on Instagram and Twitter.
Use the tool to track:
• Account / Username Mentions
Keyhole starts completely free (with limited features), and there are paid plans you can purchase to increase functionality. Paid plans range from $99 to $359, and are available on monthly and yearly subscriptions.
Most marketers know what Survey Monkey is, and if you don’t – you should.
The platform offers a number of pre-made survey templates for market research, allowing you to quickly collect information (and engagement) from your target audience.
If you don’t have a huge social following or e-mail list to market to, Survey Monkey has aggregated a number of participants in various target audiences who take their surveys. For a fee, you can collect information from qualified survey takers in your specified audience.
An easy to use yet effective mind-mapping tool, this Google product allows you to create line-maps of your target audience.
Create one giant map for each demographic, or create individual mind-maps for different market segments.
There are all kinds of ways you can use Google to conduct target audience research.
Here are a few ways to use Google:
- Use your primary list of target keywords to find additional, recently searched keywords.
- Study the type of content ranking on page 1 of Google for your top keywords. Then ask yourself: how can you can make something better?
- Find your top competitors using the top ranking domains in your niche.
Tagboard is an extremely cool tool that you can use to study social media platforms, specifically:
Just type a hashtag into the search bar, and study a sizable list of results that show the different content published with that keyword. Use the tool to study visual trends, industry leaders, and associated hashtags with your target audience.
SEMRush is one of the top research tools among marketers and advertisers, and was crafted by the infamous Neil Patel himself.
Use SEMRush for target audience research by deconstructing the results of successful campaigns in your industry, conducting powerful keyword research, and reviewing results of your own site’s audit.
There are many tools for target audience research, but none perhaps more useful than MozOSE.
Magical Moz creates a handful of enormously powerful tools for target audience research, our favorite of which is the Open Site Explorer, e.g. MozOSE.
The tool can be used to analyze backlink data and give you a bird’s eye view of the content topics that are commonly talked about in your space. There’s a number of free opportunities with the tool, with a paid subscription available for marketers who need more powerful capabilities.
Another powerful Google resource, Consumer Barometer allows marketers to access Google’s data in a variety of visual displays, like this one about the number of people using how-to videos.
Use it to study consumer trends in different spaces, such as the number of smartphones used to manage shopping lists, or the type of products most frequently purchased on smartphones.
Another powerful tool for backlink research, keyword information, and competitor monitoring, Ahrefs is well-known in the SEO community.
Ahrefs solutions include:
• A Site Explorer
• Content Explorer
• Keyword Explorer
• Brand Name Mention Alerts
• Page Rank Tracker
• Domain Comparison
• Batch Analysis
• SEO Toolbar
Each of their tools can be used to monitor the types of content being published in your space, what content is ranking well, and give you the information you need to create a strong counter-strategy that takes out your competitors.
Track trending keywords and topics around the world, down to the specific city.
Google Trends gives you graphics and chart comparisons, allowing you to create visual representations of the types of content more important to your target audience, and which type of content already has a lot of competition.
Use Comscore (paid subscriptions only) to track a variety of activity across the web, television, and radio.
For marketers, they offer a variety of solutions including a “Media Metrix” for monitoring online activity with your audience, a Brand Survey Life option to measure the success of marketing campaigns, and many more.
A quick and easy tool for visualizing your target audience, PersonaApp gives marketers a chance to outline the demographics, interests, and favorite locales of their clients’ target audiences.
This simple tool is probably best for creating a working representation of your target audience after you’ve collected data, as it really only operates as a data entry tool to visualize your audience clearer. The site focuses on four main focuses, including your target audiences “look,” their behaviors, facts & demographics, and needs & goals.
In our opinion, the best way to use this tool is to create multiple detailed segments of your target audience as a whole, giving you a chance to break their information down into more bite-sized chunks.
An excellent, user friendly tool for creating surveys, e-mail opt ins, and more, Typeform’s easy to use interface is dynamic thanks to its powerful features and options.
Just a few of their built-in templates include:
• Market Research Surveys
• Customer Satisfaction Surveys
• Branding Questionnaire
• Post-Event Surveys
• Contact Forms
• Event Registrations
• Customer Feedback
• Membership Applications
• Marketing Surveys
• Demographic Surveys
• Lead Generation
What do Jayson Demers, Kim Kardashian, and Gary Vaynerchuck all have in common?
They’re all social influencers, of course!
Studying the types of influencer content that is most popular in your clients’ niches is a key way to learn more about your target audience. Furthermore, studying influencer content in your industry, you can deconstruct the individuals and businesses following those influencers to learn more intimate specifics about the target audience you’re marketing to.
The tagline of Google Correlate says it all “find(s) search patterns which correspond with real-world trends.”
Similar to Google Trends, this tool allows you to visualize searches and content that become more popular during certain seasons, decades, or social trends. This post by Higher Visibility tells you more about using Correlate for marketing.
A free tool that allows you to study influencer content and popular competitor content, Social Crawlytics offers a simple interface with an easy to use search bar.
Essentially, the tool “crawls” a domain to determine which pages have been shared on social media.
By understanding what kind of content is being shared frequently by competing audiences, you can have a better picture of the topics, tools, and information that is most important to your target audience.
For more information on how to use Social Crawlytics, check out this post by The Tomorrow Lab.
That was one HECK of a list, but now you have the tools to research your target audience (and the way they interact with your competitors).
We recommend using a combination of these tools to learn about the ways your target audience acts and consumes content in different places, including on television, social media, and more.
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