SparkToro Review – Early Access

I’m excited to share my early access review of a brand new Marketing research tool called SparkToro created by Rand Fishkin . I do a demo in this video giving you some ideas about how to use this in the real world and some honest feedback. With a Premium level subscription I’m planning to create further videos going into more depth but today’s video will give you an insight into how powerful and simple this is.


Hi, I’m Sham Hussain.

In this video I have an exclusive sneak peek of some exciting new marketing software which launches at the end of April called SparkToro. I’m privileged to have been given a premium level subscription so you’ll get visibility of the latest tool in the market ahead of its launch to help with your own marketing efforts in what are unprecedented times. In a nutshell, SparkToro is a market research tool created by the co-founder of Moz, a guy called Rand Fishkin. Moz is easily one of the best SEO tools out there. The purpose of SparkToro is to help you understand and discover your audience and their sources of influence. Who and what they follow, what websites they visit, what do they read, watch and listen to. SparkToro crawls billions of webpages and social accounts and then build connections within to provide a unique insight into who your audience is.

As an example, you can use SparkToro to search for which words and phrases wedding photographers are using in online conversations. You can also search and find out what specific YouTube channels that community is tuned into.

So who’s SparkToro aimed at? Well, it’s digital marketers and I think it will be an essential tool within a lot of people’s toolkits. Let’s use a hypothetical example that I am a software provider providing CRM systems specifically for wedding photographers. My CRM system helps you manage all your bookings and all your payments all in one place. Now what’s absolutely essential before starting any marketing activity is to understand your audience. So this is where SparkToro comes in. So we’ll use SparkToro to understand what people are talking about in that community. What keywords, what phrases do we need to use, what are the social channels that I need to be tuned into? What websites are they visiting and what hashtags are they using?

So here we are on the homepage for SparkToro. You can see a nice clean, simple design. What we’re going to be focusing on today is the audience intelligence features. You can do a lot more in depth stuff, ie. comparing audiences, but I think we’ll save that for a future video. But you can also see here the five different ways in which we can analyze our audience. So the example we’re going to use is wedding photographers, and I’ve got some experience of photography, so this is going to be quite a good little test.

So let’s just start with the basics. Location, we’re going to do United Kingdom and we’re going to now type in wedding photographers. So here we are on the results screen so we can see here, SparkToro’s found 7,000 sources who frequently talk about wedding photographers and are located in the UK.

So we are going through these top five sections here. So let’s start off with social. Here we can see the top five social accounts that SparkToro believes that wedding photographers are either following or sharing. Now, as a photographer, I’d have to agree with this, the societies is the Society for Wedding and Portrait Photographers. It’s one of the most established associations, and from a digital marketing perspective, it certainly is one of the first places that I would look at. We can see here there’s another 250 results, but certainly looking at the top five, I think SparkToro’s done a brilliant job. As a photographer, I’m finding this is actually quite useful as well. Now Rock My Wedding, I’ve not actually come across that before, so certainly something that I’ll be having a look at.

So let’s move on to websites, visited and shared. Here we can see another top five and at the top of that list you can see PetaPixel. Now again, from my own experience, PetaPixel is a brilliant resource. If you want any news in the industry or you want to learn the latest techniques, then that’s pretty much the place that you’d go to. So the fact that that’s number one, I think that’s very useful from a digital marketing perspective. Having seen this information, it’s quite clear to see how this can be useful in deciding where to put your time and budget. In this instance, I’d be reaching out to PetaPixel to find out if there’s any opportunity for us to advertise, whether that be through display ads, a listing, or potentially a guest blog.

Moving onto podcasts, followed and shared. We can see here the top four podcasts. Now I’m not a podcast listener, but this has certainly given me some ideas from a photography perspective, but certainly from a digital marketing point of view, you might be interested in running some targeted podcast ads on these channels.

In the next section we’ll be looking at YouTube channels followed and subscribed to, so here we can see four channels that have been selected by SparkToro. The first one I’m not so sure about, never come across it as a photographer, but certainly one that I’ll be checking out. It could be interesting. Now the next three, 100% if you’re a wedding photographer, you need to be subscribed to these channels. Now from a marketing perspective, therefore what this is telling us is that if you’re going to be running YouTube ads and these are the three channels you need to be running ads on.

The last section is our audience insights. Here we get a better understanding of where our audience is based and we can see here a large percentage of our audience is based in London. With this insight, it would be sensible to consider spending all of your time and efforts in the London marketplace to begin with and then building out from there. We can also see here common words and phrases used in people’s bios. Now, this information is quite useful because it gives you an idea of the language that your audience is using. We can then use this information in any marketing content or any advertising that we may decide to do.

Hope you found this review useful. We’ve only just scraped the surface, but I wanted to bring to you a preview prior to the launch. Stay tuned for more content over the next few weeks.

Thanks for listening.

Stay positive.