Discoverability – Tools for Finding Your Audience

Last month, I shared my view that discoverability is both a journey and destination. This is where the rubber hits the road. Now, let’s talk tactics.

Every smart discoverability strategy, whether for film, TV, or digital media content, starts with a clearly defined target audience. At the very least, decide the age, gender, and geographical location of your primary, and any secondary, target audiences. If you can, add detail about their interests, lifestyle, income, and/or education.

Next, use freely available tools to locate and understand the people you are targeting: where, when and how they hang out on line; what they might be saying about your show (if it already exists), your cast, genre, subject matter, or point of view; the type of content they seek; their other interests; and, the key influencers who have their trust and attention. This pertains to digital entertainment products as well.

There are hundreds of tools to help surface data. The choices can be overwhelming for even the most intrepid data divers. If you’ve got the budget, consider hiring strategy experts to do the research and create an audience-building plan for you. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves.

Here are four useful tools to get you started:

1. Google’s Keyword Planner reveals the volume of queries and topics being searched on Google. Find out the level of search interest relating to your genre, subject matter, cast, director, show, web series, etc. Set location parameters if you want to see search volume for a specific region.*

Pay attention to the specific keywords people use to search. The choice of words used to describe a show can greatly influence its prominence in search engine results. For example, the following are the average Canadian monthly search volumes for:

romantic comedies – 12,100 | chick flicks – 6,600 | rom com – 1,000

Romantic comedies” is the most popular search term and should be used when generating online content about the program, say a webisode series. However, it would be important to optimize the show’s website for “chick flicks” too, as it also drives a sizeable amount of searches.

* Requires a Google Adwords account

2. Facebook’s Audience Insights identify the size of an audience on Facebook based on criteria such as geography, age, gender, and interests.

Once inside your Facebook Ad Manager account, select Tools > Audience Insights. In the tool’s interface, the left column shows the audience as defined by you, the top section labeled “New Audience”provides an estimate of the monthly active people on Facebook, and below that, you’ll find a breakdown of demographic, interest, behaviour, household and purchase data. Note some audience lifestyle, household and purchase data is available only for the US.

3. Twitter Ads estimate the size of an audience based on geography, gender, language, mobile device and carrier, interest, TV show, network and genre, behaviour, and event.*

Begin by clicking “Create new campaign” and selecting “Website clicks or conversions“. Scroll down to select your desired targeting options to define your audience. As you select the criteria, Twitter provides an “Estimated Audience Size” in the blue box located on the right side of your browser window. Note, a N/A result means there is limited data about your defined audience.

*Requires a Twitter Ads account, however, it is not necessary to actually launch an ad campaign.

4. Twingly is a search engine for blogs and helps you identify key influencers. Search for posts that mention your topic of interest. Review the results and blogs to identify whether the blogger is publishing content regularly and whether other users are commenting on the blog posts. Blogs with higher user engagement indicate greater influence. Reviewing the size of the blogger’s social media following is another indication of their reach.

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of data. Remember the objective: to surface meaningful insights about your target audience that can be used to inform your discoverability strategy.

The article above was originally published at

Bonus Tools:

If you have additional time to research your audience, here are some bonus tools for you to explore.

  1. Followerwonk is a Twitter profile search tool. Use it to search Twitter bios and profiles by keyword to identify Key Influencers.
  2. Boardreader is a forum search tool. Use it to search forums, topics and posts by keyword to identify communities discussing your project’s topic of interest.
  3. Use the Instagram App’s search feature to search for tags related to your project. Instagram indicates how many posts have included the given hashtag in the search results. This is an indication of the hashtag’s and topic’s popularity.
  4. Use Pinterest‘s search feature to search for Pinterest Boards by keyword. Review the results to identify Boards that have a high number of followers. This helps identify Key Influencers and audiences on Pinterest.
  5. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that can be used to monitor conversations on social networks like Twitter. Use it to search for and identify users who are engaging in conversations related to your project.
  6. IceRocket is another search tool that can be used to search blogs and Twitter for conversions by keyword. Use it to identify users who are engaging in conversions related to your project.

Until next time,