7 Top Sparktoro Alternatives & Competitors (Free/Paid)

by Josh Howarth
January 19, 2024

Sparktoro is an audience intelligence platform. It can help you identify content distribution and advertising channels based on your audience’s interests.


Co-founded by Rand Fishkin (formerly of the SEO tool Moz) Sparktoro has you start by entering a topic. The tool will then show you the following about people who are interested in that topic as well:

  • Which websites they visit
  • Where they live
  • Their skills, interests, and other demographic details
  • The podcasts and YouTube videos they're interested in
  • Words they use in their social media bios
  • Which social media accounts and Subreddits they follow

Let's say you’re marketing a digital asset management tool and you want to get consumer packaged goods (CPG) photographers to sign up as customers.

Sparktoro says these websites interest CPG photographers:


And these podcasts and YouTube channels are favorites among that target audience:


You may then want to run ads on these shows or get links and sponsored content placed on websites of interest.

Sparktoro offers a free plan that allows for 20 searches a month, each delivering limited metrics. To see more details about your target audience, you'll need to subscribe to a paid Sparktoro plan starting at $50 per month or $450 per year.

While Sparktoro delivers a lot of information about specific audiences, you can glean some of the same information—and more—from these seven top Sparktoro competitors.

1. BuzzSumo

Sparktoro shows you where your target audience is consuming media. But BuzzSumo can show you what they’re consuming.


You can see analytics that include:

  • How popular a specific link or topic is across social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Reddit
  • The top accounts sharing content related to a topic
  • How evergreen, or long-lasting, a piece of content is
  • Popular topics in the past 24 hours

Your marketing team can then use the information provided by BuzzSumo to:

  • Get new ideas for evergreen content on your own domain
  • Connect with key social media accounts and influencers in your industry
  • Join the conversation on currently trending topics
  • Figure out which social media platforms may be best for your brand

There's also a BuzzSumo Chrome extension which can show you engagement metrics about various URLs while you browse.

If your business focuses a lot on developing influencer marketing partnerships, creating viral content that’s timed to align with popular conversations online, or helping a variety of clients produce evergreen content, then Buzzsumo could be a good market research platform to try.

How Much Does BuzzSumo Cost?

You can test out the tool with a free trial, but Buzzsumo doesn’t offer an ongoing free plan. After your trial ends, you'll have to pay for access starting at $119 per month or $1140 per year.

2. YouScan

YouScan is a social media research tool—but it isn’t just focused on the text in Tweets or Facebook posts. Interestingly, YouScan analyzes image content and text shared on social media.


This means that you can glean audience insights from user-generated content on social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, even if there aren’t any captions or hashtags on the post.

Tapping into YouScan’s functionality can help you:

  • Assess brand perception on social media
  • Listen to what target audiences are asking about online
  • See where and how their products appear in images
  • Review demographic data about different audiences
  • Find influencers to partner with

Unlike some other social media-focused tools, though, YouScan does not support social media management. You’ll need to use a separate platform like Buffer or Sprout Social to actually post to your accounts and engage with followers.

How Much Does YouScan Cost?

YouScan is also one of the pricier marketing tools on this list. For $299 per month (billed annually) you can track three topics and up to 30,000 monthly brand mentions. If you need to track more topics, you'll have to get in touch with YouScan for a customized quote.

However, if your brand relies heavily on user generated content (UGC) as part of its marketing, you may find that YouScan provides a high return on investment despite its fairly steep price.

3. Exploding Topics

Exploding Topics is a trend spotting tool that can bring broader insights to your audience intelligence research, digital marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.


Sparktoro and many other audience intelligence tools on this list can only show you what has already happened online—who's subscribed to a channel, or shared content on social media.

Exploding Topics takes a different approach. We use historical data too—going back 15 years—but then forecast whether a trend is:

  • Poised to explode in popularity
  • Currently peaking in popularity
  • Decreasing in popularity

This way, you're able to focus your attention on the products, services, and topics that are going to be increasingly important to your target user base.

Here's an example: we first identified monkfruit sweetener as a trending topic in January 2022. It's a low-carb and keto-friendly sugar substitute—so if you run a cafe or bakery, are a healthcare provider, or work in the supplement industry, it's something you'll want to know about.


Exploding Topics users knew about this growing trend more than a full year before search engine queries for the term "monkfruit sweetener" really picked up in summer 2023.


When you use Exploding Topics, you can supplement your audience research by:

  • Searching our database for the top trends in your industry
  • Reading our reports to get deeper insights on the top trends you need to know about
  • Exploring how large-scale market trends intersect with our user-friendly Meta Trends tool

How Much Does Exploding Topics Cost?

You can start searching the Exploding Topics database for free without needing an account.. If you'd like to give the full Exploding Topics Pro experience a try, it's just $1 for your first week.

4. Brand24

Brand24 is an AI-powered social listening tool that can help you track consumer sentiment.


It won't help you figure out who your target audience is or where they congregate online. Instead, Brand24 is useful for:

  • Analyzing how consumers are talking about your brand online
  • Tracking how your marketing efforts are received compared to competitors'
  • See who is mentioning you online, and with what frequency
  • Discover which hashtags people associate with your brand on social media

You can use the tool to analyze content across all major social media platforms, news outlets, forums, blogs, reviews sites, and more.

If you've already figured out who to market to—and through which channels—then Brand24 may help you improve your next marketing campaign.

But if your company is still trying to figure out who its target audience is, or what they're interested in, then you'll want to start with one of the other audience intelligence tools on this list.

How Much Does Brand24 Cost?

Brand24 only offers paid plans. You can track three keywords and 2,000 brand mentions for $99 per month (or $79 per month when billed annually). Additional plan tiers are available if you need higher limits.


AYTM—which stands for Ask Your Target Market—is both an audience intelligence tool and a research service.


You can use the company's tools and services to help you:

  • Develop questions to ask your audience
  • Validate new product ideas
  • Build audience segments
  • Collect data about shoppers
  • Assess consumer attitudes toward your products
  • Track your brand perception and health

AYTM also offers additional services that can help with developing and testing marketing, ad, and business strategy.

How Much Does AYTM Cost?

You can access a limited portion of AYTM's question development and reporting tools for free, or unlock increased capability with an AYTM Plus subscription—it's $150 per month or $1,440 per year.

If you'd like help from AYTM experts, you'll need to get in touch with their team for a customized quote.

6. Audiense

Audiense is a marketing platform that can help you segment your audience based on their social media activity.


Its solutions include:

  • Digital Intelligence META, which analyzes your target audience's Facebook and Instagram activity to establish their key interests
  • Audiense Insights for getting more comprehensive demographic data about your audience segments
  • Affinio for understanding when your audience segments are active on social media
  • Audiense Connect and TweetBinder, two programs for researching activity on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter
  • Demand Intelligence, which can assess audience interest in your brand, competitors, popular performers, and more

The Audiense platform is best for companies that are heavily invested in social media marketing, particularly on X and Meta products.

If you're interested in gleaning audience insights for Pinterest, LinkedIn, or general content marketing, Audiense probably won't be the best tool for you to use.

How Much Does Audiense Cost?

Access to Audiense Insights starts at £1,199 per month or £6,672 per year—that's equal to about $1533 a month or $8533 per year.

For access to any of Audiense's other tools, you'll need to get a custom quote based on your expected usage.

7. Jotform

Sometimes, the best way to get information about your target audience is to ask them for it. Jotform is a no-code form and survey builder that makes it easy to do just this.


You can build a form yourself or use one of the company's existing templates for surveys that:

  • Ask respondents to rank items on a scale
  • Collect star-based ratings
  • Include space for short and long-form answers

You can also use Jotform to create order forms and even collect payments, so there are a variety of additional uses for the program.

Using surveys to conduct audience research is best if you have a large pool of subscribers, followers, or customers to poll.

How Much Does Jotform Cost?

Anyone interested in Jotform can try it for free and create up to five forms (with limits on the number of responses collected).

For more forms and responses, you'll need to opt into a paid plan that starts at $39 per month (or $34 per month when billed annually).


If you're already confident in who your audience is—and have segments prepared—then Sparktoro can help you get more information about how to tailor your digital marketing strategy appropriately.

But if you're still working on figuring out what your audience looks like, you'll probably want to take a step back and use a social media analysis platform like Audiense or a trend research tool like Exploding Topics.

And remember—you can always combine more than one tool on this list to find just the right mix of audience and customer insights for your needs.