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Top 10 Audience Insights Tools For Marketers in 2024 [Free+Paid]

Accurate audience insights are imperative for a successful marketing strategy. Find the best audience insights tools marketing professionals can use in this article.
19 Min Read

Table Of Contents

    On average, companies spend approximately 9.1% of their revenue on marketing. Consequently, digital ad spending is expected to surpass 700bn USD in 2024. These statistics highlight the importance of understanding your audience and using the right audience insights tools to get critical consumer data.

    Audience insights tools help you better understand your audiences – your past prospects, current customers, or future buyers. They stop you from making false assumptions and help direct your marketing efforts toward customers with a high conversion potential.

    In this post, we will list the top audience insights tools you need to boost your marketing campaigns and meet your business objectives.

    What Are Audience Insights?

    Audience insights are nothing more than the data you gather from your target audience that helps you understand their preferences and build better marketing strategies. Such consumer data is often collected using web analytics, social media, customer surveys, feedback, reviews, focus groups, and other forms of market research.

    Essentially, they enable marketers to accumulate demographic, psychographic, and behavioral insights that help answer questions like:

    • Who are my target customers (age, gender, location)?
    • What are their needs, interests, and challenges?
    • What do they like about my brand, product, or service?
    • How does my product or service solve their problems?
    • Do they prefer a particular product or service over the other?
    • What are the best marketing channels to reach out to them?
    • What content do they actively engage with (blogs, podcasts, videos)?

    This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the insights you can gather with audience research. Marketers can not only create hyper-personalized marketing campaigns and social media strategies but also customize their messaging and content strategy to suit the preferences of their target audience.

    Audience insights are critical to business growth and should be used to inform all aspects of your marketing and sales activities.

    In fact, 80% of businesses conduct market research to gather insights into their audience, primarily to gauge customer satisfaction, price sensitivity, and consumer needs. This makes developing strategies to boost customer acquisition, retention, and conversion easier.

    Buyer personas piece together audience insights. Built with qualitative and quantitative audience data, they are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on consumer demographics, goals, challenges, interests, habits, personalities, and purchase patterns.

    Top 10 Audience Insights Tools For Marketers

    Audience insights tools make it easier to gather consumer data. They go beyond the basics and help provide valuable insights into your target market – unique customer interests, values, sentiments, influencer entities, and brand loyalty.

    Once incorporated into your marketing activities, they are one of the best ways to visualize your customers and improve performance across multiple metrics like engagement, conversions, and return on investment (ROI).

    That said, let's explore the top 10 audience insights tools that you can use to create campaigns that better resonate with your audience. Our list includes popular analytics tools like Google Analytics, Sparktoro, and Delve AI, along with social media analytics tools such as Audiense, Meltwater, and Facebook Audience Insights.

    1. Persona by Delve AI

    Persona by Delve AI is an AI-powered persona generator that gives you insights about your online audience easily and efficiently.

    It takes your first-party data (web analytics, CRM, and surveys) and combines it with second-party (social media) and public data sources (VoC data via reviews, feedback, forums, and news) to create data-driven buyer personas for your business, competitors, and social media handles.

    Delve AI homepage

    Your personas are updated every month and include both B2C and B2B personas highlighted in blue and green respectively.

    Features:

    Each persona segment gives you insights into the user demographics (age, gender, location, language), goals, pain points, emotions, sources of influence, communication preferences, interests, hobbies, values, personality, lifestyle, and more.

    detailed persona sample

    Industry-specific insights, based on the mentions, page views, and keywords, give you data regarding the industry your business belongs to.

    In addition, you get a DISTRIBUTION tab that offers information about:

    • Device types, marketing channels, search engines, organic queries, paid keywords, and social networks
    • Industry, organization size, job function, and seniority levels
    • Location, time, and weather (indicates user activity levels)
    • Pages, events, actions, and user intent

    Your auto-generated personas also come with customer journeys (user journeys for B2C websites and organization journeys for B2B websites). They help you identify drop-off locations and improve customer experiences.

    Persona by Delve AI also gives you the option to edit several persona attributes, like name, profile image, age, and quote. Moreover, you can:

    • Customize personal aspirations, goals, pains, challenges, and triggers for B2C segments
    • Edit responsibilities, reports to, jobs to be done, role in the decision-making process, and perceived barriers for B2B segments

    Once done, you can easily save your buyer personas using the export button in JPEG and PDF formats. You can use them to develop a persona-based marketing strategy and improve your content, email, PPC, and social media strategy.

    Pricing:

    No coding is required, and you can try the persona tool for free. Our business plans start at $71 per month, which includes live, social, and competitor personas. For agency plans, visit our pricing page.

    2. SparkToro

    SparkToro is an interesting marketing tool that helps you understand your online audiences differently. It provides information about customer demographics, social media networks, interests, and search behavior.

    You can discover what websites your users visit, what they read, watch, and follow, along with the keywords they search for, how they describe themselves in their bios, and the language they use in their content.

    You simply have to enter the keywords or websites you want insights for.

    Sparktoro homepage

    All of this data comes from anonymized clickstreams, Google SERPs, and public social profiles, so you don’t have to worry about customer data privacy issues.

    Features:

    SparkToro has listed out some product features on their website, which give out critical information about your customers, including:

    • Gender, age, education, skills, interests, and other demographic details for your website audience.
    • High-affinity websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, Subreddits, and social networks they visit.
    • Keywords, trending keywords, and questions they search for on Google and Bing.
    • Popular social networks, lifestyle, productivity, financial, and e-commerce platforms they frequently use.

    They also provide contact information for people and publications that you can collaborate with for PR, influencer marketing, and ads.

    detailed sparktoro sample

    With Custom Audiences, you can upload 50 to 10,000 domains, phrases, and/or keywords (stuff you can get from Google Trends or Search Console) to build a segmented audience that gives you the above information.

    Pricing:

    Sparktoro has a free plan with only five searches per month, which allows you to test its functionality. For more features, you can subscribe to their Personal, Agency, or Business plans priced at $38, $112, and $225 per month respectively.

    3. Audiense

    Audiense is an audience intelligence tool that helps market researchers and brands develop a better understanding of their target customers. It provides comprehensive customer data, including their demographics, psychographics, personality, content preferences, and influencer entities.

    Audiense insights tool

    Features:

    Audiense offers Audiense Intelligence which comprises of three other complementary products: Audiense Insights, Digital Intelligence, and Demand Intelligence.

    • Audiense Insights to identify your target audience and analyze their tweets, likes, followers, and influencers.
    • Digital Intelligence uses META to get data about your audiences by analyzing their activities on Facebook and Instagram.
    • Demand Intelligence helps determine audience’s demand for terms, talent, brands, and IPs.

    With Insights, you can measure the affinities and interests your target customers have for any brand, topic, or influencer. Moreover, Meltwater’s audience reports also include:

    • Gender, age, location (cities and countries), languages, and keywords
    • Education, income, job title, industry, marital status, and family
    • Interests categorized into Podchaser podcasts, IMDb film genres, Spotify music genres, and Onalytica industry topics.

    You can filter your audiences by age, bio keyword, brand, gender, interests, job title, language, followers of specific accounts, and location. Reports can then be easily converted and shared as PDF or PPT files.

    Pricing:

    Audiense has two products: Audience Intelligence and X Marketing. The pricing is based on demand for Affinio, Meta Insights, and Audience Demand, but Audiense Insights is priced at £1199/month. The latter has a free and paid version, which costs £23 per month.

    4. Facebook Audience Insights

    Just like most social media platforms nowadays, Facebook comes with its own set of analytics tools. Previously available in the Facebook Audience Insights tool, you can find this analytics data in the Meta Business Suite and Meta Ads Manager for both Facebook and Instagram.

    Facebook insights homepage

    However, you will need to create a business page for your company first.

    Features:

    For audience insights, open Meta Business Suite and click on Insights. You will discover a side panel that gives information about your audience, content, and video performance. In Audience reports, you can choose to know more about your current audience or your potential audience (people you can reach with ads).

    Facebook insights analytics

    However, each report provides common user data points.

    • Age, gender, location, and interests
    • Profile information and online activity

    In addition, you get the number of top pages, reach, impressions, interactions, page likes, purchase activity, and Facebook usage of your general audience and the people connected to your business or service page.

    Pricing: It’s free for Facebook account holders.

    5. Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a free audience insights tool that businesses can leverage to monitor their website visitors and app users in real-time. More than 32 million website owners already use it to assess content performance, learn how users get to their sites, and optimize pages for conversions.

    It gives marketers the ability to understand the actions people take and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

    Features:

    Google Analytics has multiple reports that cover a range of topics, like demographics, acquisitions, engagement, traffic sources, conversions, organic keywords, paid search queries, and more.

    ga4 reports snapshot

    Note: you need to connect your Search Console and Google Ads account to GA for the latter.

    • User reports tell you about age, gender, location, language, interests, and technology.
    • Acquisition reports show top of the funnel activity – marketing channels bringing in heavy user traffic.
    • Engagement reports depict page views, engagement time, events, and conversions categorized by event names.
    • Monetisation reports detail the performance of specific products, like price, number of items added to the cart, units sold, and revenue.

    Marketers can check campaign performance by defining events in Google Analytics. Just create events specific to your website or use the ones set up by GA4. Once you click on them, you'll be able to see which campaigns, channels, and keywords drove the most revenue for your e-commerce website or app.

    Pricing:

    Google Analytics has a free version available for small to medium-sized businesses. If you want additional custom dimensions, metrics, and roll-up reporting, then you should sign up for Analytics 360, which starts at $150,000 per year.

    6. Brandwatch

    Brandwatch is a consumer intelligence and social listening platform that provides quick, people-centric insights from over 100 million sites. This includes all your major social media sites, blogs, forums, news channels, CRM systems (Salesforce), and live-streaming platforms.

    Brandwatch homepage

    It uses a four-step process to provide actionable insights:

    1. Search: Collects millions of relevant posts, comments, and conversations.
    2. Segment: Organizes conversations into categories like feedback, complaints, opinions, and purchases.
    3. Analyze: Uses AI to offer marketing insights from the data.
    4. Act: Converts insights into real-time reports for your organization.

    Brandwatch’s all-in-one marketing suite includes three products: Consumer Intelligence, Social Media Management, and Influencer Marketing.

    Features:

    Each product enables you to analyze your customers, brand, industry, and competitors. Their customer intelligence and social media management tool offers everything you need to engage customers across different platforms and locations.

    Brandwatch insights

    In addition to tracking social media performance, Brandwatch allows you to:

    • Run automated ad campaigns
    • Upload data to spot sentiment, topics, and trends
    • Analyze data sets and overlay custom audiences
    • Respond to mentions via a cross-channel inbox for Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and YouTube
    • Get organic and paid content information on one dashboard

    With a year of historical consumer data and 7 years of competitor analytics, you can find trending content, analyze competitors, and listen to the actual voice of the customer.

    Brandwatch’s influencer tool tracks over 30 million global creators, making it easy to discover the right influencers for your brand. The filters help sort them by interests, brand affinities, work, and credibility, which can then be added to the influencer CRM.

    You can use the reporting software to develop sales materials and marketing reports on campaign impressions, viewership, and engagement.

    Pricing:

    All three plans (Consumer Intelligence, Social Media Management, and Influencer Marketing) are paid for annually. Brandwatch does not offer pricing upfront on its website; you must fill out a demo or contact form to get this information.

    7. YouTube Analytics

    YouTube Studio has a tracking and analytics section for YouTube that allows you to track key metrics and performance of your YouTube channel, playlists, and videos. Users just have to create a free creator account and start posting videos.

    It’s useful for influencers who want to grow their YouTube channel and businesses that want to get more reach and engagement.

    Features:

    Besides normal video analytics, YouTube Studio’s Advanced Mode has a set of analytics reporting features that help you drill down on post performance, dive into audience data, and compare your account growth over different periods of time.

    Google Support has developed a map that lists all the available features.

    YouTube Analytics
    • Channel views, watch time, unique viewers, and view duration
    • Top posts, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs)
    • Realtime performance reports
    • Demographic insights like age, gender, location, and language
    • Top referral sources and remixed content
    • Key moments for audience retention

    The latter shows you which moments caught (or lost) your viewer’s attention. If the retention rate is high, your content is marked to be interesting and Google pushes it up in search rankings.

    Analytics report for each video shows you how viewers engage with your content, what they engage with, and what they don't. Once you have this information, you can add more content to your channel and monetize it.

    Pricing: YouTube Analytics from YouTube Studio is free for everyone.

    8. Meltwater

    Meltwater is an online media monitoring company that helps with social media listening. With over 6 million traditional and social media sources, 300 million audience profiles, and 30 million influencer accounts, the brand has become the go-to social media management tool for a large number of organizations.

    Currently, their suite consists of tools that cover media, relations, consumers, influencers, social media analytics, social listening, and sales intelligence.

    Features:

    Meltwater collects and processes millions of digital data sources, using AI and machine learning technologies to offer real-time consumer insights that empower brands to make people-first decisions.

    Meltwater Analytics

    These are some of the features it comes with:

    • Multiple accounts on a single social media dashboard
    • Brand mentions and topics from social plus traditional media channels
    • Unlimited search keywords, brand names, and hashtags
    • Customer sentiment analysis tool
    • Visual Analytics Searching to analyze non-verbal/non-textual content
    • Audience segmentation based on demographics, behavior, attitudes, and influencers

    Pricing:

    Meltwater has four paid plans: Essentials, Advanced, Suite, and Enterprise. Pricing is available on request.

    9. BuzzSumo

    BuzzSumo is known for its content marketing research and analysis tools. Users can benefit from advanced content insights, identify trending topics, monitor social mentions, and measure content engagement.

    All you have to do is go to Content Analyzer and enter a topic, brand, or domain name.

    BuzzSumo content analyzer

    Content performance can be studied across different social channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can create and sort an audience report by date, engagement, shares, and reactions.

    Features:

    A normal report usually includes details on the number of articles studied, popular content formats, social shares, and audience engagement by network.

    BuzzSumo content analysis

    BuzzSumo also gives you the tools required to:

    • Track mentions, trends, and updates
    • Create email alerts for topics, brands, and keywords
    • Find influencers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok
    • Identify the most popular content type in your niche
    • Recreate classics and jump into viral trends

    You can explore content that is performing really well with your audience and use that data to inform your content strategy.

    Pricing:

    A simple search is available on the free tool, but a paid membership is required for in-depth information. BuzzSumo has Content Creation, PR and Comms, Suite, and Enterprise plans, ranging from $199 to $999 per month with a 30-day free trial period.

    10. Twitter Analytics

    Twitter has built-in analytics software that provides real-time data about your followers, content, and users who engage with said content. It’s a free audience insights tool that tells you how your Twitter audience is reacting to your Tweets, displaying account growth in terms of followers, mentions, and visits.

    Twitter Analytics

    Features:

    X (formerly Twitter) discontinued Audience Insights (data about user demographics, occupation, lifestyle, interests, and consumer behavior) in 2020. However, businesses can still track:

    • Impressions, engagement, clicks, replies, and retweets
    • Number of profile visits, mentions, and new followers
    • Top tweets, followers, and mentions
    • Response rates and time

    You can use this information to drive post traffic and create engaging content for your followers. Consequently, you can also bring in leads and push them through the marketing funnel.

    Pricing:

    It doesn’t cost you any money since every Twitter profile (personal, professional, or X Premium) has free access to the native Twitter analytics dashboard.

    What Are Audience Insights Tools and Why are they Important?

    Simply put, audience insights tools allow you to gather customer information and provide customer insights in minutes. Unlike traditional forms of market research, data collection is a fully automated, low-cost, and instantaneous process.

    This data is then processed and analyzed by audience intelligence tools to give specific information about your customers, like demographics, interests, hobbies, and preferences.

    Besides a breakdown of your prospects, audience insights tools help you:

    • Leverage first-party customer data
    • Know your target audience better
    • Uncover new marketing opportunities
    • Study competitor weaknesses and identify content gaps
    • Fine-tune organic and paid marketing campaigns
    • Engage prospects with resonating content
    • Detect industry trends and shifts in the marketplace
    • Save time, money, and human resources

    Your first-party audience data ensures that your business strategies are focused on your target customers and not anybody else. Additionally, these insights let you reach out to the right audience segments, boosting engagement rates and conversions.

    You can easily identify which social media networks, podcasts, YouTube channels, and media sites customers frequently visit and personalize your campaigns, content, messaging, and PR strategies.

    For instance, if social media networks like Instagram drive traffic to your product pages, you can create ads to increase reach, engagement, and click-through rates.

    How To Use Audience Insights Tools

    You now have a list of marketing tools that tell you a lot more about your target audience than you could have possibly imagined. But what do you do with this information? You can find new audience segments, build digital marketing plans, refine ads, and launch social media campaigns.

    This is but a general overview of the things you can do with different audience insights tools. Now, let’s get into the details.

    Explore different audience segments

    Audience segmentation is the process of dividing a large market base into smaller groups of customers based on similar traits and characteristics. It can be their age range, gender, location, product preference, or spending capacity.

    Audience insights help you discover niche customer segments.

    Customers who were not a priority before – who like your product but aren't being targeted because you didn’t know they existed. You can spot untapped segments with high conversion potential with segmentation and analysis.

    Then, you must align your sales and marketing goals with specific audience demographics in mind, adjusting brand voice, marketing materials, and sales pitches wherever required.

    Create buyer personas

    We know about buyer personas; they are tools that represent a semi-fictional customer, including a variety of data points critical to the success of any marketing strategy. It can be common demographic attributes like age and gender or behavioral factors like browsing habits and shopping frequency.

    You can use the analytics data gathered via insight tools to create buyer personas. This process can be done manually, or you can use persona tools and templates that require you to add or connect your data sources.

    Analyze competitor performance

    Besides customer analysis, competitor intelligence is an important part of market research. It tells you what your competitors are selling, along with their client base, marketing plans, ad strategies, content types, performance, product positioning, and market share.

    Yet, perhaps the most important part of competitor analysis is to spot your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

    Look at areas where they fail to meet customer expectations and capitalize on them. It can be a simple product feature that your competitors are missing (but you offer) or a lack of information on a certain subject (that you can provide).

    Improve social media marketing

    Some of the tools we mentioned offer social media audience insights, like Audiense, Brandwatch, and Buzzsumo. These insights ensure that your social content resonates with your social media followers.

    Additionally, you can use the information provided on trending hashtags, reels, topics, and interests to develop viral content that gets you more exposure and impressions.

    Social media analytics tools also help you:

    • Identify reasons why you are losing followers
    • Discover post formats that work (like reels over carousels)
    • Find out what is being said about your brand online

    Audience insights tools make it much easier to listen to and monitor your customers across social media platforms.

    Try influencer marketing

    Influencer marketing is the new “it” in social media marketing – everybody is doing it (or at least trying to do it). Influencers are people, brands, or organizations that talk about a certain subject online – they can be experts or novices with a large social media following.

    Of course, there are different types of influencers; celebrity influencers like Christiano Ronaldo or food influencers like Jamie Oliver.

    The point is that they are known to be the best in their field and have a dedicated cult following ready to do anything they ask for. So, if Ronaldo posts about some shoes online, web queries and sales for those shoes (brand) are going to go up.

    Audience intelligence tools can give you a list of such influencers in your industry, both micro and macro, that you can collaborate with.

    Refine ad targeting

    Advertisements are the fastest way to get new customers, clicks, and conversions; but they also take a big chunk of your marketing budget. Hence, you need to ensure that your audience demographics, interests, and keywords are always on point.

    A data-driven decision is always better than guesswork.

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Google, LinkedIn, or Facebook Ads. For your ads to be targeted and effective, you must base them on the insights you derive from audience analytics platforms.

    Wrapping Up

    Audience insights tools like the ones listed above provide valuable information regarding your target audience, including their likes, dislikes, buying behavior, and shopping patterns.

    They empower you to make data-driven decisions in line with consumer wants and needs.

    At the end of the day, audience intelligence tools not only help identify customer pains and challenges but offer solutions that solve those problems. Ultimately, this enables you to create marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience and pave the way for future business success.

    Create customer personas automatically
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