The “content intelligence” strategy that got 50% more leads


Was Batman a fraud?

A “superhero” without superpowers…


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Was Batman a fraud?

A “superhero” without superpowers…


In fact, he’s a testament to the supernatural power of tools.

When we use heroic strategy with a nuclear-powered tool in our marketing, we become the superhero for our clients!

And we’ve got a superhero story for you today…

In today’s Deep Dive, we follow the story of Foundation, a content agency that combined a tool with a “content intelligence” strategy to pre-calculate results and…

  • Get 50% more leads than their client’s existing paid campaigns

  • Serve more clients in less time

  • Close more deals

(Foundation isn’t any ordinary agency… it has a “CDaaS” business model…)

Let’s dive in!


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How Foundation Closes Deals, Serves Clients & Makes Ad Spend More Efficient With SparkToro

Foundation is a content distribution as a service (CDaaS) marketing agency. Ever heard of that before? Neither had we. 

Basically, where most agencies stop at creating the content, they distribute it to highly-targeted audiences.

By using Sparktoro to find those audiences, they got a client 50% more qualified leads (as you’ll soon see).

To find the most-profitable audiences for their content, they used to do manual search. They’d look through communities and read social media posts of big influencers, which took a ton of time…

Enter Sparktoro.

Your Audience Tells Lies

One of the old ways Foundation found audiences was through Twitter Advanced Search. They’d find a big personality profile in a niche. Then, they’d look at their most-liked Tweets to see which content topics and formats performed best.

When they asked the audience a question like, “What podcasts help you stay up-to-date in your industry?” the people would say one thing, but actually do another.

This peculiarity was once summed up perfectly by the legendary David Olgivy:

“Consumers don’t think how they feel. They don’t say what they think. And they don’t do what they say.”

Turns out asking audiences what they want or do isn’t as good of a research strategy as we’d might think.

That’s where an analytics tool that shows us what people do and like comes in handy.

So You Need To Spy On Them To Find The Truth

Rather than relying on (unreliable) self-reported data, SparkToro crawls billions of web and social profiles. It maps the data so you can see which

  • Social accounts

  • Podcasts

  • Websites

  • Media

  • & YouTube channels people of an audience follow.

Instead of manually searching through communities, the Foundation team used a simple keyword search bar to scan through billions of data points in seconds…

Quick Use Case Example

One of Foundation’s clients was a leading internet infrastructure company. They wanted to increase awareness in a niche developer community.

So Foundation got to work in Sparktoro and they…

  1. Searched the niche’s most popular “go-to” places online

  2. Found organic influencers and analyzed their followers

  3. Uncovered accounts with high-value audiences

  4. Found the podcasts…

That the audience said they don’t listen to, but they actually do…

48,548 people whose profiles include software engineer engage most with these podcasts

By using this “content marketing intelligence,” Foundation calculated that sponsoring these podcasts would be better targeting than if they ran Facebook ads!

The client bought in. With $50K spend, they got 50% more qualified leads than from their other digital advertising.

They Use Sparktoro To Get Clients, Too

Foundation uses Sparktoro to develop pitches for new clients.

They close more deals, deliver better insights, and manage projects more quickly.

“The velocity of deal closes increased because we’re able to pull data quickly. A lot of agencies use legacy tools that take weeks to gather meaningful insights. At Foundation, we can turn things around in a day. Combine that with the fact that SparkToro can help us uncover innovative opportunities to drive ROI and it’s no wonder SparkToro has helped us close and retain some of the fastest growing SaaS brands in the world.”— Ross Simmonds, Founder & CEO of Foundation Inc.

Inspiration for today’s Deep Dive from Sparktoro.


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So what is “content marketing intelligence?” It starts with understanding where you or your client is today. Then, compare it with your industry and where you could be if you implemented some key content recommendations. These recommendations are based on key data: internal, keyword, social and industry, as well as existing research you’ve done. Keep reading…

Have people working on your plan but don’t know if it’ll work? According to a recent study, out of all the senior executives at 14 iconic companies (including Apple and Amazon), 50% think their strategy is going to fail. Which begs the question: When do they know their strategy will win?

The evolution of marketing ops (it’s gaining more power in marketing). Marketing ops has always been the tools, processes and metrics that enable marketing. But according to Martech Leader, Darrell Alfonso, it’s becoming a lot more than that: “What you’re seeing at really great companies today is that the marketing operations folks are starting to encompass planning and budgeting. They’re leading process design, how different teams work together, and how campaigns are executed efficiently.” Tune in today.

New report reveals how customers feel about AI content. PAN has paired up with Content Marketing Institute to release new findings on customer experiences with AI content. According to the research, 70% of customers expect AI to become a larger part of their interactions with brands in the next 5 years. But just 28% of customers find AI-generated, or supported content and stories, to be authentic. Learn why here.


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Thank you for reading today’s Growth Memo! We hope you enjoyed it.

See you in a few days!


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