If you’re struggling for ideas on who to target with your efforts on YouTube or the GDN, I would suggest you try out SparkToro. It’s the brainchild of Rand Fishkin and has some cool features.

I got beta access and have been taking the tool for a spin. Since I’m a PPC manager I looked at how the tool could benefit digital advertisers specifically. The two areas that stood out to me most were the ability to find YouTube channels and placements that could be leveraged. So let’s talk about how you can do that.

A Quick Tour Of SparkToro

When you log in, this is the screen that greets you:

The drop down box allows you to select one of 5 options for the search:

  • Frequently talks about/is interested in
  • Describe themselves as
  • Follows the Twitter account
  • Frequently visits the website
  • Frequently uses the hashtag

So this gives you a lot of potential angles to work. For each search type you get an Overview by default, but you can then dig into the results by Social, Websites, Podcasts, YouTube and Audience Insights.

The first thing they communicate after doing a search is the Audience Confidence and Behavior Similarity. This helps you understand how reliable the ensuing data will be. For Audience Confidence they inform you that if over 3000 profiles in their database match, then you have a good set of data. If you’re under 300 then it will be really shaky data. I find this very helpful.

Finding YouTube Targeting Ideas

So let’s dive right into how a PPC practitioner could use this. My test search above was people who follow the Twitter account @HeirloomRoses. Once I click on the YouTube tab I see the YouTube channels that the target audience subscribes too, sorted by highest percentage first. This is a great list of channels to target with your YouTube campaigns.

Also, you could do this same exercise for prominent thought leaders in your industry as well as competitors. You can refine the results using the left sidebar to find channels with larger or smaller numbers or subscribers. You can make sure they’re channels that are still actively adding videos. A great tool to get started quickly with good quality placements.

Finding GDN Targeting Ideas

Now let’s pop over to the Websites tab and see what they have to offer.

Here you see a list of websites that are visited and amplified by members of our audience. By default it will sort by percent of match but you can also sort for high numbers of monthly uniques or growing/shrinking sites. The left sidebar also lets you apply some filters. Note that by default they’re excluding “Popular Domains”. I recommend keeping this or your list will be Google, Facebook, CNN, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

Again, this is a great seed list of potential targeted placements in a display campaign. You could also use it to build a custom intent audience. Not all these will be in the GDN of course, but given the size and penetration of the GDN your odds are pretty good. Quick, easy and relevant stuff.


Finding good YouTube channels or GDN placements for your PPC campaigns doesn’t have to be all manual and take hours. A tool like SparkToro can help you put something together quickly and get your campaigns running. You can sign-up at the site to be notified when SparkToro officially launches.

Until it’s available, you can also check out a few other posts to help you:

Get New Suggestions for Display Targeting with the Google Ads Ideas Tab

Advanced YouTube Sessions from SMX Munich

The Google Ads Display Setting You Need to Disable

How do you currently come up with targeting ideas?  Comment below to share!