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How to Find Marketing Insights Using Audience Overlap

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How to Find Marketing Insights Using Audience Overlap

This post is in English
Elena Kozlova
This post is in English
How to Find Marketing Insights Using Audience Overlap

How many times in your career could you say that you had a precise feel for your target audience?

Marketing itself is not rocket science, but consumer behavior can be. Customers make choices based on a number of volatile factors, some of which are not obvious at all. You can’t predict their actions, but you can always follow current consumer insights to optimize your marketing campaign in a timely way.

Invaluable data may come from knowledge of website traffic, but what about other factors? What magazines does your target audience read? What substitutes do your loyal customers consider? All this information can be found with the SEMrush Audience Overlap tool. The graphs provided will show you the percentage of users who visit both websites you entered in the fields (up to five). Below are several ways understanding audience overlap can help you find marketing insights for strategic business solutions.

How to Find Audience Overlap

Before we get into it, here is a quick instruction on where to find SEMrush Audience Overlap in the interface.

  • Go to Traffic Analytics tool, enter a domain and press “Search”.
  • Now go to the blue button “Add +4 competitors” to type a website that you want to make a comparison with.
  • Note: You have to name at least one competitive domain for Audience Overlap to appear in the interface.

1. Get Insights From the Least Evident Competitors

Premium brands don’t compete with the mass market. Or do they? Your audience may not care that much about the market you identify with – they just want a polo shirt. As we see from the graphs below, visitors to the Ralph Lauren website are completely fine with taking a look at what H&M has to offer. Whether they are searching for a basic or a high-fashion item, Audience Overlap comes in handy when you need to check real audience insights.

ralph-lauren-audience-overlap.png

2. Broaden the Range of Partners for Collaboration

Sometimes, customers choose between product categories that have no direct connection at all (at first glance). For instance, Sephora cosmetics, Pandora jewelry, Victoria’s Secret lingerie, and a Netflix subscription are not interchangeable in practical terms – yet all of them make great options for a holiday gift for a woman.

sephora-pandora-victorias-secret-netflix-audience-overlap.png

Such overlap can point out possible partners for collaboration or comarketing. This overlap doesn’t necessarily mean a full-scale co-branding project; it might be the choice of prizes for a draw on social media. Apart from promotions for your own products, you might want to shake up your audience with additional offers, such as tickets to a music festival or dinner in a restaurant that they might like.

3. Review Your Media Partners

So you are choosing among media platforms, and are considering two websites — both alike in dignity (and target audience). Should you consider both? Should you search for more? Depending on how bold your brand policy allows you to be, you might come up with a truly unconventional solution based on an audience insight.

Let’s say that previously you worked with business magazines. Their readers are your target group; that is without question, but showing ads to exactly the same users may not be in your best interests if your campaign is aimed at reach. Check the media options that are usually excluded from your list. Draw up a couple of platforms that claim to have your target audience in their press kits but have little overlap – and give them a try!

wsj-forbes-newsweek-playboy-audience-overlap.png

For example, you have found out that Playboy website visitors have the same socio-demographic characteristics as your target group. Audience Overlap shows you that these relevant users haven’t been reached by your ads in other, serious magazines. Of course, Playboy is unlikely to publish a long read about company development, but if your brand is open for a creative experiment, an ad in this magazine could help you get to the part of your target audience that has not been covered in previous marketing campaigns.

4. Estimate Potential Reach of the Media

You can also compare audiences from your website and a media platform. The graphs will show you the exact users who have visited both. If your aim is to reach new people, consider working with the resource that you have the least Audience Overlap with.

gucci-elle-vogue-vanity-fair-audience-overlap.png

We have compared audiences of the official Gucci website and three fashion publications. One of them, Elle, is a more general women's magazine, while two others, Vogue and Vanity Fair, tend to be more about upper-class style. How come Gucci fans are more keen on reading Elle than Vanity Fair? Whatever the reason, consider this new data when planning your next placements.

5. Compare Your Media Placement With a Competitor’s

You can also check how one of your rivals (we chose Prada) is presented in the same media.

prada-elle-vogue-vanity-fair.png

Compared to Audience Overlap with Gucci website, Prada has a greater percentage of visitors who also read Vanity Fair online. If you observed the same picture for your competitor, what steps could you take next? Check their traffic sources to find out if the paid ones prevail, then ask yourself if it makes sense to invest more in advertising and product placement on comparable media to outperform a rival.

6. Research Regional Markets

Owning an international brand is not necessarily equal to a competitive advantage, especially in such a fast-growing and fast-changing industry as e-commerce. To develop the company in a specific geographical market, take a closer look at the locals. Think about the case of ASOS. In its native UK, the retailer competes with Amazon and eBay. In Russia, the situation is different; the company shares its target audience with local multi-branded online stores Lamoda and Wildberries. Let’s see what consumer insights Audience Overlap can give us.

asos-lamoda-wildberries-audience-overlap.png

The first glance at the graphs leads us to believe that users consider all of the three online stores equally: Lamoda and Wildberries each share around 35% of visitors with ASOS. Do these people see the difference between the brands? Let’s look at each of the retailers separately.

lamoda-asos-wildberries-audience-overlap.png

First, let’s compare Lamoda with the two other sites. It is no wonder that more customers of Lamoda visit Wildberries than ASOS. Local online stores must have similar delivery conditions or the same scale of promotion in the region – these are just some of the reasons worth verifying.

wildberries-asos-lamoda-audience-overlap.png

The next comparison reveals that visitors of Wildberries are less interested in ASOS than Lamoda customers. Now we can conclude that Lamoda is more competitive to ASOS than Wildberries in Russia. You could use this customer insight as a sign to continue your market research in the field of positioning and communication strategies.

7. Define the Leader in a Niche

Being too general is hardly ever a good plan, especially in the sphere where the best piece of cake is already taken. Let’s say you are developing the marketing strategy of a sports shoe brand. You know for sure there are several companies who offer various types of clothing and one that specializes in sneakers. Will you have to compete with all of these giants? Or will you manage to have more or less consistent competition within your niche? Let's see what Audience Overlap shows us with some popular brands.

reebok-nike-new-balance-puma-audience-overlap.png

The graphs show the biggest overlap between Reebok, Nike, and Puma; this means that these sports brands mostly compete with each other for the same audience, while New Balance stays off their radars somehow. Not a big surprise, given their specialization. The question is, if customers consider one of these companies as a good sports shoe manufacturer, then which one?

new-balance-reebok-nike-puma-audience-overlap.png

To learn the answer, we compared every competitor with New Balance. We figured out that the audience searching for this brand’s footwear also considers buying Nike. As a product marketing or brand manager for an opposing brand, you might feel motivated to study their offers more closely, monitor their marketing campaigns, and evaluate some of their approaches.

8. Don’t Rely On the Claimed Target Audiences (and existing press kits)

If you are an owner of several websites (or the one responsible for their promotion as media platforms), you need some valid data to present in your press kit. Let’s have a look at the example of Condé Nast Inc., which owns publications aimed at various target groups. It might be tempting to assume that since Vogue, Glamour, and W Magazine are made for women, all cross activities should be on these sites. However, Audience Overlap shows something more curious.

vogue-glamour-gq-wmagazine-wired-audience-overlap.png

In reality, more users visit both the Vogue and GQ websites. Are these women interested in the lifestyle section of the men’s magazine? Are they helping their boyfriends to revamp their wardrobes? The graphs won’t tell you, but they will give you valuable insight and solid proof for future advertisers that you can include in your press kit.

9. Monitor Market Position Dynamics

With Audience Overlap, you can see how your positions in the market change over time. Enter two competing domains and move from one time period tab to another to observe the trend. We studied how French users changed their preferences between Air France and KLM airlines as the notorious strikes escalated in spring-summer 2018.

air-france-klm-dynamics-audience-overlap.png

To begin with, we checked the percentage of users who visited both websites before Air France got turbulent (February 2018). Then we went on to the peak periods (April and July 2018) and noticed that Air France audience started visiting the competing KLM website more often. The trend survived typical for the industry high and low seasons and grew even stronger in January 2019. The next step could be checking other competitors, revealing the one that welcomed the biggest part of your once loyal audience and taking the best from their development and communication strategies.

You can compare Audience Overlap for several locations one by one to determine if a trend is global or local, which will give you an idea of whether you need to strengthen your campaign in a particular market or study the options deeply and revise your offers.

See Audience Overlap in action

Compare two to five websites in the tool

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Online researcher, offline traveler. Passionate writer and story listener.
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Paul Lovell
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Thanks for sharing Elena, Just been starting to use this tool more often myself thanks for sharing !
Elena Kozlova
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Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Paul Lovell
Glad you've found it useful, Paul!
Muhammad Junaid
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Hey Elena Kozlova, in this article you described Audience Overlap Tool very briefly. I am using SEMRush paid version and honestly speaking don't know technical details of all features and tools. I found SEMRush Audience Overlap Tool very useful and can compare the audiences report up to 5 websites. I think SEMRush need to add option for Image Uploading in their blog section so users can share their experience or can ask questions to get answers.
Aleks Ritov
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Muhammad Junaid
Thanks for the feedback. We'll implement the option for image uploading in the comments.
Elena Kozlova
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Muhammad Junaid
Hey Muhammad! Great to hear that Audience Overlap has been useful for you! Do you think you could write your own article based on your experience with Audience Overlap? Surely, this is not the last time when we highlight the tool, and learning from your practice would be helpful for other users.
Bayu Angora
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Local marketing is good if completed with offline marketing too.
Elena Kozlova
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Bayu Angora
Integrated solutions can lead to tremendous results, that's true!
Kelechi Ibe
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Nice write-up, Elena! I have a question, for the #7 use case, doesn't it just mean that Nike gets more traffic than Reebok? If that's the case, won't studying Nike top traffic source be the next strategy for Reebok to look into?
Elena Kozlova
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Kelechi Ibe
Thanks, Kelechi! That's true that Nike has a much bigger audience than Reebok. At that, if we jump to comparing these brands' websites with each other, we'll see that almost 1/3 of visitors go to both websites. This means that, most likely, they are aiming at the same target audience, but a part of it hasn't been reached yet. Subsequently, these users are not loyal yet. So, it will really make sense to analyze Nike's traffic sources, landing pages, and marketing campaigns deeper - as well as their overall strategy of traffic generation. In this case, more instruments of Competitive Research toolkit will be useful: https://www.semrushchina.cn/competitive-research/
We've made a guide on it once, so feel free to use it: https://www.semrushchina.cn/ebooks/competitive-research-pdf/
Kelechi Ibe
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Elena Kozlova
Thanks for sharing that pdf. I'll give it a read!
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thanks! How can I find this tool?
Elena Kozlova
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Bahman Zakeri
Thank you, Bahman! Go to Traffic Analytics tool https://www.semrushchina.cn/analytics/traffic/overview, enter the domain you want to start the comparison with, and press "Search". You'll see a blue button "Add +4 competitors". Press it and enter at least one competitive website. Then the graphs of Audience Overlap will appear. Let me know if you have any further questions.
C. Alex Velazquez
Expert

Provides valuable insights and adds depth to the conversation.

Nice post! I am using this right now to do some audience research between 3 of our websites, and see where our own audiences overlap (since sometimes, you best customer is one you already have, but through another product or service). Cheers and happy weekend!
Elena Kozlova
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

C. Alex Velazquez
Thank you, Alex! Checking audience overlap between your own websites is a smart move indeed! If you can share your experience in more detail, we will really appreciate that. Feel free to write about your case and enjoy the upcoming weekend too!

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