Ranker Shows the Power of Affinity

LA startup Ranker is proving the power of targeting audience affinities instead of demographics.

The Los Angeles-based startup Ranker does, and that’s been a major reason for its climb on Facebook. The site, with more than 26 million readers a month, according to comScore, uses its data gathered from readers’ votes to see how much affinity fans of celebrities, movies, athletes and other pop cultural entities have for other similar entities. Knowing this not only informs Ranker’s content strategy but helps it target readers more effectively on Facebook.

Thanks to this new feature, Ranker could target a list of the best movie stars of the ’70s not just at Burt Reynolds fans, but at people who like things and entities he’s affiliated with, such as the wrestler Steve Borden and “Gremlins.” Since that feature rolled out, Ranker’s monthly unique audience has nearly doubled in size, according to comScore.

The type of thinking is creating new ways to segment audiences based on the contextual understanding of their interests (ex. "80's Action Movies"), instead of blindly targeting groups based on a known specific interest (ex. "Rambo").

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