Getting Started With BuzzSumo: A Tutorial
There’s endless things you can do with BuzzSumo, but here are some of the most popular use cases:
- Find the most shared content and influential authors
- Identify most shared content for a domain
- Track topic, brands, competitors and backlinks
- See who linked to an article
- See who shared a popular article
- Identify influencers for a topic
- Identify the links shared by an influencer
- Run an analysis report for a topic or domain
Use Case: Find the Most Shared Content + Influential Authors For A Topic
Let’s say you’re doing content marketing for a client in the paleo diet industry, and want to know what types of content people want to read. With BuzzSumo, you simply navigate to the “Most Shared” section, type Paleo in the search box, filter by date period, or article type, and press Search.
As you can see from the screenshot, these are the most shared links about Paleo for the past month. There’s a lot of insights you can extract for this data, including:
- Identifying which types of topics people love to share
- Identifying content formats that work
- Identifying catchy headline formats that work
- Discovering influential authors.
We recommend you take a piece of content that was shared a lot, and improve upon it. Or adapt that same idea for a different topic (BuzzFeed is very successful at this). Keep in mind this data also provides you with the most influential authors in your niche. These are very powerful influencers who write articles that are being shared by many people. If you’re doing an outreach campaign, these authors are obviously the first group of people you should build relationships with. You can also use our Top Authors search over in the Influencers section to help identify influential authors.
The Most Shared search is also useful for finding specific types of content: whether it’s infographics, guest blog posts, interviews, giveaways or regular articles. This is extremely powerful, let’s say you want to find guest blog opportunities for Paleo blogs. All you have to do is uncheck all the content types except “Guest Posts” and filter as show below:
We recommend just exporting all this data to Excel by clicking on the blue “Export” button on the top left. After you export, you can do many things with the data. Such as gathering more metrics for each link (i.e. Moz page authority), or finding the contact information of the authors who wrote these articles.
Use Case: Identifying Most Shared Content for a Domain
With BuzzSumo, you can also see the most shared links for a particular domain, such as your competitor’s. Let’s say you’re a publisher that covers startup news. How do you discover what topics people love to read and share? One way is to analyze what’s been working for someone like Techcrunch, a very popular startup news publisher. Just type techcrunch.com into the search box, and you’ll see just that. Again, we recommend exporting this data into Excel so you can do your own analysis.
Use Case: Monitor a Topic, Brand, Backlinks or an Author
The monitoring section in BuzzSumo can be used to track keywords, your brand, competitors, backlinks and even authors! It’s one of the most powerful features of the platform.
Here are some of our favourite ways to use alerts:
- Brand & competitor monitoring – Track when you or a competitor is mentioned online. Learn how to use this feature to get more backlinks!
- Staying on top of a topic – Automate your searches by getting a daily digest of the most popular articles for any topic.
- Breakout content from a website – Get an alert when a website publishes a piece of content that gets more than 100 shares (or any other number you like).
- New backlink alerts – Track all new backlinks to your site or even a particular piece of content you’ve published, in near realtime!
- Follow an author – Follow your favourite author, or an influencer to get notified when they publish content, regardless of the website they publish on.
- Add notifications to Slack – Grab the RSS feed and subscribe in Slack with the /feed command. RSS also works with IFTTT.com/feed and many more apps!
Alerts appear on your dashboard and are also emailed to you. You can choose a real time alert or a daily digest. There are also many options such as filtering by numbers of shares, choosing a language or sending the alert to a colleague.
Use Case: Find the Most Shared Facebook Posts
You can also use BuzzSumo to find the most shared Facebook Posts. Whilst the most shared search will tell you how many times a URL has been shared on Facebook, our Facebook Analyzer shows you all the actual (public) posts for a topic or particular page. Navigate to the Facebook Analyzer tab and enter a topic like “paleo” as shown below. Notice we display the entire Facebook posts:
Use Case: Viewing Who Linked To An Article
Use BuzzSumo’s backlink search to find the most shared links pointing to any article or domain. Simply navigate to Backlinks and enter a URL or domain. Alternatively you can click the Backlinks button next to any article in the Most Shared section to quick run a backlink search for that URL.
Use Case: Identifying Who Shared An Article
Let’s say you identified a piece of popular content, and decided to write a better article on the same topic. How would you go about finding influencers to share or link to it? With Buzzsumo, you can see who shared a particular link on Twitter by clicking on the “View Sharers” button for that article, as shown below:
One limitation is we only show sharers that have shared an article in a 2-3 day window after the article was published. However, we also show more metrics on these sharers such as their engagement rate (reply ratio, retweet ratio), and their influence level (page authority, and average retweets their tweets get). Here’s a screenshot of all the data you’ll see:
Within BuzzSumo, you can follow these influencers and save them to an “Outreach list” to organise influencers for different campaigns. You can even Tweet at them directly from BuzzSumo as shown below.
Just like Most Shared, you can export these influencer results for your own use. Just click on the blue “Export” button in the far right to export to CSV or Excel.
Use Case: Identifying Influencers For A Topic
Our 2nd major feature (and arguably just as powerful) is our Influencer Search. While there are many tools that offer the ability to search for influencers, we’ve differentiated ourselves in several ways. First, if you search for a topic, we not only return influencers with the topic in their bios, but also influencers who commonly tweet and share links related to the topic.
Secondly, BuzzSumo also shows the Page Authority and PageRank for the URLs belonging to these influencers. This way you can target influencers who have a high page authority and save valuable time. Lastly, BuzzSumo allows you to filter influencers by specific types, such as bloggers or journalists.
If you’re doing an outreach campaign and want to reach content marketing bloggers, simply type “content marketing” and filter only by “bloggers” as shown below. This shows you ONLY bloggers who tweet about content marketing, or have “content marketing” in their bio, sorted by relevance.
As you can also see, you’ll see the following metrics for each influencer: – The Twitter username – The Twitter bio – The Page Authority of the URL – The Pagerank of the URL – Number of Followers – Retweet Ratio: the % of tweets that are retweets – Reply Ratio: the % of tweets that are @ replies to another user. The influencer types you can filter on include: – Bloggers – Influencers: These are actually powerful influencers, not just “normal” ones – Companies – Journalists – Regular people: everyone else that isn’t the above.
Use Case: Identifying the Links Shared by an Influencer
Let’s say you’ve found a couple of influencers you want to contact for an outreach campaign. How do you contact them about your content, or product? Cold emails are an option, but not effective unless you know the influencer’s interests and what they usually share. This is where BuzzSumo can help as well. You can see a sample of the links that influencer has shared on Twitter for the past 6 months or so. Simply click on the “View Links Shared” button. For example, let’s say I want to pitch an idea to Tim Ferriss, a very popular influencer and best-selling author of “The Four-Hour Work Week”. If I search for his username “@tferriss” and click on “View Links Shared”, the below screenshot is what I see.
From this, I can infer that Tim must have at least some interest in Bitcoin, startups, food, health.. and Japanese culture? From this data, you can customize your pitch so it’s more in tune with these interests, ensuring a higher conversion rate.
Use Case: See What’s Trending Today
BuzzSumo’s Trending Now tool shows you the most popular content across the web for the last 24 hours and allows you to identify stories about to go viral. Stories gathering a lot of shares quickly will rise to the top when sorted by trending score.
- Browse what’s Trending without entering a search term
- Identify stories about to go viral with our Trending score based on how many shares the article has received in the past 30 minutes.
- Filter down to the last hour to see what’s just about to breakout!
- Create custom feeds for popular topics and domains e.g. if you’re a publisher, enter all of your competitors to see what they’re covering today.
Run a Content Analysis Report For a Topic or Domain
If you want a quick overview of the content being published and shared for any particular topic or domain you can run a content analysis report. This report will provide the following information and charts:
- Total articles published in the last 6 months
- Average shares per article
- Average shares by network
- Average shares by content type
- Shares by content length
- Most shared domains for a topic or keyword
- Most shared articles in the period
Need Help or Support?
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be glad to help you out so you can use BuzzSumo for your content and influencer research.