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Published May 15th 2023

How To Use BuzzSumo: 15 Things You Can Do In 30 Days

Start 30 Day Free Trial Now

BuzzSumo’s free trial is available for 30 full days. That’s three weeks of test-driving the world’s largest index of social engagement data. Lucky you!

BuzzSumo is a cloud based app. No software downloads, no lengthy configuration. Just enter your details and go. Plus, everything you see below is available in the trial – we don’t hold back any core features!

During your trial, you'll have access to our Suite plan – find out more about that via our plans and pricing.

Now that you’ve got access, figure out how to use BuzzSumo and make the absolute most of those 30 days.

We’ve put together a 15-step guide to help you along the way.

Just select the action you want to complete in the contents, and when you’re finished reading, click “Back to contents” to scroll back up.

Just what is BuzzSumo?

BuzzSumo is a cloud-based platform that helps you discover the best engagement, content and outreach opportunities across social and search.

Discover new keywords, trending stories, customer questions and content success, all while monitoring what’s most important to your brand.

Watch our quick explainer video to find out more…

How do you use BuzzSumo?

How you use BuzzSumo depends on what you want to achieve, but there are four key areas to BuzzSumo: Content Discovery, Content Research, Media Monitoring and Influencer Research. BuzzSumo can be used to:

…And more. To get a better insight of how to use BuzzSumo, read on…


Find new media & publicity opportunities

We surveyed 185 BuzzSumo users, and PR monitoring was top of the list, when it came to the things they liked most about BuzzSumo.

With a full text analysis on 3m articles crawled daily, it’s definitely one of the most valuable areas of the platform for monitoring and measuring PR, so it’s super important you make the most of it while it’s free!

BuzzSumo Monitoring scans blogs, news sites, forums and other online communities across the web, to show you what’s being published about the things most important to you and your brand.

In fact, this tool has helped us (the BuzzSumo team) discover different types of PR mentions, and creative reactive strategies which led to our highest free trial conversion rate ever. You can read about that here.

In short, Monitoring helps you find quick-win media opportunities, avert brand crises, and get ahead of your market.

Sound good?

See how it works and get some ideas

Simply head to Monitoring and click on the ‘Plus’. Here you can create an alert for your brand, and everything relating to it.

Track your brand name

  • Monitor brand reputation and handle publicity – good or bad. Being the first to know about a negative issue surrounding your brand can help you do some first-rate fire-fighting, and being the first to share some good news can make you very popular indeed!
  • Build relationships with the people that mention or link to you (a thank you can go a long way and result in future links and mentions!)
  • See what your customers like (or don’t like) about your brand.

Pro Tip

Share a name with something / someone else?

Add in positive & negative keywords, limit certain domains, or make your alert case sensitive.

Track your competitors’ brand

  • What is being published about them? Is it positive or negative? How will this affect your brand? Can this present a unique opportunity for you? I. E. if you get notified that your competitor has ceased production of a certain product, but you still offer it, can you focus your marketing efforts to win over their customers?
  • Are there any link relationships between journalists and your competitors that you can intercept?

Track backlinks of a specific website

  • Add in a URL, and track all backlinks pointing towards it
  • Who’s referring back to your content?
  • Can you work with them in future campaigns to boost awareness of your brand?

Track specific content published by a website

  • Think of a competitor, partner or inspirational leader in your industry. Set up an alert for the URL of their content that you admire most.
  • What are they doing right? Who is advocating for them?
  • Is there anything that you could chime in on? How can you participate in the conversation here?

Track your business’ keywords and content

  • Does your business use specific ‘Lingo’ that would be worth monitoring to explore if there’s been an uptick in brand awareness and recognition? If so get a keyword alert set up stat!
  • Monitor your brands’ features, products, stakeholders, unique concepts and anything else you can think of that might be a talking point!
  • Discover novel uses for your product or service, and feedback preferences to teams across your business i.e. R&D.
  • Get the Customer team involved! Set up alerts for interests, FAQs and common problems that your customers face throughout their journey.
  • Focusing on the bottom of the funnel this quarter? Track mentions for ‘Your competitor + alternatives’, ‘Your brand + reviews’ or any other topic that signals purchase intent. With these mentions you can request links, build relationships with publishers and gather important customer information to take back to your team. Pretty nifty way to raise your own profile at work 😉
  • Set up an alert about a future content topic or campaign, to build connections with those who are already interested. Could they share your content? Provide you with a quote? Link back to it? There’s so many opportunities here!

Track authors across your industry

  • See how your brands’ thought leaders compare with others in the industry
  • Personalize your author outreach by keeping up to date with their latest activity

Pro Tip

Compare and benchmark mentions

Benchmark your brand’s activity and success against others in your industry.

For example, above we can see that Spark Toro’s Rand Fishkin gains significantly more mentions than Lee Odden.

Back to contents

Find writers and journalists in the Media Database

Hot off the press in 2023, we're giving you access to our Media Database and Media Lists (currently in Beta).

That means access to 160K human-verified journalists – and counting!

This tool helps you discover the reporters, columnists, and journalists that have the power to promote you in local, national, and international press.

A journalist’s content and social data can tell you everything you need to know about crafting a pitch that will strike a chord with them.

While other Media Databases tag-on journalist insights, we realized a long time ago that it's not just about the contact, it's about the content.

Luckily, we've been building BuzzSumo around journalist and author content since 2014.

That means you can get a 360 degree understanding of a journalist, from what makes them tick, to what gives them the ick.

And that's what makes a winning pitch!

Here are just a few ways you can use the Media Database...

Find your most relevant journalists, by searching their beat and sorting by recency

Create an alert for your focus journalists so you can get to know their writing

Save a journalist to a Media List in BuzzSumo

Create a new Media List, or add to one you prepared earlier

Turn media mentions into links

Arguably the most instant way to find opportunity in BuzzSumo, the Linked dropdown in Monitoring lets you sort by the Mentions Without Links – i.e. the ones that aren’t yet driving traffic to your website.

This link-building tactic is the perfect starting point for channeling authority to your article, page or overall domain.

Simply reach out to the author of the most engaging piece of content to request a link.


I just came across your article ARTICLE TITLE and wanted to say thanks for mentioning BuzzSumo – we really appreciate it!

If you have the time, we’d love it if you could add a link to the BuzzSumo website so that people can find their way to us if they need to.



Pro Tip

Try searching unlinked competitor mentions

Can you get the jump on your competitor, and pitch your alternative product or service to the author in return for a link?

Prioritize high domain authority

For a quick SEO win, focus on getting linked mentions from content with the highest Domain Authority.

Beware of disinformation

Pay attention to domain authority to track disinformation surrounding your brand.

Manage your brand’s reputation & avert crises

A lot can happen in 30 days. Cancel culture is alive and well, and brand’s are no exception to that rule. Remember the infamous Kendell Jenner, Pepsi campaign debacle in 2017? That unfurled in less than 48 hours, and within three days the ad was pulled through some quick-turnaround crisis management.

Time is very much of the essence when it comes to brand reputation management, and 30 days is definitely more than enough time to minimize the fallout of an ill-judged decision.

The thing that’s most important here is momentum, and you’ll quickly notice that BuzzSumo tops nearly every other monitoring tool out there for speed to insight – even Google Alerts! But don’t just take our word for it…

Brian Dean

Founder, Backlinko

In my opinion, BuzzSumo has one of the best brand monitoring tools on the market. And I should know. I’ve tried em’ all. And since I started tracking mentions with BuzzSumo in 2014… I’ve noticed that it finds more brand mentions than any other tool.

So, make sure you have all your most important alerts configured, and set your most important ones to deliver straight to your inbox, either as they appear, or every day.

Early bird? Get your alerts before breakfast, and make a plan for the day ahead. Night owl? Scan your mentions before bed and let that sleeping brain think up some unique opportunities. In short, get alerted at a time that suits you best.

For some examples of the best crisis management alerts to configure in BuzzSumo, check out our Ultimate Guide to Crisis Management.

Be a brand hero 🦸🏾‍♀️

If you’re part of a growth team, comms team or just love to share a good brand story, quickly and easily hook-up your mentions to Slack. It might be a lot to pack into a 30-day free trial, but all of your settings and activity gets saved if you choose to sign up after the 30 days – so why not do it now? 😉

When you set up your alert, configure it to your exact preference by choosing minimum engagement, “must contain” or “must not contain” results and much more advanced filters.


Find new content ideas

One of the most exciting and well known parts of BuzzSumo is the Content Analyzer, which lets you explore the best headlines and engagement on social media, across days, weeks, months and years! (five to be precise)

Remember: Your free trial lasts for 30 days or 50 searches – whichever comes first.

That’s why it’s super important to get your searches right from the word go.

There’s a knack to searching in BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer. We all have our own ideas on what generates content engagement. Sometimes we hit the nail on the head, and find loads of great ideas. Other times we go after words that are too specific or obscure, and come up short.

If you’ve done this, you might think that there isn’t enough content on the subject matter you’re researching, but it could just be that different words have been used in the headline.

Entering simple, overarching topics will give you a much better idea of how headlines are written, and fuel deeper-dive investigations.

Find out more about creating more advanced searches here.

A great workflow to figure out if your content ideas match reality

Start your content research journey in the Topic Analyzer (click to scroll to this section).

Entering a broad topic in this area will return hundreds of content ideas that already generate engagement. Choose the topic that best suits your objective.

Then you can either take this over to the Keyword Tool to see if that topic performs well in search, or over to the Content Analyzer to see how it’s received on social – here at BuzzSumo we like to do both!

First: Search broader topics for more results

Then: Find a popular subtopic and dig deeper

With the Content Analyzer you can:

  • See what content reached the most people on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest, to inform your content distribution strategy.
  • Combine the best ideas from the best blog titles and headlines to create your next piece of content for your website or newsletter.
  • Research the media response to certain topics, trends, people or events, to dictate your next campaign.
  • Find the most engaging journalists in your field.
  • Raise your own profile and become a thought leader in your field, by sharing content that lands well with your following on social.

And more…

Want to find new video content ideas in your 30-day free trial? Find out more about the YouTube Analyzer here.

Back to contents


Save important ideas

Time is critical during your 30-day free trial, so bank as much of it as you can by saving the content searches that you always refer back to.

We think it’s a great idea to do this around your content pillars – topics you often write about that are closely aligned with your brand and its customers.

These searches get saved on the right hand side of the Content Analyzer or beneath the search screen.

Get content ideas from Journalist Profiles

Journalist Profiles help you better understand and connect with the people who have the power to push your content and brand forward.

But they can also give you great content ideas.

Just search your topic / keyword in the Content Analyzer, hit the Journalist Filter button and click on a journalist name.

This will give you information such as a journalist's top shared articles and topics, which can help inspire your next piece of content.

Read all there is to know about Journalist Profiles here.

Do a Facebook page analysis

Facebook Analytics is now a thing of the past, so why not use your 30-day trial to optimize your Facebook campaigns to nth degree?

  • Benchmark your likes, shares, and comments against competitors
  • Track your page performance over time
  • Hone in on the performance of specific post-types
  • Inform your social scheduling strategy
  • Spot content gaps and opportunities

Check out everything you need to know about the Facebook Page Analyzer here.

Do advanced content analysis

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of content analysis during your 30-day free trial.

Just click on ‘More filters’ underneath your search in the Content Analyzer. This will let you hone in on: domains, B2B publishers, content types, word count, publisher size, Facebook reactions and country TLDs.

Filtering out the noise can help you find the content that’s most relevant to your audience and objective.

  • Are you looking to publish a new Paid Marketing guide? Use the B2B publisher filter to quickly find successful content ideas.
  • Have you found that long-form content and how-to articles drive the most social engagement? Select these filters for your next search to see what success looks like for these content types.
  • Are you expanding into a new market, and only want to see news headlines from Poland? Then choose .pl in the country TLD filter and select ‘Large publishers only’.
  • Do you want to know negative public sentiment towards content discussing your brand? Hone in on ‘Angry’ Facebook reactions.
  • Are you tired of seeing content from that one publication that will never inspire your next campaign? Exclude it with a domain filter.

Explore different kinds of content success

'Sorting’ options are invaluable. They give you the option to organize content by what is most important to you.

Total engagement:

  • Work out how popular headlines are overall.
  • What’s the main story here?
  • What learnings can you take from the top content?
  • Who is publishing the best content and how can you work with them?

Individual social network engagement:

  • Zone-in on engagement and see how it differs by network.
  • What headlines land well on different networks?
  • Can this inform your content distribution strategy?

Facebook reactions

  • Explore audience sentiment towards content.
  • What headlines are most likely to generate Love? Anger?
  • Which tone should you adopt when you create similar content?

Evergreen scores

  • Find the content that is most likely to stand the test of time.
  • Is it your content? If not, then how can it be?

Number of links

  • Find the headlines that people are most likely to write about, and link to.
  • Will your content work well for you in search as well as on social?

Also, don’t forget to check out the icons beside every search. They’re important next-steps in your journey.

BuzzSumo Content Analyzer Icons

Is your search part of a wider analysis that you want to revisit?

– Save it to a project.

Have you found a uniquely interesting story?

– Share it with your network.

Want to find out the most authoritative voices sharing this headline?

– View top sharers.

Do you want to know which websites linked back to this headline to build your future outreach strategy?

– View backlinks.

And finally, see who is vouching for specific pieces of content with a backlink.

Download BuzzSumo's Chrome Extension

One thing you absolutely must do during your 30-day free trial is download BuzzSumo's V2 version of the free chrome extension.

With this handy plugin, you can take BuzzSumo's content insights with you wherever you go online.

Get all kinds of content performance metrics in your browser, including:

  • Analyze blogs on the go
  • See engagement data in the SERPs
  • Assess YouTube videos and channels
  • Research journalists and influencers on Twitter
  • Monitor the performance of pages & posts on Facebook

And more. Read our full guide to the BuzzSumo chrome extension here or for other ways to optimize your content on the go, check out our list of 30+ marketing and SEO chrome extensions that marketers are actually using.

Back to contents

Spot content patterns and trends

Don’t stop analyzing! Hit the Analysis tab on the Content Analyzer and explore a full data visualized breakdown of what makes content hit the mark.

Compare past engagement trends in Content Analysis

Explore the ideal length of content by network

Compare social network engagement trends in Content Analysis

Compare content search results to spot trends

And much more. This data is a springboard for infinite insights and opportunities – make sure you don’t miss that Analysis tab during your 30-day free trial!

Do a full-blown competitor analysis

There are multiple ways to get the jump on your competitors in BuzzSumo during your 30-day free trial, and they all start with a simple domain search.

How to use BuzzSumo for competitor analysis

  1. Enter your competitors’ domain in the Content Analyzer tool to get new content ideas
  2. Enter your competitors’ domain in the Backlink Tool and steal their biggest fans
  3. Set up Alerts monitoring competitor news and nab their media connections
  4. Enter your competitors’ domain in the Keyword Tool to unpick their SEO strategy

In this section, we’re going to be focusing on the Content Analyzer, but if you want to explore any of the options, just click the links above to scroll to the relevant part of the article.

How to use the BuzzSumo Content Analyzer to do a competitor analysis:

Simply input your rivals’ domain into the Content Analyzer to assess their strategy, most popular headlines and get new content ideas.

Get even deeper into that analysis by honing in on your competitors’ individual pieces of content. Input the URL of their blog or webpage to see its social shares, evergreen scores, top sharers and more.

Make your competitors’ success your success

Consider reaching out to your competitors’ biggest fans (their top sharers and backlinkers) to bring your brand to their attention.

Propose content value exchange, whether that's a link, share, or even a referral discount.

Pro Tip

Pitch to your competitors’ top advocates

Provide additional value-adds in exchange for your request.

At BuzzSumo, we recently received an awesome example of just that from our customers at They noticed that we were linking to an article from Hubspot on the popular topic of email subject lines, and made a strong case for why their article would make a valuable addition to the BuzzSumo blog.

They also threw in a freebie at the end. Very nice touch Hunter, bravo 👏 capitalized on Hubspot’s success, using what Brian Dean calls the Skyscraper technique, and successfully convinced us to advocate for them.

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Do a full-blown backlink analysis

Looking to improve your sites’ SEO? Check out BuzzSumo’s Backlink tool during your 30-day free trial.

Links are still, by and large, one of the most crucial elements of SEO. Google uses these authority indicators to connect entities together in the new Google, and get a better understanding of your brand’s online ecosystem.

Help the search engines to see the value of your site, out by finding new link opportunities:

  • Type in competitor domains and request links from the domains that reference them.
  • Discover the top linkers to your domain and share new content with them in future, to build more links.
  • Find the content with the most links and social engagement, to get ideas for how to use BuzzSumo to create new content successfully.
  • See what content is doing well in search AND on social.

Find out more on how to get the most of the Backlink Analysis Tool here.

How to use BuzzSumo backlinks like a pro

Want to know how the pros do it? Check out Carrie Rose’s (Rise at Seven) in-depth inquiry into the bulletbroof backlink strategy applied in cult Netflix series Tiger King, using BuzzSumo.

It gave us a giggle!


How to use BuzzSumo to create a trending news feed

Want to know what content is fast gaining traction on social media – whether it’s around your brand, or the topics your brand and audience cares about?

Set up a 24 hour trending news feed for ultimate trend spotting insight during your 30 day trial.

When you login to your trend dashboard, you’ll find Top Stories From Your Recent Feeds up front and centre.

You can also jump into ready-prepared feeds on popular general topics – no need to search!

The Trending Score shows you the speed of engagement, or how ‘Viral’ a piece of content is likely to be, but you can also prioritize your feed by total engagement and network.

  • Get ideas for reactive content / social posts, and ride on the wave of a trending topic
  • Mitigate risk and spot opportunities around your brand
  • Monitor your competitors and wider industry
  • Monitor topics, people, features and products important to you

Check out three examples of trend spotting with BuzzSumo here.

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Analyze customer keywords and questions

30 days is enough time to find out what your customers really want, when you’ve got thousands of global customer searches and questions at your fingertips.

Kick-off with the Topic Analyzer for ideas around the topics most important to your customers. Topics here appear by ‘Co-location’, or how often they appear in the same content as the main topic.

Pro Tip

Find high volume keywords that don't get written about

BuzzSumo Topics Explorer works super well with the Keyword Tool.

If you find a small topic in the word cloud, this means it hasn't been written about often.

You can then take this keyword over to the Keyword Tool and assess whether it has high search volume and / or value.

If so, you've just spotted a content gap!

Speaking of the Keyword Tool, head there to find out:

  • Keyword trends
  • CPC value
  • Articles published
  • SERP overviews
  • Top influencers
  • Related keyword ideas

Build out your customer-led keyword strategy even further by heading to the Question Analyzer tool and discover five years’ worth of questions that your customers are actually asking, from across 250k forums and website blog comment sections.

  • Get a unique perspective into your customers’ problem solving
  • Please Google’s algorithms (including Google E-A-T) by creating FAQ content answering customer questions around your brand. Google now up-ranks question content, as they better match intent (think People Also Ask)
  • Solve your customer’s problems and avoid losing them to competitors
  • Write better product descriptions

And more…

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Find the best influencers to boost your brand

Don’t waste any time. Track down your most influential authors, YouTubers and Twitter voices now, using the BuzzSumo Influencer Tool.

Find Twitter Influencers

  • Associated with: Find influencers who include your keyword in their bio OR appear on a relevant twitter list. The more aligned the influencer is with your focus areas, the more authentic the partnership will be and the more likely their audience are to engage with your brand.
  • Twitter bio includes: Find influencers who include your focus keyword in their Twitter bio. If you’re searching for journalists, try also to include their publication name in your search. What can you give them that no one else can? A better story? Unique data & statistics? A platform to boost their own profile?
  • Tweeted articles about: Find influencers who shared content related to your keyword.
  • Tweeted articles from the website: Find influencers who shared content from a specific domain or URL. Examine your own content or find the influencers sharing content from your competitors. What can you offer these influencers that your competitors don’t already give them? Better content? Better freebies? Communicate your differentiators and value proposition.

You can in fact use all of these filters in combination, if you want to get super specific with your influencer search!

Find out how we did just this to find the top 100 PR influencers and the top marketers to follow in right now…

Pro Tip

Find emails in Twitter bios

Your 30-day free trial should be about speed to insight.

If you’re conducting outreach, try adding “COMPANY NAME” “@” and “.COM” to your ‘Profile includes’ searches.

This will help you locate journalists and content creators that include their contact information in their bios.

  • Refine your search with the ‘Influencer activity’ filter.
  • Want to hone in on bloggers that are most active? Go for it.
  • Only want to focus on players with a high reply ratio (above 4%)? Flick the ‘Ignore Broadcasters’ switch on.

Find the very best Twitter influencers

Prioritize the best influencers by ranking the most important insight: “Conversational metrics”.

Just sort by ‘Average retweets’ and ‘Reply ratios’ to find the best influencers, based on how they interact with their followers, and how their followers respond. The higher their average retweet value, the greater their potential reach.

This is a really powerful way to find the best influencers to promote your business. Get away from follower counts, and instead focus on the engagement your influencers are able to generate for your brand.

Track down YouTube Influencers

Looking for new ways to boost your brand’s reach? Video generates 1200% more shares than both images and text, making it an awesome way for new audiences to find your brand.

Creating video content promoting your brand can be time and cost intensive, so why not spend your 30-day free trial tracking down someone else to do it for you?

Search by profile through 20m channels currently in our index.

Sort by

  • Total subscribers
  • Videos
  • Views

Filter by

  • Country
  • Language
  • Category

Pro Tip

Apply the category filter to find niche influencers

Search for general industry keywords, and apply the category filter, to better segment your influencer results.

Categories refer to the tags that channels may have used to classify themselves.

For example, search the general keyword “DIY” and apply a category of “Food”, to hone in on a more targeted list of influencers that share food hacks.

Integrate Twitter for influencer outreach

Integrate your Twitter account to DM your influencers and add them to Twitter lists during your outreach strategy.

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Save insights to Projects

Even the smallest businesses use up to an average of 40 apps. We get that you’re juggling a lot of data, and your time is precious.

Optimize your speed to insight during your 30-day free trial, by saving your most important insights to your Projects, and quickly revisit insight for your campaigns or next-steps.



Select your insight -> click 'Actions' -> search your project and 'Save'

View saved Articles in projects

Save your most engaging Twitter Influencers to your project

Save Questions, around your focus topic, to your project

Save your YouTube content ideas & inspiration in projects

Save any YouTube Influencer Channels in projects

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So, there you have it.

🚀 15 things you can do in 30 days with BuzzSumo! 🚀

If you haven’t already, sign up to our extended 30-day free trial and make the most of all the awesome insights you can find in BuzzSumo.

If you have signed up for a trial, and haven’t found what you’re looking for, check out our Knowledge Base or get in touch with our Support Team. And for information on our plans, visit our BuzzSumo pricing page.

You can also reach out to us via our live in-app chat. We’d love to hear how you get along!


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