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Published February 18th 2014

Target Influencers Amplifying Your Competitor’s Content with BuzzSumo

These are exciting times at BuzzSumo, as we constantly get new ideas on improving our product. We’ve just added two exciting new features that will help you identify influencers amplifying a piece of content, and discover what types of content they love to share. These features are a direct response to requests from our users.

Most of you are currently using BuzzSumo to get insight into popular topics or trends. If you’re a health publication, like Men’s Fitness, you could type “men’s health” to see what type of content resonates with people and what is the most shared content. If you see a lot of popular articles about CrossFit, perhaps you might dedicate more resources writing about CrossFit as well to reach a bigger audience. 

You can also search BuzzSumo by domain name. If you’re a publication like BuzzFeed, it would make sense to see what was popular on Mashable.com the past week. At the time of writing, the two most shared posts were about Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

Once you have your list of top content, it’s useful to understand why the content was shared. It could just be down to the quality of the content or the timing, but it’s often just not that simple. How many times have you seen a piece of content with 10,000 shares and thought to yourself: “What’s so great about that article? I could’ve written that!” 

More often than not, a piece of content was simply amplified by key influencers. These influencers may have lots of followers that give them reach, or they may be an authority that just interacts a lot with their community. Sometimes all it takes is just a handful of these amplifiers for an article to go from 10 social shares to 1000. With BuzzSumo, you can now track who shared the top content items!

View Twitter Sharers for an Article

Here’s how you view the Twitter sharers for a piece of content. There is a new button alongside each content item called ‘view sharers’.

When you click this button you get a list of the influencers that shared the content item on Twitter, as shown in the image below.

A disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list of everyone who shared that article, but a sampling of people who shared this article 2-3 days after it was first published. In most cases, this usually covers a large % of the sharers.

You can filter these influencers by their relevance, authority, number of followers or by the level of engagement they have with their followers such as replies. You can also filter the list to include or exclude journalists, bloggers, companies etc.


Influencer Research: View Links Shared By Influencers

Once you have identified the influencers you are interested in, you can start to approach them in a variety of ways. For some people you might wish to slowly build a relationship by following them on Twitter, sharing their content, and interacting with them. Doing this is easy: Simply click on the icon next to the “Follow” button as shown below. You can choose to send a message directly from BuzzSumo, or add them to a Twitter List.

In some cases, it might make sense to just send them a cold email or tweet introducing yourself, and asking them to share your content/product/service.

In these cases, you want to make sure that cold email is as relevant to the influencer’s interests as possible. For example, it makes no sense to ask a fitness expert to share an article related to content marketing, when they’ve never shared a content marketing article before! You want to send a well-crafted, relevant, on target email to influencers.

That’s where our 2nd major feature comes in. Next to each influencer, there’s a button called “View Links Shared”. Clicking it will open the list in a new window as shown below.

Above you can see a sample of the most recent links, extending to the past 6-8 months, shared by this influencer. From this data, you can begin to get a sense of what type of content they love to share. Sometimes you’ll discover an influencer loves to share stuff that isn’t related to his main niche. You can leverage this insight too. If a content marketing influencer is also sharing lots of links about his favorite sports team, you might want to mention that same team casually in your email.

As well as showing the most recently shared links, you can see an analysis of the most common domains he or she shares. You can do so by clicking on the “Analyze Links” tab. Here you’ll see a list, sorted by frequency, of all the domains this influencer has shared. To the right is a pretty pie chart. With this data, you can start to see what influences that influencer. What publications does he usually read? These are probably excellent targets to place your content in as well.

So Who Is Amplifying Content In Your Area?

As you can see, BuzzSumo will now not only find you the most shared links for any topic area but help you identify the influencers amplifying it. Once you’ve identified these amplifiers, we also offer data into what they usually share, so you can craft a better outreach email to them.

We’d also like to give a shout out to Matthew Barby! The ideas in his post Everything You Need to Know about Your Outreach Targets inspired us a lot whilst producing these new features (and upcoming roadmap).

So try out the new features and let us know what you think. If you love BuzzSumo, feel free to recommend us on Twitter.

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