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Published August 20th 2015

Why Does One Y Combinator Startup Call BuzzSumo A Top Content Tool?

At Pakible, content marketing is a key aspect of our operations. We are a startup that allows you to create custom packaging online and our potential audience is huge. A core part of our content strategy is working out what content engages our audience and identifying content opportunities. In this article, I’ll not only touch on how BuzzSumo helps us determine likelihood of acquiring new users, but also how it aids us in other aspects of our company, including press and guest blogging efforts.

I will cover how we approach a number of key content marketing tasks:

  • finding content opportunities
  • building relationships with influencers
  • finding guest post opportunities
  • tracking industry and competitor content
  • monitoring and tracking our own content performance

Pakible Background and Challenges

We help people create custom packaging solutions so our potential demographic is huge: everything from subscription boxes like JapanCrate, to larger companies and startups sending boxes to special customers like Uber. Thus, it’s hard to decide what content to put out, and it’s even harder to attract new users in those demographic.

We need to find good content opportunities, work out what resonates with our audience and produce the content they engage with. We also need to track competitors and our own performance.

Finding Content Opportunities

After using Long Tail Keyword Tools like UberSuggest or, and Google KW Tool, we check out our competition to see who we have to beat and content opportunities. Traditionally, people search query their keywords in Google, but BuzzSumo has become directly integrated in our competition research process. For our most recent blog post, we were looking at other players with popular articles for “iPhone 6 packaging”. There was literally only one article with more than 10 social shares with that keyword, it looked like a good content opportunity, giving us a lot of confidence to move forward with it.

The results? We are still in the “Litmus Test” phase with Google, but within 1 day of posting, our post was ranking top 3 everywhere from Chile to Jamaica.

Influencers and Building Relationships

I love BuzzSumo to not only research potential journalists, but to give a pat on the back to my old ones and start establishing long-term relationships. At my last startup, we started a Medical Tourism startup called Medko, and an article that was written about a patient who saw Chile as her option to go abroad was picked up by Chile’s largest news source, LaTercera. To create a long term relationship and to help keep her posting with us, we were able to show how impactful her post was. Aside from showing it was worth it to post on our site, letting a journalist know how much traffic they drove to you makes them feel powerful and wanted. Who doesn’t want that feeling?

While BuzzSumo only currently allows you to search the past year you can search for specified time periods. In this case we just did a search for “” in the last 30 days. However, let’s say you were Polyvore, who just got acquired by Yahoo, which was announced by TechCrunch on July 31, and you were looking to show the impact to the author, Anthony Ha. You could run a BuzzSumo author query, to see Anthony’s top posts in the last 30 days or last year. You can see this query live here.  At the time of writing Anthony’s article on the acquisition was his most shared article out of over 40 posts (that’s a lot of content, Anthony, nice!)

Finding Recent Content and Guest Post Opportunities

Anyone in content marketing knows that finding high quality sources linking back to your website and individual articles is a crucial part of SERP. Google may not be the best place to turn when looking for guest post opportunities or to acquire backlinks (the friendly way of course!). Google’s top results tend to correlate with amount of pages indexed and age (if not directly), thus often at times you will find yourself searching through archaic websites to find that many might not even have a blog, or one that is extremely outdated, let alone people who would let you do a guest post.

With BuzzSumo we can search for “custom packaging” posts that have been published in the last week or month or 6 months. BuzzSumo led us to great, very current blogs, such as SmartPress. As this is a very similar process as point 1, you will see your competitors as well, but in many instances, it is better to subtly work together especially if you have special niches than to not work together at all.

Tracking Industry and Competitor Content

In BuzzSumo you can search for the most shared content for any domain or group of domains. Thus we can stay informed about content that works in our industry by searching for the most shared content on large industry sites. This allows us to see the content that is getting the most shares from industry sites, that is clearly engaging people, and the forms of content that are working. We can also search for the most shared content for a group of competitor sites to see what content is working for them including the formats, such as quizzes, list posts, and why posts; and the networks they are getting most traction.

One neat trick is to also see who is sharing your competitor’s content. There is a great button in BuzzSumo called ‘view sharers’. This will show you who is sharing and amplifying your competitor’s articles. You can then start outreach work to these people to engage them with your content.

Monitoring Your Own Content

It is still early days for us but checking and benchmarking your content performance is critical and allows you to adjust your strategy. BuzzSumo’s content analysis reports allow you to analyze both topics and domains. So, if you want to know how many articles were published on packaging last month and their average shares, no problem. If you want to see where most shared took place, the formats that got most shared or the most shared domains. Again no problem. Most posts on packaging last month were shared on Facebook and list posts dominated as we can see below.

One feature I like is the ability to compare content performance of two domains. Just enter the two domains and BuzzSumo will give you a full breakdown of how you compare on:

  • posts published
  • average shares
  • shares by network
  • content format
  • content length


We are still in the early days as a start-up but we are growing quickly. Content marketing is a key element in our strategy and BuzzSumo is one of our not-so-secret weapons. I hope these tips are helpful. I would love to hear from you and tips you can share.

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