Hello there! We’re back for another edition of ‘Tool Time Wednesday’, our weekly series about a tool we’ve been using in the past week to help us be more productive with our inbound marketing campaigns. If you’ve missed out on our recent posts, we’ve covered TrelloIFTTT, Sniply and Followerwonk so far. If you have any questions about any of these tools, be sure to drop us a line via the comments section down below, by tweeting us or my popping us a mail.

Our Tool Of The Week

This week we’re dissecting a tool which – like Followerwonk – we fell in love with a long time ago and have continued to use ever since. That tool is called Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo does tonnes of things. As per the Buzzsumo website, it allows you to:

  • Find the most shared content and influential authors
  • Identify most shared content for a domain
  • See who shared a popular article
  • Identify influencers for a topic
  • Identify the links shared by an influencer
  • Create a content alert to track a topic or competitor
  • Run an analysis report for a topic or domain

Sound amazing? Believe us, it is!

Some useful applications

I am going to bring you through some useful applications of Buzzsumo. It is by no means complete, but hopefully, it will help give you some insight into what it’s all about and how useful it is.

1. Find the most shared content

You don’t even need to sign up for an account to make use of this feature. In the search box, just stick in the topic you are interested in. In the example below, I am interested in Inbound Marketing. To find exact match phrases, I put the term in inverted commas – otherwise, you will be looking for anything with “inbound” and “marketing” in it.

Popular Content by Topic Buzzsumo

In the example above, I want to see what’s popular at present, so I enabled a filter to present the content from the last week. You can see that the most shared content from last week is an infographic by Hubspot on why people leave your website.

This is all very lovely to know, but here are my two favourite words: so what?

Here’s what; we can use this information to fuel content idea generation. People are obviously interested in why people are leaving their website. We could great some content on how to reduce website bounce rate, how to keep people on your site for longer, tools you can use to understand your website better….and so on…

You can also use these search results to find out specific content types or formats that are popular, as well as the most popular social networks on which to share your content (if you are starting from scratch, this might be a good place to start when figuring out what social media channels to focus on). From the example above, you can see that infographics on Twitter seem to work well.

The nice thing about this search functionality us that you can also export the data into an excel format to play with, analyse, keep it for your records, and add to it as you need.

2. Competitor research

Buzzsumo is a great tool for figuring out not only what your competitors are writing about, but also the content that resonates with their audience. You can enter their domain name into the search bar. Allow me to show you. We love the Content Marketing Institute. The CMI is not a competitor (we don’t think we really have any yet), but it does do a similar thing to what we do. Let’s insert its domain name into the search bar:

Find popular content buzzsumo

We can see that the most shared pieces of content on the Content Marketing Institute website are all really practical articles. Again, we can use these popular topics as direction and inspiration for our own content. We can identify shortcomings in these articles, and look at the comments section of these articles to feed our creative thought processes and brainstorming.

 3. Influencer Research

This functionality is one of the coolest things about Buzzsumo, and there are two levels of it.

Firstly, refer back up to my screenshot where I did a search for a specific topic. There is an option to “View Sharers”. Likewise, for the domain search, we are also given this option. These means that you can identify both people interested in a specific topic, as well as people who follow your competitors.

You can also filter these people by bloggers, influencers, journalists, companies and regular people. Here are some examples:

Users that share Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo_who sharedPretty cool, huh?

Sit tight, it’s about to get cooler!

Buzzsumo doesn’t just give you the names of important people in your area. It also provides metrics for each influencer, including:

  • 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.

Believe it or not, you can also follow these influencers, add these influencers to a Twitter List, or even send a message to them – directly from Buzzsumo.

These are just three things you can do with Buzzsumo. There are tonnes of other things you can do, but we’ll save that for part two 🙂

There is a limitation to what you can do with the free version, but why not take out a 14-day free trial and see how Buzzsumo works for you? It’s $99 per month, but we think it’s worth every penny.

To Wrap Up…

If you want to quickly identify popular content, fuel your content brainstorming, get to know what works for your competitors, and identify influencers, Buzzsumo is for you!

Are you a Buzzsumo fan? If not, what tools to you use for content inspiration, competitor research and influencer outreach? Let us know in the comments below!

Siobhán McGinty

I am Campaign Marketing Manager (EMEA) at HubSpot, Co-Founder & Digital Marketing Strategist at Learn Inbound, and an experienced (& infinitely enthusiastic!!) inbound marketing specialist.

All articles by Siobhán McGinty

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