BuzzSumo is a really good tool to identify a long term social media strategy. By using it correctly, you can build long term relationships in the right channels with the right influencers. This post shows how to do this.
Alright, we’re late to the game. But we just can’t stop playing about with BuzzSumo. It has to be one of the best content analysis tools available – especially for understanding content shared on social media.
In summary, you can use the tool to discover what articles and topics you should be writing about and engage with influencers in your niche to get your voice heard. If you have a strong social media following and want to improve on the best channels in your niche, then BuzzSumo can be used to find some good recipes and cook up what your readers are actually looking for:
- Discover the most searched content on social networks
- Get detailed analysis reports of content engagement in social networks
- Find influencers in any topic
- Recycle the content from influencers and amplify their message
- ‘Funnel’ these influencers and commentators to become your fans
- Sign up for ‘alerts’ when an action takes place that you want to be notified of
- Track your competition’s social network performance
We explore these fundamental aspects of BuzzSumo in this post and encourage any comments or personal reviews at the end.
Table Of Contents
Using the BuzzSumo Dashboard
Let’s get the pricing out of the way. You can started for as little as $79 a month (if you opt for the yearly package), but it does stretch all the way to $699 per month if you’re a heavy user.
The Pro packages come with a 14 day no-obligation trial, so give it a trial run when you’re ready to go all out on your social media campaigns.
As far as we’re aware, there isn’t a BuzzSumo affiliate programme. In a strange way, this gives us confidence in the item i.e. they don’t have the inclination to get affiliate marketers to promote the item. The product, in their eyes, sells itself.
While it is pitched at the higher end of the price bracket – even for the most basic account – we still think it represents good value for money. This is especially the case if you want to tap into influencers and to identify which content is being shared by different social media users.
Some of the features that we discuss are only available through the more expensive accounts e.g. Facebook Analyzer, but the ‘Pro’ account should more than suffice. We use the Pro account and don’t have the need to upgrade right now.
There are plenty of coupons available, normally offering around 20% off the subscription rate, so do a quick check online for BuzzSumo coupons as they change frequently.
Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you’ll be presented with the dashboard.
From here, you can enter a topic, keyword or domain in the search function.
For example, a topic could be something like ‘dieting’ or ‘online dating’ or whatever is relevant to your niche.
If we enter the term ‘dieting’ as an example, we get the following output:
Here, we see the most shared pieces of content and where they have been shared. You can filter the results by date, language, country and the content type.
If we filter it by the past month, we can see which pieces of content have been shared the most and on what platform in the last month.
Let’s say for example, we specifically produce articles on dieting. We want to see what other articles on dieting looks like. By filtering it down even more by ticking the article option, we can get a worthy comparison as opposed to checking all content that is being shared.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Features In The Dashboard
A really useful feature is to see what content is being shared the most and in which platforms. If the topic keyword is in your niche, you should look to create similar styled content and target the channels where your customers are viewing and sharing such content.
There are two further drill downs on the main dashboard which are really useful. We can ‘View Backlinks’ and ‘View Sharers’.
The ‘View Backlinks’ tab allows us to see who linked to the content. If you are producing similar content, you can use this tab to find places where you could get a link from.
The better feature here is the ‘View Sharers’. Not only are you able to see who is backlinking to a specific article, but you can see who is sharing it and from which social account. Using this tab, the idea is to find influencers that you can tap into.
By using this methrod of outreach, you can quickly and naturally get your voice out. The key thing here is to make sure the influencer is actually sharing other content and not just their own! Click on the ‘View Links Shared’ and you can see the kind of content they have shared and the origin of that content.
By analysing the style of content that key influencers are sharing, the idea is to model your content pieces on what they’re already sharing. The likelihood is that the particular influencer you’re outreaching to will be keen to share your content too. You’re making their job easier and who doesn’t want that?
Analysing By Domains
If you really want to get to know what your closest competitors are up to, you should adopt this strategy:
- Make a list of your competitors domains
- Enter the domains on the search
- See what their most shared content is
It’s really as easy as that.
You should then try to mould and create content around their most shared items and then using the ‘View Sharers’ tab to reach out to the influencers and getting them to share your freshly produced, high quality and on-topic content.
Again, it’s wise to drill down on the ‘Filter by Type’ on the left hand side. You want to compare apples with apples, so it makes no sense to see what videos are being shared if you’re not in the business of creating video content.
Understanding The Output
Can you get by without BuzzSumo? Of course. It is possible to connect with social media users to get your message out there.
However, without BuzzSumo you’re meandering through endless number of profiles that you think are relevant, trying to figure out what content they might have a history of sharing. This is time consuming and takes lots of guesswork.
With BuzzSumo, you can check the history of a potential influencer and see what content they actually consider to be relevant. You are given access to the best performing content. Other than someone actually creating high quality and relevant content for your site, this is as good as it’s going to get.
But how can we assess which social signals give the transactional value? Someone could like a facebook post or a tweet, but the action that shows true value is a share. To share a piece of content to your peers is laying your reputation on the line and showing your hand.
It’s really simple: See what is working, imitate and improve it. Rinse and repeat. That has been the advice given to entrepreneurs in all industries and it doesn’t change much here.
At this juncture, let’s be clear about one thing: we’re not saying to copy an article and pass it off as your own. Instead, you’re trying to identify patterns and styles that work. It is this concept that you are trying to master.
You are using BuzzSumo as a source of inspiration to write highly targeted content that is more shareable.
Using The Trending Now Feature
If you’re a news based site that delivers trending articles to your customers, you want to show that you’re on point. The BuzzSumo trending feed is a great way for you to stay ahead of the curve or as close to it as possible.
The trending feed displays the top trending topics according to the term you enter. Again, you can identify the most shared items within the trend and then create an article, blog post, video etc. on that item.
Share the newly created piece of content item with your readers and also to key influencers. It’s a sure fire way to generate lots of relevant traffic easily.
Using The Facebook Analyser
This tab offers a great way to spy on your competition. You can see content is performing either via keyword or an actual page of a competitor.
What kind of engagement do they get per post type?
Content Analysis – Imitate What Works
By clicking on the Content Research tab and then going to Content Analysis, you can see the average shares by network. This will help to answer where your target audience is hanging out.
It is generally accepted that that the higher the word count is, the higher the number of shares. But why is this? Like with most activity online, there is some psychology behind it.
Longer content is generally perceived to provide more value. If you can demonstrate value, then you are having a worthy input into a conversation.
Plus, let’s be honest, sometimes we want to show that we’ve read a long piece to demonstrate that we’re smart. Even if all you really want to say is tl;dr.
But this isn’t always the case.
In our example of ‘dieting’, the graph below shows that articles that are of lenght 1000-2000 words are shared much more across all social networks than content that is between 3000-10000 words. So, if we’re in this niche, we should try and recreate smaller, bite size articles about an interesting topic than to create in-depth prices.
This may or may not be reflected in the industry you’re in. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to get data before following a content creation strategy.
It’s not just the content length that gives interesting results. The amount of engagement against the length of the title of the content pice can also give you some basis of coming up with your article title or how to name your YouTube video and so on.
In the dieting niche that we’re looking at, a title that has between 150 to 200 characters in the title is the one that is most likely to be shared.
What about the post type? Have you decided whether your next piece should be an article, a video, a link, a coupon or survey? BuzzSumo gives you ideas on what type of post gets the most engagement in your selected industry.
Once you’ve decided on what type of post you’re going to do, you could dig deeper and decide if it should be a ‘Why’ post, a ‘What’ post, a ‘How to’ post and so on. It mgiht not always be relevant to what you’re intending to do, but the data is there which could inspire you to address an issue that could get your product or site more exposure.
Another good bit of analysis here is to see on what days a piece of content is most likely to be shared. If you can check out a few competitors and see what days their content is generally being shared, then again, imitate their publishing strategy and you should get comparable results.
As a general rule, Sundays are deemed to be the worst days to publish high value content, but you never know. Do the research in your niche and it could be that Sundays are the most important days to publish shareable content. BuzzSumo takes the guesswork out of it and gives you real data to base your publishing strategy.
Lastly, which social network gets the most shares on the dieting niche that we’re focussing on? As it turns out, in this example it’s overwhelmingly Facebook.
Reaching Out To Influencers
This is really straightforward: You can filter results by keyword. Follow. Comment on an influencer’s article or tweet. Easy!
You can also see how many followers a person has and discover who their most active followers are. Why not reach out to them as well?
A really useful tab is the ‘retweet ratio’. This indicator shows how open a user is to sharing content produced by others. If the retweet ratio is like 5%, then it’s going to be much harder to get them to share your content than someone that has a retweet of 65%.
The reply ratio is also a good indicator of how receptive the influencer is. Again, following what was said above, a reply ratio of 5% to 10% probably isn’t worth pursuing, but the bottom line is how relevant is your content to the content they are already sharing. Maybe your content piece is so highly targetted and of such quality, all you need is the right person, regardless if they only have a reply ratio of 10%. It’s a judgement call you need to make, but BuzzSumo gives the basic information that you need to base your decisions.
That’s phase one. Stay on top of it, show interest and stay in the mix. Eventually, you could ask them to share some of your content or even better, you could interview them for your YouTube channel or Blog.
Keep the funnel in mind – social media is a long term game with long term wins.
Monitoring The Competition
This is a bit like Google Alerts, but for the social spectrum.
Firstly, you need to create an alert and you have 6 ways of creating them.
Continuing with the theme of ‘dieting’, we are creating an alert by ‘content from a website’. We want to be alerted when the weightwatchers website publishes new content.
You can also set the minimum amount of shares to trigger an alert. Set it to 50 or 500 or whatever you feel is a good threshold in your niche.
You can then choose to be alerted by different methods and you could choose an ‘instant’ alert if you want to be on point to create content around trending topics.
The pro package allows up to 5 alerts, but the more expensive packages allow upto 30 and 100 respectively.
Could BuzzSumo Be Better?
That’s our overview finished.
The only niggling complaint that we might have is that it would be great if BuzzSumo pulled in data from other social media sites such as Instagram.
We’re not complaining, but we think there would be even more subscribers to their services if they were able to open up new channels. Other than that, give it a trial run and leave a comment below as to how you make use of the tool.