HomeBlogBuzzSumo Tutorial: 3 Ways to Use BuzzSumo for Awesome Content Marketing Insight

BuzzSumo Tutorial: 3 Ways to Use BuzzSumo for Awesome Content Marketing Insight

Author: Brett McHale
Last Updated: November 21, 2021 | Content Marketing

Unlike the sugar in your iced coffee, social media and content marketing blend together effortlessly. One of the key metrics that determines the success of a piece of content like a blog post is the extent to which it is shared via social networks. BuzzSumo is an excellent tool in gathering valuable insight into the success of your content on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. In this tutorial, I’ll show you three ways to use BuzzSumo in your content marketing efforts.


BuzzSumo Tip #1: Analyze Top Content

When it comes to getting the inside scoop on content’s social media life, BuzzSumo can act as a private investigator, tracking its whereabouts through social media circles around the internet.

The free version allows you to search for the most shared content, top influencers, and track mentions of a brand or topic. It is restrictive however, and will only allow you four searches per day. You are also unable to use any of the “reports” features that I will touch upon later in the post.

Paid subscriptions allow for more interactions for content campaigns and agencies, as well as exportable data and other customizable options. You’ll also get unlimited access to BuzzSumo’s search data.


The search function on BuzzSumo is dynamic because not only can you find your content by entering its title, you can search any keywords, topics, or domains to gauge the social media “buzz” of each. One thing to keep in mind when searching recently published material is that the numbers that BuzzSumo displays may not be entirely accurate. The reason for this is that when a new piece of content is published, many times, the social media shares occur in rapid succession while the post is relatively new. This information isn’t constantly being crawled and updated in real time on BuzzSumo, so the numbers that are represented may be lower than what they actually are. The solution to this issue is to simply click on the link to the article in question and the correct social sharing numbers should be displayed.

This tool is useful in getting an idea of how successful previous content was with respect to its peers that pertain either to the same topic, keyword, or domain. In regards to producing new material, it’s extremely insightful in helping you choose the right keyword or topic that’s going to get maximum exposure and drive traffic to your site. Think of this as similar to doing keyword research, but instead of researching what terms have high search volume, you’re looking for topics that people love to share. Targeting the right one could set fire to your social channels. So if you’re writing a new blog post or have certain topics in mind, it would be a smart idea to conduct a quick search in the “Top Content” section.

Enter the title or topic you wish to write about and see how well it ranks via social media compared to other similarly titled pages. You could also type in the domain of the website it is located on to determine how well it stacks up to the other content on that site.


You’ll see a list of content titles on the left and on the right, the number of shares per respective social media website they received, as well as the total number of shares.

On the side bar there is a “Filter By Type” option in addition to a “Filter By Date” option.

You also have the option to sort the data by either “Total shares” or any of the individual websites’ shares. By doing this, the place where your post ranks will depend on which platforms it was more successful in.

Another great feature in this section is the ability to view who has shared your content. This can be helpful in getting an idea of the variety of readers you have reached.



You can sort this list based on the type of audience that you are interested in. The list above is sorted through Average Retweets.


Individuals with a higher number of followers are important to take note of because they’re sharing your content to a larger audience. However, take into consideration that although a company may have more followers than your friend Tommy, Tommy’s friends are probably more inclined to read something that he shares. When it comes to quantifying social media success through shares, you will want to have a healthy variety of users.

The number of shares per individual/site is an interesting figure to analyze. If there are previous posts to compare yours to, these numbers can add some insight into the type of audience you’re reaching. So take in the different variables that warrant a share, like, or retweet, and consider the social media platform that you want your specific content to be prominent on.

BuzzSumo Tip #2: Find Influencers in Your Space

Under the “Influencers” section, you can locate all of the social media users within your specified industry, topic, or keyword that have the most reach.


This section represents all of the social media superstars who provide a level of influence to potential readers of shared content. On the right you can see how they are ranked through page authority, domain authority, followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio, and average tweets. You can determine how influential the sharers of your content and the sharers of the “top” content are. Once you get the popular kids on your side you’ll be able to get a lot more power behind those blog dodgeballs you throw.

You can also filter the type of influencers that you search for by their position, affiliation, or even location.


BuzzSumo Tip #3: Run Social Reports

The reports section on BuzzSumo is an excellent place for content planning. Unfortunately, this service is not free, but that doesn’t take away from all of the delicious statistical information that it supplies you with.


Conducting a content analysis will give you all kinds of useful information regarding the keyword or topic that you’re thinking of basing your next post on. Under the “reports” section, select “Content analysis.” Just like the other sections it allows you to submit a keyword, topic, or website domain into the search box. This can allow you to track the social media exposure per topic or through your entire site.


The analysis will specifically show you the types of social media and respective quantity of shares based on certain metrics like total shares by date published and average shares by content length.


This information is useful in understanding the correct length to aim for, as well as the most successful days of the week to consider publishing it.

Get Started!

These tips should help you to develop that high-powered content offense you’ve always dreamed of. You’ll be blogging on all cylinders, carving the defense with your unstoppable keyword running game and gutsy downfield language. There should be nothing standing in your way to having content that spreads across social media like wildfire. The numbers don’t lie.

Join 713K other marketers that receive our weekly newsletter!

Meet The Author

Brett McHale

Brett McHale is the founder of Empiric Marketing, a digital marketing agency dedicated to scaling startups through paid search and social.


Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Unlock your business potential

We offer innovative technology and unparalleled expertise to move your business forward.