Posted on 8th September.
By in Content, Featured

The internet is a noisy place when it comes to content. When you consider the millions and millions of websites producing their own content, it can be a daunting task trying to come up with something that’s heard above all else.
Imagine standing on one side of a crowded room at a party and trying to talk to someone on the other side. It’s near enough impossible, and a literal case of it being too noisy. However, if you manage to find a way of amplifying your voice and make it worth hearing, then people will start to notice, begin to quieten around you and you might just reach that person across the other side of the room.

It’s the same with content. If you make mundane, uninspiring content for the sake of it then you have very little chance of getting noticed. But make something amazing that demands people’s attention and you’ll start to turn heads and get more people noticing you and your company.

This is where BuzzSumo comes in.

BuzzSumo is a fantastic tool that, among other things, can help you see what content people are talking about and sharing, giving you an idea of what might work for you.

Trending content keeps our finger on the pulse

The internet, and social media in particular, moves at a staggering pace, content that seems right on the pulse one minute can be old news the next. BuzzSumo’s ‘Trending Now’ feature lets you see, almost in real time, what people are reading and sharing.

BuzzSumo trending content page

You can filter by general topics such as news, sport, entertainment, science, politics, etc. as well as add your own, specific topics if you want something a little more niche. We can easily see what people are interested in for a given topic and piggyback on this.
However, it wouldn’t serve much purpose simply churning out the exact same content others are producing, but it gives a starting point from which we can come up with something a little different.

It also gives us some topics we can share ourselves on social media, letting us join in the discussion and build relationships.

Drilling down into the most popular content

If you know what area you want to produce content around, we can then look a little deeper and find specific pieces of content that have performed well across the most popular social media platforms. We can also look at the page’s backlinks, giving us further understanding of the article’s popularity.

A quick search for ‘content marketing’ gives us the following results:

BuzzSumo most shared content page

It’s given us over 3,000 pages of results here, plenty to go at for inspiration. Along the left-hand side we have a few options that allow us to narrow down our search further, we can change timescales, country and, usefully, the type of content, meaning we can look for articles, infographics, guest posts, giveaways, interviews or videos.

Again, we’re not going to simply steal and repurpose the top titles, but we will use them for inspiration and potentially use information from those articles. We also know across which social platforms where the content has performed well, giving us an indication of where we should be focusing our own efforts.

What are your competitors doing?

Using the same ‘Most Shared’ tab as above, we can enter in a domain and see what content is being produced and shared from that site. A search of the BBC Sport website gives us this:

BuzzSumo domain content page

We can quickly gauge what content is working for our competitors and see if we can make it work for us too. Again we can see numbers of shares and backlinks, but we can also look at who is actually sharing the content by selecting ‘View Sharers’. This can help get our own content in front of people we know are likely to share it.

Then we come onto the ‘Domain Comparison’ section of BuzzSumo. This gives an even deeper insight into our competitors’ content comings and goings. I compared the content of Search Engine Land (on the left) and Search Marketing Watch (on the right)  over the past year, something we can for our clients with relevant, industry based competitors.

BuzzSumo domain comparison page

BuzzSumo domain comparison page

It’s interesting to see the differences between the two sites, despite them both being in the same industry. Search Engine Land perform much better on Facebook than Search Marketing Watch for instance. This highlights an area they could work on and improve. Readers of Search Engine Land seem to prefer longer, more in-depth articles, whereas the most shared content on Search Marketing Watch tends to be shorter. We also see that ‘How’ articles tend to do better on Search Engine Land, perhaps suggesting people value their expertise more, although ‘List’ posts are the winner across both websites, so this is an area we’d explore if we managed a company in this sector.

Analysing content types

Another interesting feature of BuzzSumo is its content analysis tool. This looks at the different types of content, and signals which may work best, for a particular topic. Another search for ‘content marketing’ gives us the following:

BuzzSumo content analysis page

We can clearly see that most shares are coming via Twitter, the type of insight which may help us modify our approach when pushing content out. We can also see how the various content types fare across social media. Infographics do very well, so we might look at making one, but the other types of content – lists, how articles, etc. – also perform pretty well so the options available are plentiful.

What’s also interesting is when the content is best published. According to the stats, content marketing articles are shared most on a Monday, with amount of shares decreasing gradually as the week goes on. The explanation for this may be people catching up on their content marketing news, on a Monday morning, so they’re fully informed for the coming week. Doing a bit of reading is also a more leisurely, gentle start to the week which might have something to do with it.

Content alerts

Getting content alerts isn’t really anything new and many sites, including Google themselves, have this feature, but as we’re here it’s worth mentioning that BuzzSumo do it too. By setting up a content alert, you will be notified when a topic, brand or even competitor is mentioned, allowing you to keep abreast of what’s being talked about, as well as what people are saying about you and your competitors.

To be honest, this only scratches the surface of what BuzzSumo can do, but gives a bit of an insight into how it can help you create ‘noisy’ content that has a better chance of getting noticed. Any questions or comments at all, leave them below and we’ll get back to you.