If content marketing is an important part of your digital strategy, then you should take a look at BuzzSumo.

In this article, I’ll go over BuzzSumo’s features. I’ll also cover its pros and cons so you can make an informed decision about whether the tool is right for your business.

Complete BuzzSumo Review

Why? Because it’s a tool that can show you what kind of content resonates with your target market.

With BuzzSumo, you’ll discover popular blog posts, news articles, and even video content for a specific topic. It can also send you alerts when a competitor posts content.

You can even use the tool to track your competitor’s content strategy.

A Cloud-Based Content Marketing Solution

The first thing you should know about BuzzSumo is that it runs in the cloud. That means you won’t have to install any software.

Just fire up your browser, head over to the website, and login. Then, you can use the tool without launching any additional applications.

BuzzSumo is also user-friendly.

Once you’re logged in, enter a topic into the search bar and click “Go!” BuzzSumo will show you the most popular online content that matches the topic.

And you can pick any topic. Enter a simple word (“spelunking”), a couple of words (“marlin fishing”), or a long tail keyword (“best places to visit in Asia”). BuzzSumo will find the hottest articles and blog posts online.

How does the tool determine which articles are the most popular? Based on the number of social shares and backlinks.

BuzzSumo looks at engagements on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit. It also tallies up the number of backlinks from other domains.

The content with the most engagements wins. That’s what you’ll see at the top of the list.

Speaking of the list, it’s in a table format. The article titles are on the left-hand side of the table, along with the author’s name and publication date. You can click the title to read the article on the site.

On the right-hand side of the table, you’ll see the number of engagements per social channel. You’ll also see the total number of backlinks pointing to the article.

BuzzSumo also shares a metric called the Evergreen Score. A high number indicates that the article is still being shared well after publication date.

BuzzSumo Review: Plenty of Filtering Options

BuzzSumo also lets you filter your search results based on the following criteria:

  • Date – Show results within the past day, week, month, six months, year, two years, or five years. You can also filter by a specific date range.
  • Country – Show only results from a specific country. You can enter the whole country name (“Germany”) or the two-letter abbreviation (“de”).
  • Language – Show results by language.
  • Domain – Show results by one or more domains, separated by a comma.
  • Content Type – Show results based on the type of content: article, how-to article, infographic, list, video, what post, or why post.
  • Word Count – Eliminate thin content or show only in-depth articles.
  • Publisher Size – Exclude or include large publishers.
BuzzSumo Review: plenty of filtering options

BuzzSumo Review: plenty of filtering options

BuzzSumo Review: Advanced Queries

Although BuzzSumo is easy to use, there’s plenty of opportunities for power-users to perform more specific search queries that go well beyond a simple topic or long tail keyword.

Best of all: you can perform your power search in the standard search bar.

For starters, the tool lets you exclude words or domains from your query. Example: if you exclude “youtube.com,” then search results won’t show you any video matches from YouTube.

BuzzSumo Review: filter out domains in your searches

BuzzSumo Review: filter out domains in your searches

Additionally, you can also use an “OR” operator to search for multiple topics at once.

If you want to find an exact phrase, put it in quotation marks like “marlin fishing.”

Maybe you’d prefer to confine your search results to a specific domain like cnn.com. If so, just enter cnn.com in the search bar along with your search topic.

In fact, you can search for the most popular content on any domain just by entering that domain name in the search bar. That’s a great way to find out what’s working best on competing websites.

Finally, BuzzSumo also enables you to search for content based on its author. Just preface the author’s name with “author:”.

BuzzSumo Review: Content Insights

BuzzSumo gives you a variety of ways to analyze the content in the search results:

  • By Network – Determine which social networks are sharing the content the most.
  • By Content Type – Learn which content formats are most likely to resonate with your target audience.
  • Most Shared Domains – Find out which websites are sharing the kind of content you’re looking for. Those sites might be ideal targets for guest posting or backlinks.
  • By Content Length – Determine if long form content is necessary to rank.
  • By Headlines – Review headlines that are popular for a topic to determine if clickbait is the secret to attracting visitors.
  • By Day Published – Shows you if certain topics perform better on specific days of the week.

Competitor Research

It’s important to keep tabs on your competitors. That’s how you’ll avoid getting blindsided when they roll out a new marketing strategy.

Fortunately, BuzzSumo allows you to take a peek at what your competitors are doing from a content marketing perspective.

As I mentioned above, you can search for content based on its domain. All you need to do is type the name of the domain in the search bar and click the “Go!” button.

Enter the domain name of a competitor in the search bar. Then, take a look at what kind of content that competitor is cranking out.

BuzzSumo will show you the competitor’s most shared content. You might find that there are some topics covered in the search results that you don’t cover on your own website. Remedy that by adding similar content.

BuzzSumo Review: find your competitors most shared content

BuzzSumo Review: find your competitors most shared content

BuzzSumo will also show you a list of influencers who share a competitor’s content. You can filter that list by engagement or number of followers.

Reach out to those top influencers with news about your own content. They might share it as well.

Additionally, you can use the tool to view competitor content performance reports. They’ll show you where your competitors are successful. Use the report to find a strategy that you should imitate.

BuzzSumo also enables you to run competitor comparison reports. That gives you the opportunity to see how well your content performs against a competitor’s.

Finally, BuzzSumo allows you to set up a competitor content alert. It will send you an alert whenever a competitor publishes content. Choose to receive the alerts by email or on the dashboard.

BuzzSumo Review: Question Analyzer

It’s possible to rank content on the top of the search results by just answering a question that a lot of people are asking. Fortunately, BuzzSumo lets you search for questions related to your topic.

It works just like the content search. Enter your topic, perform your search, and click a tab that shows you all questions related to that topic.

That list of questions is your content inspiration.

BuzzSumo Review: question analyzer

BuzzSumo Review: question analyzer

The default display of the question list shows the most frequently asked questions first. Obviously, those should be your top priority.

Where does BuzzSumo get the questions? It extracts them from hundreds of thousands of forums, such as Quora, Reddit, and Amazon.

You can also use the question analyzer to do some brand monitoring. Find out what people online are asking about your brand. Of course, you’re also welcome to join some of those forums and answer the question.

The question analyzer also helps you uncover gaps in your product descriptions. If people are asking questions online, then your description isn’t thorough enough.

BuzzSumo Review: Influencer Marketing

Lots of strategists are getting the word out about their brands with influencer marketing. BuzzSumo can help with that as well.

If you’re unfamiliar with influencer marketing, it involves reaching out to influential people in your space and convincing them to spread the word about your business. Often, they’ll do that by sharing content on your site. That’s how influencer marketing relates to content marketing.

The folks who run BuzzSumo understand that and created an influencer marketing feature to help you identify movers and shakers who will act as brand evangelists.

Use the tool to find influencers just like you use it to find content. Just enter a topic or domain and click the “Go!” button. When your results display, click the Influencers tab at the top.

BuzzSumo Review: influencer search

BuzzSumo Review: influencer search

The tool will show you a bunch of social media users who are known to share content related to that topic. Those are the people you need to contact.

One way to “contact” to them is by simply tagging them when you share content on Twitter. They’ll take a look at it and, if they like what they see, they might share it with their own followers.

Then you win.

By default, BuzzSumo shows the list of influencers in descending order of relevancy. You can also sort by page authority, domain authority, number of followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio, average retweets, and Instagram authority.

Additionally, BuzzSumo enables you to filter the list by blogger, influencers, companies, journalists, and regular people.

Pay special attention to the Twitter Followers column in the table. People with tens of thousands of Twitter followers are probably the kind of influencers that you want to become friends with. That’s especially true if people in your target market take them seriously.

BuzzSumo Review: Pricing

If you want to enjoy the full benefits of BuzzSumo, it’s going to cost you.

On the low end, pricing starts at $99 per month. But that will only get you five alerts with no access to the question analyzer.

The “Large” solution costs $299 per month. That will give you almost everything covered in this article. You can only search for content going back a maximum of two years, though.

If you need an enterprise solution, that’s going to run you $499 per month.

Keep in mind, the prices above are month-to-month prices. If you decide to buy an annual subscription up-front, you can save 20%.

BuzzSumo also offers an API if you need to develop apps with data gleaned from the tool. That will cost you a minimum of $500 per month.

How People Use BuzzSumo

Marketers across a variety of industries use BuzzSumo to develop an effective content strategy.

Steve Wright, for example, is the head of social media at Techradar, the UK’s most popular high-tech news site. He finds BuzzSumo an invaluable source for identifying the kind of content that’s shared the most.

“BuzzSumo has very quickly become an essential research tool and a key contributor to our content strategies,” he says. “Social media is a crucial traffic driver not just for TechRadar but for the likes of Gamesradar+, PC Gamer, Creative Bloq and MusicRadar and BuzzSumo provides extremely useful efficiencies in analysing performance and deciding where we should focus.”

Nick Colman, the content manager at Towergate Insurance, agrees, saying that BuzzSumo touches almost every stage of his company’s content creation effort.

“My team and I use it to help shape concepts, to benchmark our work against our competitors and outreach effectively to relevant and receptive influencers. Link building is one of our goals but we also want to make sure that our content is reaching the communities it was intended for and BuzzSumo helps us identify communities we may never have thought of otherwise,” he says.

Sam Broom, the marketing team leader at e-commerce company Trueshopping reports that he uses BuzzSumo to look for current trends in online content.

“We use it for every blog we write to see if demand is out there from a sharing point of view as well as to uncover influencers that we can market to,” he says. “It provides concise reports and enables us to make data based decisions.”

BuzzSumo Review: used by top brands

BuzzSumo Review: used by top brands

BuzzSumo Review: Pros and Cons

Here’s what BuzzSumo users are saying about the product online.

First, the pros:

  • Simplifies the process of locating the most popular content for a specific topic
  • Easy to filter results
  • User-friendly
  • Locates key influencers
  • Enables segmentation of influencers
  • Provides automated email alerts about competitor content
  • Makes it easy to find quotes you can include in your own content
  • “Trending Now” section identifies currently hot topics

Now, the cons:

  • Doesn’t do well in backlink analysis
  • Expensive
  • It would be nice if the company developed more features
  • Not apparent why some influencers are more important than others
  • Sometimes brings up irrelevant articles
  • Not clear if a post received a lot of shares because it was boosted
  • Could use a more in-depth influencer map

Wrapping It This BuzzSumo Review

Final verdict: yes.

If you can afford BuzzSumo, and content marketing is an important part of your online strategy, then you should go for it.

I’d definitely recommend that you purchase the annual subscription, though. That will save you quite a bit of money over the long term.