Welcome to our BuzzSumo review.
BuzzSumo is our top recommended content marketing tool. It’s the tool PR pros use for campaign intelligence—but is it worth the cost?
That’s what we’re here to find out. Below, you’ll find an in-depth review of everything BuzzSumo has to offer.
We’ll be exploring each of its main features and what you can do with them, sharing what we think are its biggest pros and cons, explaining the different pricing options, and more.
Let’s jump into it!
What is BuzzSumo?
BuzzSumo is a content marketing platform built to provide all the tools content marketers and SEO professionals need in one place.
You can use it to:
- Discover and brainstorm new topic ideas
- Conduct in-depth content analysis,
- Carry out competitor analysis,
- Sharpen your influencer marketing strategy
- Find new backlink opportunities
- Identify trends
- Monitor your brand mentions
- Plus a whole lot more.
The data-driven insights you draw from BuzzSumo can help you to create top-tier content that ranks higher in the SERPs and generates more engagements on social media.
One of the things that make BuzzSumo stand out from its competitors is the size of its database.
There are over 8 billion articles, 3 million influencers, and 300 trillion social engagements in its index, with historical data spanning 5 years. Their search app puts all that data at your fingertips.
What features does BuzzSumo offer?
Once you sign up for BuzzSumo, you’ll be greeted with a short onboarding video that gives you a general overview of how to use the platform.
Next, you’ll find yourself in the main dashboard, from which you can access all the BuzzSumo tools, view your Recently Used Saved Searches, and see your Recent Feeds.
From the top-right corner, you can access your account Settings. This is where you manage your preferences, access API documentation, track your plan usage, and set up your integrations by connecting your Facebook, Twitter, or Slack accounts.
You can access all the tools and features BuzzSumo has to offer from the top navigation bar. These tools are grouped into five sections:
- Discover—This is the brainstorming toolkit. You can use the tools in this section to generate thousands of content ideas, questions, and keywords to target in your next campaign.
- Content—The section has tools to help with content research and analysis. You can use them to uncover insights about your competitor’s best-performing content, backlinks, and more.
- Influencers—This section contains the tools you need to uncover new influencer partnership opportunities. You can use them to find the leading Twitter influencers, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and authors in your niche.
- Monitoring & alerts—This section has tools that you can use to keep track of web brand mentions. You can use them to find out who’s talking about your brand and get alerts about new developments.
- Projects—This is where you save your BuzzSumo data for future reference.
We’ll explore exactly what you can do in each of these sections in detail next, starting with the Discover features.
Trending content discovery
You can use BuzzSumo to spark new content ideas with the Trending feature.
It shows you the content that social users are sharing in real-time, so you can spot breaking stories before they go viral.
Here’s how to use it.
First, navigate to Discover > Trending.
Next, search for any keyword and you’ll see search results with a feed full of trending content related to that topic. Alternatively, you can click Create Feed and search for multiple topics at once.
Underneath each piece of content in your feed, you’ll see useful metrics like Trending Score (a unique metric that indicates how viral a piece of content is based on how fast it’s being shared), and Total Engagement. You can also see the number of engagements on each social network individually: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit.
If you see a piece of content you want to come back to later, you can save it to your Project with one click.
To dig deeper, you can sort your feed by trending score, total engagement, or individual social network engagements. You can also filter your results to only show content posted within a certain time frame (e.g. the last hour, 3 hours, 12 hours, etc.) or filter out trending content that contains certain keywords.
If you’re targeting a local market and you’re only interested in trending content in a specific region, you can click Trending by Country and select the country you want to focus on.
From the bottom of the left-hand sidebar, you can also browse Curated Feeds with pre-selected topics like News, Sports, Entertainment, Tech, etc.
You can also access the Keywords feature from the Discover menu.
It works like pretty much any other keyword research tool: Just search for a seed keyword to analyze it and find tons of related and similar keyword ideas.
Note: While the keyword research functionality is similar, you can also use other parts of the tool to assist with this process. Particularly the content discovery tool mentioned in the previous section. This is an extremely powerful feature that other tools don’t have. You can use it to inform your keyword research.
Next to each keyword, you’ll find useful metrics like monthly search volume, CPC, search trend, and articles published. The latter data point is especially useful for content marketing as it lets you know if the web is already saturated with content on that topic, or if there’s room for more.
You can also switch to the Analysis tab to get even more keyword insights.
Graphs help you visualize search volume and articles published over time, and the SERP Overview section shows you the top 5 ranking sites for that keyword alongside authority metrics.
You can also search for keywords by domain. Type any URL into the search box to see all the website’s ranking keywords, alongside its rank position, monthly search volume, and estimated visits.
Content Ideas Generator
You can use the Content Ideas Generator to discover new ideas for your own content marketing campaign from BuzzSumo’s extensive index.
To use the content search feature, navigate to Discover > Content Ideas Generator. Then, type in a basic term related to your niche to start your search.
In the Research your topic section, you’ll see an overview of the top trending stories, shared and linked articles, keywords, questions, and related topics to your search term. Plus, a widget that lets you explore the top-ranking content in Google.
Under the Create your content section, you’ll see a couple of charts that tell you what type of content will work best and drive the most engagements for your topic (e.g. lists, how-to posts, videos, etc.), and the perfect word count. These suggestions are based on an analysis of existing content.
Under the Distribute your content section, BuzzSumo tells you which social networks to distribute your content on for maximum engagement, and when to do so.
You’ll also find the Topics tool in the Discover section. You can use it to generate near-infinite topic ideas for any subject.
All you have to do is search for a broad topic, and BuzzSumo will bring up tons of related sub-topics and keywords.
These topic ideas are organized into a word cloud, with the more popular keywords with high search volumes appearing larger and the smaller, long-string keywords with low search volumes appearing smaller.
Below the word cloud, there are cards with content ideas, related keywords, and other insights for each sub-topic. You can also click on any topic in the word cloud to open up a detailed analysis report.
The last Discover feature you should know about is the Questions tool.
You can use it to instantly see the most popular questions that real people are asking about your brand or about any keyword on forums across the web. That includes places like Reddit, Amazon, and Quora.
Once you know what questions your target audience is asking, you can use that knowledge to inform your content marketing strategy. It can help you come up with new ideas for response posts and let you know what questions you might want to cover in your brand FAQ pages.
To help you sort through the questions, BuzzSumo groups them according to the interrogative word they contain. For example, there ‘can’ questions, ‘are’ questions, ‘what’ questions, etc. You can also filter results by time, country TLD, site type, or source.
Click on any question to open up a new tab with the forum post it was pulled from. You can also click the Related Themes tab to view commonly-asked questions about related topics.
Now let’s move on to the Content section.
The most important tool in this section is the Content Analyzer. You can use it to research the top-performing blogs and articles on the web.
There are two ways to go about this. The first way is to search for a keyword. This will bring up a list of all the top pieces of content related to that keyword, alongside insights about them, such as their total number of backlinks, social engagements, and evergreen score.
You can sort the results based on their performance in any metric (e.g. by Twitter shares, Angry reactions, number of links, etc.). Or, filter the results to drill down to the specific types of content that interest you. For example, you might choose to only show content written by journalists or B2B publishers.
Under the View Analysis Report tab, you can get even more insights.
You’ll be able to see data points like the average number of engagements and linking domains across the board for all articles on a given topic, which you can then benchmark your own performance against. You can also compare two topics, track trends over time, view top reactions, etc.
The second way to use the Content Analyzer is to search for a domain or URL.
This is a great way to reverse engineer your competitors’ content strategy and find out how well a specific piece of content performed.
Just type in their domain to see which of their posts and pages perform best by your chosen metric, or enter a specific page URL to see its engagements, backlink profile, top sharers, and more.
Facebook Page Analyzer
Aside from content, you can also analyze Facebook pages in BuzzSumo.
To get started, navigate to Content > Facebook, then enter a Facebook page name or URL. You can add multiple comparison URLs to benchmark and compare your performance against your competitors.
Click Analyze, and you’ll see a list of all the content shared to your target Facebook pages ranked according to your chosen performance metric. You’ll be able to see how many likes, comments, shares, and reactions each post received at a glance.
From there, click View Analysis Report to see deeper insights and visualizations for your target pages.
At the top of the report, you’ll be able to see the average engagement of each page side by side, so you can see which one is performing the best.
Below that, visualizations show you trends like engagements over time, posts published over time, etc. You can also see average engagements by day and time, which can help you figure out the best time to post to Facebook based on audience behavior.
If you plan on publishing videos as part of your content mix, you’ll find BuzzSumo’s YouTube feature invaluable. You can use it to find the top-performing videos on the platform for any keyword or channel name.
First, go to Content > YouTube. Next, search by keyword or channel name to find a list of top-performing videos, sorted by your chosen metric. Alongside each video, you can see parameters such as video length, likes, comments, views, and social engagements.
If you want to uncover deeper insights, just click View full insights. Then, you’ll be able to see all the backlinks pointing to the video, where it’s embedded elsewhere on the web, its top sharers, insights into the channel behind it, and more.
The last tool in the Content section is the Backlinks tool.
You can use it to perform in-depth link analysis and find all the pages that point to a target URL or domain. These insights can then be used to reverse engineer your competitors’ link-building strategy and uncover prospects for your link-building outreach campaigns.
Just enter a URL and then hit Search to get started. On the next page, you’ll see a list of all the top linking pages pointing to that URL sorted by your chosen metric.
Engagement metrics for each linking page can help you evaluate the strength of each backlink. But unfortunately, there are no authority metrics in the Backlinks tool, so it can be tough to figure out which pages pass the most link juice.
This means it can’t serve as a replacement for a backlink checker such as Semrush or SE Ranking, however, it can still be useful.
You can export backlinks as a CSV or Excel file for use in your link-building campaigns, or save your search to come back to later.
The Influencer search section is where you find tools to help you uncover new partnership opportunities to help with your influencer marketing strategy.
With influencer search you can find Twitter influencers, Facebook influencers, YouTube channels, or influential authors in your niche, and then reach out to them to promote your content.
Start by navigating to the search tool you want to use: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Authors. Then, search for influencers by entering a keyword related to your content.
You’ll then see a list of all the top influencers on that network that are associated with the target keyword, alongside important metrics.
You can investigate each influencer to see things like how many followers/subscribers/likes they have and uncover the topics, content, and links that they share the most.
Once you’ve found someone you want to work with, you can follow them directly from within BuzzSumo to start building a relationship. Then, when you’re ready, add them to your outreach list and contact them with your proposal.
Monitoring & alerts
From the Monitoring & Alerts section, you can set up alerts for Brands, Competitors, Backlinks, Content, Keywords, and Authors/Journalists.
Brand alerts let you track mentions of your brand name over time. This can help you to measure increases or decreases in brand awareness and sentiment.
Keywords alerts allow you to track web mentions of other keywords that are important to your brand. This can help you to spot emerging industry trends and gather strategic insights to inform your marketing, social, and PR campaigns.
You can export all this data and send it to your clients or stakeholders through email or native integrations.
To get started, navigate to Monitoring & Alerts and then click Create Alert from the sidebar. Next, choose what you want to monitor, how often you want to be alerted, and select the email you want to send alerts to. You can also connect your Slack channel to receive mentions there.
Once you’ve set up your alert, BuzzSumo will track it automatically and let you know whenever someone on the web mentions your target term.
You can access all of your different alerts from the sidebar, and view a graph showing web mentions over time from the Monitoring & Alerts dashboard. Below that, you’ll see a feed of the articles that have mentioned your target term in order of date published or engagement.
You can also click View Coverage Report to download a more complete report of your mentions.
The Projects tab is where you store your BuzzSumo data. You can save the articles, posts, influencers, and questions you uncover in BuzzSumo tools to your Projects to come back to later, or upload your own manually.
Everything is seamlessly integrated together, so it’s easy to navigate between the Projects tab and the rest of the BuzzSumo tools.
BuzzSumo review: Pros and cons
Now that we’ve covered the features, let’s take a look at what we think are BuzzSumo’s biggest strengths and weaknesses.
- Powerful content discovery toolkit — BuzzSumo stands out for its content discovery features. You can use the Discover toolkit to find endless content ideas to inspire your content marketing strategy.
- Powerful content analysis functionality — You can easily analyze your content strategy and compare it to your leading competitors.
- Great for content marketers and PR professionals — BuzzSumo offers all the tools PR pros need. You can use it to find popular influencers that are a good fit for your brand, discover emerging trends, and keep an eye on your brand sentiment with web monitoring tools.
- Deep competitive analysis — BuzzSumo gives you tons of insights into your competitor’s digital strategy. You can uncover their most powerful backlinks, find and analyze their best performing content, track their performance on social, and lots more.
- Covers all types of content — Unlike other platforms, BuzzSumo doesn’t just provide insights about web content like blog posts and pages. You can also use it to uncover insights about social media content, video content, and more.
- Doesn’t offer data for every social network — BuzzSumo is great for grabbing insights from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and Pinterest, but it doesn’t cover all social media platforms. It doesn’t offer any insights into Instagram or emerging networks like Snapchat and TikTok.
- Limited backlink metrics — BuzzSumo includes backlink data within its content research tool, however, there aren’t any authority metrics included. So, it can’t be a direct replacement of backlink checkers like Semrush.
BuzzSumo offers several plans.
The Free plan gives you limited access to BuzzSumo. It won’t cost you anything but there are usage caps and you won’t be able to use all the tools. You’ll be restricted to 10 searches per month, 0 alerts, and 1 content project.
The Pro plan costs $99/month, or $79/month if billed annually. It comes with unlimited monthly searches and projects, 5 user accounts, and 5 alerts, but you still won’t have access to all the features.
The Plus plan costs $179/month, or $139/month if billed annually. It comes with everything in the Pro plan plus more users, alerts, exports, and feeds. Upgrading to plus also unlocks the Question Analyzer tool.
The Large plan costs $299/month or $239/month if billed annually. It comes with everything in the Plus plan plus even more users, alerts, exports, and feeds. And it unlocks every feature. You also get an extra year of historical data (2 years total).
Enterprise plans with 5 years of historical data and even higher usage limits are also available, but you’ll need to contact BuzzSumo for a quote.
In addition to the Free plan, BuzzSumo also offers a 30-day free trial.
BuzzSumo review: Final thoughts
BuzzSumo lives up to its reputation and deserves the title of the world’s number one content marketing platform.
It’s great for content marketers and PR professionals, with a range of tools to help you analyze content, discover new ideas, and sharpen your influencer marketing strategy.
BuzzSumo is unique amongst content marketing tools. I particularly love the way it allows me to analyze my content strategy and compare it to my leading competitors.
The interface is very intuitive, and everything is seamlessly integrated together, which makes it a breeze to use. It’s simple and straightforward enough for beginners while still offering the kind of flexibility and deep insights that agencies and larger marketing teams need.
But if you’re still not convinced by our BuzzSumo review, then I’d recommend trying it out for yourself.
You can take advantage of the 30-day free trial and test out all BuzzSumo’s features to see if it’s a good fit for your needs. Just click the button below to get started.
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