How Construction Marketers Can Use BuzzSumo To Inform Content Strategy

First question. What is BuzzSumo?

Well, BuzzSumo is a clever tool that can be used for a number of really interesting research applications that endeavour to give your content marketing strategy a helping hand.

This is what BuzzSumo say about their product:

BuzzSumo provides insights into the most popular content online and the influencers sharing it.

  • Discover what people are sharing the most in your niche
  • Analyze what topics, headlines, and content formats work
  • Find interesting content to curate
  • Discover guest post and interview opportunities
  • Analyze your competitors top content by entering a domain

I’m typically sceptical of these new products especially when trying to make them work for a niche industry (without the vast traffic of B2C topics), but lets have a look at each of the key benefits in turn and discuss how they might help inform your own content strategy within a construction marketing context.

[Quick Tip: click on each of the images to make them bigger – they’re a bit tiddly].

Discover what people are sharing the most in your niche:

This function is as good as your imagination will let it be. You could start with something easy like a particular product eg. “Timber Windows” for example or maybe something broad like “UK Construction”.

BuzzSumo search for Timber Windows

The Search for “Timber Windows”

As we’ve said be prepared to expand or broaden your search or try a number of key phrase combinations. Some building products may not currently be the most popular topic online however, if this is the case you have just found a clear opportunity to create some great original content!

There is a good article on the site on how to use the search function.

Analysing which topics, headlines, and content formats work.

This area is slightly more difficult to justify for building products. As we said a building product manufacturers products may well be niche and therefore relevant to only a small audience (relatively speaking of course).

A search on Part L is almost fruitless in terms of relevancy as the original results page includes all manner global and unrelated ‘stuff’. However, as we said earlier, tighten your search criteria and you might just get what you need…

Search criteria on BuzzSumo

A bit of work needed to get sense out of specific searches

By refining the search and eliminating various terms we can get to what we want reasonably easily – you may just have to rely on your own judgement on what works though – especially on headlines.

Here’s the final, refined search results I got for “Part L 2013” and the results below – I used negative search terms for words that were skewing  the results (see above image):

Image of Part L shared on BuzzSumo

The Search Shared for Part L 2013 Content

To get more relevance still about where we should be sharing this info we can look closer at the social platforms eg. LinkedIn, Twitter etc. We can make various assumptions about where the content that we’re looking to produce might be most impactful. So we can look at the most popular content as shared on Linked in perhaps.

Note: What makes the BuzzSumo system slightly less effective is the fact that it’s drawing the content from the ‘page title’ of the page ie the bit that Google presents first in search listings.

BuzzSumo reads the page titles of web pages

The ‘Purple’ text is the page title – this is what BuzzSumo reads

This is a limiting factor for construction marketers and perhaps highlights two things: A lack of great shareable content out there in construction niches and also a lack of well optimised blog posts and web pages.

Bottom line is make sure any content you produce is set up correctly from an on page SEO perspective.

Find interesting content to curate

This is great if you want to grow your following by sharing further useful and more widely interesting content as well as your own specialist niche issues and topics.

We can search popular newspaper websites for example or more specific industry trade press for information pertinent to our products or services or competition.

BuzzSumo - what and where content is shared

Interesting to see what and where content is shared

Using the Filter, a simple search on the domains will provide the most shared content during a particular timeframe or type of content eg. infographics or articles or interviews. If we use the filters to see just ‘Infographics’ for example we can drill down to see how more specific types of content are shared.

You can try this on any number of domains that you feel are relevant from BBC to Dezeen, The Guardian to the FT.

Discover guest post and interview opportunities

This element is interesting. There aren’t a great many construction bloggers as it is however, finding relevant and related bloggers, influencers movers and shakers that you might be able to collaborate with could potentially be a good strategy to create more visibility for your company’s technical expertise.

BuzzSumo lets you see who has shared the most popular content and provides information for you to make various judgements. Am I following this person? should I be? and so on…

Sharers and influencers should you be engaging

Which sharers and social influencers should you be engaging

Search those prospects that you know of (and the new ones tha you find on BuzzSumo) and see what they’re writing about.

Again you might have a list of construction related websites and bloggers etc. that you want to try to use as a platform for your own content. Build that list and use the domain search to see which publications get the most shares. A simple search for “UK Construction” will give you some publications that are hot on construction related topics.

Analyse your competitors top content by entering a domain

I’m not sure I need to say too much here. This search function massively satisfies my curiosity for what the competition are upto (I mean those of our clients, obviously).

As mentioned in the last section this system may just be better used for just this purpose. Make the list of those domains that you want to research. Then refine your search criteria through the filters (time/type of content/platform) and see if you can spot any patterns.

Types of content over a specific time

Use the filters to find types of content over a specific time

In summary

I like BuzzSumo. It clearly has limitations within a tight niche but as a research tool it does just what it says on the home page. It’ll be down to you to work out how best to use it for your own purposes whether that be your personal blog posts and articles or your companies products.

I particularly like the ‘Find the most shared content for a domain’ and the ‘Check the stats of a single URL’ functions. A search for recently shared content can influence your decision of what you share on any particular platform or profile of your own.

As with all digital tools a period of testing is advised. See what works for your audience and have fun with it and please if you have a found a great way to use it and you don’t mind sharing then let us know on the comments section below.

About Nick Pauley

is the founder and managing director of Pauley Creative. Aside from managing the strategic direction of Pauley Creative, Nick is primarily involved in the early planning and marketing direction of each of Pauley Creative’s fabulous clients. Follow Nick on Twitter click here.

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