An Interview with James Blackwell of BuzzSumo
We love seeing new tools getting created for the online marketing industry (that’s why we’ve made a few tools of our own) so we thought we would ask some questions to James Blackwell, co-founder of an awesome social media tool called Buzzsumo. Hopefully you’ll read something useful for your online marketing!
What lead you to create BuzzSumo?
Me and my co-founder Henley created BuzzSumo because there are a lack of tools that effectively answer questions like; “What type of content performs well in my niche?”. We’ve tried to solve that problem by providing a powerful search interface backed by a huge database of content and influencers. Developing good content is hard, but we’re trying to make it easier by providing insights and data into what’s already successful and why.
What are some unique or more nuanced ways to use BuzzSumo?
Stealing the influencers that are sharing your competitors content is a great tactic! Run a content search for your competitors domain and click “View Sharers” to see a list of influential users who have shared that article.
You can also add Influencers directly to Twitter lists via BuzzSumo, so the next time you’ve got a piece of content to share you can easily target them.
Do you think that you could use BuzzSumo to help do outreach for a marketing campaign? How?
Absolutely! We’ve got a powerful Influencer search feature so I’d start there. Search for topics related to your campaign to bring back a list of relevant influencers. You can then export this list and filter in Excel as you please to share with your team. You can also interact with Twitter users, tweeting them directly from within BuzzSumo. The key is relevancy, use BuzzSumo to find the content those influencers share and you can better target outreach.
Any advice for others who might be considering making a web tool?
Quoting Paul Graham; “Make something people want!” I think if you get this really right you can screw up pretty badly elsewhere and still be successful. This isn’t actually that hard if you just ask people and listen closely to feedback. People aren’t going to describe the exact tool you should build, and you shouldn’t listen to every feature request. Instead, try to spot the trends and determine what their biggest pain points are. Then you can work out how to solve them.
What are some of your “go to” tips when it comes to social media?
Understanding your audience is key, corporate stuffiness generally doesn’t go down so well in a world dominated with cat pictures and silly memes! Having a bit of fun occasionally should be encouraged. For anyone just venturing into social media I’d recommend you spend some time researching what works first. Brands that do well online just seem to “get” the internet. Browse sites like reddit, run searches on BuzzSumo, see what users are sharing and learn about the community you’re targeting.
Also, every network is different. What works on Linkedin probably won’t work on Facebook. I’ve just started a new series of blog posts interviewing experts on this topic, starting with Twitter