When It Comes to Digital Influencers, Blogs Rule

There are many reasons for brands to embrace bloggers?

Technorati’s “2013 Digital Influence Report”, which was published recently suggests blogs are powerful influencers when it comes to how consumers make buying decisions, ranking third behind retail Websites and brand Websites.

The interesting part is that blogs rank low on the totem poll when it comes to how much brands spend on social advertising. More than half of social spending goes to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter get 13% each, 6% is spent on influencers and only 5% on blogs.

“Though blogs and influencers don’t get a large portion of brands’ digital spend, they rank high with consumers for trust, popularity and influence,” the Technorati report said. “When making overall purchase decisions,for consumers, blogs trail only behind retail and brand sites.

“With regard to overall sources for information on the internet, blogs rank among the top five “most trustworthy” sources. As an example, according to consumers, blogs aremore influential in shaping opinion than Twitter, and when it comes to affecting purchase decisions, more important than Facebook.”

In other words, Technorati suggests the places where brands spend their money is “not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced”.

For brands, the big lessons is they need to spend more time and money on bloggers given how much clout they have with consumers.

This is valuable insight given blogs have been shuffled to the social background amid the enthusiasm about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

For brands not engaging with bloggers, it is important to develop a well-articulated plan about who to approach, how you’re going to communicate with them, and who is going to maintain relationships on an ongoing basis.

The important thing about a blogger outreach program is not treating it like a one-off or infrequent exercise. Brands that have strong blog communities have spend time to nurture them. It means treating bloggers the same way they treat reporters, and providing them with the same access to information and people.