Latest researches have proved that blogs play a vital role in helping consumers make a buying decision. In fact, blogs affect purchase behavior much more that the social networking platforms. Blogs have always garnered a loyal readership. When the emotional connect between the blogger and the readers (read consumers) gets really strong, it can lead the latter to a point where they actually make a buying decision.
A recently released report by eMarketer throws light on how bloggers can truly make an impact on purchase of products. Blogging has given rise to several types of bloggers – hobbyists, corporate blogger, entrepreneur blogger and professional bloggers. Among all these, hobbyists and professional bloggers (both part-timers and full-timers) regularly write about brands.
The ‘State of the Blogosphere 2011’ report by Technorati (a popular blog directory) indicates that professional bloggers write or comment about various brands or products in some way or the other.
Bloggers mostly write –
Why they love a specific brand
Why they hate a brand
Why they recommend a specific product or service
According to Technorati’s 2011 report, it is evident that 38% of all professional bloggers write about multiple brands. On the other hand, 34% write reviews of company products and services.
Here’s a quick look at the different ways in which bloggers across the world comment or write about brands, products and services.
Most of the professional bloggers write product reviews on comment on brands to make extra money online. It’s also important to notice that bloggers are increasing their influence on consumers day by day. By the kind of content a blogger shares with their readers, they can really impact the consumer buying behavior.
According to a study, around 50% of blog readers admit that blogs help them make a well-informed buying decision. Particularly, those blogs that focus on a specific niche impact consumer buying behavior the most.
Whether a blogger can really inspire consumer for buying a product or service depends on what kind of personal connection they share with readers. No doubt, most of the professional bloggers have been successful in earning the trust of their readers. And that’s exactly what makes the real difference.
What people read on a blog strongly impacts their buying behavior. The buying or the purchase process is comprised of multiple steps. Professional bloggers have the potential to influence consumers in each of these key steps of buying. Whether it’s about deciding on a product or service, seeking expert advice, refining the choices, discovering new products, inspiring a purchase or taking consumers to a point where they can actually buy a product or services, professional bloggers have a major role to play.
The blogoshere is continuously evolving. Whether it’s the bloggers or the readers, the degree of activity has been increasing year after year. Bloggers are writing posts more often than ever. Readers are showing greater engagement. In the year 2010, 29% of bloggers were influenced by other blogs which they read. This year, the figure has shot up to 68%.
Another surprising thing to note is that blog readers don’t find search engines as much reliable as blogs to find new blogs. They see blog links as a very useful means of discovering new blogs. In fact, the influence of blog links is as high as that of a personal recommendation.
So, what should companies do now?
Yes, companies should now concentrate more on strengthening the connection between professional bloggers and brand representatives. There are still very few (16%) brand representatives who have a keen interest in building a genuine connection with bloggers.
What do you think about blogging and its effect on consumer purchase behavior? Please feel free to share your views in the comment section below.