Reading the mainstream media you would think the social web started solely comprised of Twitter, and people’s 140 character messages. Any brand not taking part is surely doomed.
Not so, as new research shows that not only do blogs still have tremendous influence, they actually drive more sales than other forms of social media.
We saw some evidence of that last week with news that Tumblr now hosts more than 100 million blogs.
Confirmation comes in the Technocrati 2013 digital influence report. It show that blogs were one of the most trusted forms of online media, with 31% of respondents being influenced to purchase via blogs, the third highest after retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). I may be biased, but I’d suggest this rather shows the value of marketers and the brands they represent engaging with relevant high profile bloggers in their field.
As you can see form the graphics below, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram, for all the hype around them, rank among the lowest influencers of purchases.
MediaBistro’s All Twitter blog rightly points out that there is a discrepancy between influence, and what brands spend on social and digital marketing:
“Budget-wise, brands are spending only 10% on social, more than half of which goes to Facebook (57%). YouTube and Twitter each get 13% of the brand digital budget, while about 6% is spent on influencers and 5% advertising on blogs.”
While it’s understandable that a bulk of money goes on Facebook, which is still influential, quite clearly some more of that digital marketing budget needs to start swing the way of bloggers and influences – only 11% does so far, despite the clear trust that consumers have for blogs. Brands are spending money to drive likes, and consumers are sharing content, but they are turning to blogs they trust to guide making purchases.
Customers like to ‘follow’ and ‘like’ brands to keep up to date with them, they very rarely use them to make purchases:
However much some like to sneer at blogs, they are clearly a trusted source of information for consumers, more so than any social media site, and marketers could do a lot worse than redirect some funds in that direction.