Bloggers have become very relevant in the world of commerce. They are instrumental in brand marketing, advertising, and engagement with products. Different brands rely on influential bloggers to communicate the value of their product or business hoping to generate favorable consumer behavior.
Research suggests that people make decisions based on the information coming from reliable sources. Consumers are heavily influences by their friends, peers, and influential opinion-leaders on the net. In particular, blog readers are strongly influenced by blog content when it comes to purchase decisions across a number of categories. In a recent study, Technocrati found that blogs were found to be the third-most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). In fact, blogs were found to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the internet.
Research done by BuzzLogic and conducted by JupiterResearch suggests that:
- Blogs influence purchases: 50% of blog readers say they find blogs useful for purchase information.
- Blogs sway more purchases among readers than social networks: More frequent blog readers say they trust relevant blog content for purchase decisions than content from social networking sites.
- Niche focus ups influence factor: For those who have found blog content useful for product decisions, 56% said blogs with a niche focus and topical expertise were key sources.
- Blogs go beyond tech: Outside of technology-related purchases, for which 31% of readers say blogs are useful, other key categories include: media and entertainment (15%); games/toys and/or sporting goods (14%); travel (12%); automotive (11%); and health (10%).
Blog readers were also surveyed about the influence of blogs as it relates to the following steps of the purchase process:
- 21% decide on a product or service,
- 19% refine choices,
- 19% get support and answers,
- 17% discover products and services,
- 14% assure,
- 13% inspire a purchase
- 7% execute a purchase.
This is the reason why bloggers are engaging in product review more frequently. Between 40-50% of all bloggers, whether personal or professional, blog about brands. Upwards of 70% of bloggers are already following their favorite brands in social media. About 40% of bloggers have ever been approached by brands.