Blogging: The Power of Influence
Blogging is one of the best sources of word-of-mouth information for consumers and are often ran by the most influential people in a specified field. Blogging offers one of the most inexpensive online social media marketing tools that reaches over 80% of online consumers and can easily fit into any business marketing budget, no matter how big or small.
Influence Business to Business
According to Social Media Business to Business, company blogs generate 61% business leads over those companies who do not have a blog. The reason is, consumers will often visit a blog of someone they trust in order to gain a more in-depth look at the products and/or services a business offers. Blogs offer a variety of information about products and services that a company offers, with most bloggers sharing both positive and negative insights. “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%) for a total of 81%” (Pick).
With so many businesses using social media to compete for consumers, having a powerful online presence is essential. Blogging is a great tool for building search engine optimization. With the recent rollout of the new Google Hummingbird semantic based search engine program, updating content and adding relevant tags are important in pushing businesses to the top of search engines but so is the frequency of updates.
This is where blogging can play a key role in increasing a company’s SEO. A Blog draws more organic search than does referral traffic. “As technology has evolved, Google (and other search engines) are using advanced formulas that determine how frequently you post and update your website in addition to the origination and quality of the content you post. Where you rank in search engines matter. One of the most effective ways to increase your search engine rankings is to add unique, high quality content on a regular basis—to blog” (Beachum, 2013).
Influence on Consumers
Word-of-mouth influence matters when it comes to making a purchase decision. “According to research by Nielsen, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. The same study found that less than half of all customers consider traditional paid advertising to be credible—that’s a decrease of more than 20 percent since 2009!” (Ambassador, 2013).
So, what does influence have to do with blogging? Well, according to Patricia Redsicker, writer for Social Media Examiner, blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). Additionally, “consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions” (Redsicker, 2013). When it comes to making purchasing decisions, consumers prefer blog recommendations over the two largest social media sites: Facebook and Twitter.
Women seem to be the most influenced by blogs and, since women account for 90% of the purchasing decisions in the household, blogs should be considered a major part of a company’s marketing strategy. “Among BlogHer network respondents that are active users of each of the following media sources, 98% trust the information they receive from blogs, ahead of Facebook (86%), Twitter (85%), and Pinterest (85%). Among general population respondents, blogs and Pinterest (both at 85%) are the most trusted, with Twitter (73%) and Facebook (67%) trailing” (Marketing Charts, 2012).
Summing it Up
Blogs are a must have for any business. Blogs have a greater influence on purchasing decisions than do the top social media sites. Blogging reaches at least 80% of Internet users, can increase B2B leads by 61%, offers an easy and affordable way to increase SEO, and 98% of those accountable for making purchasing decisions within a typical household, women, trust what they read on blogs. With blogging having so much to offer, a business would be insane not to focus more effort on blogging than other social media sources.
Ambassador. (2013, July). Retrieved from 6 Amazing Stats That Prove Word-of-Mouth Marketing Is Here to Stay: http://blog.getambassador.com/6-amazing-stats-that-prove-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-here-to-stay/
Beachum, N. (2013, April 06). Social Media Today. Retrieved from Blogging is More Important Today than Ever Before: http://socialmediatoday.com/nicolebeachum/1338806/blogging-more-important-today-ever
Cohen, J. (2012, March 29). Social Media B2B. Retrieved from Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media: http://socialmediab2b.com/2012/03/b2b-social-media-leads-infographic/?utm_source=Webbiquity
Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Purchase Inflencers: http://bit.ly/1781Gfd
Marketing Charts. (2012, March 01). Retrieved from Frequency of Blogging Makes a Difference for Customer Acquisition: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/frequency-of-blogging-makes-a-difference-for-customer-acquisition-21276/
Pick, T. (n.d.). Jeff Bullas. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/07/24/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012/
Redsicker, P. (2013, March 06). Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogs-outrank-social-networks-for-consumer-influence-new-research/