Internet social media is revolutionizing the way communication is made between people. The use of vloggers and bloggers play a special role in creating opinions and sharing information, which can ultimately alter the way we think about certain things, a powerful tool in today’s society (Gliwa & Zygmunt, 2015).
This has created a whole new level for marketing your product and gaining brand recognition. Word of mouth (WOM), also referred to as ‘buzz marketing’ can be used to create conversation about products and services, marketers will encourage and facilitate WOM by making sure influential individuals know the good qualities of the service or product (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012 p536), and according to Morris (2013), is more credible than advertisements!
So, to create a buzz around your product or service, you need something to help facilitate that and what’s better than a real person/persons who is completely detached from the business, who can give a real opinion on the product, with true views to enhance your brand…
The reason why brand blogging or vlogging is so influential is because it gives a sense of transparency in communication for the consumers. They share information of value that people engage upon (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012 p537). For instance, make-up vloggers will give positive or negative reviews on the products they’ve been using and this has significant impact on whether products are bought, this is most effective as you can see the end results with the products used – this becomes eWOM where anyone on the internet has access to what’s been said (Hung & Li, 2007).
How the consumer perceives the vlogger is critical in influencing online buyer behaviour, as trust and usefulness of product have become factors which consumers look for, with many vloggers gaining this trust from people watching (Hsiao et al, 2010).
Brands should recognize the importance of this and what it can do for recognition of their products to increase sales, if vloggers are to say something positive or truthful about the product to a multitude of people, or the impacts of negative feedback.
Watch the video on ‘why personal branding matters’ outlining three important reasons for associating vloggers to your brand, including how google algorithms will pick up traffic created by conversation around your brand.
However, questions have been raised on the credibility of vloggers. Earlier mentioned, was that a business needs someone who is detached from the company’s service/product, with true views and opinions… sometimes this isn’t the case, vloggers have been found not to declare whether they have been paid to say positive things about the product or it is not clear whether they have a partnership with the company.
This link is on an interesting article on the authenticity of vloggers, and whether we can trust them when they are getting paid mass amounts. Therefore, new guidelines have been put in place to counter this, and you will often find vloggers will say whether they have been paid from companies or not, and whether all their views are ‘their own’, so they can maintain the relationship and trust with their followers which is vital.
Here is a link to an article about Australian model, Essena O’neill, who found herself living an artificial life which she describes as “contrived perfection made to get attention”, which makes us further question how much we should believe when we look at social media.
Chaffey, D., & Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2012). Digital marketing. Harlow: Pearson.
Gliwa, B. & Zygmunt, A. 2015, “Finding Influential Bloggers”,International Journal of Machine Learning and Computing, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 127.
Hsiao, K.L., Lin, J.C.-C., Wang, X.Y., Lu, H.P. and Yu, H. (2010), “Antecedents and consequences of trust in online product recommendations: an empirical study in social shopping”, Online Information Review, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 935-53.
Hung, K.H. and Li, S.Y. (2007), “The influence of eWOM on virtual consumer communities: social capital, consumer learning, and behavioral outcomes”, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 485-95.
Morris, H. (2013). Unlocking the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing for Your Organization – WOMMA. [online] WOMMA. Available at: http://womma.org/unlocking-the-power-of-word-of-mouth-marketing-for-your-organization/ [Accessed 30 Jan. 2016].