In today’s digital age bloggers are seen as Internet celebrities; sharing knowledge, opinions and experiences, but how can your brand benefit from this? Here are 4 key reasons why your company should be making the most of the power of blogging.
1. They’ve got the power!
I’m just going to fire some eye-opening stats over your way… 84% of people buy products based on blogs while those aged 18-34 rate blogs as the most important source before purchasing. In the least creepy way, “Nearly one third of online consumers trust a stranger over a brand” (Forrester, cited in Olenski, 2013).
A blogger’s words can indeed have the ability to influence consumer-buying decisions, as they are generally known for offering personal opinions and experiences. Certain activities, such as subscribing and commenting, build the interaction relationship between bloggers and their readers (Lin & Kao, 2010). In turn, this forms a social network, often called the blogosphere.
Silverman (2011) has expressed that the buying process is actually simplified when the consumer is recommended by someone they “have a trusted relationship” with. People usually have existing trust in the blogger they follow, therefore are more likely to be open to recommendations (Rufín, Medina, & Rey, 2013). Hey, even if they don’t trust the blogger yet, they follow them for a reason right?
Did you also know that “consumers trust bloggers more than celebrities” Wiley (2015). So your choice of representative doesn’t necessarily have to be out of reach… As long as they have the reach!
You are even able to pay certain bloggers to illustrate your story in a specific way. For example, Superdrug uses established blogger Zoella to promote the brand and products in her video blogs. By working with the brand, she is able to spread her knowledge and influence others in a more real and organic way!
If a blogger represents your brand then it could significantly drive sales, however the power of brand advocacy is vital and the image below illustrates exactly why this is.
Most social media platforms are not great selling tools, in fact Mulpuru (2012) reported that less than 1% of online transactions could be traced back to a social media post. But when it comes down to blogging about experiences and opinions of others, bloggers are the ‘know it all’s’. They have a fan-base for a reason which makes them pretty neat at selling.
TOP TIP: It doesn’t have to end with a simple promo post, why not generate a specific discount code for your bloggers audience? This is a win win situation for all parties!
Here’s a great post outlining 12 Ways Brands Can Collaborate With Influential Bloggers!
2. They have an established fan-base
Once established, bloggers can have a ‘community’ or fan-base. If your product, service or brand is publicised by a related blogger then it has the opportunity to reach your target market (and beyond). Those you find difficult to reach can be appealed to in a personal way. Instead of you approaching them via direct marketing, they find the blog and seek recommendations from others, therefore becoming more open to various suggestions.
For example, ‘Eat Like A Girl’ is an excellent food blog… based on food… aimed towards foodies. Blogger Niamh was even recognised by The Telegraph (Prince, 2010), which is ironically likely to bring her even more fans.
TOP TIP: Don’t forget microblogging platforms like Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. There are some prestigious Instagram bloggers out there such as @PrettySickly that really get the crowd ‘double tapping’.
3. They drive traffic
Whether this is your social media sites, your website or your store… bloggers have the ability to direct users towards you. With useful links, information and just the right amount of sweet talk, you have yourself increased exposure and audience (in measurable ways).
For example, in November I was lucky enough to take a trip to Berlin. Not knowing a single thing about the city I hit the blogs, trusting in new people I came across on the web with my dinner arrangements and so on. And I know I’m not alone! A great blog called Miss Tam Chiak was a wonderful guide, allowing me to discover Berlin like a local. Easy peasy.
TOP TIP: You can use the power of bloggers for news and exciting events. For example HYPEBEAST post all sorts of updates including Umbro’s spring/summer collection release (Barnard, 2016). PR… you wonderful thing.
4. They are great for SEO
“If content is king then word of mouth is queen.” (Woolley, 2015). Quality links are key in order to up your ranking on Google. Bloggers will direct others onto your website so you can benefit from high-quality and natural links. The larger the bloggers fan-base, the more links they tend to have, simply by being talked about online. The fact is, brand and blogger relationship benefits are huge when it comes down to search engine optimization. You’ll be constructing a sustainable network that is likely to grow with your brand and users.
If you want to find out more here’s A Simple Step by Step Guide to SEO.
TOP TIP: Links are a great way to also be measured as you can build up the click-through-rates of ‘tracking links’ embedded within the blogs. This way you can see if posts are actually leading towards you or simply being read about and ignored. You can use tools such as ClickMeter to create tracking links and monitor. But remember, even if your links aren’t clicked on, general brand exposure is still vital.
Long story short…
Bloggers do have a lot of influence about what people eat, wear and do so if implemented correctly, working with bloggers can be a great way to generate interest and profits!
Although bloggers can be fantastic, like everything digital, make sure it’s right for your brand. The only way is up until you realise that the blogger hates your product! So in order to not harm your brand image, it is essential to do your research and eliminating any risks… Here’s a great blog on How Bad Blogging Can Hurt Your Company.
Until next time!
Barnard, A.M. (2016) British Sportswear Staple Umbro Releases 2016 Spring/Summer Pro Training Collection. HYPEBEAST. 7th May 2016 [Online] <http://hypebeast.com/2016/5/umbro-2016-spring-summer-pro-training-collection> [Accessed: 7th May 2016]
Farah, A. (2015) How can bloggers help my brand? White. [Image] <http://white.net/blog/how-can-bloggers-help-brand/> [Accessed: 5th May 2016]
Lin, C.L. & Kao, H.Y. (2010) Blog popularity mining using social interconnection analysis. IEEE Internet Computing, 14(4), p.41.
Mulpuru, S. (2012) Less Than 1% Of Online Purchases Come From Social Channels. Forrestar. 25th September 2012 [Online] <https://www.forrester.com/Less+Than+1+Of+Online+Purchases+Come+From+Social+Channels/-/E-PRE4104> [Accessed: 1st May 2016]
Olenski, S. (2013) Nearly One Third Of Online Consumers Trust A Stranger Over A Brand. Forbes. 3rd January 2013 [Online] <http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2013/01/03/nearly-one-third-of-online-consumers-trust-a-stranger-over-a-brand/#457a340c464c> [Accessed: 1st May 2016]
PrettySickly. (2016) Instagram. [Image] <https://www.instagram.com/prettysickly/> [Accessed: 12th April 2016] PrettySickly. (2016) Instagram. [Image] <https://www.instagram.com/prettysickly/> [Accessed: 1st May 2016]
Prince, R. (2010) ‘The best food blogs’ The Telegraph. 4th June 2010 [Online] <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/7798474/The-best-food-blogs.html> [Accessed: 1st May 2016]
Rufín, R., Medina, C. & Rey, M. (2013) ‘Building trust and commitment to blogs’, Service Industries Journal, 33, 9/10, pp. 876-891
Silverman, G. (2011) The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing. 2nd Edition. New York: AMACOM, pp.20-28
Woolley, E. (2015) How Can Bloggers Help Promote My Brand? Croud. 39th April 2015 [Online] <http://croud.com/blog/2015/04/bloggers-brand-promotion/> [Accessed: 1st May 2016]