Monday, July 13, 2009

THE COMMERCIAL IMPACT OF BLOGS


I sense there is still a lot of airy-fairy feeling out there in the corporate world about the real impact of blogs.

Everyone recognizes that they are a fact of life as a matter of personal expression and for building personal relationships, and corporate blogging policies are springing up all over the place. But as a marketing tool, can they really convince someone to buy your product or service? Does their “conversational” approach really deliver?

Well, a study which appeared in The New York Times late last year answers this question.

It revealed that 50 percent of blog readers felt blogs were useful in a purchase and 52 percent of the 2,210 polled actually consulted a blog before making a purchase. It is important to note that the study shows that blog readership has gone up by 300 percent between 2004 and ‘08.

It is not clear from the study whether those polled were referring to consumer or business products or whether they were acquiring professional services. But we can draw several conclusions: 1) blogs are influencing purchases, 2) people are relying on peer opinions to influence buying decisions (perhaps, some studies show, more than celebrities) and 3) a natural conversational mode is persuading potential buyers— a marked change from traditional advertising.

By the way, the study also shows that more blog readers (25%) trust ads on blogs than those (19%) who trust ads on social networks like Facebook.

Technorati Tags: corporate, The New York Times, blogs, social networks, Facebook, Makovsky + Company, communications, public relations

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