Do you read blogs?
Do you know someone who reads blogs?
How about you, do you blog for yourself or your business? If not, why not?
The power of blogs in influencing consumer purchase decisions is stronger than you might realize.
According to data from a research study conducted by Research Now, nearly nine in 10 consumers (84%) make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog. Among consumers between the ages of 18-34, blogs ranked as the most important source of information to make buying decisions.
Among consumers between the ages of 35-54, blogs ranked as the second most important source behind friends, family, and colleagues. Even older consumers (55 and older) value blogs when making purchase decisions ranking them third in terms of importance behind friends, family, and colleagues and editorial articles.
1. Attract an Audience
Blogging enables you to reach the millions of people that use the Internet. Blogging can help you promote yourself or your brand. Blogging works as a method for attracting an audience because it provides something of value to them before asking for anything in return.
What would you rather click on, a page titled “How to Promote Your Blog“, or a page titled “Buy My Consulting Services”? By creating a blog that is of value, you can attract an audience and eventually convert them to customers, partners, friends, or otherwise.
2. Establish Authority
Having a blog and writing about important topics that are relevant to your audience establishes yourself as an authority in the space. It enhances your professional image. A blog is to professionals in the 2000s what a business card was in the 1990s. Blogs are the new business cards.
3. Build Rapport and Engagement
Blogging can “warm up” your cold calls and traffic from other sources. Blogging can convert traffic into leads and leads into customers. If someone receives your cold call, they may be more receptive if they’ve read your blog and received value from it.
4. Meet New People
The audience you attract through blogging doesn’t have to just be your “audience.” They can become your friends, colleagues, and possibly partners.
5. Make Money
If you have a blog with a lot of readers, there may be opportunities to monetize. In today’s economy, being diversified and having additional sources of income can be tremendously beneficial. If you are working a job that doesn’t pay as much as you’d like, or if you would simply like to earn more money (who doesn’t?), blogging can make for a great side income.
Income generated from blogging can also be “passive,” meaning it can be automated and is not directly correlated to the amount of time you put in to it.
For brands, this data is critical. The research found that blogs influence household purchase decisions for…
- 54% of the survey respondents
- Gifts that consumers are buying for themselves (45%)
- Gifts they’re buying for other people (30%)
- In fact, 25% of respondents indicated that they buy something each month based on blog content!
Consumers are turning to blogs for specific reasons.
- Nearly one in two (46%) use blogs for initial product investigation
- 43% use blogs for inspiration.
- One in three consumers (33%) use blogs to narrow down their purchase options.
- 30% use blogs to confirm their purchase choices.
In other words, blogs play a role at every stop along the marketing and sales funnel.
Brands that invest the time into finding the right blogs to connect with their target audiences, craft pitches that are exclusively for those individual blogs, and provide useful, meaningful content that the blog’s audience would be interested in will reap the rewards. For brands, they’re more powerful than ever but they have to be leveraged correctly.
15 Blogger Stats
It wasn’t that long ago the statement, “I’m a blogger” conjured up more than a few eye rolls and snickering. But when 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs and 37% watch online videos about someone’s experience with products they’re considering, that’s most certainly nothing to laugh at.
- 74% search online for consumer electronic reviews before buying. Tweet this stat | Source: Weber Shandwick
- 28% ask social network friends or followers about a product they’re considering. Tweet this stat |Source: Weber Shandwick
- 37% watch online videos about others experience with products they’re considering. Tweet this stat | Source: Weber Shandwick
- 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs. Tweet this stat | Source: BlogHer
- Average buyer consults 11 consumer reviews on the path to purchase. Tweet this stat | Source: Weber Shandwick
- 65% of potential consumer electronics buyers inspired by consumer vs. professional review. Tweet this stat | Source: Weber Shandwick
- 79% of online shoppers spend 50% of shopping time researching products online. Tweet this stat |Source: HubSpot
- 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase based on blog recommendations. Tweet this stat| Source: BlogHer
- 77% of Internet users read blogs. Tweet this stat | Source: The West Program
- 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. Tweet this stat | Source: HubSpot
- Keywords in blogs drive traffic from search engines.
- 31% of product reviews need to be negative for a buyer to doubt the quality of a product. Tweet this stat | Source: Weber Shandwick
- 23% of total Internet usage time is devoted to social networks or blogs. Tweet this stat | Source: Dream Systems Media
- Blogger is the leading blog site in the U.S., with 46MM unique monthly users. Tweet this stat |Source: Nielsen
- 17% of US cell phone owners do most of their online browsing on their phone. Tweet this stat |Source: Pew Research Center
WHY BLOGGERS FAIL
1. Promoting Content the wrong way
Just posting to post, with not strategy or tactics in mind.
What you MUST do is convince people who have successful blogs and readers… to send you their readers.
2. Creating the wrong type of Content
Creating content that everyone else is creating. Think outside the box and be a little bit more creative.
Most blogs, in fact, are what I call “Me Too” blogs. They say the same things as everyone else… and nobody cares.
3. Posting to the wrong audience
Where are you targeting your blog? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube?
Where is your audience. If you are B2B, then you should be doing LinkedIn Publishing.
WHY BLOGGERS SUCCEED
- Small businesses that embrace blogging see 126% more growth in terms of leads than those that don’t blog. (Source: ThinkCreative)
- U.S. small businesses, totaling 22%, have planned to utilize YouTube within the next year, as a means to promote their business. (Source: BIA/Kelsey)
- Email marketers have shown blogging to be the most significant explanation for increased email traffic, given those who blog see two times as much email traffic as those who do not. (Source: HubSpot)
- Businesses with more than 200 total blogs under their belt see more than 3 times as many blogs as those with less than 20 total blogs. (Source: Hubspot)
- 67% in lead generation is common to those B2B marketers who blog, as opposed to those that don’t. (Source: InsideView)
- Blogging increases inbound links by 97% for those companies that produce a blog. (Source: Hubspot)
- With a whopping 434% more indexed pages as a result, blogs have vastly improved companies that embrace this social tactic. (Source: Hubspot)
- Those smaller businesses who blog can experience upwards of 120% more lead growth than those small businesses that do not blog. (Source: ThinkCreative)
- More than 345 million people consider themselves blog readers. (Source: The Future Buzz)
- More than 60% of U.S. online consumers say they’ve made purchases as a direct result of reading a blogger’s recommendation. (Source: Factbrowser)
- Blogging builds trust.
- Blogs can give you credibility.
- Blogs build authority.
- Blogs can help you communicate your brand.
- Blogs can assist you with effectively promoting a service or product.
- Blogs give others something to share about your brand.
- Blogging builds community, not to mention a buzz for your brand.
- Blogging is fun!!!
Want to learn more about blogging?
Attend our Blogging Seminar – Generate leads, get new customers, make more sales. Mar. 25th
CHECK OUT OUR UPCOMING SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR SERIES
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2. Visuals for Business – How to use visuals Feb. 4th
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5. Tools & Apps for Business – Gain more hours. Mar. 4th
6. YouTube & Video – Business Branding Mar. 18th
7. Blogging – Generate leads & get new customers Mar. 25th
8. Twitter for Business – The fastest way to spread content Apr. 29th
Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.
Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.
Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.
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