October 28, 2008 |
There’s an interesting study released today by JupiterResearch that the research company conducted for BuzzLogic to find out the influence and importance of blogs nowadays. You may remember BuzzLogic as a recently launched advertising network selling ads on blogs exclusively. The primary business of BuzzLogic is in identifying where influence is in various conversations online and offering their customers the solutions to target the audience of the influential online publications with their branding messages or advertising.
The study included interrogation of more than 2,200 internet users in the US to assess their perception of blogs and understand what role blogs play in their lives.
The study confirmed a few facts proving what we actually already seem to know here, mainly focusing on the high importance of blogs. First of all, in the past four years monthly blog readership spiked more than 300% which must be a good reason for the enormous number of blogs emerging as well hoping to get some of that readership.
But the most importance thing about blogs is not that blogs are simply read a lot – it is the fact that blogs actually capable of influencing consumers decision to buy products. To be more specific, half of the blog readers participating in the survey (a blog reader is someone who has read a blog in the last 12 months) admitted that they use blogs to find purchase information. Quite obviously niche blogs specializing in a topic the reader is interested in (like iPhone if this reader considers buying the Apple’s phone) have higher influence on the purchase decision.
Unfortunately, it still looks like blogs have only learned to influence purchase decisions in the technology field mostly where 31% of readers admitted blogs to be useful for purchases related to technology and consumer electronics. But in other fields blogs have also started to enjoy some influence on purchase decisions as well: media and entertainment (15%); games/toys and/or sporting goods (14%); travel (12%); automotive (11%); and health (10%).
One of the most important factors is that people who admit that their purchase decisions are influenced by blogs are those advertisers most want to reach with their messages – 48% of them are young (18-34 years old) and 45% of them are wealthy (households with $75k+ annual income).
But the most important part of the study must be very reassuring for everyone trying (or hoping) to make money blogging: it is the fact that people actually tend to trust advertising on blogs more than advertising they see on other mediums, including social networks or mainstream media sites. Ads that appear alongside the content of trusted blogs receive readers’ trust as an additional: 25% of all blog readers trust ads they see on blogs.
What’s more, readers not only trust those ads, they are often willing to take an action on such an ad (like reading reviews for the product, searching for further information or visiting a website of the manufacturer or retailer) with 40% of all blog readers and 50% of frequent blog readers admitting some interaction with ads they see on blogs.
Unfortunately the study did not provide information on exactly how many readers are annoyed about having to see ads on blogs at all. I guess this would have been particularly interesting to many bloggers who don’t earn anything significant because of a low traffic and also scare some readers away with ads.
This report should make some important things clear to both bloggers and advertisers who still consider the mediums they should use to target their potential customers online. Bloggers should finally realize the level of responsibility we now enjoy and think twice when publishing something that may influence people into making a decision they later regret (should it be publishing a very positive review for a product because you are friends with the owner or a very negative opinion because you simply have not had enough sleep). After all, your readers deserve to know your true opinion if they base some important decisions on this opinion.
And for advertisers I am sure these results must prove that blogs are going mainstream in terms of reaching web population with their words and these words also tend to be trusted. And of course that must mean that more advertisers will want to use the power of blogs in their marketing and promotion campaigns. As a blogger I can’t help but be happy about such a rosy picture of the future with reliable bloggers working with the best advertisers to drive readers into making the right buying decisions.
Image by Mike Licht from NotionsCapital.com used under Creative Commons.