How Blogs Influence Purchases & Recommendations

Bloggers comment on brands and post to social media, expanding reach

Bloggers, from hobbyists to professionals, often write about brands, and their growing influence should make brand representatives continually evaluate the relationships they have with these bloggers.

Most bloggers write about brands in some way or another. According to the “State of the Blogosphere 2011” report from blog directory website Technorati, 38% of all bloggers post about brands that they love or hate and 34% write product or service reviews. Professional full-time bloggers or part-time professional bloggers who write as a way to supplement their income are more likely to blog about brands than their hobbyist, corporate or entrepreneur counterparts.

Bloggers are increasing in their influence over readers and other bloggers. Last year’s Technorati “State of the Blogosphere” reported that 29% of bloggers are influenced by other blogs they read. This year, that number jumped to 68%.

As bloggers gain influence and write about brands, the relationships between blog writers and brand representatives are important for companies to focus on. Most bloggers have a good relationship with brand representatives. Nearly half of all bloggers (49%) characterized their interactions with such representatives as somewhat or very favorable. Only 3% said their interactions were not at all favorable. However, 40% of all bloggers said they didn’t know how to characterize their interactions with brand representatives.

How Bloggers Worldwide Characterize Their Interactions with Brand Representatives, by Type of Blogger, Oct 2011 (% of respondents)

This large group of unsure respondents could have mixed feelings about the communications they receive from these brand representatives, affecting their relationships with the reps and their brands. Of all bloggers, 17% said brand representatives had asked for things that would compromise the credibility or content standards of the blog. This is roughly the same percentage of those that said the representatives were knowledgeable about their blogs and content (14%), are genuinely interested in building a relationship (16%) and provide information that has value for readers (23%).

As bloggers continue to grow in influence, their coverage of brands and their interactions with brands’ products, services and employees will be of greater interest to companies. Brand representatives who connect with bloggers must be sure to work with these writers to keep the relationships thriving.

SOURCE eMarketer