It’s time brands took bloggers seriously

It’s time brands took bloggers seriously

Brands are investing in Facebook marketing like gangbusters but are overlooking the significant value that bloggers bring to digital marketing initiatives, according to the Technorati 2013 Digital Influence Report.

Technorati is not the voice of blogging authority that it once was, but each year the advertising network publishes a report that is required reading for internet marketers. Formerly known as The State of the Blogosphere the report has been renamed the 2013 Digital Influence Report because it takes a look at the broader social Internet as well as blogs and bloggers.

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The report reveals that among brand marketers, social spend in 2013 will increase substantially, but perhaps the budget is not being spent where impact would be the greatest.

The study shows that blogs are the third among online sites most likely to influence a consumer purchasing decision, coming after retail and brand websites.  However brands are spending 57% of their social budgets on Facebook and only six per cent on blogs.

This disconnect is a result of a lack of uniform metrics used to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns. Brands tend to use reach metrics which often are no measure of influence. Number of likes, fans, friends and followers are some examples.  Instead they should be looking at pageviews, comments, replies and retweets if they wish to gain insight into engagement and influence.

Another problem is that  brands primarily look to comScore/Nielsen ranking for identifying and selecting influencers. This tactic is flawed because it measures authority based on the size of a community, a metric that is unrelated to influence. The Technorati study shows that  when it comes to community size, 54 per cent of consumers agree that the smaller the community the greater the influence.

It’s clear that brand marketers should invest more in blogger relations and this includes setting aside adequate budget to realise the value of true digital influencers. Blogs offer direct opportunities for brands including banner, text and native advertisements, sponsored content and product reviews.

Bloggers offer brands enhanced value through their own social media activity. They are highly active and skilled in using most of the popular social networks because the success of their blog depends upon it.

The value of blogger relations is clear. Let 2013 be the year that brands finally get it.

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