Experts at last week’s Affiliate Summit West advocate blogs as a means of boosting SEO and social outreach, and a recent study suggests blogs might also drive sales. The results […]

Experts at last week’s Affiliate Summit West advocate blogs as a means of boosting SEO and social outreach, and a recent study suggests blogs might also drive sales. The results of a survey from BlogHer and DeVries public relations reveal that blogs impact beauty purchases more than traditional magazines.

BlogHer asked more than 1,000 women across the United States about online versus offline purchases, and what sources influence their beauty buying. The survey found that blogs are more than twice as likely (63 percent) than magazines (26 percent) to have driven beauty product purchases in the past six months. Nineteen percent of blog-inspired beauty buyers say they stumbled upon the most helpful content in search.

Moreover, blogs that are not strictly beauty blogs have been known to drive product sales. Respondents said they were almost as likely to trust advice from parenting blogs (43 percent), health blogs (42 percent) and lifestyle blogs as they would advice from beauty and fashion blogs when making purchase decisions.

With this in mind, marketers in beauty and related industries may consider offering clients blogs with useful reviews and product insight. It may also be important to offer broader industry perspective, beyond product info, in blogs – women say they look for trustworthy blogs when making purchase decisions. By establishing that a brand keeps up with the latest industry trends, marketers may prove their businesses are credible thought leaders.

Additionally, it is important that blogs be distributed to social followers to spark online conversations. Survey respondents also claim they look to social networks and message boards to seek product recommendations. Thus, blog posts should act as Likebait to spark word-of-mouth referrals.

Generating blog posts that will effectively convert readers requires time and resources to be allotted to content development, but the investment may pay off. As Brafton reported, CMOs say engaging content is the leading factor to blog success.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.