Brafton recently reported that marketing blogs are a burgeoning tool among SMBs, and it seems businesses are taking to the blogosphere with good reason. A new report from eMarketer reveals that Americans are turning to blogs to get the latest information online, and marketers should consider that quality blog content can convert readers into customers.
The study, entitled The Blogosphere: Colliding with Social and Mainstream Media, reveals that U.S. audiences have been steadily increasing their blog readership for the past several years. In 2010, eMarketer says that more than half of online Americans (51 percent or 122.6 million consumers) read blogs at least monthly. By 2014, the source predicts 60 percent of the U.S. internet population will regularly read blogs.
Paul Verna, author of the report and a senior analyst for eMarketer, says, "trends in blog reading are expected to maintain an upward course as blogs continue to gain influence in the mainstream media."
As the line between blogs and main stream media blurs, marketers may find well-written blogs become credible resources – which means entries are link bait. A study from Cision shows that 89 percent of journalists already turn to blogs for story research, indicating brands' blogs can catch links from other news publications.
The increasing legitimacy of blogs suggests that businesses offering consumers timely, industry-relevant news via blogs increasingly have the potential to establish themselves as thought leaders and become go-to sources of information. Building consumer trust by demonstrating a company is an authority in its respective industry can be an important way to gain clients.
Marketers should remember to mention of products or services in blogs and allow consumers to comment on companies' business offerings. An Invoke survey relayed by eMarketer shows that 36 percent of consumers consider blogs trustworthy sources of information, and a recent study from Harris Interactive indicates that 33 percent of consumers are influenced by reviews on blogs.