Technorati recently completed its 2008 State of the Blogosphere report, which contains some interesting information about the correlation between blogs and brand building. The report shows that bloggers are interested in talking about brands. So if you’re looking for ways to build your brand, make friends with some bloggers!
Blogging is, at its heart, a place for people to share information about themselves and about their lives. If people have good experiences, they blog about them. If they have bad experiences, they blog about those, too. This includes experiences with businesses both online and in real life. If bloggers encounter a product or service that they find phenomenal, they will blog about it. Same goes for products or services that they find abysmal. In fact, nearly 80 percent of bloggers talk about brands and/or products that they love or hate, and 37 percent of them do so on a frequent basis. Many businesses have taken advantage of this publicity. In fact, one-third of all bloggers have been asked to act as brand advocates.
This may seem silly given that anyone can maintain a blog. Why should internet users trust a blog over any other source of information? Why are bloggers any more credible that anyone else? The truth is that bloggers primarily look to blogs for information rather than to other sources. In fact, 49 percent of bloggers believe that blogs are just as reliable as mainstream media for getting information.
The point here is that blogs are a great resource to explore when you are trying to build your brand. Here are 5 things to keep in mind regarding blogs and brand-building.
1. Blogs are Credible. Some marketers are concerned about the possibility of having their brand show up on a blog because they are afraid that the blog might not be credible. Rest assured that, although they are often informal, blogs are often seen as legitimate sources of good information. In fact, many large corporations include blog-mentions among the press included on their websites.
2. Blog Discussions are Natural. If a brand or product makes an impact on a blogger, he or she will probably mention it on a blog. Some companies even ask bloggers to review products and introduce new products. Many bloggers already include ads on their blogs, so they will probably be happy to include information about your product or service as well, given that they find it worth mentioning.
3. Bloggers are Bright. As a whole, bloggers are both educated and affluent. In fact, 75% of bloggers also graduated from college and 42% have attended at least some graduate school. More than half of them are part of a household than brings in over $75,000. These are good people to know from a marketing standpoint. They’re savvy and they have a lot of money to spend. These are people you want on your team.
4. Bloggers Read Other Blogs. Bloggers get most of their information from other bloggers; so if you want to get noticed, you need to make sure that you become visible on a blog. Keep in mind that, not only do bloggers read other blogs regularly, bloggers also use blogs as their primary source of information about brands and products. This is obviously a great way to make yourself visible and to attract the attention of potential customers.
5. Your Competitors are Doing It! Since so many companies are already asking bloggers to act as brand advocates, chances are that your competitors are already among those taking advantage of blogs as brand builders. Do yourself a favor and start using blogs to build your brand or you could find yourself out in the cold!
If your image of a blogger is a pimply-faced teenager sitting in his basement writing about his latest conspiracy theory, you need to update your perceptions. Bloggers are a bright group who look to each for information. Use them in your brand-building efforts and you’ll see results!