A new study on blog influence found many consumers rely on blogs for unbiased opinions and expertise when considering purchases, making blogs an influential platform for marketers trying to reach consumers with money to spend.
Marketers may have an opportunity to further connect with consumers on blogs. That’s according to the latest research from digital data collection provider Research Now Group, which looked at what appeals to blog readers, how readers react to advertising on blogs and product promotion by writers, and the influence of blogs on consumer purchase decisions.
The study found two in three respondents read blogs at least a few times per week. And, of those consumers, a whopping 84 percent buy products based on the content of a blog in part because consumers reading blogs are “usually looking for an unbiased opinion and expertise from a blogger when they are already considering a purchase,” according to Research Now.
In addition, 46 percent of consumers who have previously made a purchase based on something they read on a blog say they turn to blogs when they’re first investigating a product and 43 percent say they turn to blogs when they are looking for inspiration. An additional one-third say they read blogs when they have narrowed their options down and 30 percent visit in order to confirm their choice toward the end of their purchase journey.
The most popular blogs include those about food and drink, crafts, gardening and sewing, and culture and entertainment, according to the study.
In addition, younger consumers said they read blogs about celebrity culture and health and beauty and are much more interested in blogs written by celebrities than older consumers. In fact, per Research Now, more than one-quarter of 18-to-34-year-olds say they would read a blog written by a celebrity, compared to 7 percent of those over 55.
The study also found women value advice from their friends and family above all else, while men value the advice of blogs most highly. And 45 percent of consumers have contacted a blogger to ask a question when considering purchasing a product.
However, respondents also said they are more put off by paid content than they are by advertising. In fact, 36 percent said one of the reasons they’re discouraged from reading a blog is that it contains paid content, but 52 percent said they read blogs that contain advertising.
Research Now also says consumers value the quality of writing of a blogger, citing poor writing quality as the top reason for being discouraged from reading a blog and 43 percent said they are discouraged from reading a blog if an author has “an inflated ego.” An additional 53 percent said a good personality encourages them to return to a blog.
The study included 1,000 UK respondents who read blogs at least once a month.
Do you use a blog to connect with your consumers? Do you have any tips?