There is a growing realisation amongst brands and companies as to the merits of working with bloggers to promote their products, increase brand awareness and get in front of new customers and their target market.
Research by BlogHer found that 81% of respondents to their 2012 survey said that they trust the information and advice that blogs give them and that 61% have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blogger.
Compelling stuff, especially when you consider that when asked about Facebook, only 67% of respondents said they trusted information from the social site and just 33% said they would make a purchase based on a Facebook recommendation. Despite this, research has found that 57% of brands’ social advertising budget goes on Facebook ads.
In Technorati’s Digital Influence Report, it was found that blogs were the third most influential digital resource when making a purchase, showing consumers put a high worth on what bloggers have to say.
However, of the brands surveyed, it was found that only 10% of advertising revenue is spent on social advertising, with 6% of that spent on blogs, showing there is a huge divide in what consumers and brands view as important.
So, as a brand, these statistics suggest that now is a great time to be moving your advertising spend onto blogs. With the changes in Facebook advertising and much lauded death of print media, moving into a medium that your potential customers already know and trust seems like a smart move.
If you’re undecided about whether you should be looking at blogs as a way of promotion, here are 8 reasons why your brand should be working with bloggers to help drive traffic, create brand awareness, tell your story and, ultimately, drive sales-
1. They know your target market and can help you reach it
Bloggers are a great way to reach your target market. You will be able to tell from the style and tone of the blog whether they are a good fit for your brand and from this will know that their readers will be likely have similar interests and tastes to them.
Bloggers tend to write about niche topics, so its great way to get your brand in front of a relevant and interested audience.
2. They are great influencers
In the past, companies have turned to celebrity endorsements as a way of promoting their products. With a shift towards online shopping and the public perception of this kind of promotion (that celebrities will promote anything, so long as you pay them enough money), brands are growing to realise how powerful bloggers are as influencers.
Celebrity endorsement might be fine if you’re a multi-million dollar company, but for everyone else its simply not an option. Consumers are increasingly trusting what bloggers have to say and this still from a webinar by Altimeter shows just how great their reach can be-
3. Bloggers help tell your story and work as personal recommenders
One of the challenges for online businesses is how to engage with their customers in a human way. For bricks and mortar shops this is a lot easier-customers can be greeted when they walk in, know that someone is around if they have questions and can build a report and relationship with the shop owner or assistant.
Bloggers help you to create a human side to your online business by telling a story, in a relaxed and informal way-not unlike a person telling their friend ‘Hey, you should check out this shop, I think you’ll really like what they do’.
4. They can start a conversation
Blogging isn’t a one-way conversation. They are powerful advocates as they don’t just create content, they engage with their readers through comments, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and by allowing people to share and retweet their content.
All this interaction with them also means your target market will then be interacting with you and there’s no better publicity for your brand than word of mouth.
5. Promotion on social media
This conversation with their readers will hopefully lead to extra promotion on the blogger’s social media channels. Bloggers love to share content, by tweeting about their posts, updating followers on Instagram and sharing photos on Pinterest. This means that they will be spreading the word about you on there as well.
6. They drive traffic to your site
One of main benefits for working with bloggers is that well written posts can drive traffic to your site as readers will want to check out why the blogger has taken the time to write about you.
This is great as its an easily measurable result that lasts beyond the day that the post goes live.
7. SEO benefits for your site.
SEO is always a hot topic, especially surrounding the ‘follow’ and ‘no follow’ links. Both are good in their own way.
A follow link means Google will know that a quality and high traffic website links into your site, which is good for helping you move up the search results.
No follow links tells Google not to take notice of the link for SEO purposes, which doesn’t sound as good, but Google will still measure the traffic going through the link as well as how relevant the blog content is to your site and this helps you long term.
Because blogs are ever evolving sites with large followings, they are visited by search engines more frequently that static pages, so are picked up and indexed quicker. This means that when someone searches for your brand, the blogger’s post will show up and act as a review of your business as well as a recommendation.
These benefits are significant because they means that a blog post can provide your business with benefits for years. Most importantly the link on a blog will deliver quality, relevant traffic to your site, which can be more beneficial than ranking higher in Google.
8. Bloggers can drive sales
Bloggers can help to drive sales through their recommendation and review of your brand or product.
One way to encourage sales, as well as offering a way to measure how effective this form of promotion is for you, is to offer readers a discount or offer when they make a purchase from you.
As a final word of advice, remember to always be respectful of the bloggers you work with. You should be viewing this form of promotion as a long term relationship. I would highly recommend reading this post by Forever Amber which has real life examples of ways not to work with bloggers.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how working with bloggers can benefit your brand, drop us an email to see how we can help, or head over to the Adlet Marketplace to find bloggers to advertise with.