Brands and blogs unite... almost. It's not a match made in heaven yet, but the trend is heading in that direction. According to Technorati's State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, an increasing number of companies are reaching out to bloggers to harness the power of the blogosphere to build their brands. In fact Technorati states that "one-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates."
Photo credit: Mario Lopes edited by Andre Deutmeyer
This marketing trend reflects the reality of the blogosphere - that it is already being used as a way for individuals to voice their opinions about the brands and products they love (or hate) - and brands are finally catching on. "More than eight in ten bloggers post product or brand reviews, and almost nine in ten blog about the brands they use."
And it seems that there is no gender preference when it comes to talking good (or bad) about brands. Both "men and women are equally likely to blog about products or services."
As further testament to the strength of the blogger's voice, traditional media is turning to the blogosphere for information. "37% of bloggers have been quoted in traditional media based on a blog post." And before the next decade is up, this trend is likely to graduate from its place on the sidelines and take traditional media's place as the "primary source for news and entertainment." The success of celebrity gossip sites like Perez Hilton is testament to that fact.
You can read the full report on how brands are interacting with the blogosphere below:
Brands make up a major part of bloggers' online conversations. More than four in five bloggers post product or brand reviews, and blog about brands they love or hate. Even day-to-day experiences with customer care or in a retail store are fodder for blog posts. Companies are already reaching out to bloggers: one-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates.
Bloggers believe that blogs are being taken more seriously as information sources.
Bloggers are most open to receiving marketing messages from other blogs. Even non-blog web content is more influential among this group than traditional media sources for brand information.
As early adopters, bloggers spend twice as much time online as U.S. adults 18-49, and spend only one-third as much time watching television. While they are online, bloggers are participating in an average of five “Web 2.0” activities such as RSS and Twitter. Bloggers are important to watch, as they are generally the first ones to use new web applications, and are highly influential in speeding adoption.
Discussion and opinions about brands are a major part of the blogosphere.
More than eight in ten bloggers post product or brand reviews, and almost nine in ten blog about brands that they love (or hate). Interestingly, men and women are equally likely to blog about products or services.
Marketers are catching on that the blogosphere is an important place to be — one in three bloggers has been approached to be a brand advocate. Of those, more than six in ten were offered payments of some kind.
Perceptions of Blogs & Traditional Media
There is a general sense that blogs are being taken more seriously as information sources.
37% of bloggers have been quoted in traditional media based on a blog post. Half of bloggers believe that blogs will be a primary source for news and entertainment in the next five years. Bloggers are less bullish on the prospects for traditional media — one in five bloggers don't think that newspapers will survive the next ten years.
Time U.S. Bloggers vs. U.S. Adults* Spend with Media (hours/week)
U.S. bloggers spend almost
Blogger Participation in Web 2.0 Activities
While they are online, bloggers are participating in a variety of Web 2.0 activities.
Bloggers are generally the first to learn about new web technologies and applications, such as RSS and Twitter. On average, bloggers participate in five of the ten Web 2.0 activities listed, with one-third regularly conducting more than seven Web 2.0 activities.
Types of Advertising and Content that Entice Bloggers to learn more about Products and Services
Even non-blog web content is more influential among this group than traditional media sources.
Bloggers peer into their crystal balls and prognosticate:
“Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. His point was that we would shift from having a few famous people for a long time to many famous people for a short time. I think the number of blogs will grow, but the average life span of a blog will shorten.”
Scott Sheppard - labs.blogs.com
“There will be more blogs used in education, particularly among K-12 students and teachers. Bookmarks will merge with blogs for those of us who use our blogs as note-pads or filing cabinets. Blog archives will be viewed as a rich source of cultural history. Blogs will be a means for more collaborative team work. People will expect businesses, media, and print organizations, even government organizations, to have some form of blog, in order to promote communication. Blogging will also help to provide insight to businesses about their consumers.”
Lynn Marentette - interactivemultimediatechnology.blogspot.com
“This is just the beginning for blogging. People are getting better and better at this skill set, quality is improving, and we will soon have millions of people generating great content around the clock.”
Brett Bumeter - softduit.com
“There’s a lot of sploggage out there now, and tons of 'make money' type bloggers which glut the playing field. It makes the searching and finding of good content difficult. I think the individual or group blog or blogging group networks will simply be a part of the warp and woof of the Internet. There’s no better way to communicate with a large number of people than blogging.”
Amos Dettonville - mostbloggers.blogspot.com
“Blogs will eventually morph — some will break off into hybridized news sites, others into password-protected ‘personal diaries,’ with others going on to offer products and services (home businesses).”
Dave Lucas - dave-lucas.blogspot.com
“I’ve loved watching how some of the Big Dog corporate bloggers adopt the characteristics that make the best personal blogs so effective: personality, passion, smarts, usefulness, humor. Blogging and other forms of social media are changing corporate-think and driving a revolution in how companies do business.”
Technorati Team -
Originally written and prepared by the Technorati team and first published on September 27th 2008 as "State of the Blogosphere 2008 - Brands Enter The Blogosphere". Reprinted here in full with author permission.