Brands wanting to increase the level of conversion of their messages to action should strongly consider blogs. This was one of many interesting findings from BlogHer Inc.’s fifth annual study of women and social media=, conducted with market research and analysis firm, Vision Critical.
“You trust what you use, and you use what you trust,” said Elisa Camahort Page, Co-founder & COO, BlogHer.
The study found that while women look to a variety of social mediums—blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more—they are more likely to trust feedback on blogs over other social channels. The study, in particular, finds that in a “trust test” most women chose a sponsored blog review as being a more trustworthy source than a Facebook conversation or celebrity endorsement. The study also says that women indicate that they look to Facebook primarily “to stay up to date with friends and family” (87%) and “to have fun” (77%). And they use Pinterest primarily to “have fun” (58%) and “to find out about new products” (39%).
Over 61 percent of active blog readers surveyed in the U.S. say they have made purchases based on a blog recommendation. According to BlogHer’s study, this is almost double the rate of Facebook’s and Twitter’s active users (at 33% and 31%). The almost 60% of the women in the U.S. general population who actively use social media, report that they turn to online or to social media as part of their purchase process. 41 percent do not. When the study looked at women in the general population who read blogs daily, the numbers who turn online to drive their purchasing rises to over 80%.
The study confirms sentiments at Zenzi that blogs can be a great way to build brand and relationships and that it’s all about a series of touch points and authentically interacting with your customers on a variety of levels to build relationships. Each “tool” in the social media and marketing arsenal has its own place and role in the relationship building process. And marketers and communicators need to be looking to a variety of them to touch prospects in their buying decisions along the way.
Though, at Zenzi, we are seeing fewer brands focus on building out their blogs over other social channels, because of the shear amount of time it can take to do so, we would agree that this is a very important channel for marketers to consider in finding and using their company’s voice to communicate with audiences and build relationships. According to these most recent findings, and our own experiences, brands should be looking to partner with established bloggers, as well as building out their own blog to build trust. Check out Trilogy by Shea Homes’ blog for just one good example of a company doing just that: www.trilogylifeblog.com For more on how Zenzi is working with companies to foster blogger relations and testimonials and build their own blogs, see some of our case studies here.