Earlier this month, Technorati, a leading authority on blogs and their influence, published their Digital Influence Report containing insights based on surveys of more than 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers and 150 top brand marketers. Key metrics culled from these surveys include: how brands are spending money on digital marketing, how consumers are influenced by digital channels, and the respective challenges that both brands and bloggers face in working with one another.
The most striking result of the survey is the fact that the average budget for marketing via blogs is grossly out of line with their level of influence. Working with bloggers makes up one of the smallest portions of the average digital marketing budget despite the fact that blogs are the most influential digital social channel. The reasons for this incongruity lie in the specific challenges associated with leveraging the blogosphere: fragmentation, lack of metrics, and the complexity of engaging bloggers for earned or sponsored media.
Display, search, and video make up nearly 75% of the average digital marketing budget. Only about 10% is spent on social, with over half of that going to Facebook, and the next largest social outlets being Twitter and YouTube. Blogs are fourth in social marketing spend and make up a mere 0.6% of the average overall digital marketing budget.
65% of brands participate in influencer-based marketing and 59% of brands are planning to increase social marketing spending by an average of 37%.
Which Digital Channels Influence Customers?
Retail sites and brand sites are the two digital channels that are most likely to influence a consumer purchase. Blogs are third overall, outranking Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. Thus, blogs are the most influential form of social media when it comes to consumer purchases.Yet the average digital marketing budget for blogs is far from commensurate with this high level of influence.
Bloggers do Much More Than Blogging
The vast majority of bloggers are leveraging social channels such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their blog posts. Prominent bloggers have large followings on each of these channels, meaning that the title “blogger” doesn’t fully capture their value. They are cross-channel social media influencers and while their blog is their home base, they have a far broader presence across the social media sphere. Bloggers presence on other social channels should be taken into consideration when allocating resources for working with blogs. An earned or sponsored blog post with a brand mention will translate into same message being disseminated across every channel on which the blogger is active. . .
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