Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report makes interesting reading for a number of reasons, but we just can’t get our minds off one of the most standout statistics of all – because according the findings, blogs have more influence over consumer habits than social media.
“Blogs are more influential in shaping opinion than Twitter, and when it comes to affecting purchases, more important than Facebook,” Technorati reveals. In fact, the data shows that blogs rank amongst the top 5 trustworthy sources on the internet, yet they account for just 11% of overall social budgets – a figure which is even more concerning when you consider that social accounts for 10% of average digital financial allocations as a whole.
Why is social media getting more funding than blogging?
The research demonstrates that blogs are the third most influential resource for consumers when it comes to making a purchase, with only retail and brand sites beating them to the top spot. Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms were shown to lag behind when it came to influence, but brands are still investing big bucks in them, and letting their blogging efforts fall by the wayside.
The reason most companies give is the lack of measurable results from content. Technorati refers to this as “the fragmentation that leads to their complexity as a purchasable medium” – essentially, the difficulties of obtaining measurable results from blogging alone. With social media, businesses often see Facebook likes and Twitter followers as obvious examples of engagement, and don’t realise just how many people interact with and trust their blog, even if they don’t leave a comment.
Technorati’s data was accumulated from 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers and 150 top brand marketers, so it seems that these opinions are widespread across the industry. However, it’s essential that brands avoid falling into the trap of thinking that their blog is not as beneficial as their social efforts – particularly as the majority of consumers clearly disagree.
Balance is key
However, this is not to say that social media is a less important aspect of a digital strategy than blogging. The goal of a marketing approach should be to have various elements complement each other, rather than compete for ultimate glory.
Social media and blogging can and do work in harmony with one another – for instance, including links to your Facebook page or Twitter handle can lead blog viewers to your social platforms, and posting links to blogs on your social platforms can increase their audience as well.
Ultimately, the key to making both of these endeavours successful is including top quality content on each of them – if you invest your time and effort into developing your content strategy, you’ll see the benefits of every aspect, even if they’re not instantly measurable.