Posted March 19, 2008 6:22 pm by with 6 comments

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According to Jupiter Research, only 2.6% of online shoppers use blogs for research before making purchases. Of course, that makes some internet retailers wonder if blogs should be part of their marketing strategy.

In my opinion, this study does not provide the answer to that question. It merely indicates that people do not research products on blogs. I have no doubt that this is true. It seems obvious that if shoppers want to research, they are going to go to highly authoritative sites. However, that does not mean that blogs do not offer marketing opportunities, and I know for a fact that blogs do generate sales.

Here are three benefits to blog postings:

1) Overall buzz about your company and products.
2) Consumer referrals. If credible and visible people talk about your products, it will help your sales. In fact, we track sales every day back to blog posts and forum posts.
3) Inbound links. Frankly, I think this is becoming less and less of a benefit as Google and other search engines continue to devalue these links.

So, should blogs be part of your marketing strategy? I would say yes. However, like I would say for most other online marketing efforts, focus on quality rather than the quantity. Hundreds of posts on spammy blogs could hurt you more than help you.

  • “only 2.6% of online shoppers use blogs for research before making purchases.”

    Right and I wonder how many oo those retailers have blogs? I am willing to bet a majority fo them dont and if they do they are not adequetly placed to promote them throughout the website.

    And if they did have them and promote them, they probably dont have the info that the customers/visitors are looking for.

  • Consumers may be doing research on blogs without knowing it. If a blog comes up in a regular search, then they might not think to themselves “Hmm, I’m conducting research on a blog.”

    Additionally, social media strategies need to be customized by the company – even within niches. What works for one won’t work for another.

  • I’m thrilled to see this article. To me, it just means that a lot of corporate types will continue to stay out of the blogging realm, which I know from experience to be a very useful arena for marketing purposes.

    I really have to doubt the 2.6% figure, too. While I doubt that a lot of users specifically seek out blogs to research products, a lot of top blogs rank very well in the search engines and if you get coverage from a top blog, they can help ensure that your URL/site is promoted more than once in the top 10 SERPs.

  • its not necessarily the consumers arrive to the product blogs via SEs. maybe they are reading their favorite blog and they clicked a link in the blogroll. or maybe they are reading a similar post and there’s a link to the product review page.

  • I agree with Nathania – I think a lot of shoppers out there don’t even know when they’re on a blog and when they aren’t.

  • Md

    Blogs are one of the powerful marketing tools and it definitely has to be made as a part of marketing strategy. I think blog should not be considered just to build back links to the website. With blogs merchants can disseminate new offers and services, get consumer response/feedback, product comparison writing, etc…

    Md’s last blog post..Shopping Cart Abandonment