Posted July 2, 2010 10:14 am by with 5 comments

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We all know it goes on. Sometimes it’s disclosed, other times not. Sometimes it’s black and white, other times it’s more of a gray area.

What am I talking about? Paid blog posts.

According to Fleishman-Hillard’s 2010 Digital Influence Index (pdf), consumers are wising up to paid/sponsored blogs posts–and they don’t like them!

If you’re given a free sample, only 24% of your readers will trust you to be unbiased. Paid to write a review, that trust drops to 19%.

Still, in both cases, there’s this big area of indecision (61% and 54% respectively).

Of course, it’s one thing to say that you wouldn’t trust a sponsored blog post, but what about in reality? Factors that need to be considered in the real world include:

  • Do you generally like and trust the blogger in question?
  • Do you want to buy the product anyway–so need little persuasion?
  • How was the disclosure handled?
  • How relevant is the product to the normal content of the blog?

All of these would effect the scores above, but at the very least, you have been warned that your readers don’t embrace sponsored posts as much as you’d like them to!

  • Of course, many do not trust a paid review or review in exchange of a sample or , but is a form of an advertisement campaign carried out by companies, just to make their target audience aware of their products and services. you get to post a detailed information about your company and services. well, the responsibility to check the quality and services of the company remains with customers. Another fact is that, companies that go for sponsored reviews need to have a competitive advantage, something that sets them apart from competitors, otherwise going for a sponsored review is waste of time and money.

  • I think that most savvy people like those within the internet “industry” (SEO, ORM, Marketing) don’t trust them. I personally have used sponsored posts before and as an advertiser I see a better conversions from these than sponsored “ads” like banners and so on. I for one don’t look at it as trust or not trusting, it is clear to me that if someone is mentioning a product within a blog post they have some vested interest in mentioning it (most of the time). Even some of the most trusted bloggers posts that I read are sometime seasoned with an occasional “sponsored” post. I think that it takes “blog-cred” away from the blogger and I may not trust what they post in the future. I like facts and stats… Noce post Andy!

  • I think most of those paid reviews are biased. The writers can’t be objective, when money or free sample is given. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust paid blog posts, especially if you are a long time reader of that specific blog. It’s all about the integrity of the blog owner in the end.

  • LCD

    Trust them or not (I don’t), the posts are still successful in getting a new company’s name or service out there in the public eye. I do my own due diligence, and if I find the company/service/product attractive, I may buy it…..but not based on the biased paid post.

  • Nice blog…. Keep it up !

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