Blogs influencing sales

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Blogging thumb Blogs influencing salesA poll of Australians by blogging network, Nuffnang, has found that almost 90 per cent of respondants are swayed by blogger reviews.

While blogging is still relatively new in Australia, Nuffnang says it has seen an explosion of new bloggers in the last three years.

“It was no surprise to find out that 89 per cent of respondents are swayed by a blogger’s review of a product or service and want to go on to try it for themselves,” said David Krupp, Nuffnang’s country manager.

“This demonstrates the power of blogs for Australian brands’ marketing campaigns,” he said.

The survey found:

89 per cent are swayed by a blogger’s review of a product or service and would like to try it for themselves; 89 per cent make the purchasing decisions in their household and of these, 87 per cent have learnt about a new product or service via a blog; 81 per cent are noticing banner advertisements displayed next to the blogs they read; 90 per cent pass on blog information to family and friends; 92 per cent have used a search engine to find out more about a brand after reading about it on a blog post; 90 per cent are loyal to a brand once they find one they like; 65 per cent have entered a competition through a blog in the past 12 months; 78 per cent of respondents agree blogs are a better source of information than traditional and mainstream media; and 64 per cent of bloggers are between 18 to 34 years old.

“As the industry matures, we’ll see blogging become a mainstream medium as we’ve seen in other markets.

“Many bloggers start a blog for self satisfaction but quickly evolve this vision, hoping to become an expert or publicly recognised,” Krupp said.

SOURCE: Inside Retail Online – www.insideretail.com.au/IR/IRNews/Blogs-influencing-sales-1575.aspx


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UK Social Networking More than Doubles

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As overall UK web usage has dramatically risen, so has its social networking activity, according to data from The Nielsen Company.

Social Networking Accounts for 23% of UK Web Time
In April 2010, social networking and blogs accounted for 23% of UK internet time, or 13 minutes and 36 seconds of every online hour, according to the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM), a division of Nielsen. This is up 159% from the 8.8% of UK internet time represented by social networking and blogs in April 2007

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Social networking and blogs has become the largest specific use of UK internet time, with only “other” taking up more time (36.8%, or 22 minutes and six seconds of every online hour). Following social networking and blogs are personal (non-work) email (56 million hours / 7.2% share of time) and online games (53 million hours / 6.9% share).

Email Gains, IM Falls Back
The biggest casualty of the rise in social networking is instant messaging (IM) which, three years ago, was the most heavily used sector but has since dropped below email and online games. IM’s share of UK internet time has fallen from 14% to 5%, a relative drop of 66%. In contrast, personal email, which many predicted to be another casualty of the social networking phenomenon, has actually increased its share of online time from 6.5% to 7.2%, a relative rise of 11%.

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“Despite the large increase in the amount of time people spend online and the increasing proliferation of websites and online services, one thing has remained constant and that is the bulk of time accounted for by communicating, networking and playing games,” said Alex Burmaster, VP of global communications for Nielsen’s Online division. “These are the pillars on which the internet as a heavily used medium is built.”

UK Web Users Spend Almost 7 Hrs on SocNets
On average, global web users across 10 countries spent roughly five and a half hours on social networks in February 2010, up more than two hours from February 2009, according to previous research from The Nielsen Company. Web users in the UK spent an average of just less than six hours, 50 minutes, and 56 seconds, enough to be ranked fourth overall behind web users in Italy, Australia and the US.

Social Media Aids Customer Acquisition

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Many B2C and B2B companies are successfully using social media networks to acquire customers, according to [pdf] the “State of Inbound Marketing Report” from internet marketing firm Hubspot.

Major Social Media Channels Provide Leads to 4 in 10 Companies

More than four in 10 companies overall have acquired a customer from four major social media channels. Forty-one percent of companies have acquired a customer from both Twitter and LinkedIn. That figure rises to 44% for Facebook and 46% for a company blog.

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Social Media Especially Helps B2C
When social media customer acquisition figures are broken out by B2B and B2C companies, it becomes clear that B2C companies generally obtain much more value from their social media marketing efforts. Fifty-one percent of B2C companies have acquired a customer from Twitter, compared to 38% of B2B companies. The difference is most stark in customer acquisition figures for Facebook, which 68% of B2C companies have obtained a customer from but only 33% of B2B companies.

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When it comes to professional social media network LinkedIn, however, the usefulness trends reverse. Forty-five percent of B2B companies have obtained a customer from LinkedIn, compared to only 26% of B2C companies. Figures for company blog customer acquisition are closest in range, with 57% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies obtaining a customer through this channel.

Blog Post Frequency Makes a Difference
Examining company blogs closer, the unsurprising finding is that the more posts a company makes, the more success it will have driving new business. One hundred percent of companies posting multiple times a day on their blogs acquired a customer, and 90% posting daily acquired a customer. This figures declines to 69% for companies posting two to three times a week, and all the way down to 13% for companies posting less than monthly.

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Most Business Blogs Post Weekly
The majority of business blogs in 2010 post weekly (38%). Another 29% post two to three times a week, and 17% post monthly. Only 3% post multiple times a day. Only 58% of companies making weekly blog posts acquire a customer, meaning most companies are leaving a significant tool for customer acquisition on the table.

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Bigger Business Blogs Better Lead Bringers
Business blogs begin generating significantly more leads when they have a median of 24 or more articles posted, according to other research by Hubspot.

Businesses with blog article numbers above this critical threshold are likely to have enough content to make a significant impact on search engines through additional indexed pages and new keywords with which to associate. In addition, other sites are more likely to link to a blog that offers a steady stream of content. Businesses with blogs of 24-plus articles are more likely to be committed to updating their blog frequently and, thus, are likely to generate more traffic from referring sites.

Business blogs that have 0-11 articles posted will generate a median of three leads. Once blogs reach the 12-23 posted article threshold, this median dramatically rises to 10. However, blogs with 24-51 posted articles generate a median of 13 leads, and will generate a median of 23 leads when the posted article threshold reaches 52. This represents 77% lead growth, more than twice the 30% lead growth that occurs when the number of posted blog articles reaches 24.

Bigger Business Blogs Better Lead Bringers

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Business blogs begin generating significantly more leads when they have a median of 24 or more articles posted, according to research by internet marketing firm Hubspot.

Businesses with blog article numbers above this critical threshold are likely to have enough content to make a significant impact on search engines through additional indexed pages and new keywords with which to associate. In addition, other sites are more likely to link to a blog that offers a steady stream of content. Businesses with blogs of 24-plus articles are more likely to be committed to updating their blog frequently and, thus, are likely to generate more traffic from referring sites.

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Business blogs that have 0-11 articles posted will generate a median of three leads. Once blogs reach the 12-23 posted article threshold, this median dramatically rises to 10. However, blogs with 24-51 posted articles generate a median of 13 leads, and will generate a median of 23 leads when the posted article threshold reaches 52. This represents 77% lead growth, more than twice the 30% lead growth that occurs when the number of posted blog articles reaches 24.

Businesses with Blogs Generate 67% More Online Leads
Businesses with blogs generate 67% more online leads than businesses without blogs. A business with a blog will generate a median of 15 online leads, compared to a median of nine online leads for a business without a blog. Blog size does matter to a degree, as businesses with a median of 10 blog entries or less report similar online generation numbers to businesses without blogs.

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Advice for Bloggers
Based on its research, Hubspot offers the following advice to business bloggers:

  • Increase the number of keywords marketers rank for in Google. Through blogs, marketers have the opportunity to create unique content that can be different from their web site content. They have the potential to significantly increase the number of keywords they rank highly for in Google.
  • Generate inbound links. These are a central factor in Google’s organic search ranking algorithm. Other related sites are likely to link to a blog that provides interesting and fresh content.
  • Increase repeat visitors.Blogs give visitors a reason to come back and interact with sites.

Google Page Indexing Creates Leads
In addition to blogging to generate online leads, the more pages a company has indexed by Google, the more leads it will generate, according to related research by Hubspot. There is a strong positive correlation between the number of Google indexed pages and median leads. An incremental increase of 50-100 pages indexed by Google can cause lead growth in double-digit percentages. For example, going from 60-120 indexed pages to 121-175 indexed pages can increase a company’s median leads from seven to 12, creating 58.3% growth.

The most significant improvement in median lead growth comes when a company increases its indexed pages from the 176-310 range to the 311-plus range. Median leads skyrocket from 22 to 74, representing triple-digit 236% growth. After exceeding the 311 indexed pages mark, median lead growth subsides.