Monday, June 04, 2007

Do Marketers Know Who Blogs? How Can They Find Out?

I came across an interesting article a Adage which asks Who Blogs? Additionally, it states that most marketers do not have a clue. The author,Beth Snyder Bulik, says there are over 15 million blogs which are read by 57 million people. I do question Adage's methodology for calculating the number of blogs. The number is probably much higher...unless the criteria they use is a strict "one post a day criteria." The latest estimate from the MySpace is that there are nearly 100 million MySpace page, and it's probably safe to assume that about a fifth are active. There are 48,569,755 blogs according to New blogs are being created every day. Regardless of the actual size of the blogosphere, we can all rest assured that it is growing and becoming a credible source of information for consumers.

"This is simply not a passing fad that can be ignored," said Michael Gartenberg, analyst with Jupiter Research. The author says bloggers have great credibility. They use a recent event as evidence. Engadget reported that Apple's iPhone and Leopard operating system would be seriously delayed. Apple's stock price took an immediate dive, dropping some $4 billion in market capitalization before it was discovered that the information came from a fake leaked memo.

The article goes on to say "Consumers are also taking bloggers' word before they buy. A late 2006 Ipsos MORI survey found that blogs were a more trusted source of information than advertising or e-mail marketing. One-third of respondents said they had decided not to buy a product after reading a negative blog post, while 52% were persuaded to buy after reading a positive review." There is no denying that blogs influence consumers purchase behavior.

Unfortunately, most marketers do not know who is blogging about them. However, I have a few tips which may help them.

1. Type in the name of your company or product in Blogpulse, Technorati, Google Blog Search or any other blog search engine.
2. Collect a list of bloggers talking about your company or product.
3. Read bloggers post to see what they are saying about you. (This may be more important than knowing who they are since some bloggers like to remain anonymous)!
4. Click on a bloggers profile. Many bloggers provide demographic information (i.e. Who they are, Age, Sex, Location, E-mail etc...). This will give you a really good feel about who they are.
5. Determine how much influence a blogger has over other people. Do they post Consumer Generated Media (CGM) in other places (i.e. Discussion boards, Usenet groups, video content on YouTube)?
6. Find out who is in their 'Sphere of Influence'. Do any other bloggers link to them?

I hope these tips can help out some of my fellow marketers. Feel free to leave comments regarding this post.

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