Blogs Still Rank Higher Than Twitter For Shaping Consumers’ Opinions

Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report, culled from responses from more than 6,000 influencers, 1,200 consumers, and 150 top brand marketers, contains many fascinating nuggets of modern-day marketing insight.

The most important is this: where brands are currently spending in the digital space is not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced.

First of all, here’s the digital presence of the brands surveyed in the Technorati report:

Budget-wise, brands are spending only 10% on social, more than half of which goes to Facebook (57%). YouTube and Twitter each get 13% of the brand digital budget, while about 6% is spent on influencers and 5% advertising on blogs.

So it makes sense that these brands defined campaign successes in terms of the following metrics:

The great majority of brands’ online budgets are going towards gunning for those Facebook likes – and, to be fair, businesses’ hands are tied in that space, thanks to Facebook’s increased advertising pressure based on wonky algorithms.

But here’s the thing. The report also found that the resource consumers relied on most for shaping their opinions and making purchasing decisions was blogs.

Consumers consider blogs to be trusted sources of information – more so than any social networking site, including Facebook.

So, basically, brands are leaning on Facebook more than ever to deliver marketing wins – but consumers, despite doing loads of sharing on Facebook, are heading to blogs for influence and guidance from their “trusted digital friends.”

Look how low “Make purchases” sits on this graph of reasons consumers follow brands on various social channels:

According to brand marketers, social spend in 2013 will increase (or has already increased, depending on company’s fiscal years) substantially. But spending on social still only makes up about one tenth of brands’ total digital budget. In addition, there is a disconnect between brand marketers and influencers that’s not helping either side out.

What are your thoughts on digital marketers’ challenge in engaging with influencers? Does the limelight need to shift a little away from Facebook? Some say blogs are phasing out – but is that not the case?

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