1. Blog Before You Buy

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    Blogs are transforming the way people shop online. People are looking to style or gear bloggers to provide useful, personal reviews of products before they go out and spend their hard earned cash.

    The concept of blogging isn’t new anymore, just about everyone has a blog. However, many blogs are springing up offering personalized guides to gadgets, gear clothing, and lifestyle. These blogs usually have a cult following and are focused at one particular social group.

    A recent NY Times article points out that more and more consumers are turning to blogs to find the details that will sway them in their final purchasing decision.

    “This is what people are trusting more and more,” said Valerie Combs, vice president for communications at BuzzLogic, a company that analyzes social media and operates an Internet advertising network and that commissioned the study from Jupiter Research. “What we’re seeing online, increasingly, is that people are relying on peer opinion.”

    Blogs Find Favor as Buying Guides by Jeff Vandam

    It’s a Business!

    The blogging industry has taken off in the last few years, with some estimates saying that approximately 1.7 million people are now profiting from blogging. However, the blog market is extremely competitive and only about 2% of these people are truly living successfully from their blogging careers.

    Companies like Uncrate.com have used blogging and social media to create an online “Buyer’s Guide For Men” that highlights different high quality gadgets, tech, clothing and lifestyle items for men. They produce revenue through sponsored blog ads and targeted CPM advertising that gets quite a few ad views each month.

    Businesses Are Catching On

    Recently, Ford decided to take the ultimate test for social media by leaving the success of their — new to America — Ford Fiesta to the hands of 100 “agents”. These agents where given their own Ford Fiesta, and told to blog, make videos, and share their experiences in the car online.

    Ford claims that these people will not be harnessed from giving their true opinion of the car and the blog posts and video diaries will be completely unfiltered by the company. The company has made a great effort to include Twitter buzz and photography of it’s agents and their cars as a way of capturing people’s attention.

    The communities will soon filter out the marketing hype that is undoubtably being pushed and decide whether the cars are as good as they look.

    No matter what, you have to admire Ford for attempting this adaptive and fresh approach to marketing their latest car.

    What companies do you think should try this type of advertising? Do you use blogs to review a product before purchasing it?

    Let me know your thoughts!