When I think about digital marketing I automatically think of social media, SEO and email. Blogging is still in the back of mind but I never thought it had the potential to grow into a channel of its own. Bloggers today have the readership, following and trust built off their words and reputations which holds major potential for marketers. Why wouldn’t big corps target bloggers with mass followings to promote, review or even mention their product? It makes perfect sense, right?
Blogs are one of the most trusted sources of information online when it comes down to a purchase decision. People trust blogs because of the established credibility, reputation, and the sense of human disclosure. This means that the viewer expects the writer to be a filter for the corporate noise while providing insight and guidance on what works best.
Once blogs get big enough they are often sponsored and riddled with advertisements and advertorials. When bloggers take corporate handouts it destroys the bond between reader and writer, it may as well call itself the Fox News Blog. Sadly, this happens more often than we think and it’s tarnishing the trustworthiness of blogs and big media.
The journalistic integrity is beginning to dangle by a thread as bloggers are becoming strong competition to larger media outlets. Nowadays everyone’s in a rat race frenzy for traffic, views, shares, and social engagement and this is where the fat fingered corps come in. But, readers don’t just want juicy stories they want writing with truth, relevance and genuine opinion.
While bloggers are growing towards a higher trust level, large media corps are spinning their tires with pop culture and main stream commotion. Blogs remain off the beaten path and serve a highly focused and segmented market. Focusing on a specific segment helps bloggers reach their defined market because they aren’t just spraying content in the hopes something sticks, they know what audience wants.
While the big News Sites are still the leading channel for trustworthiness, it’s an understanding that more and more people are beginning to pay attention to smaller media outlets. More people understand that big media sites are often inflated and censored and they are finding what they need with blogs. Also, blogs are the next best thing for influencing a purchase other than company and retail sites.
I can only predict that by the end of the year blogs will have moved up the trustworthiness ranking and News Sites will fall. What do you think?