Women are influential.
That is no surprise, but a recent study published on eMarketer shows that women are using online channels to make recommendations and to influence friends and strangers with purchasing decisions.
The numbers are growing and it’s becoming important for marketers to understand how this trend could offer an opportunity.
Endorsed Blogging as a Strategy
The studies are showing that women are influential. It’s an opportunity for businesses.
Social networks and social reviews have played an important role in this rise in purchase influence. In the last six months, 46% women said they had read reviews about a product on a website. Moreover, 33% had recommended a specific product or service to someone, and 30% had reviewed a product or service on a website.
This trend is huge. There is more so be sure to click the link and read the entire article.
Women are now major influencers on each other. When it comes to making purchasing decisions, people turn to those they trust for recommendations and insight. This is not new. The art of sharing information is simply moving online and it’s all about the merchandise.
When a person is looking to buy something they are turning to experts for insight to make an informed decision.
A few real life examples.
1. Pawn Stars
Many of you have probably seen the show Pawn Stars. These gentlemen get all kinds of crazy stuff in their pawn shop. When they get an item they don’t know about they call in the expert for advice. This is what is happening in the online world. The study shows that’s it’s happening with women, but men do the same thing. People are going online to find expert advice before making purchasing decisions.
2. CouponCabin and Kate Gosselin
I can’t believe I’m using this example, but it’s a great one. Coupon Cabin is using Kate Gosselin as an expert in the area of coupons. People trust Kate because they have watched her various television shows. They feel connected to her and trust her opinion. As a result, Coupon Cabin can tap into Kate’s audience for endorsed blog content.
I think we’ll see more of this endorsed blogging as a way to gain trust with consumers. Reviews are great, as noted in the study above, but reviews can be gamed to some degree. I guess anything can be gamed, but that’s another story.
3. Buying a Truck
On occasion I look to purchase a different truck. Each time I seem to come back to my current truck. I trust it and nothing else has been appealing enough to purchase. Recently, I was considering a different truck. I checked things out as much as I could. I looked online for information. But what I really wanted to do was speak with a guy that I knew had the same truck. I saw him one weekend and asked him for his thoughts. He said he had been having issues and wouldn’t recommend the truck. He didn’t necessarily bash the truck, but said there might be better options. I would say his was a 2 our of 5 star rating.
This kind of content is something you will see more of online. Folks with expertise in certain areas (antiques, coupons, autos, etc.) will becoming trusted for their experience. We trust people we know. We trust people we see as experts.
Endorsed blogs like that on Coupon Cabin seem to be a growing trend and it’s an opportunity businesses can take advantage of.
A Note on Reviews
Reviews are tricky. I use them all the time on websites, but it’s hard to know when a five star review is truly real. Even some four star reviews are just too good to be true.
I use reviews mostly for the negative reviews. I immediately look for the bad reviews and try to determine if the bad experience is bad enough for me not to purchase something.
So reviews are good, but as with anything they can be gamed.
I guess endorsed content can be gamed as well, but only for so long (same as reviews). Eventually people become wise.
Focus on quality endorsed content and your brand could become a trusted source.