I came across a fascinating study published recently which explored the degree to which European Internet users were influenced by blogs.

The full report is here:  http://www.loiclemeur.com/IPSOSeuroblogs2006english.pdf

Here are some of the hi-lights that I found particularly interesting (particularly as it relates to small business blogs ):
  1. 6 in 10 European Internet users have heard of blogging

Nothing against the U.S. , but my guess is the degree of awareness about blogs in the U.S. is probably lower than Europe.  But, I’d also guess that the trend-line is positive.
  1. 25% of Europeans “trust” blogs when thinking about buying goods and services

This is a significant data-point.  Looking at my own behavior, I don’t find this that surprising.  More and more people are using blogs as a way to find “objective” information about products and services.  Now, the real question is that how many people would “trust” a blog written by the company offering the product/service.  I’m guessing the number would be a lot lower.  But, that’s not sufficient cause to dismiss business blogging (or starting a blog for your own small business).  My argument would be that the likelihood of getting others to blog about your product/service is much higher if you have a blog yourself.  By taking a position and sharing your ideas on why your offering is different and better on your own business blog, you are inviting bloggers to either contradict your thinking – or agreeing with it.  Either way, I think it increases trust.
  1. Those that spend more trust blogs more

Fascinating.  This means that the kinds of people that blogs are most likely to influence are precisely the kinds of people you want to influence.  
  1. About 50% of users are more likely to buy if they read a positive comment from other customers

This is the one that really got me.  Once again, though the number is big, it doesn’t surprise me that much.  Credible customer reviews are one of the most powerful influencers in many industry segments.  

Of course, the numbers could conceivably be very different for the
U.S. market.  But, I think the general “themes” are still valid.  If you know of a similar study that’s based on the U.S. market, please share a link in the comments.

internet marketing kit  

Originally published Nov 23, 2006 2:02:00 PM, updated October 20 2016


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