Technorati is one of the largest sites that monitor blogs and their influence. Last week they released their Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report which paints interesting numbers showing how brands spend their money online, and how people react to this branding effort. There are two trends which seem to indicate we may just see a shift in the coming months which should be of interest to any online marketer.
First, take a look at how brands are currently spending their money. This is a graph showing which percentage of their online budget goes to each sector.
As you may notice, blogs only get 6% of a 10% social media slice, which is tiny. Facebook in comparison gets 57% of that slice. This shows that most companies do not place a large importance on blogging, perhaps spending money only on their own blog and a few influential personalities. However they are acutely aware of Facebook and other social networks.
Yet, look at this next graph which shows the result of surveys made with users to find out what they trust most when it’s time to make a purchase.
Here we can see that blogs are very influential with 31.1%, even above Facebook which has 30.8%. This shows a clear disconnect between where the money is going, and what is actually most influential for users. With the extreme emphasis placed by the media on social networks, companies have been pouring cash into a pile that is dubious at best when it comes to ROI.
I think in 2013 and beyond we will see social media spending go up, but we will also see a big shift from Facebook and Twitter back towards blogs as influencers. According to the Technorati report, the lack of uniform metrics to measure this influence is part of the problem and why so little money ends up going to blogs, while Facebook has clear numbers with the amount of likes and shares. This also shows there is a clear need for better metrics that can be tracked across the blogosphere.