I’ll admit I was taken somewhat aback by this story, which laid out some very sensible reasons why those engaging in influencer marketing should remember to include blog publishers in those efforts.
Umm…”remember”? I’m old enough to remember when bloggers were not just the primary but pretty much the only category of self-publishers you could target with any sort of influencer marketing effort. Of course this was back in the day when we were making all this up as we went along, with just our conscience and good judgement, our desire to not pollute the watering hole, to guide us. We didn’t have the luxury of FTC and other guidelines to follow (or not, as is apparently often the case these days), we just had to do what we felt was best.
While blogging has faded in recent years as social networks have begun to dominate our time and attention, the stats around it continue to be impressive enough to warrant serious attention. WordPress dominates the field, powering almost 30% of the entire internet, from personal blogs to the sites of major media outlets. Over 80 million posts were created on WordPress sites in August, 2017.
For its part, Tumblr shows it now hosts almost 368 million blogs. Squarespace and other platforms also boast of impressive usage numbers.
So there’s a massive audience out there of people who would be more than happy to not only be part of your marketing efforts but also comply with whatever disclosure requirements you put in place for the program. For the most part, these are people who are attracted to the additional features and functionality blog platforms offer and who understand the advantages of a slower, more methodical approach to publishing online. They’re also likely active on social channels but prefer to have the owned home base provided by a blog.
This story – and these stats – should also serve as a reminder for marketing professionals to keep monitoring blogs for important insights into their products, brand reputation and more. It can’t all be focused on social signals, it has to include blogs as well simply because they’re still a big part of online publishing, even if they’re not covered in the press to the extent they used to be.
Yes, blogs are important. Social networks may want to kill them and take over more control of the previously-decentralized web publishing power structure, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Plan accordingly.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.