Audience, Readership and Influence: What’s the Real Story?

Bigger is better, right?  The blogs with larger audiences have more readers and therefore have more influence, correct?

My answer: yes and no. I am aware my answer is wishy-washy.

Marketers who use social media in building an audience to position their clients as influencers need strategic planning and precise goals to succeed. One suggestion is to collaborate with bloggers who have a large readership. This aids in amplifying your share of voice and enables you to command the conversation.

But does this equal the real tangible influence that will lead to sales and new clients?  Who do these bloggers influence: potential customers or other marketers? These questions are difficult to answer, especially when the tools to measure metrics are inconsistent and without an industry standard.

Currently we can quantify the blogger’s influence through monitoring his blog traffic, social shares, level of engagement, time spent on the site—all equally valuable data. Yet how do we measure how many people are driven to buy your product by reading a blogger’s content?

This is the influence that really matters.  It is influence with a tangible ROI. I can tell you from experience that many bloggers who have a smaller, dedicated readership can be influential by driving consideration.  There are several examples I know of where these bloggers have been contacted by readers (customers) and told they made considerable purchases based on the information contained in the blog posts.  These were not small purchases but big ones … expensive computer hardware such as servers.

So, how do you measure this kind of influence?  Well, that is the tricky part and this is where relationships come into play.  As we have said in our book, Social Media Judo, you will have to make an effort to get to know the bloggers who cover your topic area.  This can pay off in many ways, one of them being feedback like this.

You see, relationships really do matter.

 

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