Why Do We Follow Bloggers?
Over the last couple of years forms of advertising, such as TV ads, company websites and promotional emails, have all seen a decline in trust among consumers.
If we aren’t swayed by the traditional forms of advertising, who then do we trust? According to 83% in a poll of around 30.000 consumers from 60 countries (Nielson 2015-Global trust advertising poll) we completely trust the recommendations of friends and family.
That’s why marketing schemes would exploit this by using traditional family roles. This has however, been rendered redundant by the demise not only of the extended family, but also the nuclear family together with the rise of blended families. The facility of internet access coupled with the globalisation of consumerism has suppressed the influence of friends and family whose opinions on specific products and brands aren’t always immediately available.
Yet as consumers, we still trust people more than overt advertising and branded content and so look to other consumers for guidance. In particular, when it comes to fashion products and brands, those we consider mavens, consumers who are like ourselves but innovators, experts who aren’t biased. In one word… bloggers!
Who better to trust than bloggers you’ve been following and admiring for years? There are over 310 million bloggers worldwide, 52% of which, write about products and their opinions on brands; grabbing the attention of 1.4 billion, active internet users who consult blogs for products and to keep up to date with trends and ideas.
A digital influencer’s stamp of approval is the epitome of a successful product in a world where photos are photo-shopped, reviews fabricated, commercials exaggerated, and ads edited, corrected, revised and modified. Bloggers with a huge following add credibility to a product. Digital creatives are now more influential than ever. Internet users, followers and devotees feel as though they know bloggers personally. Bloggers have built a relationship with their followers and gained popularity over the course of many years, now forming some of the most trusted sources.
Bloggers who maintain and expand their audience, are the ones who are honest about the products they are promoting. Bloggers interests are aligned with those of their followers; they promote the products they themselves have tried and tested.
Bloggers typically focus on one domain, whether it be fashion, food, fitness, beauty, lifestyle the list is endless. Some may have studied what they blog about whilst others consider it a hobby. Whatever the blogger’s background, they are considered by their followers who eventually turn into consumers, as experts in their domain. Irrespective of the time spent researching and whether they have special knowledge or not; bloggers’ opinions count with their followers. We tend to follow the advice of experts, in fact we stop thinking after being given expert advice, even if that advice isn’t great. Although if you are a blogger you should probably give good advice; that unfollow button is very easy to find!
Bloggers and digital influencers are modern day celebrities. We are in awe of the lives they are or at least appear to be living through their daily outings, their purchases and even their views on current events. So whilst they don’t seem to be “selling” products; we’re encouraged to buy into their lifestyles.
We are curious beings, part of our curiosity is learning what makes bloggers and digital influencers great, in search of our own greatness, fame and fortune. We want to be like them, we copy what they buy, the products they use, and wear the clothes they wear. Trying to capture that lavish lifestyle bloggers portray.
I’m head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.