BlogHer, Inc. Releases Sixth Women and Social Media Study, Revealing Key Takeaways for Marketers and Influencers on How to Develop and Sustain Female Audiences Online

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Study released in partnership with Ketchum explores what builds reader trust -- and also why women abandon online content, platforms, and tools

Today BlogHer, Inc. the premium cross-platform media network and publisher for women, and Ketchum, one of the world leaders in communications and public relations, released Part One of the 2014 BlogHer Women and Social Media Study, focused on understanding consumer behaviors in order to help marketers and influencers alike strategize around audience development, customer satisfaction, and purchasing decisions.

The study reveals three key takeaways:

  • Find the content “sweet spot” to maintain your audience. What most influences women online to continue using an app or service is utility and interest. Be useful and entertaining! Otherwise? If she sees no purpose, she’ll see no point in returning.
  • Be bloggy to reach younger women – and be social to reach your target audience. A whopping 74 percent of women 25-34 read blogs (versus 49 percent of all women). Women use different social platforms for different reasons, so know your audience’s purpose, in order to know where and how to reach them.
  • To know you is to trust you: The grand majority of the BlogHer audience trust product advice from bloggers they “know”. When it comes to problem-solving and research on purchase decisions, these women turn to blogs more often than to any other single social media destination (80 percent).

Detail: Key Takeaway for Influencers – Utility + Unique Voice = Influence

A significant 31 percent of all online women abandoned at least one social app or service in the past year, with the majority saying it was because the tool didn’t serve a necessary function in their lives. This perspective on the utility of social platforms has a ripple effect for marketers and influencers alike.

While 80 percent of bloggers in the BlogHer community cite “self-expression” as the primary reason they blog, their blog readers are much more likely to report following blogs that deliver specific, useful information. However, the personal connection that blogs offer is still crucial to conversion: blog readers also report that they trust the opinions shared much more when they feel like they “know the blogger,” with 60 percent reporting that their trust is contingent upon that relationship.

Other key insights about the power of Utility + Unique Voice include:

  • The reasons for blog abandonment: About half of those who reported that they stopped reading a blog did so because posts became boring (50 percent) and a quarter because the blogger became less consistent (27 percent).
  • Women most often cite recipes (74 percent), health tips (60 percent), home, garden and DIY tips (53 percent), style tips (52 percent) and entertainment reviews and advice (49 percent) as topics they want to read about on blogs.

Detail: Key Takeaway for Marketers – Bloggers Build the Relationships That Deliver Trust

When it comes to problem-solving and research for purchase decisions, women who read blogs RELY ON blogs more than any other social media destination, including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Nearly half of all online adult women read blogs regularly (49 percent), as do 74 percent of women age 25-34. More than half of the general population still regularly read a set of favorite blogs (53 percent), while the BlogHer audience tends to read blogs following the links shared on social platforms by their friends (84 percent).
  • Eighty percent of the BlogHer audience reports regularly visiting blogs before a purchase, and 60 percent of the BlogHer audience explicitly trusts sponsored content when it comes from bloggers they know, with the same number distrusting sponsored content from bloggers they don’t know.
  • Overall, the overwhelming majority of women surveyed, whether the BlogHer audience (92 percent) or general population of women online (78 percent), has no problem with sponsored content on blogs they trust.

What to expect from Part Two of the Study, sponsored by Ketchum, to be released at October Marketing to Moms Conference

Part Two of the Study, focused on the powerful and emerging trend of women, and especially moms, as primary breadwinners and the implications of their financial contributions to the household income will be released at the Marketing to Moms conference later this month. A few notable findings in the research include how time starved women feel and the value they place on being in good health.

“As more moms bring home more of the household income, the ripple effects are significant -- purpose sags, time is starved and health is sacrificed as work and household dominance rises,” noted Kelley Skoloda, Partner at Ketchum and author. She added, "The Breadwinner PheMOMenon: What Rises and Falls as Moms Bring Home More Dough" is a global study that has individual relevance for every working woman and mom, as well as for every marketer. Working women and moms are not just influencers or "purse-string holders," they are the decision-makers and the official head of the household for four in 10 families already."

For more results from Part One of the 2014 BlogHer Women and Social Media Study, see the full infographic at the following link: https://www.blogher.com/blogher-2014-annual-study

About the Study:

The 2014 BlogHer Women and Social Media Matters Study compares two user samples:

  • A general U.S. population sample was fielded from a Qualtrics panel of female respondents, aged 18-75. The results were distributed across respondents by age to be representative of the distribution of U.S. women online. There were 1,050 respondents.
  • A BlogHer Visionaries Panel sample fielded to 5,336 members of the panel. There were 627 respondents.
  • All portions of the study were conducted in June 2014. The data is comparative. Responses from the two samples were not combined.

About BlogHer:
BlogHer (http://www.blogher.com) is the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women in social media. BlogHer delivers quality advocacy at scale for brands seeking to engage in authentic and persuasive dialogue with moderated communities led by more than 3,000 quality bloggers and 17,000+ engaging, original voices in social media, reaching an audience of 100 million across premium blogs, Pinterest™, Facebook®, and Twitter™. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins, and Lisa Stone, BlogHer publishes and syndicates news, information, advice, recommendations and research on women in social media across interest areas as well as on BlogHer.com. The company also hosts the world’s largest conferences for women in social media.

About Ketchum
Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. The winner of 14 Cannes Lions and an unprecedented four PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of the DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., visit http://www.ketchum.com.

Media Contact:
Julie Zappelli
Inner Circle Labs for BlogHer    
BlogHer@innercirclelabs.com
415.684.9564

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