People are churning out more content than ever, and blogging remains an important avenue for consumer expression, according to an NM Incite report.
Consumer-generated blogs have continued a strong upward trend since the company began tracking them in 2006, according to the U.S. Digital Consumer Report State of The Media: Q3-Q4 2011.
While Facebook continues to be the social media juggernaut, don't count blogging out. Combined, the three major blogging platforms -- Blogger, Wordpress and Tumbler, in that order -- account for 80.5 million unique pairs of eyeballs in October 2011, NM Incite said today. (Facebook had 139.1 million unique that month.)
The sheer growth in the volume of blogs is impressive. By the end of 2011, the Nielsen/McKinsey company had tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million in 2006.
NM Incite didn't separate blog readers from writers; its numbers include all unique visitors to Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr. In May 2011, eMarketer forecast that the number of blog readers in the United States that year would reach 122.6 million, representing 53.5 percent of internet users.
It's difficult to compare eMarketer's audience of 122.6 million U.S. readers to Nielsen's 181 million global blogs, but one can reasonably ask whether there are almost as many writers as readers.
Jason Mudd, president of Axia Public Relations, thinks blogs are too difficult to keep up with. "People can swallow small bites of information from Twitter and Facebook much easier without having to read several paragraphs," says Mudd, whose clients include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Verizon and Synovus.
Mudd does follow some bloggers, but he does it through Twitter or Facebook, scanning the headlines they post and only occasionally clicking through to the actual blog.
Even if individual blogs don't have a big audience, combined they add reach to marketing campaigns. And women bloggers represent a desirable audience for advertisers, especially CPG companies. Seventy percent of them have college educations, for example, with the majority gaining a degree. Approximately one in three are mothers, while 52 percent of bloggers are parents with kids under 18 years old in the household.
Take a look at emerging social media platform Pinterest, which had 4.5 million unique U.S. visitors during October 2011, 37 times its size at the beginning of the year. Using data from Google Ad Planner and Ignite Social Media, 60-second Marketer found users almost equally spread among three age groups: 25 to 34, 45 to 54 and 55 to 64, with 80 percent of them female. NM Incite found that 92 percent of Pinterest's audience also visited mass-merchandiser sites in October.
Women are more likely to trust ads on social media than men, 36 percent versus 26 percent, according to the report.