Ever wondered who are these people in the blogosphere and why should they matter to your business? Social media as a business tool continues to mature and one of the hot topics of 2010 has been identifying influencials relevant to your audience and creating relationships with them. No doubt, bloggers are among the influencials that can help your business grow. But blogger relationships aren’t like traditional marketing or advertising relationships and the latest research shows that.

Technorati’s (the blogosphere’s directory) research reveals some interesting stats very germaine to social media marketing professionals.

-Professional Bloggers are a growing group and they include corporate and independent bloggers.

-Professionals blog 10+ hours a week

-11% of Professionals say blogging is their primary income.

-33% of professional bloggers came from the mainstream media.

-24% are still employed by professional media, but blog independently.

Why should I care? This suggests that not only do professional bloggers “get” the ethics and importance associated with publishing quality material, but they also understand the nuances of making a publishing enterprise financially feasable: advertising. Meaning, they either accept advertising or they are PR friendly. Good for small businesses looking for marketing, pr or advertising opportunities, especially in niche markets.

Bloggers use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to their sites.

Why should I care: If your still doubting the viability of these two powerhouses to drive traffic for you, doubt no more. People are making a living off the traffic that they are receiving from these sites. The key is that bloggers who use these methods have engaged audiences, which they both attracted and keep engaged with social media. This also means that when they write something, the reach isn’t limited to the traffic on their blog, but can exponentially shared.

Bloggers spend an average of 27.3 hours per week consuming or sharing information on their tablets or smart phones.

Why should I care?: Still don’t have a site that can be accessed easily from a mobile device or tablet? Time to get with the program, influencials are accessing your site (or trying to). Turn these folks off and they aren’t likely to return or become a brand/product advocate. Especially since: 71% of bloggers only write about brands or products that they personally approve.

Almost 1/2 non-corporate professional bloggers write about brands. Almost 1/4 of them write about brands monthly.

Why should I care? I bet you understand why. Plus, bloggers, especially frequent bloggers are always looking for content. By providing them with information that is useful to their readers, you help them create content and they can help you.

1/2 of professional bloggers have been approached by a company to write about their brand or product.

Why should I care? Because the follow-up to that stat is that most bloggers feel they aren’t treated as professionally as traditional media outlets are. If you’re looking to create a blogger program, start with the relationship, respect their business and professionalism and your likely to get further.

If your wondering who really reads blogs and whether a blogger program (advertising or PR) is worth it for you, consider how consumers view blogs:

46% of consumers trust traditional media LESS than they did 5 years ago.

meanwhile…back at the ranch..

34% say that blogs are taken more seriously as sources of information.

Why should I care?: Because more people are reading. But here’s the rub: the reason people’s trust in blogs is increasing is likely because of a perceived sense of independence. Bloggers know this (see above stat about brands/products they blog about), so very few of them can be “bought” the way ad space is purchased. You’ll need to get the buy-in from the blogger before you can ask them to represent or write about your product. Simply sending them a sample probably isn’t going to cut it.

Consumers view blogs as second only as family and friends as a trusted source of info about a product or brand.

Why should I care? This kind of trust is simply the wave of the future with marketing. This is what social media marketing is all about – voices of regular people being empowered by other regular people.

Resources: To download and view the Technorati slideshow yourself click here.

7DAH2H3HCV57