The use of social media and in particular blogs has increased rapidly the last years. Blogs are utilized by marketers but the field is lacking knowledge about bloggers ability to create value, and thus become beneficial communication channels to take advantage of. It is further required more research on how social media influencers, especially bloggers, are perceived by consumers. Perceptions are impacting bloggers’ influence, defines their brands, and consequently the credibility of their information and communication. It is researched how individuals have created a brand through blogging that is positively recognized and valued in the market. Additionally, the study is investigating how personal brands influence consumers. For marketers there is a need to achieve a clearer understanding of the effect of exploiting bloggers as a marketing tool to reach and influence consumers. It is utilized Web 2.0, blogging, communication, and personal branding theories to build a foundation to analyze and answer the research question. A mixed approach of quantitative and qualitative methods has made it possible to identify factors and reasons to how a personal brand is created by a strong blog brand. The data also made it possible to detect how bloggers are influencing consumers. The study shows that people create valuable personal brands through blogging by displaying authenticity, knowledge, new and inspiring information, and creating close relationships with readers. Bloggers are found to be credible communicators and hence perceived as valuable search options for information. This study demonstrated that bloggers are found to influence consumers’ choices, opinions, and actions. Commercial content communicated by bloggers is viewed as more credible than traditional marketing. Findings indicated that blogging provides value to an individual’s personal brand in terms of self-expressing knowledge and passions that means that people can attract new businesses- or career opportunities. The position bloggers have in reaching and building close relationships with readers, demonstrates that markers should exploit bloggers’ communication channel and influence power to interact with relevant target consumers.
|Educations||MSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||172|