Blog Influence on Consumer Information Search : From a Consumer’s Perspective
Title: Blog Influence on Consumer Information Search
Authors: Emma Hammer, Charlotta Hellström & Emma Martin
Tutor: Jonas Dahlqvist
Key Words: Blog marketing, information search, blog characteristics, blog influence, consumer behavior, online information, online communication
Information search is crucial to consumers because it can potentially lead to better decision-making, therefor it is argued to be the most important aspect during the consumer decision process (Beatty & Smith, 1987; Schmidt & Spreng, 1996). The Internet has greatly impacted the way consumers search for information (Peterson & Merino, 2003). The easy access of online information has made consumers to turn to blogs as an information source, to find inspiration and to be entertained. Moreover, the opportunity to interact with bloggers increases trust and thus consumers feel a stronger connection to the information being shared (Piscopo, 2015).
This thesis intends to analyze and describe what influences consumers to use blogs as an information source and why consumers continuously use blogs over traditional media. To be able to fully understand the use of blogs, the most influential characteristics of blogs affecting consumer behavior are investigated. This thesis discusses similarities and differences with existing literature concerning blogs and consumer behavior and intends to narrow the knowledge gap on the topic.
To fulfill the purpose of this thesis, existing literature was carefully studied to gain knowledge of the topic and qualitative primary data was collected through personal interviews to gain insights from consumers’ perspectives among experienced blog readers. The interview questions were developed based on the theory and previous literature addressed in this study.
The findings of our study indicated that all of the respondents were influenced to read blogs both internally and externally. Our study showed that consumers prefer using blogs as an information source over traditional media because it is easily accessible, free and more convenient. Finally, the continuous use of blogs was realized as a result of these blog characteristics explained by the respondents: familiarity, frequency, convenience, inspirational, humor and professionalism.
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