One of the things I went to BlogHer to learn was how use your blog to support your business, and good techniques for generating appropriate traffic to your blog. One way is to make your titles interesting. (See above, and yes, those kind of fantasies.) Now before you go wash your eyes out with soap, relax. Everything in this post will be quotable in polite company.
Blogging may be a new way to communicate, but old-fashioned marketing principles are still the way to connect to your readers. It comes down to branding, and relationships. Establish and communicate your brand consistently and treat your readers/customers with respect. With this in mind, I started observing my fellow conference attendees.
There were oodles of mommy bloggers, musing about life in suburbia and the challenges of motherhood. The kids are cute, the stories are funny, and they are nice people. But I've been there, done that, actually still doing that. As a friend of mine said, the mommy-blogger attitude can leave us veteran moms a little cold. Even though we weren't on the Internet doesn't mean we didn't have valid mom experiences. (So many negatives in that sentence, even I'm not sure what I actually said.) More importantly, from my business perspective, the mommy-blogger brand isn't defined enough for me.
Corporate bloggers also were on the scene. These are part of a large public relations department, with a defined commercial message. Their blogs have a steady stream of press releases and new product announcements. Their content lacks warmth. so the corporate bloggers try to integrate with small bloggers to give their social network some local color. Sounding like Goldilocks, I would say these blogs are branding too hard.
Then there was Eden Fantasys. They have a clearly defined market, and corporate identity. The nature of their products demands discretion, and sensitivity to socially-charged attitudes. In addition, to be able to discuss the benefits and usage, the representatives had to establish a rapport with potential customers. To reach their target audience, Eden Fantasys sponsored a session ( Bringing Sex Out of the Closet ), had a discrete invitation-only party for more details on their products, and networked with conference attendees at the parties at lunches.
Their representatives (shout-out to Jenn and Victoria) talked about their proposal submitted to their management on BlogHer benefits, and their business strategy. We commiserated on the challenges of keeping all our electrical devices charged and operational, particularly in hotel rooms with few outlets other than behind furniture or under the bed.
Aha, as Goldilocks would say, branding just right.