BlogHer 2013: Engagement is Key to Standing Out
The 3rd Coast team had the pleasure of attending BlogHer 2013 at McCormick Place in Chicago over the weekend and as new product launch PR experts, we were excited to see which brands were able to make an impact at this high profile conference.
In it’s ninth year now, the Expo Hall at BlogHer has become known to some in the PR industry as a place to offer bloggers free swag in exchange for product reviews. However, bloggers have justifiably pushed back on this approach, demanding a more transparent and mutually beneficial experience, giving brands a push to be smarter about their blogger engagement efforts. Whether it was a goal of increasing social media followers or raising awareness for a new product launch, here are some take-aways from this year’s BlogHer Expo efforts:
Less Celebrity, More Strategy. A few years back, celebrity appearances were the
big trend at BlogHer, yet they often overshadowed the brand they were representing and didn’t help build brand equity or long term engagement. This year, the brands that were successful in drawing attention and traffic to their booth were more economical and strategic by bringing in branded “personalities” that helped organically communicate a key brand message. We especially loved the fashionable young men at the LazyBoy booth, who were modeling the latest chair designs on their custom made suits!
Engaging the Audience. It should be recognized that BlogHer is not just a grass-roots sampling event. This is an opportunity to engage with bloggers by offering them an interactive experience that showcases your brand’s point of difference. Soda Stream did an excellent job at this, surveying bloggers on iPads to determine if they would be a good fit for their brand ambassador program. While tasting samples of the many flavors now available, bloggers were able to test out the product first-hand and offer user insights. Not only are they creating relationships within this community, they are collecting live feedback from their target audience.
Staff Your Booth With Knowledgeable, Fun, Friendly People. Those staffing your booth at the Expo hall shouldn’t just be junior PR staffers there to hold down the fort and collect business cards. When engaging with these key online influencers, make
sure to put your best face forward with an educated and energetic team (ideally wearing branded gear to be easily identifiable), who can speak about your brand and excite others as well. Sadly, we saw far too many booths miss on this simple yet key
Tell us, what brand stood out to you most at BlogHer 2013?