I was bummed that I couldn't attend the Digital Parents Conference 2012 in Melbourne on Friday but I did manage to keep an eye on the #DPCON12 hashtag on Twitter as well as checked in on the many blog posts that were written during (and post) the event. It looked like it was a ripper of a day!
The conference, organised by Brenda Gaddi, was sold out; according to the attendee list, nearly 200 people - bloggers (mostly 'mummy bloggers' by the looks of things), PR people and brand reps - had registered.
(NOTE: How many conferences have you attended where the organisers don't provide a public list of participants? It's either a case of 'couldn't be bothered', 'didn't think of it', or refusal to do so on the grounds of 'privacy' or the list is 'our intellectual property'. Hmmm, really? This sharing of attendee names is evidence of what makes the blogging fraternity the tight-knit community that it is - openness and connection is everything).
Love in the room
As is often the case at such events, there was (or appeared to me from the heavily populated tweet stream) a lot of love, positivity and support for one another in the #DPCON12 room. Bloggers are like that, which is something brands need to recognise and understand intimately if they want to play in this space.
“Hello #BlogToBusiness panelists. @stylingyou @braqueen@crashtest_mummy @realityraver #dpcon12” PIC: Brenda Gaddi
The fact (mummy) bloggers tend to be super-connected with each other as well as more broadly with their own communities of super-engaged fans makes them a key target for brands, and we're starting to see a lot of action on this front.
The blogger movement in Australia emerged in a big way last year and continues to grow and become more influential as 2012 unfolds. This trend isn't going to change any time soon.
While the mummy blogger category will dovetail out of this growth of the movement overall, I think what you'll see is a break-out of individuals who not only blog but will create content across multiple platforms while at the same time building their personal brands into valuable, influential assets that companies will want to at some stage tap into.
Understanding the nuances of the blogging fraternity in general, and mummy bloggers in particular, is critical for brands wanting to explore new ways to reach young mums, or consumers of other category niches e.g. technology, media, food and beverage etc.
The smart brands will get involved at a deeper level. We've seen this in the US where Ford has very strong ties with the blogging industry, including being a major sponsor of last year's BlogWorld Expo in LA. Closer to home, KleenexMums was a sponsor of #DPCON12.
Sponsorship is one thing, however, but it's another for a company to embrace the blogger movement unconditionally, and this is what's needed if a brand is to succeed in developing partnerships with blogging individuals. Anything else is lip service.
Reality and Personality
Committed bloggers - whether they're 'Mummies' or not - bring a sense of passion and feeling, a heightened degree of openness and transparency, a dash of reality and personality in equal measures. They're connectors, sharers, storytellers ... people.
If you don't believe me, check out Edenland.
Tap into that passion and from a brand perspective - with empathy and respect - and you'll do well in the blogosphere.
Following are a number of blog posts from Digital Parents Conference; as you can see, there is a lot of interest in how bloggers can monetize their blogs. Take this as a signpost of things to come!
- #DPCON12: Blog to Business - Louisa Claire
- #DPCON12: Blog to Book - Louisa Claire
- #DPCON12: Blog to Business - Kellie O'Brien (incl. CoveritLive transcript)
- #DPCON12: Working with Brands - Kellie O'Brien (incl. CoveritLive transcript)
- #DPCON12: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Business - Nikki Parkinson
- What I Learned at DPcon - @katesaysstuff
- On #DPCON12 and Directions, both Personal and Professional - Karen Andrews