Is Tumblr Advertising an Opportunity for your Brand?
Tumblr is allowing UK brands to advertise on its platform for the first time.For those of you unfamiliar with it, Tumblr is microblogging platform similar to Twitter. However, unlike its primarily text-based cousin, Tumblr allows its members to publish a wide variety of content from pictures and videos to text and quotations. Because of it's creative flexibility and it's highly visual nature, Tumblr has attracted a primarily young and creative audience who use it as a platform for self-expression. It's also a highly social environment where users gather together around communities of interest - be it fashion or art, cars or technology - and follow users with similar interests, liking and reblogging their content. Fashion brands in particular have been attracted to the platform because of its audience and the opportunity it gives them to showcase their products. Tumblr now numbers 54 million users worldwide - 5-6 million in the UK - who are responsible for generating 60 million posts per day.The launch of advertising in the UK follows its introduction in the US back in May and if the UK advertising roll out emulates the one in the US, advertisers will have 2 primary sponsorship opportunities - Tumblr Spotlight and Tumblr Radar.Tumblr Radar is featured on the right-hand side of a members' dashboards and is used to showcase interesting posts being created by other Tumblr users. It receives over 120m daily impressions. Sponsors will get a dedicated share of this feature and an opportunity to gain 1000s of new followers, likes and reblogs.Tumblr Spotlight is a section of the site curated by Tumblr's team of editors and is the place members go to find new people and brands to follow. Featured accounts can gain 10s of millions of new followers. Sponsors will be featured in a large display above 'organically' spotlighted members.However, the likelihood is there will be more options than these at the disposal of advertisers. Tumblr has partnered with a number of UK creative agencies, including We are Social, Poke and AKQA, to help them to devise new and creative ways for clients to use the platform. It will be interesting to see what they come up with - a flexible creative and flexible blogging platform should lend itself to creative and flexible advertising.So how excited should brands be getting about the opportunities?Much like Facebook and Twitter advertising, the purpose of Tumblr's advertising products is to amplify the impact of their existing activity by gaining new followers and promoting more sharing amongst Tumblr's 54 million users. Hence, brands who are already using Tumblr and finding it a worthwhile marketing vehicle will find these opportunities a great way to fastrack their growth on the platform and spread their message more widely to the Tumblr user base.The opportunities may also pique the interest of brands who haven't yet set up a tumbelog. It's worth noting that Tumblr is a more popular site in the US than Pinterest (according to Quantcast figures) - a social network that has attracted considerably more interest from brands. It's also an excellent way to target the young, half of Tumblr's users are under 25, and creative-minded - a key demographic for many fashion brands and different to the core audience of networks like Twitter and Pinterest. With these sponsorship opportunities, any new tumblelog can be grown in a fraction of the time it would take to grow it organically. as was the case with a blog Adidas created specifically for Euro 2012 and advertised on Tumblr in the US.However, there are 2 notes of caution we'd sound.In the US, Tumblr imposed a minimum spend of $25,000 on advertising. The aim was to exclude smaller brands whose ad offerings could impact the visual integrity of the site. Clearly, it's an advantage for premium brands in particular not to be rubbing shoulders with brands which don't share such an acute appreciation of the aesthetic, but if the same minimum spend is imposed in the UK it makes if a fairly expensive trial for all bar those with the deepest pockets.Secondly, Tumblr users have enjoyed an ad free environment hitherto. Not only that, they would have expected an ad free environment for some time to come, given the publicly stated aversion to ads of Tumblr founder Dave Karp. The company's sudden, commercially driven, conversion to the benefits of advertising may not be shared by its users.That being said, both sponsorship opportunities represent a relatively gentle toe in the water from Tumblr's owners - similar offerings from Twitter such as promoted posts and promoted accounts have not led to mass user defections. So if Tumblr's a key plank of your business's social media strategy and you're already gaining some organic traction from your efforts, then Tumblr advertising could well be worth a spin.If Tumblr advertising sounds of interest, please don't hesitate to get in contact - we'd be delighted to help.