Until Pinterest became the belle of the digital ball, Tumblr was the one everyone courted. Tumblr still holds plenty of interest to brands, even if it isn’t totally clear to them just what to do.
To start with, Tumblr doesn’t yet have an ad model. It has the germ of one with its program that allows publishers on its platform to promote specific posts for a $1 fee. It’s easy to see this morphing into a so-called “native monetization” format that fits Tumblr.
For now, as an open platform, Tumblr leaves brands with what amounts to a blank canvas. That’s liberating but also confusing — and the varied approaches brands like Coca-Cola, IBM and Nike are taking highlights that.
Coca-Cola, for example, has its “Happiness is…” branded Tumblr blog where it shares images related to the soft drink’s brand attributes. But it only posts once or so a day, losing the ability for the content — and brand image — to spread. Brands miss out on Tumblr when they only post brand-specific content, as users are quick to ignore direct messages.
“When you go to Tumblr, you’re not buying as a media property, you’re buying as an audience, said Chad Stoller, managing partner of IPG Media Lab. “It’s an audience you want to tap into.”
IBM, on the other hand, uses Tumblr as a curation vehicle. It set up A Smarter Planet to highlight content areas it’s expert in and to share with its audience. The blog updates many times a day, giving its readers links to articles, but more importantly it pushes IBM beyond a monolithic message. Herman says the company “nails it,” but also said that it has the ability to be successful on Tumblr because it devotes staff and resources. “Let’s say IBM is paying six employees $40,000 a year to run the account,” he said. “That’s a quarter of a million dollars right there; not everyone can do that.”
Then there’s Nike, which is looking to cash in. Literally. The sneaker company set up at Tumblr page, Made By Nike, to sell its clothing through images. Click on a post, and it shows you the clothing item giving you a choice to actually purchase. You can choose size and quantity and then add to your cart on a secure Nike page. This is a smart way to use Tumblr as it gets people interested in the brand — and product, in this case — and easily allows you to buy.
“Marketers have a choice,” said Darren Herman, chief digital media officer at KBS+P. “They can join on whatever pops up and half-ass it or go deep on a couple of strategic ones. The bigger issue for brands is the focus on what can they do well right now. Not every brand can do everything at all given times.”
The question remains if this is something that will catch on. In the meantime, Tumblr is a way for brands to complement its other social networks and be part of a burgeoning marketing strategy.
“What I love about Tumblr is that brands can mark their own presence,” Herman said. “To do it right, it takes resources. Time and effort go into it. You need to think about what you’re going to post and curate — and what your brand voice is going to be.”
WPP’s Rob Reilly on the power of creative excellence
Under Rob Reilly's creative lead, WPP won most creative company at the 2022 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. He talks about that and more in this Q&A.
Amid gloomy forecasts can ad tech weather the storm?
The recent Q2 results suggest there is more resilience and runway in the ad tech sector. But how long before push comes to shove?
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What Axios’ sale says about the valuation of digital media companies
In this week’s Media Briefing, senior media reporter Sara Guaglione looks at what Axios's sale to Cox Enterprises signals about the current investment market for media companies.
SponsoredWhat gaming habits reveal about media consumption
Jordan Shlachter, head of research, Activision Blizzard Media Entertainment choices have never been more abundant, and gaming has emerged as one of the biggest winners in the battle for audiences’ attention. While gaming’s exponential growth has been well documented — there are currently nearly 3 billion gamers worldwide spanning a diverse set of demographics, interests […]
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research deep dive: Twitter’s strength holds among publishers
There is perhaps no social media platform that is more appropriate for publishers than Twitter. In this Digiday+ Research deep dive, we look at why this is.
La razón por la que Google y Samsung se asociaron con la personalidad de TikTok Addison Rae para una campaña nostálgica de los años 90
Este verano, Google y Samsung han lanzado su último esfuerzo de marketing conjunto, en el que los gigantes de la tecnología y el hardware aprovechan la nostalgia de principios de los años 90 y utilizan a la TikToker Addison Rae como musa de la generación Z. En su nueva campaña publicitaria con Rae, Google cuenta […]