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by Harry Gardiner on 10th June 2014
With an average of 187.3 million blogs and 125,000 daily signups (Source: Tumblr), Tumblr is no longer just another blogging platform. Interest has piqued in the 7 year old social platform since it was acquired by Yahoo last year, but in reality brands have been enticed by this user friendly portal for some time now (Coke have been posting on their own profile since 2011).
So what is it about Tumblr that makes it so accessible to both brands and users? Let’s take a look:
Part of what users love so much about this platform is that, unlike Facebook and Twitter, it’s not swamped with adverts or sponsored posts. Don’t get me wrong, Tumblr does offer the ability to ‘pin’ content, but instead of pushing adverts and suggestions in your face, Tumblr uses its space to showcase the best work published on its streams utilising its tag system.
Tumblr’s design philosophy perfectly sums up their approach to advertising:
“Keep it simple, make it really easy to use, get out of the way, make it a safe place, and don’t put things into it that we don’t really need.” – Tumblr Creative Director, Peter Vidani.
With this in mind, brands which want to utilise the platform to its best possible strengths need to focus less on marketing and more on creating and sharing quality content.
Whereas the most popular social media platforms limit you in terms of posting format, Tumblr literally allows you to upload any and all forms of digital content. Have a video you want to share, or a question you want to pose to your audience? Tumblr lets you do it all. Although the main focus is on visual content, there’s plenty of room for the written word, be it long-form articles or short quotes.
Trust me when I say, the power of being able to effortlessly share GIFs that actually work cannot be ignored.
Tumblr’s themes are completely customisable (both on mobile and desktop), meaning that with even the most basic of HTML knowledge you can create a brand specific blog page for absolutely no cost whatsoever.
Tumblr is an incredibly flexible platform, and I hesitate to call it social media, because you don’t have to actually be that social. You can simply use the site as a personal blog and nothing more. If however you do choose to venture out and get social, Tumblr will be there to track your progress every step of the way, showcasing detailed statistics on all the latest activity surrounding your blog.
This is a fantastic way to track user interaction, and see which types of content resonate most with your audience.
It also allows you to install a GA tracking code across your pages, giving you access to much more detailed and in-depth analytics data.
Tumblr loves brands. It actively encourages businesses to get involved with blogging on their site, offering detailed metrics, sponsored adverts and brand strategists to help you make the most of its powerful platform.
They even have their own press page to allow publishers access to cool branded images – in fact some of the screen grabs used in this post are from Tumblr’s Press kit!
So how is this being applied out in the wild? Let’s take a look at how some of the world’s biggest and best brands are using this magnificent micro-blogging platform:
Billed as the place “where happiness lives online”, Coke’s Tumblr page is probably one of the most ‘on brand’ blogs you’ll ever visit, with almost every post featuring the renowned logo draped across a bottle or can that has come to so positively represent the soft drinks giant.
Their posts are also a perfect representation of the fun, carefree attitude portrayed by the brand, featuring GIFs and images purposely created for the blog, as well as pictures from their Instagram account and other media. They’ve also fully embrace Tumblr’s tagging system, utilising hashtags to categorise their content, one of the best examples being #tbt. Standing for Throwback Thursdays (as if you didn’t know), Coke uses this opportunity to light-heartedly poke fun at its vintage adverts.
NBC, the network behind the American version of popular singing contest show The Voice have commissioned several artists from Tumblr to create artwork about the show whilst it airs, live. This artwork was then posted to the show’s own Tumblr page, nbcthevoice, during the contestant’s performances.
This is an amazing example of synchronicity between online and broadcast media, with NBC releasing where their target audience is situated and actively reaching out to get them involved. It helped that the artwork looked great as well.
First of all let me confess, I’m a massive fan of cartoons, and let’s face it, Disney and Pixar are the king and queen when it comes to the world of animation. Experts at visual storytelling, it’s no surprise that their Tumblr page looks as good as it does.
Their page is essentially one massive fan service, filled with storyboards, artwork and sneak peeks from their wide range of beloved films. As if that wasn’t enough, they also share content from their other blogs, which are all linked back to Disney’s own site. Every post on their two year old Tumblr page garners hundreds, sometimes thousands of likes, showing just how well Tumblr can be used to repurpose and share content with an entirely different audience.
As you can probably guess, I myself am avid fan and devoted user of Tumblr. However, it does carry one or two caveats.
There’s an enormous amount of adult content that’s prominent across the blogging community. Whilst the freedom Tumblr gives its users can be empowering, it may leave others vulnerable to explicit imagery and therefore exclude the platform from a wider audience.
There are plugins, such as Missing e, which can help solve this problem by hiding certain images; however this is still something to be very wary of when using the service.
If it’s not already on there, your brand should definitely be considering Tumblr as a content publication platform. It’s easy to set up and completely free to create, so there’s no reason not to get involved.
However, whilst it’s all well and good creating a page, it’s what you do with it that matters. In order to build a following you’ll need to regularly publish content, share posts and follow other users.
If you don’t have the resources, time or creativity for your brand to take advantage of Tumblr, speak to us at Koozai to see what we can do for you. We offer a wide range of Brand Protection, Social Media Management and Content Creation services, all of which can help your brand create strong Tumblr profile.
Let me know about any interesting or exciting Tumblr blogs that you love in the comments section below.
All images and logo’s courtesy of Tumblr