What Tumblr Needs to Work on for Brand Involvement

With Tumblr’s acquisition by Yahoo, we’ve got one question: Will brands start taking it seriously?

With 300 million unique monthly visitors, brands should be flocking to the site. In April, the blogging/social network unveiled a mobile ad unit inside a user’s mobile dashboard. While this is a step in the right direction, how will Tumblr convince brands to spend marketing dollars on the site – in the same range as Twitter and Facebook spend?

Tumblr has made an effort to showcase brands that use the site, with brands.tumblr.com. The mix of brands is diverse, covering sports, movies, food and cars. We studied these brands to see what’s working for them and what Tumblr needs to do to reel in even more.

What Tumblr Needs To Work On For Brand Involvement

Location of Ads

Tumblr contains advertising to the user dashboard, rather than running it on individual blogs that use the site. Tumblr executives insist that advertising appear not as ads, but as existing Tumblr posts. While this is convenient for users of the site, advertisers have a lower reach with Tumblr users. Currently, the film Red 2 is using Tumblr for advertising – an appropriate spot for visually-centric brands like movie companies.

Tumblr Advertising Example

Social Management Tools

As Digiday pointed out, one provider of social management tools said “literally no clients had pushed for Tumblr to be included.” If brands aren’t asking their management platforms to include Tumblr, then it probably isn’t worth your ad dollars quite yet.

Audience targeting

Tumblr doesn’t capture as much data about its users as Twitter and Facebook, making the ability to target key audiences more difficult than on other social platforms. If a brand can’t target the exact demographic of people who could be interested in their product, they simply aren’t going to put a portion of their ad dollars there.

We hope that Tumblr makes their platform more brand-friendly now that it’s a Yahoo! entity.

What other gripes do you have with Tumblr and brands?

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