Tumblr – Why, How & Who?

tumblr-featuredMost brands today are active on Facebook, Twitter and maybe Instagram. But if you’re one of the cool kids now, you rule Tumblr!

Because Tumblr has potential. Today there are more than 170,000 million Tumblr blogs with 200,000 visits each month. Why are they so popular? Tumblr is a platform based on visual context rather than text, which makes the content easier to comprehend for a larger group of people. The content is also designed to be highly sharable and the platform has an easy and intuitive feel to it. The fact that there is a huge amount  of  entirely free templates to use is definitely also a plus.

And one of the reasons why Tumblr can be so interesting from a marketing perspective is, according to Ogilvy, that Tumblr is more popular with 13-25 year-olds than Facebook is. These young people are often media-savvy and like to be part of a community. Furthermore, Tumblr URLs can be accessed directly from a web browser without having to sign in (like e.g. Facebook), which means Tumblr can be used to expand your search visibility by using SEO.

How to?

Okay, so the users are already there and the platform is relatively easy to use. So how do you, as a brand, get the most out of a Tumblr presence? As in many other aspects of life, appearance does matter. So it’s important that you choose a theme that is catchy and in line with the rest of your visual brand identity. Furthermore – the tighter, the better! On that note – as the platform is mainly about visual content, you also want to make sure that the pictures, GIFs and videos you post, are of a decent quality.

Tumblr is all about interacting too, so start following other relevant blogs and like and share their content too. Engagement is everything!

Another key to ‘yet another social platform’ is to use it differently. Share content on Tumblr that you’re not sharing on your other social platforms. Maybe backstage pictures, how to’s or some other unique content. The users shouldn’t feel like they see the same content on each of your pages.

And hashtags. Can’t live with them – can’t live without them and this goes for Tumblr as well. Tag your posts with relevant hashtags in order to make your content easier to find. The only difference is that it’s allowed to go a little more tag crazy on Tumblr and use 5-8 hashtags per piece of content.

Who’s good at this?

Finally, it’s always nice with some inspiration and – to stay in the Tumblr universe  – some visual examples.

Coca-Cola

No surprise – Coca-cola has an incredibly cool Tumblr blog. It’s aligned with the company’s well-known design and the content is a nice mixture of pictures and GIFs – both modern and retro.

eg-coke

 

Disney

And then there’s Disney. Admitted – Disney does have the perfect content. Their content is the perfect mixture of pictures and GIFs from both new and old movies, series, history, theme parks and musical. If you’ve ever loved Disney just a little, you will love their Tumblr Blog.

disney tumblr

 

The White House

The last example may not be a brand as such, but just shows that everyone pretty much can have a Tumblr – even Obama! The White House Tumblr experienced a huge growth in 2013 and features pictures (even a GIF of a running Obama!) from a different angle of the White House and the president than many of their other social pages.

tumblr_n1ouhwF7tY1s9dnijo1_500

So think about it – Tumblr is easy to navigate on, easy to use and can give a high pay-off – especially if you have a young target audience.

Live Streaming and the Demand for Now

blogLive video has been something reserved only for significant occasions in the past, whether it be a big TV event or an important news story. This is all changing now as social media gives the power to the people and makes it easier than ever to broadcast without a TV deal.

So where are we currently? It seems all the giants have joined the party now – YouTube is the latest to jump on board by adding the ability to live stream directly from your phone. It’s important to note here how different YouTube’s audience is to Facebook and Twitter’s – subscribers on YouTube are there predominantly to watch videos, and considering YouTube’s experience within video in general, it will be interesting to see how these two compete most of all.

Tumblr on the other hand seems to have taken a slightly different route by allowing third-party apps to stream live video straight to its service. A very open-minded approach that bears witness to the fact that social is embracing the live streaming movement.

 

Real-Time Marketing

So what does this movement mean for brands? In an age where we have access to an overloading amount of content, content marketing is taking a new form – “real-time marketing” will now gain a larger footprint than ever before and the fundamental difference is the urgency it demands from viewers. This in itself is extremely valuable, considering the sheer amount of content we’re already drowning in. Viewers are also less critical and less demanding when it comes to live video. The fact that it’s live is the biggest factor and it doesn’t play out the same way when you re-watch a video that was originally live. Therefore, viewers end up chasing the video as soon as they’re notified of the stream, instead of “saving it for later”, which in turn also eliminates the potential for it to be lost in the billions of hours of content it’s directly competing with.

 

Quality Control

I’d also say the whole removal of picture-perfect images that Snapchat brought to the table has eased us into live streaming our own content – it may not be perfect, but who cares? You can now also broadcast live to Facebook from MSQRD, which is extremely Snapchat-like. So will the fact that absolutely anyone is now able to stream their lives have an effect on the overall quality of this type of content? Compared to the quality control TV has had over the years, it’s almost non-existent on social media. Time will tell if we want to see our friends live stream themselves doing nothing or whether a stream needs more of a purpose.

All things considered, live streaming will soon be a standard form of expression via social, much like it’s become a standard form of communication over the years with Skype and FaceTime. It’s time for brands to take a good look at their strategy and embrace the live streaming age that’s only going to grow from here.