Tumblr was the fastest-growing social media platform in 2014. It also has the youngest average audience of all social platforms, with 70 percent of its users between the ages of 16 and 34. This means that a large portion of its users are millennials – a demographic that is notoriously hard to reach and engage with.
It’s pretty clear that Tumblr could be a useful platform, especially if your target audience is young. But if you’re like most marketers, you probably have no idea how to use it to drive sales and generate revenue. So how can you use this microblogging platform known for GIFs and off-the-wall humor to drive profitable leads for your business?
There are a few major brands already doing it, and while the four I’m about to discuss all have the advantage of selling products that fit into popular blog topics – food, design, makeup, and technology – their strategies could be applied to almost any company with a little creativity.
Showcase Your Followers
We’ll start with Kraft. The manufacturing company does a nice job of structuring their Tumblr like the recipe blogs that many Internet users are already familiar with. The navigation is simple, with a few different categories and links to their other social accounts. The standout feature of this account, though, is the column to the right titled “Posts I Like.” The content is pretty self-explanatory – posts the account has liked – but provides an easy way for the brand to showcase user-generated photos.
If your company sells food or food-related products, Tumblr could be a great way to drive leads. Although they won’t be as quantifiable as those for a business with an ecommerce store, consumers who already know how they can use your products are more likely to purchase than someone who simply notices them on the shelf at their local supermarket.
Link to Product Pages
Another brand that successfully integrates their products into visually attractive content is Ikea. Scrolling through their Tumblr feels almost like flipping through a magazine, with photos of stylish homes, beautiful interiors, and the occasional storage tip or DIY project.
The blog isn’t just nice to look at, though. When users click a photo, the post expands to reveal individual photos of each of the items featured, along with links to their product pages on Ikea’s site. This is an effective way to drive qualified leads, as users who visit have already seen how the product looks and have a feel for whether or not they like it.
Provide Detailed How-Tos
Sephora’s Tumblr, The Glossy, uses a similar strategy for driving leads, but is arguably even more effective at generating user interest in their products. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Twitter, where long posts aren’t really feasible, Tumblr offers brands the opportunity to make their content as lengthy as they want. Sephora takes full advantage of this, and provides its followers with entire makeup tutorials in both text and video formats.
This type of content is certainly useful to the company’s demographic, so it’s not at all surprising that each of their posts have hundreds of likes and reblogs. That might not seem impressive to brands who are used to numbers in the thousands on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but keep in mind that Tumblr users typically “curate” their blogs for very specific niches.
If you can get users in your niche – in Sephora’s case, beauty bloggers – to share your content with their followers, that’s way more valuable than a few Facebook likes.
I’ve only discussed B2C companies so far, but that doesn’t mean that Tumblr isn’t useful for B2B companies – it just requires a slightly different strategy. General Electric has a few branded accounts that serve different purposes, but their main Tumblr is essentially a showcase of their coolest projects. From behind-the-scenes videos of the manufacturing process to GIFs of their most “badass machines,” the account is fascinating even to people who aren’t typically interested in science or technology.
This account is one of the most popular branded Tumblrs at the moment, and it does a great job of giving a comprehensive look at the wide range of industries they work in. Given that the company creates custom projects for businesses, this is a great alternative to the B2C model of linking to specific products.
So what’s the takeaway here? Tumblr is still developing as a platform for marketing, and new options for sponsored content will likely evolve, but the key to using it for driving leads is to integrate your products or highlight successful projects. Invest some time and energy into creating content that is visually attractive, and show users exactly how you can be useful to them.
Beyond that, get engaged. While all four of these brands have created blogs that do a nice job of showcasing their companies’ offerings, Kraft is the only one actively engaging with their followers. If you take the time to get to know the Tumblr culture and combine that level of engagement with a blog that is designed to drive leads, there’s no telling what the platform could do for your brand.