For image-rich blog marketing that reaches a younger demographic, it’s hard to beat Tumblr. Terrific to look at, easy to set up and filled with users in the magic 18-24 demographic, Tumblr is a blog content management for the meme generation. Making it even more attractive is that it’s free to use and not filled with advertising.
Or is it? Tumblr’s consultant on marketing and revenue Rick Webb raised more than a few eyebrows yesterday when he claimed that Tumblr is rolling in advertiser dollars. We just haven’t noticed — and that’s totally the point.
Unlike traditionally-monetized social media accounts like those found on Twitter and Facebook, Tumblr, according to Webb, is doing it all on the down-low. Massive brands like Coke and Nike are using Tumblr to pimp products, but not in the flashing “click this ad” type of way. Webb claims that Tumblr began selling ads this spring.
“We have people say ‘don’t ever advertise,'” Webb said at the Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, adding “(but) we already are.”
He notes that ads on Tumblr are done in creative and engaging ways which speak the language of Tumblr so much so that they appear to be free posts.
“It’s not in your stream, not in display ads,” he says.
From what it sounds like, Tumblr is aiming to help brands create photo sharing blogs that sell products without beating users over the head.
“I think a lot of photo sharing sites never tried to monetize through advertising. I don’t think it will be impossible for us,” he said.
Tumblr’s new social media advertising model is one that could turn the platform on its head, if it’s successful. Marrying photo sharing, blog marketing and social media marketing with more dynamic and less spammy posts is brilliant. This shift is social media advertising could force marketers to up the creativity… and that’s something we’d love to see.