Tumblr for Enterprise Brands: A Quick Guide
Everything you need to know about launching a Tumblr account.
With the decline in Twitter’s active user base, companies are looking for alternative social media platforms that offer similar (or better) engagement and advertising opportunities. Even those that thrive on “wholesome chaos,” as the Tumblr platform promises.
Launched in 2007 as a microblogging and social networking website, Tumblr—now part of Automattic, WordPress VIP’s parent company—has skyrocketed in popularity in recent months, especially as an untapped marketing channel for enterprise brands.
With the help of Tumblr staff, we’ve put together all you need to know about making this network work for you.
- How does Tumblr work?
- Why should brands be on Tumblr?
- How to create a Tumblr blog that aligns with your brand
- Advertising and paid social options on Tumblr
- Examples of successful brands on Tumblr
- Follow WordPress VIP on Tumblr
How does Tumblr work?
Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows people to create custom pages and post the best of their creations and curations online. The term “blog” here is used loosely to describe a home for each user’s posts, no matter the content type.
Like other social platforms, Tumblr has a home feed called the Tumblr Dashboard. This is where you’ll see individual posts from your followed blogs and Tags. Here, you can reblog (re-post), heart (like), comment, and share individual posts.
These social dynamics, like sharing and commenting, are used to form communities around shared interests and engage with each other. The culture of Tumblr is creative, weird (in a fun way) and very Fandom (deep passion-based interests) driven.
Whatever community you can think of, it exists on Tumblr. From entertainment and food to sports and cars, users come to Tumblr to get involved in communities centered around their interests.
Why should brands be on Tumblr?
Simply put, to reach a growing Gen Z audience. With 140 million global monthly active users (40 million in the U.S. alone), Tumblr offers an engaged, unique audience—50% of which are not on TikTok.
Tumblr is also a great place to engage with specific communities or interest groups that might match your target consumer. Tumblr offers an ideal way to build a creative social presence that is not constrained by design, post content, voice, topics, or the common limitations of other platforms.
Plus, the Tumblr algorithm is unique, which means your followers see, and engage with, more of your posts than they would on other platforms. That’s why you see enterprises like Netflix, Nickelodeon, Adobe, and many others successfully promoting their brands on Tumblr.
A hallmark for these brands? Having fun with branding, voice, and tone. “Tumblr, with little rules about content type or subject matter, is known for being weird,” Sprout Social says in their article Tumblr is back. The more creativity you have with your content, the better.
How to create a blog that aligns with your brand
If you’re ready to give Tumblr a try, the first step is to create a blog for your brand.
Once you’ve created an account, choose a design theme in the theme garden. Later, you can customize the blog pages to match your brand aesthetic.
Before your first post, participate in social listening. Spend time on the platform to learn what content from your brand aligns with your target audience there. Follow blogs and Tags that match your audience’s interests to get a community pulse.
If you use a third-party social listening tool, ask your support rep for help with accessing Tumblr data within your account.
- Experiment with content
Try different post types and play around with your voice to find what resonates and drives engagement. This is a best practice for any new channel, Tumblr is no different.
- Your content should feel authentic—to your brand, and to your target audience.
- Prioritize organic posts before jumping into sponsorship opportunities.
- For help with strategic campaigns and audience initiatives, connect with Tumblr Brand Partnerships.
- Build a community
The biggest way Tumblr differs from other social platforms is the need for authenticity from brands. Tumblr users can sense a sales pitch from a mile away, so focus on building a community rather than promoting your product or service.
Reblog (share) posts that may be slightly unrelated to your brand but your audience would find interesting. Reply to comments and reblogs from followers, engaging with them often.
Advertising and paid social options on Tumblr
To get people engaged with your brand, Tumblr has multiple options, each with their own benefits.
Tumblr Sponsored Posts
Sponsored Posts are native in-feed ad units that have full capabilities of standard Tumblr posts (any media type) plus some extra features like CTA buttons and Carousel (cycling through photos).
This option is best for brands establishing organic presences on Tumblr, though operating a blog account is not required. Formats include banners, videos, and parallax (dimensional scrolling). All are available programmatically but can also be bought directly.
Another in-feed option is to Blaze an existing post. Once created, you can “Blaze it” to increase the number of impressions. This option is ideal for individual creators, but can be a good option for brands to boost an already well-performing post.
Takeovers involve highly visible, scalable ad placements based on your brand’s needs.
- Tumblr Sponsored Day (a video, image, or gif at the top of the Dashboard)
- Mobile Explore Search suggestions
- Custom Tumblr “T” logo
The Custom Tab integrates content from the Tumblr Brand blog or other community-generated content in a Dashboard tab on the user’s feed.
Tumblr boasts about its Creatrs, who are “Artists Not Influencers.” Through Creatrs, you can share original or remixed branded content created by amazing Tumblr artists.
Content integrations and sponsorships
Custom platform integrations
Tumblr can create custom platform integrations for large-scale promotional efforts. For example, Netflix did an “Upside Down”-themed Tumblr Dashboard with a visual overlay of smoke and spores, paired with a Custom Tab and a Total Tumblr Takeover.
Examples of successful brands on Tumblr
Still not sure if your brand would be a good fit for Tumblr? Check out a few enterprise brands reaping major success with their blogs.
Case study: Netflix
Netflix’s blog is an ideal example of how to interact with your audience as a brand on Tumblr. They’ve seen fantastic results: more than 25 million impressions and a 3.03% engagement rate.
Netflix mixes up their post types, varying content from promotional to conversational. They’ve built a community to engage in discussions about their favorite shows, ask questions, and check out upcoming releases.
Case study: Manscaped
Manscaped, a shaving company, has a great, advertising-focused presence on Tumblr. In 2021, they spent 50% fewer ad dollars on Tumblr than other platforms in 2020, but driven 524% more revenue. They also see better engagement with posts than on Instagram or Twitter, which is why they continue leaning into Tumblr ads.