Home  › Social › Social Media
images

Tumblr Turns to Mobile Ads as Pressure Mounts for Greater Revenue

  |  April 29, 2013   |  Comments

Less than a year after Tumblr made the inevitable decision to place ads on its site, the company is now introducing sponsored posts to its mobile apps. During a trial period that will carry through the end of May, Tumblr’s mobile apps users will begin seeing ads from GE, Pepsi, Warner Bros., ABC Entertainment and ABC Family.

Less than a year after Tumblr made the inevitable decision to place ads on its site, the company is now introducing sponsored posts to its mobile apps. During a trial period that will carry through the end of May, Tumblr’s mobile apps users will begin seeing ads from GE, Pepsi, Warner Bros., ABC Entertainment and ABC Family.

After balking at advertising-based revenue models for years, Tumblr’s chief executive David Karp appears to have had a change of heart that has progressed over the last year. “The content our brand partners have created is more than just advertising – it is thoughtful, beautiful and diverse content that fits seamlessly alongside the best work on our network,” Karp notes in a statement. Tumblr is taking a page out of other playbooks for social advertising by following the sponsored post framework of others like Facebook and Twitter. Now that Tumblr has built an active community of supporters and users, it is facing heightened pressure to seek out new revenue streams.

“As an advertising platform, mobile has a potentially higher value than the desktop because of the ubiquity of mobile devices in and out of the home and the fact that they can offer more sophisticated targeting criteria such as that based on location,” notes Eric Mugnier, senior vice president at M&C Saatchi Mobile in New York.

“Revenue from mobile advertising will only increase as desktop relevance lessens and even more sophisticated targeting capability is put in place for mobile. The ad unit, customer experience and targeting capability is what will make the difference between a great mobile advertising product, and Tumblr will have to make sure their product delivers on all this elements. If not, it will only be an impressions delivering platform less relevant for mobile advertisers.”

Katrina Craigwell, manager of digital marketing at GE, says the company is connecting with an audience that’s passionate about science and technology on Tumblr. “While sharing is an inherent part of the network, we're excited by the opportunity to boost mobile discoverability through these new ad capabilities,” she says.

“The Tumblr unit is yet another great case where we have to lead with the strength of our content. It allows us to communicate our value proposition on the platform very clearly. We aim to deliver unique and awesome visuals of badass machines,” Craigwell adds.

“Tumblr is fantastic for visual content, and that's a big focus for us. At the GE Tumblr we lead with our GIF content, which features everything from jet engines to locomotives, to our people at work around the world,” notes Craigwell. “If we’re not adding value through the content, then we’re not getting it quite right.”

“We’ve also found a great audience for thoughtful article-based content,” she adds. “About a month ago we ran a post on the Edison vs. Tesla panel at SXSW and shared it through Radar (Tumblr’s desktop based ad product). It garnered roughly 2,000 notes that day and continues to travel.”

As excited as brands like GE are about promoting their content on Tumblr through sponsored posts, the industry at large will be keeping an eye on the level of sophistication and insights that Tumblr can deliver to brands through investments in targeted advertising. Mugnier has little doubt that Tumblr has been watching what Facebook and Twitter are doing to grow mobile revenues, and is now replicating some of those models on its platform.

“The future clearly points to social media as a very lucrative source of advertising revenue and we are still at the very early stages,” he notes. “This is what is driving Tumblr towards an ad-funded mobile future.”

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Kapko

Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at matt@kapko.co.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...