Tumblr, which was recently acquired by Yahoo, is home to more than 126 million blogs, 300 million monthly unique visitors, and 125,000 new sign-ups daily. To help advertisers capitalize on this growth, the blogging platform is kicking off the new year with a major upgrade to its advertising platform.

As part of its completely overhauled ad solution, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced yesterday that Tumblr Sponsored Posts are now powered by Yahoo Advertising. As a result, agencies and media buyers will have a more streamlined way to buy ads on Yahoo properties like Tumblr and eventually, Flickr.

Introduced in April 2013, Sponsored Posts were launched as a way to target viewers with ads that look and feel like regular posts. Previously, ads on Tumblr were limited to “Radar” posts, which appeared on members dashboards and alternated between paid promotions and spotlight placements. Since April, Sponsored Posts have been rolled out on both mobile and desktop and have seen quite a bit of success, according to Tumblr.

The company reported that 60 percent of users who have seen Sponsored Posts find the content fun, engaging, and high quality. What’s particularly interesting is that 70 percent of consumers perceive a brand more favorably and 50 percent of consumers researched the sponsor after seeing a Sponsored Post. Those stats could put Tumblr advertising on par with Twitter and Facebook.

Looking at Tumblr specifically, the new technology gives advertisers much more control over Sponsored Post targeting — both demographically and location-based. Advertisers using this ad format only pay for reblogs, likes, follows, or clicks made directly from the Sponsored Posts itself. Additionally, you can also measure your own results through Tumblr’s analytics tool, which now reports demographic data. What else should brands keep in mind when researching Sponsored Posts?

Think Visually


Tumblr is a very visual platform which makes it a unique choice for marketers and advertisers. Unlike other social networks, Tumblr supports both long-form content and complex images. As a result, brands looking to connect with consumers through text, image, video, or audio aren’t required to choose just one medium. Instead, you can creatively and regularly utilize all four in your content strategy.

This also opens a lot of opportunities for advertisers looking to get create with their campaigns. Unlike on other networks, people who visit Tumblr regularly are used to seeing branded content that features large, vibrant images, videos, and animated GIFs. Including similar media in your Sponsored Post won’t seem out of place in a stream of content, whereas on other platforms consumers might consider it to be invasive.

Know Your Demographic


Tumblr isn’t your average social network. If you look at the demographic breakdown, you’ll find that Tumblr users are younger than users on other social networks. The blogging platform is primarily used by adults aged 18-29, with only six percent of social network using adults active on the site. Why is this important? Because the first step to successful business communication is knowing who you’re talking to.

The popularity of social media has helped make outreach easier and faster than ever. It has also helped platforms like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter grow larger than ever imagined. But shouting at a room full of people doesn’t mean a thing if they’re not the right people. If your product is geared toward senior citizens, then advertising on Tumblr might not be your best bet. However, if you’re selling 24-year-olds on your latest mobile app, then Tumblr is a great fit for your campaign — and not only because Sponsored Posts support mobile.

With Yahoo behind it, Tumblr Sponsored Posts presents a great opportunity for brands to get creative and have fun with advertising. Experiment with campaigns that you don’t think will thrive on any other platform. Don’t limit yourself to “or” — text or video, image or audio. Create campaigns that include all four. Let Tumblr’s user base and their reactions to your ads help guide future campaigns.

[Image credit: ArdonikNina Matthews, Very Quiet]