It may not have the same user numbers as Facebook or Twitter, but microblogging platform Tumblr has become a go-to site for younger audiences – and smart brands are catching on.
Started in 2007, Tumblr allows users to create their own blogs and share text, photos, links, music, video – anything – easily and quickly. It has grown quickly in popularity among 18- to 34-year-olds, hitting Quantcast’s list of Top 15 U.S. Networks in 2012.
As KT Heins, a copywriter for The YAYA Connection, points out, what is a hobby for many has proven to be a “marketer’s best friend” for brands who use it correctly.
Here’s what those brands are doing:
1. They develop great content.
Capitalizing on the success of The Hunger Games, Capitol Couture is the brainchild of the film’s producers. The blog focuses on the memorable fashion in the film from the perspective of its characters, creating a perceived extension of the film or novels. In providing this “bonus” material, it discretely markets the film and books.
2. They encourage self-expression.
Millennials connect with brands because they feel that connection says something about their personality, interests or beliefs. Brands that bombard them with sales pitches aren’t going to succeed. Those that offer a shared experience and allow them to express themselves will. This is why Ben and Jerry’s blog has been so successful. It contains only whimsical visuals – some of the various flavors and some featuring quotes that followers can re-blog to express themselves.
3. They give back to followers.
As we know by now, audience engagement hinges largely on two-way dialogue. Modcloth allows followers to send questions to their stylists and shares photos of fans wearing the brand’s clothes. The takeaway for followers: Modcloth is there to help customers look good, not just sell them clothes.
4. They understand their audience and their behaviors.
Recognizing that many users check out Tumblr during lunch breaks or after work, pointing to a need for a quick escape, NPR avoids posting heavy news. Instead, they share quirky, lighter news, turning the tables on many people’s perceptions of the news network.
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