Tumblr Myth #2: It’s only for visually based brands
Here’s the second post in our series on Tumblr myths. There are a number of myths running around about Tumblr, particularly as it pertains to marketing and business, and we’re here to set them straight. Got an opinion or something we missed? Reblog and add your thoughts.
MYTH #2: TUMBLR IS ONLY FOR PICTURES. I DON’T HAVE A VISUALLY BASED BRAND.
Tumblr is your chance to get really creative with your brand, even if it isn’t a traditionally creative field or product that instantly lends itself to visual representation. You can take a reimagined, illustrative approach with your content on Tumblr that just isn’t possible with text or traditional display ads on other channels. Use this opportunity to find a way to share aspects of your brand visually. You can evoke emotional responses through photos and moving images that truly engage your fans in a way traditionally only possible through expensive media like TV. And when you take advantage of the social aspect of the platform to share compelling content that’s related to your brand or industry, you’ll become known as a source of valuable information beyond just promoting your brand.
For example, you may not picture snappy visuals when you think of Norton, but they’ve put together a pretty compelling Tumblr presence and include images in almost all their posts. They post information about their products, but they also share content related to technology and protecting it. And by adding a photo or GIF, they’re making the content even more memorable. If a Tumblr user reads a useful post about drying out her smartphone that comes across her dashboard, she may turn to Norton in the future for more of this kind of information.
Micorsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 has gone even further with its Tumblr, embracing both the culture of Tumblr and years of customer feedback by calling themselves “the browser you loved to hate” and striving to prove that “it’s good now, no really”. Snippets about the product - links to tweets or articles with positive reviews - are mixed in with fun topical memes and comics joking about how much better the new product is.
By willingly poking fun at themselves, Microsoft is trying to shake IE’s old, stuffy image and become a product more Tumblr users might be willing to try. It might even work to at least shift brand sentiment, if enough users see a funny, self-deprecating comic about it come across their dash.
One Tumblr that has truly nailed visualizing content, however, is Funny Or Die. Everything they post has an eye-catching image and a short blurb that will ultimately lead you back to their website, even if the content itself is a link or a list. They’re capitalizing on the visual nature of Tumblr to grab attention and redirect traffic to where all of their content lives, rather than completely re-creating everything for Tumblr.
A great example of this is the list Funny Or Die came up with in conjunction with the predicted Mayan Apocalypse on December 21, 2012 - a list of trends they hoped would die if the apocalypse came to pass. Not every example on the list seemed to lend itself to visual representation, but they found a way to make it work. And they stuck the most controversial photo onto their Tumblr to get users interested in clicking through:
On Tumblr, a picture really is worth a thousand words, if you do it right. Or really wrong, on purpose, as long as it goes with your brand. Get creative and see how you can make your brand more visual.