Tumblr’s Creatr Network will pave the way for engaging, authentic native ads.
The network was established earlier this year to connect the most influential bloggers active on the platform with charities, live events, education opportunities and commercial brands looking to reach more of Tumblr’s 420 million active users.
Dubbed by The Drum as Tumblr’s in-house ad agency, the aim is to crowdsource creative content for Brands to promote.
While countless musicians, artists and creative minds have established their niche fanbases on Tumblr, brands are not as omnipresent as they are on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
Tumblr is hoping that the Creatrs Network will give them the chance to play matchmaker, guaranteeing that influential users are given the chance to work with brands on engaging native ad content.
The advantage of utilising existing Tumblr users to produce engaging, relevant content is that these people are ideally positioned to understand target audiences.
For Tumblr – acquired by Yahoo! for $1.1 billion in 2013 – Creatrs is a cost-effective way of being creative on a granular level. Crowdsourcing this process will give Tumblr an edge; native sponsored posts will inevitably be lower than more traditional ad spaces.
For the Creatrs themselves, the programme provides an opportunity to work with big-name brands for their usual rate, while their work reaches a massive new audience at the expense of the brand.
Brands Getting Involved
Brands have been quick to make the most of Creatrs, including GAP and Universal Studios. What’s notable is that the content itself is not pushy, instead very aware of their target users’ personas.
As we’ve seen with YouTube, creative individuals with engaging content can become stars in their own right. The likes of Zoella and The Slow Mo Guys have become celebrities themselves as a result of partnerships with YouTube and brands that want to associate themselves with people their customers relate to.
Tumblr is now looking to give its Creatrs the chance to broker book deals, live events and even the opportunity to teach classes and seminars at universities. Over 100 Tumblr blogs have already become published books.
People engaging with Tumblr ads for Ouija were reportedly 9% more likely to see the movie, while people who engaged with the earned media (reblogs and organic coverage) were 54% more likely to see Ouija at cinemas.
Tumblr earned over 625,000 engagements, whereas on Facebook – a significantly larger platform – the film got 1.16 million likes. Cleary, Tumblr users are active and engaged.
The key drawback of the Creatr network is also its strength – bespoke, one-off social content that engages people today might become outdated and old-hat tomorrow. Tumblr users can be notoriously fickle, especially when brands pander to trends and memes to preach sales messages.
Is Yahoo! Monetising Tumblr?
Despite the obvious monetary value, Tumblr seems insistent that traditional ad space is not up for grabs. The creative community on Tumblr is being respected, their user experience left clean and authentic. Creatrs will add value to the scrolling feed of posts by producing content that blends in to the dashboard while bringing branded messages to the people.
Native ads are the only real difference affecting most users since Yahoo’s takeover, but obviously Yahoo! feel the need to prioritise building revenue and getting their money’s worth out of the blogging platform.
Any brand that wants to utilise the Creatrs’ content is required to buy sponsored ad space on Tumblr in order to display the work they commission, before they are allowed to scale it out to all their ad formats.
David Karp, the chief executive and man behind Tumblr, is described by New York Times‘ Rob Walker as wanting “advertisers to view Tumblr as a place to promote particularly creative campaigns to an audience whose attention is worth paying for.”
Over To You
What do you think? Could your paid social strategy leverage the creative content of Tumblr’s Creatrs?