It’s too close to the holidays for a rigorous analysis of brand lift and sales conversions. As our gift to you, we present this little nugget from our Content Engagement Study:

About 30% of people—seemingly normal, well adjusted people—put Tumblr at the top of their personal hierarchy of needs. Higher than their physiological need for food and sleep; and higher than their emotional need for love and belonging. 

We say: good on them. 

Happy holidays, everyone. 

Oh, Tumblr marketr — you know us so well. These figures and illustrations come from a post outlining a Tumblr-sponsored marketing study. Among Tumblr users surveyed in October 2014…

  • 70% use Tumblr once a day or more often.
  • 34% would rather be on Tumblr than be asleep.
  • 29% would rather be on Tumblr than hang out with friends.
  • 28% would rather be on Tumblr than eat.

Pro tips: It’s okay to eat while scrolling through the Dashboard. If you must nap during Tumblr, avoid QWERTY face.

Here is Digiday’s take on Tumblr’s study.


Some new data from our Brand Advisory Panel. (Thank you to everyone who contributed!) This time we asked our users about streaming their favorite TV shows and movies. The trend away from traditional cable and satellite providers wasn’t as surprising as the speed at which it’s happening among Tumblr users. Streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, and broadcasters’ websites have replaced set-top boxes for a quarter of our users; and computers—not 65” TVs—are the primary entertainment system at home. 

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Very intriguing info regarding advertising, particularly for small companies. Check this out to marketing understandings and also new searchings for of sector research.

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More useful information can be found here

We’ve been talking about the importance of content in social media for a while now. But it’s a pretty broad subject and the details can feel a bit fuzzy. So for the past couple months we’ve been working with Millward Brown Digital and Added Value, two market research firms, to get more clarity. They helped us understand what makes an engaging media consumption experience and how content affects people’s behavior online. 

We ended up with a ton of data. Way more than we can cram into one post. So today we’re just introducing the main themes and we’ll post more about each of them over the next couple weeks. Anyway, here’s what we learned:

  1. The quality of content is the most important thing users look for in social media platforms. 
  2. The content that artists, musicians, brands, and others create for Tumblr is far more resonant than what gets shared on other networks.
  3. Resonant content, especially from brands, drives consumer actions like online research and purchases.

First, high quality content is the most important thing people want from a media platform. 

Of the top ten things people said they were looking for in a media platform, half related to content. And when people were asked to rank different social networks on those qualities,  Tumblr scored highest in each category. Here’s a comparison of the way people describe Tumblr (and the content they find here) to the average score they gave other media platforms that they use:

And keep in mind that this is content from the Tumblr community. It’s from the artists, photographers, illustrators, musicians, and brands that create and share things people are passionate about. Overwhelmingly, people think the best stuff on the internet is posted on Tumblr. Which brings us to point number two:

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All too often the way brands interact with millennials on social media feels stuffy and detached. But as a major destination for the 18-34 year old demographic—41% of our U.S. visitors, according to comScore—we’re in a unique position to see what really works. Today we’re sharing a few things brands can do to make content that resonates with millennials. 

Tip #1: Share normal human experiences. 

This shouldn’t be hard: Millennials are people too, you know. They have the same feelings and emotions as everyone else. Bond over that, like with AT&T’s happy dance

Tip #2: Make ‘em laugh. 

If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re not, you can still get a smile out of them by helping them escape their normal lives. Patagonia inspires people to take adventures. Keds gets some help from celebrities. And Wendy’s takes cues from popular culture.

Tip #3: Use memes wisely. 

Things move really fast on the internet and there’s nothing worse than being two months late for a meme. Such lame. Many smh. The great thing about Tumblr is how long content circulates on the network (a third of all reblogs a post earns happen 30 days after the initial post*). That means you can focus on evergreen content like this enduring and endearing piece from Madewell, which was published more than 18 months ago and is still earning notes.

We can’t tell you what’s best for your brand. All we can do is encourage you, as a marketer, to think about content that you’d post your personal blog. That’s how you’ll make content that actually resonates with the community. 

*Simply Measured

The results are in: Tumblr users fill their dashboard with things they love, and they’re likely to turn that love into actual purchases. Nearly every respondent in Tumblr’s Brand Advisory Panel said they wanted something they’ve seen on Tumblr; and half said they went out and bought something they saw.

Here’s a little tidbit you can toss back next time anyone says you spend too much time on Tumblr. According to Adobe Digital Index, our users generate $1.10 per visit for brands (RPV in agencyspeak) through referrals. Thanks for doing your part to support the free market by avoiding your other responsibilities.

Check out more here.


If you’ve ever sat in a meeting with a Tumblr brand strategist, you’ve probably heard the term “earned engagement.” Like earned media, earned engagement is the user activity your content generates above and beyond what you buy. But up until now, you really couldn’t tell how many more people were seeing, clicking on, and reblogging your posts than you were paying for. 

Well, no longer. We’ve completely overhauled Tumblr Analytics with a focus on earned media and earned engagement to help brands understand the effective Cost Per Engagement (eCPE) of their campaign.

Take a look at the graph. It’s the only time down-and-to-the-right is a good thing. 

Let’s say you spend $100 on a campaign at a cost of $1 per engagement. We’ll show your Sponsored Post until 100 people like it, reblog it, follow you, or click-through to your blog. That’s your paid engagement. Now, since Sponsored Posts work just like normal posts, anyone who reblogs it will send it to all their followers. And after that, everything is earned. Meaning free. If 100 more people engage with your post, your effective Cost Per Engagement (eCPE) drops to 50 cents. Another 100 and you’re at $0.33. 

And reblogs aren’t the only driver of earned engagement. Likes are a major signal in Search ranking and trending topics, which makes your content more discoverable. Engagement on those pages is also considered earned, by the way, and further reduces your eCPE. 

The reason this system works is because it benefits both sponsors and users: earned engagement increases the value of advertising on Tumblr by reducing the effective cost of the placement; and the amount of engagement a sponsor can earn is determined by the quality of content they put out. Brands can actually measure the benefit in dollars of creating content that users want to see and share.