10 Social Media Tips For Bloggers

When it comes to building an audience and driving traffic, bloggers are turning to social media with record results. Instead of relying on organic search or (gasp) IRL friends, successful bloggers know they have to develop a following on key social networks as a way to promote their brands and ultimately get more clicks.

TwitterFacebookStumbleUpon and now Pinterest provide the savvy blogger with plenty of opportunities to attract new readers and engage with regulars, but it can be overwhelming if you’re new to social media or if you only use it for fun.

Here are 10 tips to help bloggers navigate the increasingly complex world of social media — while still making time to write content.

1. Display your social media icons prominently toward the top of your website.

Make it as simple as possible for your blog readers to connect with you on various social media platforms. They shouldn’t have to hunt around to find your Twitter handle, but should be able to click on a button and be taken right to your profile. Bonus points if your social media icons reflect the overall design or feel of your blog.

2. Every blog should have its own Facebook Page.

Even with Facebook’s new subscription feature, there’s still merit to giving your blog its own space on Facebook. It’s nice to be able to post a link every time you publish something new, and not have to worry about annoying your friends. Plus, readers who don’t your name but know the name of your blog can search for it on Facebook. Show your fans some love on your blog by using the Facebook social plugin, which makes it easy to convert readers to fans.

3. Generate traffic with StumbleUpon.

This “recommendation engine” serves as an alternate browser where users click through pages that their SU friends and SU itself have recommended. You can submit your own blog posts into the system, but it works best if you also share them with your SU friends and accept their shares back. Like most social platforms, you need to have a strong following to get good results. While people are still trying to figure out what makes SU content go viral, many bloggers have seen terrific, albeit fleeting, traffic spikes through the service.

4. Import your RSS feed onto your LinkedIn profile using its Blog Link application.

As long as your blog somewhat pertains to your professional goals, you should be showcasing it on LinkedIn. List it as one of your three websites in your profile, where it will be labeled “Blog.” However, by using the Blog Link application, your most recent posts will display right on your profile.

5. Pinterest is the hot new frontier for bloggers.

Pinterest is the cool new kid, and all of the bloggers are scrambling to establish a presence there. Pin your best photos onto themed boards with links to a relevant blog post. Blogs with strong visual content, like fashion, food, design, crafts and travel, are a natural fit. Infographics will also do quite well. Don’t forget to add a Pinterest plugin (like the Pinterest “Pin It” Button for WordPress users) to make it easy for your readers to share your content on their Pinterest boards.

6. Use link shorteners even when you don’t have to.

Twitter will now shorten your link for you, and the length of your link doesn’t matter on Facebook and Google+. But by using a link shortener like bit.ly, you will gain access to metrics, so you’ll know how many people clicked and at what time. With this essential data, you can experiment with different ways to tease your content and different times to post it.

7. Use your blog name as your username whenever possible.

Promote your personal brand by consistently using your blog’s name for your Twitter handle, StumbleUpon name, Pinterest name and so on. Then, people don’t have to wonder about your blog’s name — it’s right there. Also, people will remember you easily across platforms, which is key as you develop up your online community.

8. Join blogger groups on Facebook.

There are some very active groups on Facebook that are terrific resources for any blogging issues you encounter. Look for groups like “Travel Bloggers” or “Global Bloggers Network.” WordPress geeks have “Advanced WordPress” and Central Florida residents have “Central Florida Bloggers.” Not only are blogger groups good for problem-solving, but it’s well-known that bloggers like to read other blogs. Do some searching and find a bloggers group that’s suited to you, or start your own!

9. Be generous with other bloggers.

Promote other bloggers’ content, and hopefully they’ll return the favor. You can’t simply blast your own content anyway — you need some variety in every social media stream. So why not check out what your fellow bloggers are posting and give them a retweet, a share or a repin whenever you can. And don’t forget to reciprocate and share content from bloggers who share yours.

10. Be on social media — even when it’s not driving traffic.

It can be frustrating when you feel that you’re doing everything right (posting good content on the appropriate platforms in the best way possible) and you’re still not getting many clicks. But console yourself by thinking about all of the links that you see throughout the day that you don’t click on. Just spending time on social media platforms is great way to forge relationships, keep up on industry news and find inspiration for that next blog post

http://mashable.com/2012/02/17/social-media-bloggers-tips/

How to build a killer content marketing strategy

Look at the pace that the term ‘content marketing’ has moved into the vernacular of marketers, as measured by Google search volume. Although content marketing has been bandied about as a term for several years, its recent hike in popularity is not actually much of a surprise.

Google Trends Content Marketing

Google’s algorithm changes having been coming thick and fast over the last 12 months, and content-poor websites have been taking a real beating.

September 2012 saw the rollout of the latest Google Panda and Penguin updates, together with a sharp turning of the dial to tone down the influence of ‘direct-match’ domain names.  Google is working hard to shut out purveyors of thin content and rewarding owners of sites with useful, relevant and unique content.

You need to take action if:

  •  your website has less than 100 pages; or
  •  your website has a high number of pages populated with ‘thin content’ i.e. a paragraph or two at most of original content wrapped in a common template; or
  • there is very little content being added on a regular basis;
  • you want to improve the level of engagement you have with your audience

First – what do you want?

Before you take any action, take a moment to quantify your objectives. Have a think and discuss with colleagues what you really want to achieve with your marketing. And be specific, not just general business objectives like ‘increase sales’ or ‘increase market share’. For instance, ‘I want to increase the number of  visitors coming to our website from social media channels by 200% over the next 12 months’. Or, ‘in our next financial year, I want to reduce my pay-per-click spend by 40% and build total internet sales without increasing my online marketing budget’.

Action

Firstly, flesh out any thin pages you have with meatier content, whether that involves extending your product descriptions or providing more background information.

If you don’t have a company blog or a news section, get one or both started now and contribute to it every day.  If you are languishing in Google’s rankings for your prime keywords, you should see a steady rise begin in around a month or two. If you’re already up there, you’ll consolidate your position and begin to see second-tier key terms rise up the rankings.

Remember that some of your competitors will also be adding content and improving their web presence, so the pressure is on you to stay ahead of the pack, and boost your authority within your industry.

Here are the three broad strategies you need to follow to keep at the forefront:

Add more engaging, relevant and informative content
Add different types of content
Propagate your content

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Add more content

According to inbound marketing company Hubspot, businesses that add at least 20 articles a month to their website get five times more traffic than those businesses that write at most once a week.

businesses that blog get more visitor traffic

By including regular blog posts and industry news, you broadcast your industry knowledge and authority. It also demonstrates your thought leadership and, importantly, informs and educates your readers at the same time as giving them a platform to engage with you.

Gone are the days when we produce content specifically for the search engines. By that I mean liberally peppering every article with one or more top tier keywords (and never failing to include a keyword in the title).  Search engines have gotten smarter – they know when they are being shown a private dance and can detect keyword stuffing from several miles away.

This is not saying that we should lose focus on utilising keywords that specifically drive conversions.  These keywords, important in the buying process journey, need to be discovered and let out in a judicious manner.  In the course of writing truly relevant and informative articles, first and second tier keywords will naturally appear and help drive your site forwards in search and build up long-tail collateral.

Try to avoid creating content that is wholly company-centric. Too many marketers assume that their audience is going to be hooked on a stream of content centred around the company and its brands.  This approach simply doesn’t produce the level of interest needed to build a genuine rapport.

Of course it is easy for people to talk about their own company and its products or services. Conversely, it’s relatively difficult for marketers to come up with original content outside these areas, while still of particular interest to the audience. According to the Content Marketing Institute, around 41 percent of marketers say their leading content marketing problem is actually producing engaging content.

Your overall business objectives might be to increase enquiries, increase sales and profits. You also want to tell the brand story, build brand awareness, increase brand market share and establish thought leadership.

Provide content your audience wants

What I am saying is: focus on the customer and the information that he or she needs and is interested in. In the diagram above, anything outside the red circle is a no-go area.

There is nothing wrong in zooming in on your audience’s interests as they relate to your organisation. And without a brand in the picture, content is just a distant cry in the wilderness.  But if you restrict yourself to providing content that must, in a direct manner, relate to the brand and/or the business, you will struggle to grow your audience.

Just try moving your brand and business out of the story and see how much further the content will travel.  I guarantee you’ll want to do it more.
The interesting thing is that when you really do have something interesting to say to your audience about your brand or company, they’ll be much more attentive and responsive.

Add different types of content

So that’s a hint about where to start in terms of broadening the scope of the subject matter.  Adding more types of content is another way to broaden your reach, improve engagement ratios and boost SEO efforts.

Content types used in online marketing
The content type above is a visualisation, which in this case shows a selection of  content forms available. The positioning of content types here (based on our internal data) gives a general idea of the production ease and relative effectiveness of each.

In reality the effectiveness of a content form really depends how suited it is to your information.  Your choices are also going to shaped by resources that are available. Writing a book or even a white paper, whilst generally very effective, is going to some time and therefore is expensive.  At the other end of the spectrum you have social media updates and blog comments which are quick and cheap to create and, on their own,  have limited effectiveness.

There are some under-utilised types of content, like comics or cartoons, which can get good shares in social media,  stick around for a while and are good at picking up inbound links. Slideshare presentations are great at condensing longer Powerpoint presentations or displaying a set of slides in a visually appealing manner.

In terms of value for money, quality blogs and original news feed are a very powerful way to inform and engage with your audience, especially when used in conjunction with newsletters and social media. The ‘Freshness Update’ was coined to explain the way that Google rewards websites that are continually adding more content. A Google search guru even said that search results were like cookies that come out of the oven – ‘best when fresh’.

Infographics are in vogue of course, and are fantastic for allowing people to digest and make sense of larger amounts of data in a fun way. Different types of information are often best conveyed by using particular content forms.  So couple creativeness in broadening your topics with a bigger toolbox of content forms to really build your audience.

Propagate your content

Once you have produced your content, is it just going to be plonked on the website, waiting to be discovered? Or will it be actively promoted and marketed?

Internal promotion
Before discussing ways to get your content linked to from third party sites, check to make sure the page upon which the content sits is well formatted, optimised for search and is featured around the site itself, including the home page.

Adding internal links from keywords or phrases in your regular content to relevant sections will help consolidate those sections and form good site architecture. Don’t be afraid of linking out to third party websites. In the old days, this would constitute ‘leaking of link juice’, but most SEO experts now agree that linking out helps rather than hinders online marketing efforts.

Make sure you have social sharing links prominently displayed above or below the content. Maybe both.  Check that there is an RSS feed set up so people can subscribe to your regular content through their browsers and in their personal news aggregators.

External promotion
Here’s what agency and brand marketers are doing to promote their content externally, according to Outbrain.

content distribution strategies

It’s likely that the better online marketers are utilising the majority of these.
No surprise to see that nearly everyone is using social media. If the content is deemed good enough by the audience, it will travel a long way.

Take a Facebook post we put up recently for a client, a sustainable forestry investment company.  It was just 50 words with an image about the world’s first ‘vertical forest’ – trees growing on every balcony of an apartment building in Milan, Italy.  But it’s interesting, relevant content for this audience, garnering many comments and hundreds of shares. There’s no mention of the brand anywhere, no calls to action.

Other times we will link to a news story or a blog post on the client’s website, where there is a chance of conversion.    Three quarters of online adults at least sometimes visit a corporate web site after learning of a news story through social media channels.  And seven out of ten will use corporate websites or online newsrooms as a source for sharing and posting information.  Social media is a very powerful platform to showcase your expertise using compelling content.

In your holistic approach, you will be co-ordinating your social media, PPC, SEO,  public relations and other online marketing activity so you’re not duplicating efforts and you are achieving a level of synergy.

Follow the bones of this content marketing über strategy, and you’ll leave your competitors straggling on the first lap.

http://www.newsvend.com/blog/7/how-to-build-a-killer-content-marketing-strategy

The Top 5 Corporate Twitter Disasters of 2012

2012 has been the year big businesses finally took the big leap toward embracing social media. But it’s also produced some of the most disastrous tweets in corporate Twitter history.

Social media can be an important and inexpensive PR tool for companies, but when used improperly, it can bring about very negative consequences.

Here are 5 of the year’s biggest corporate Twitter blunders, and some thoughts on how the right technology and some basic training could’ve helped:

1. Insensitive employee tweets a presidential low-blow

On Oct. 3, in the course of the first US presidential debate, President Barack Obama mentioned his grandmother, who died just days before he took office. Moments later, this tweet went out to KitchenAid’s 24,000-plus followers. As outrage flooded in, KitchenAid went into apology mode, explaining that an employee mistakenly sent the offensive remark from the corporate handle, rather than his or her personal account.

Analysis: Sadly, this kind of account mix-up happens all the time. Heavy Twitter users often post to multiple accounts, switching back and forth on the fly. Mistakes are inevitable. That’s why leading social media management systems like HootSuite now prompt users with a special window before they publish to designated, high-profile accounts. Setting up these so-called secure profiles is often all it takes to avert a Twitter meltdown. 
2. Major supermarket chain tries to cash in on Hurricane Sandy

There were an appalling number of  insensitive tweets surrounding deadly Hurricane Sandy. Gap, for instance, encouraged followers to weather the storm by staying inside and shopping on the store’s website. But the most spectacularly inappropriate tweet comes from Canadian supermarket chain President’s Choice. The above message linked to a Halloween recipe for marshmallow bloodshot eyeballs, made by slicing marshmallows in half and placing a grape in the middle.

Analysis: This comes down more to a lack of common sense than a lack of Twitter savvy. Joking about death and tragedyor using it as part of a sales pitchisn’t acceptable in normal conversation. It’s certainly not acceptable on Twitter.

3. Fashion retailer riffs on Batman shooting

Hours after the deadly theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., during a Batman movie, UK-based CelebBoutique sent the above tweet. It was left up for an hour before being hastily deleted in a hail of angry comments. According to CelebBoutique, their PR people were totally unaware of the shooting when they sent the tweet. The Twitterverse, however, was not sympathetic.

Analysis: A better approach? When delegating tweets to outside agencies, contractors or even junior employees, assign them limited permissions. The right social media management tool will let you designate which team members can draft and which can actually publish tweets. Drafts can be fed into an approval queue to be vetted by senior management before publishing, avoiding this kind of PR disaster. 
4. A CFO tweets too much, too soon

Francesca’s, a clothing retailer with stores in 44 states, started the year on the wrong foot when its CFO sent out this tweet after a confidential meeting on March 7. The problem is that Francesca’s is a publicly traded company. The CFO disclosed company info to his followers before it went public, thus sharing inside information – a violation of long-held SEC regulations. He was promptly fired.

Analysis: Regulated industries—finance, healthcare, insurance and many others—face strict rules governing what they can and cannot communicate to the public. Social media is not exempt. Every firm should have a social media compliance policy and a social media management system that can archive all messages in the event of an audit.  

5. A fashion model posts racist photo, then follows up with ignorant tweet

While in Korea on business to celebrate a new store opening there, a male model for Abercrombie & Fitch clothing label Hollister tweeted a picture of himself smiling, squinting his eyes and giving the peace sign. To top it off, when followers called him out on the offensive gesture, he responded with, “Hahahaha they ruhhvvvv ittt!’.” Korean media picked up the story and furious locals initiated a campaign to boycott the store.

Analysis: We must all accept the reality that social media is a public forum. Nearly everything posted on Twitter and Facebook becomes part of your digital footprint—potentially viewable not just by friends but by employers and the public at large. In this case, it’s crucial that companies have a social media policy and share it with employees. First and foremost, emphasize that tweets are public by default and messages sent over Twitter—even on private accounts—may ultimately reflect on the company.  Many social media management systems for businesses include online tutorials that hammer this point home.  

The tragedy is that all of these embarrassing and damaging tweets could have been avoided with a little social media 101 and the right social media management system. Some simple preventative measures would have spared a lot of apologizing, not to mention angry customers and possible lost revenue.

Comforted by the fact their employees have been equipped with the proper tools and training, companies can turn the focus toward the estimated $1.3 trillion in business value waiting be unlocked by social technologies.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121120210129-2967511-the-top-5-corporate-twitter-disasters-of-2012

Tumblr Starts Selling Ads — But Not All Advertisers Welcome

Tumblr starts selling ads — but not all advertisers welcome

More than five years, $125 million in funding, 55 million users, and 22 billion blog posts later, trendy blogging platform Tumblr is finally getting serious about making money — just on its own terms.

The New York-based company announced Wednesday two advertising products available to sponsors for a minimum $25,000 package commitment. Approved — and that’s a key detail — advertisers and media companies can pay for content placement and account exposure through Tumblr Radar and Tumblr Spotlight.

With Radar, sponsors are featured through the company’s curation engine that spotlights top and interesting posts on the network in the right-hand margin of members’ dashboard. Radar pushes 120 million impressions per day, according to Tumblr.

Tumblr Spotlight, a member directory of sorts, is the area where members go to find new people to follow. Sponsors will be featured in a large display above spotlighted members (pictured above).

Together, the products comprise a mini ad suite that echoes the style of ad products offered by Facebook and Twitter. Tumblr promises advertisers thousands of new followers, likes, and reblogs through the promotional placements.

“We are constantly delighted by the creative ways that brands use Tumblr, and are confident that the world’s greatest marketers and media companies will use these products to set a new bar for creative advertising on the web,” a Tumblr spokesperson said in an email to VentureBeat.

Creative is the operative word. The steep $25,000 price point is no accident; it’s intended to keep out junky ads from un-ideal advertisers. In fact, Tumblr is gating its ad platform and will only be working with select advertisers that understand the opportunity, vice president of product Derek Gottfrid told VentureBeat. “We’ve priced this accordingly to make sure we have a really high quality experience,” Gottrid said.

The units, he added, we’re designed to give advertisers a way to buy into the native Tumblr experience, thus requiring a would-be sponsor to invest time and energy in the platform for story-telling purposes. “Our goal is that the experience makes sense for users and sponsors.”

When the ad units do go live, and no hard date has been set, members can expect to see a mix of advertisers spanning categories such as automotive, fashion, and consumer goods.

Even with the emphasis on strong creative and the anticipated launch, Wednesday’s ad announcement represents an about-face for a company that has previously shunned advertising.

Tumblr CEO David Karp has often expressed a disdain for ads. “We’re pretty opposed to advertising,” Karp said in a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times. Just this past January, Karp said that Tumblr was pursuing “novel approaches to revenue” in lieu to tacking on ads. Karp, however, admitted to being wrong about ads at an AdAge conference in April

http://venturebeat.com/2012/05/02/tumblr-ads/#A2p6TDdu26J7jEl4.99

Should You Be on Tumblr? Seven Business Case Examples

Are you looking for an effortless blogging platform for your business? Tumblr has 30 million+ blogs and is business-friendly.

It easily supports text, images and videos from your mobile phone, browser or desktop.

Read how seven businesses created interesting blogs using Tumblr.

How Tumblr Works

With more than 10 billion posts and 30 million blogs, Tumblr is quickly becoming a force in the world of social media. It combines the social sharing of Twitter and Facebook with a clean, easy-to-use blogging platform.

sign up tumblrOne advantage of Tumblr is its simplicity and ease of use.

Users choose to “follow” other Tumblr blogs that appear in their dashboard much like an RSS feed. They can then “reblog” to their own Tumblr feed. This reblog feature encourages the redistribution of content, which can spread quickly if it’s interesting.

follow tumblr blogsTumblr allows you to “follow” blogs that appear in the dashboard like an RSS feed.

Tumblr users can also open their blogs to submissions from readers, which has led to some very creative Tumblr sites (Dear PhotographUnhappy Hipsters andClients from Hell are some of my personal favorites).

Tumblr is not for everyone. The audience tends to be younger, so short, highly visual blog posts tend to do much better than text-intensive posts. If you have trouble obtaining quality photographs and video, Tumblr may not be for you.

However, the quick setup and simplicity of Tumblr may make it a good choice for those who want to get a blog up and running right now. There is very little learning curve and although it doesn’t have the power of WordPress, it’s also much easier to use.

The fashion industry was one of the first to embrace Tumblr from a business perspective. Brands like Oscar De La Renta and Ann Taylor capitalized on the visual nature of Tumblr by publishing photos of the latest fashions, insider pictures and quick bits from the fashion world.

oscar pr girlOscar De La Renta is one of many in the fashion industry to utilize Tumblr.

Media companies such as the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone Magazine have also found their spots on Tumblr providing tidbits and teases to larger stories on their main website.

rolling stoneRolling Stone uses Tumblr to lead readers to their main website.

For those considering Tumblr as a publishing platform, it’s important to spend some time exploring Tumblr to get a feel for the tone and nature of the Tumblr audience.

To get you started, here are seven businesses that have created interesting Tumblr blogs.

#1: Highchair Critics: Spit up, Bits and Pieces From the Baby News Network

Everyone loves cute baby pictures and who better to provide them than a diaper company? Huggies takes full advantage of the cuteness factor with their Tumblr site,Highchair Critics, where they share all things baby.

On a typical visit, you’ll find everything from “I just can’t help but share” baby videos to quick thoughts and tips for new parents to pregnant celebrity photos. Highchair Critics has it all. Interspersed throughout are contests that you can enter by “reblogging” posts from the site. If ever there was a site teeming with viral content, this is it.

highchair criticsHuggies packs their Tumblr with content designed to go viral.

#2: Adventures in Ice Cream

Milkmade Ice Cream, which specializes in gourmet ice cream delivery in the New York City area, uses their Tumblr site, Adventures in Ice Cream, to publish daily photos of ice cream that would make anyone drool.

The simplicity of it is appealing—mainly high-quality images of delicious-looking ice cream mixed in with an occasional update about company activity. Naturally, they make and sell each ice cream flavor pictured. Follow it long enough and you’ll be requesting delivery to your area.

adventures in ice creamHigh-quality photos of delicious-looking ice cream helped Milkmade Ice Cream gain recognition on Tumblr.

#3: Somebody’s Mother’s

I’m a big advocate of self-hosted blogs directly incorporated into a company’s website. Not only can they provide a big boost in the search engine rankings, they can also be used to direct readers to other parts of a company website.

Somebody’s Mother’s, a company specializing in chocolate and caramel dessert sauces, has found a way to take advantage of the social sharing elements of Tumblr while directly incorporating Tumblr into their website.

somebody's mother'sSomebody’s Mother’s creates a seamless transition between Tumblr and their main website.

Using a custom Tumblr design, Somebody’s Mother’s, creates a seamless transition between their website and Tumblr blog. Tumblr readers can easily move from the Tumblr blog to the website and back (and vice versa) and never notice that they left Tumblr.

Like Adventures in Ice CreamSomebody’s Mother’s uses plenty of easy-to-share content and high-quality photos of delicious-looking desserts.

#4: A Smarter Planet

IBM’s A Smarter Planet looks more like a traditional blog, but instead of long, in-depth articles, it’s filled with short posts, photos and videos all based around science and technology. The shorter posts on A Smarter Planet are optimized for the Tumblr dashboard and provide enough “oh wow” factor to encourage sharing.

smarter planetIBM’s A Smarter Planet looks more like a traditional blog.

#5: The Museum of Useful Things

The Museum of Useful Things sells “well made utilitarian items” that range from aluminum pushpins to clamping camera tripods. Their blog features a variety of art, design and other interesting items that make you say, “Yeah, I could use something like that.”

Recent items featured on the blog include a paper clip/USB drive, a photography exhibit and a magnetic nail holder designed to prevent swollen thumbs.

Interspersed are posts about products they sell. They publish enough related content that their own products seem to fit right into the mix.

museum of useful thingsThe Museum of Useful Things presents an interesting collection of art and design.

#6: Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders uses a combination of photos and quotes to convey their humanitarian message. Using a two-column format, the majority of posts are split between photos with short captions and quotes from longer field reports from trouble spots such as Somalia and Pakistan.

Most posts link to larger reports or slide shows on their main site but the combination of the quotes and pictures can be quite effective.

doctors without bordersDoctors Without Borders uses photos and quotes to draw in readers.

#7: Newsweek

Yes, they’re a big media company, but Newsweek has found a way to create a unique and creative voice that speaks to the Tumblr audience.

Informal, humorous and sometimes poignant, the success of Newsweek on Tumblr demonstrates the importance of understanding your audience.

newsweekNewsweek has found a voice that speaks to the Tumblr audience.

Tumblr isn’t for everyone. The audience tends to be a bit edgy and it can be difficult for those without the means to produce visual content. Regardless, for the right organization, Tumblr’s ease of use, viral nature and active users can provide a powerful publishing platform.

What do you think? Do you use Tumblr for business or know of another business that is making Tumblr work for them? Tell us about it in the comments box below.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/should-you-be-on-tumblr-seven-business-case-examples/

Tumblr Unveils First Major Brand Campaign for Adidas

Less than two months after announcing its plunge into paid advertising, Tumblr has sold a month-long campaign to a global advertiser: Adidas.

Tumblr’s Radar ad unit

The footwear retailer launched an official soccer Tumblr blogin time for the 2012 UEFA European Championship, being played across Poland and the Ukraine starting today. It plans to promote the site with paid placements in the Tumblr “Radar” slot on the user dashboard, which will continue to feature a continually rotating selection of Tumblr blogs picked by the editorial team, but now can be bought as an ad unit for an entire day as well. Adidas will also promote the site on Tumblr’s “spotlight” page for sports blogs, where the ad runs three times wider than the teases for organic picks.

Tumblr’s first taker for its new ad products was luxury fashion retailer Bottega Veneta, which ran Radar and spotlight ads last week — which are marked with a dollar sign that looks like it’s exuding rays of light to differentiate it from organic content — but the Adidas campaign has a much bigger scope.

For the launch of its ad units, Tumblr was looking to work with brands that were already active on the platform and had a strong creative vision, according to Tumblr director of product Danielle Strle, who noted that Adidas already had a compelling presence on Tumblr with its fashion- and design-oriented “Adidas Originals” blog. (When he unveiled the ads at Ad Age’s Digital Conference in April, Tumblr founder David Karp placed particular emphasis on the importance of design, adding that “anyone interested in doing anything creative with us” should email him.)

“We’ve been kind of selective as to who we’re engaging with for this opportunity right now,” Ms. Strle said. “We’re trying to ramp up and do a lot of learning from these initial advertisers.”

The new Adidas Football Tumblr blog has a Pinterest-like aesthetic with an array of static images and animated GIFs. A YouTube video embedded near the top features famous footballers from Leo Messi to Sandro to Xabi Alonso welcoming visitors to the account by saying “Tumblr” in their various accents. The video was also being featured in the Radar spot yesterday, but Adidas intends to promote fresh content in the spot as Euro 2012 progresses, according to Ms. Strle.

“It’s a whole month of sports that they plan to cover, and they’ll do a whole series of posts in Radar,” she said. “We anticipate that they’ll build a huge community of football fans in Tumblr.”

Tumblr intends to accelerate the rollout of advertisers over the course of the summer but Ms. Strle declined to say how many the platform planned to accommodate. Tumblr also declined to give details about the pricing of its ad units.

Adidas’s global brand marketing director-football, Tom Ramsden, described his vision for the Adidas Football blog in a statement: “We will use Tumblr to share unique content with fans; combining material from our vast footballing archive with fresh, new content produced in real time by a lineup of exciting, up and coming producers.”