Tumblr Ads 101: Ad Types, Specs, Examples & Best Practices for High-Performing Campaigns

Last updated on by Stephanie Mialki in Advertising

Some might describe Tumblr as an out of the ordinary, immature social platform. Others might say it’s highly creative, visual, and entertaining. Either way, there’s no arguing that it’s a popular one — one of the 50 most popular websites in the United States. Digital marketer’s take note, it might be worth it for you to invest in Tumblr ads.

With a mix of short textual posts, images, memes, video, gif, and audio, this image-driven blogging platform can be an extremely useful platform for brands willing to dig beyond the platform’s quirky surface. Underneath all the humor, there’s much more solid content on a diverse range of topics, indicating the breadth of Tumblr’s user base.

After a quick definition of Tumblr ads, we will demonstrate how you can use Tumblr advertising to engage users and persuade them to convert on your offer.

What are Tumblr ads?

Tumblr ads are created as Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Video Posts, or Sponsored Day. They are selectively shown to relevant audiences based on factors such as surrounding content users are viewing, information provided, apps used, search history, and friends’ recommendations. Ads on Tumblr serve across desktop, mobile, and tablet:

Not sure if advertising on Tumblr is right for you? Let’s find out.

Who should use Tumblr advertising… and why?

Advertising on Tumblr is ideal for any brand trying to reach an artistic, creative, entertainment-focused audience.

Forbes describes the Tumblr generation as a “young, bright and tech-savvy group of international users who seek what might seem counterintuitive: Genuine online connection bolstered, not hindered, by anonymity.”

If that sounds like your target audience, you should be advertising on Tumblr. However, any brand with good visual content to share can benefit from Tumblr advertising because it’s:

To check if your industry is relevant on the platform, the full list of top-level topics currently available on Tumblr includes (but not limited to):

Notably, there are audiences for practically all types of business.

There are also several ways marketers can advertise on the platform. Here are the different types of Tumblr ads, complete with examples and Tumblr ad specs.

How to put ads on Tumblr

1. Sponsored Posts

These ads are served in the Dashboard stream to desktop, mobile, and tablet users. They look and behave like regular Tumblr posts — users can like, reblog, and follow — except they’re exposed to a wider audience because users don’t need to be following you to see your ads:

Sponsored Posts can target audiences by gender, location, and interests. They can even be syndicated to Yahoo for more reach, but the only engagement opportunity in this case is a click through to the Tumblr post’s permalink. Native engagements (like, reblog, and follow) aren’t available through Yahoo.

Television network FX ran a Sponsored Post campaign to promote their new show, Man Seeking Woman. They created “editorial content including GIFs, illustrations, and original photography that aligned with the brand’s messaging strategy:”

The campaign increased FX’s follower count by 86%, and boosted their engagement rate to 2.8% — 32% above industry averages.

These results represent the consensus of Tumblr ads:

Ad specs

Best practices

2. Sponsored Video Posts

Similar to regular Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Video Posts also appear in the dashboard, but as videos that autoplay and loop:

They are similar in terms of reach and targeting, however, they provide additional analytics, allowing you to see stats on views, looping, and engagement. In addition, the video player pops out so people can continue scrolling their feed as they watch.

Maynards used a combination of Sponsored Video Posts and regular Sponsored Posts to promote their new line of candy, Maynards Beanz. Along with video, they used the tag #whereyoubeanz to increase brand awareness:

The campaign resulted in:

Ad specs

Best practices

3. Sponsored Day

This option allows advertisers to monopolize the top of users’ dashboards to advertise selected content for a full 24 hours. It displays an ad above the first post on the Tumblr dashboard, directly below the post box:

Sponsored Day campaigns enable users to click through to:

According to Tumblr, purchase intent and ad recall can double with a Sponsored Day campaign.

Ad specs

Best practices

Create your own engaging Tumblr ads

With the right niche and target audience, Tumblr can be a very effective channel to advertise your brand. As long as you have engaging visual content to share, advertising on Tumblr could significantly boost your brand awareness, increase engagement, drive leads, and ultimately, help you profit.

To get the most from all your ads, download the Instapage digital advertising reference guide, complete with ad specs, best practices, and ad examples across all platforms.

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