A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s
DAVID KARP Big StatsThe platform has grown to 300 million members. There are 188.4 million blogs and 83.1 billion posts. Trends begin on Tumblr. As an example, Oxford Dictionaries U.S.A. designated “GIF” its 2012 word of the year crediting Tumblr with pushing the term.
Build Beautiful BrightSpotsKarp said Great
creators have demonstrated that they can do something beautiful on Tumblr. Their work subsequently attracted others. Karp said the advertising industry could use Tumblr in a similar “if-you-create-it-they-will- come” manner. In marketing and communications industry dominated by a relentless focus on huge reach and mass adoption, advertisers can use Tumblr to enhance their brands and expect that their Tumblr following will grow. 1
CultivateaCultureofStorytelling Tumblr users are trying
to tell stories, and draw people who will experience those stories. Karp said that brands should use the platform to tell stories that inspire people to become your customer. “Share what you believe in,” he told the audience. “There’s always an authentic story there.” He pointed to a campaign by the Lincoln Motor Company (client) that told a very “now” story using Cinemagraphs and featured visually beautiful, poetic imagery. 2 A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s DAVID KARP
Publish whatYouLoveRather than a place
to meet your friends, Tumblr is a network that allows people to discover the things they care most about. As such, Karp advised session attendees that when it comes to Tumblr content think in terms of what would bring value to your readers. 3 A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s DAVID KARP
Don’tBuilda “Brandpresence”The Hunger Games marketers
created a Tumblr, but not to promote the movie but rather to promote Capitol Couture, a fashion line from the film. Karp said such content was perfectly suited for the fashion crowd already on Tumblr. Using that example, Karp suggested that the best approach to building connections with customers is creating some type of brand experience native to Tumblr. “So much of the Internet has been squeezing [ad creative] down into little blue links,” Karp explained. Tumblr, he added, provides a better and bigger canvas. 4 A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s DAVID KARP
Don’tWorry AboutPermanenceKarp said there is
too much pressure sometimes for marketers to be “always on.” The common wisdom when it comes to brand blogs is to not start one unless you are prepared to do endless updates. Such commitment is not necessary in Tumblr. Sure, Karp, said, it’s a great place for an enduring story space, ut short- lived efforts do well, also. He pointed to Old Spice’s Mr. Wolf Dog campaign as an example. 5 A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s DAVID KARP
You Don’t NeedanarmyWhen creating a
Tumblr, Karp said there’s no need to assemble the entourage that shoots TV spots or that builds cathedral-sized Web sites. Instead, keep the team small and simple. He suggested that a scan of the most beautiful Tumblrs—even those from brands—reveals that they are often quite simple. 6 A FIRESIDE CHAT WITH Tumblr’s DAVID KARP
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