Tech Talk: Tumblr Beefs Up Ad Program, But Do They Need to Reach Out To Diverse Users?

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November 15, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

This week, blogging platform Tumblr announced its A-List Partnership Program, or group of preferred agency partners, that can work with the site’s fairly new advertising platform. The list includes agencies that focus on measurement, content creation, design and Tumblr themes, media, and creative.

This system is similar to how Facebook works with its preferred marketing developers and how Twitter works with its certified products. Additionally, Advertising Age reported that Tumblr is starting to make decent money with its advertising, with packages that start at $25,000.

An initial search did not uncover that any of the 17 agencies are minority-owned, but Union Metrics does have a female co-founder, Jenn Deering Davis, and designedmemory was the agency behind Beyonce’s website.

Tumblr sees 20 billion page views a month and blacks make up 11 percent of all Tumblr visitors, according to Quantcast. Overall, blacks account for nine percent of Internet users, showing a slight over-indexing on Tumblr. However, Hispanics make up 19 percent of all Tumblr visitors, and whites come in at 63 percent, showing that black consumers aren’t necessarily the main users of the site.

Additionally, this week the Nieman Journalism Lab spoke to Jessica Bennett, the executive editor of Tumblr, about the value of content on Tumblr and news organizations on the site.

This is a chicken-or-egg situation. Should Tumblr reach out to blacks in order to get more to the site, or should it wait until more blacks are coming to Tumblr before starting a specific campaign?

There are definitely Tumblr blogs that cater to black women and other specific groups, but without a strong showing of users, Tumblr should focus on building out its overall advertising program before focusing specifically on any specific demographic group. Do you agree?

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