All the talk of Yahoo bringing ads to Tumblr set me thinking. Here’s what I’ve come up with as a best case. Please let me know if this exists already.
- As part of the dashboard, I can view google analytics style stats. (Visitors, location, etc.) If I agree to host ads, potential advertisers can see these too, so that they can come and find me.
- I can see a page of potential advertisers, who have sample ads that match the Tumblr post types of Photo, Video etc. In particular, the Photo ones have no words over the photo (so they’re not billboard ads) but they may have text captions. They might be logos if nicely designed. Yahoo uses some clever Flickr technology to cut out crap at source. (In fact, maybe there’s a way to to promote advertisers to me based on photo-similarity?) A photo could also be a nice headshot of an author who has a relevant book out, or of the book jacket, or a picture within. Text ads could be used for announcements or job ads. I can choose which post types may appear (only photo or text here, for example).
- I can choose which advertisers to include, and their sponsored posts will appear in the blog stream. A sponsored post might appear below the post on a single-post page.
- For example, I’d imagine choosing a developer of mid-rise mixed-use buildings, whose sponsored posts would be a rendering of their project, with explanatory text and a link below. Although unbuilt, it would otherwise fit pretty well into the flow.
- I can also email potential advertisers (i.e. brands I like, possibly small local ones) from within the Advertising Dashboard to suggest they sign up and get customers through me. Somehow the system tracks this and adds them to my approved list if they do. Maybe I even get a signing bonus from Yahoo, or perhaps when another tumblog agrees to host their ads. I would totally use Tumblr as a platform for this if they made it easy. I believe the only current way is to use a third party.
- Unchosen advertisers can request to appear, and maybe a slightly evil Yahoo might force some in if I chose none. That probably wouldn’t do anyone any good though. (I imagine they’d get a Dashboard to help find relevant audiences.) The AdDashboard would also suggest to me similar advertisers, in the same sector, or with the same keywords, as existing ones.
- Click-through revenue is all handled by Yahoo and is shared between us.
The point of course is to ensure relevant ads for the audience that don’t disturb the feel and flow of the tumblog. I’m sure advertisers don’t want their brand tainted by appearing incongruously in unwanted places. Tumblr’s theme skinning should make this easier.
I understand Yahoo might have to force ads on all tumblogs eventually, but I wouldn’t go forcing ads on tumblogs without this kind of potential customization. If the tools to implement this easily already exist, please let me know. If you know Marissa or Dave, please feel free to pass this on!