Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr helps marketing for both brands. As one of the first orders of business following the new deal, which was made official earlier today, Yahoo plans to integrate advertising, search and content management on the back-end of the social media platform, according to MediaPost.com.
The six-year old Tumblr has done very little in the area of advertising, only adopting items such as sponsored content and in-stream mobile ads over the past year. Meanwhile, Yahoo is looking to bolster its image among Millennials. With the popularity of Tumblr among 18-34 year olds, the purchase would seem to be a logical step. With the new relationship, Yahoo can now use Tumblr as a platform to post “native” content for both itself and advertisers that would complement already published Tumblr stories. In addition, the search engine can use posted Tumblr content as part of its own news aggregation offerings on the Yahoo home page.
Gradually finding ways to better monetize Tumblr may prove to be a challenge, however. Younger users commonly respond negatively to marketing tactics such as banner ads and pop-ups (if they have any type of response at all). If Yahoo overplays its hand and floods Tumblr with dozens of interruptive ads per page, many may be turned off to the site. Sensing this, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has made it clear that the best way to foster the move is to allow the two companies to “evolve somewhat separately.” While a total takeover of the site may seem tempting, if Yahoo is to truly get something out of its $1.1 billion investment, the best way to utilize it might simply be to hold strong for now and wait until subtle, yet effective, opportunities present themselves.