Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, a professional speaker and freelance writerThis post originally appeared on the SumAll blog.


Creating partnerships with influencers on social media can be a truly beneficial route to reach your audience wherever they are most active in an organic way.

Tumblr is a thriving social network that’s often underutilized by businesses, which represents an opportunity to get ahead of the competition by building a following of the platform’s most active contributors to help your company achieve its goals.

According to Search Engine People, the average visit to Tumblr is 14 minutes, longer than Twitter or Facebook. Tumblr users tend to be more engaged when on the social network and less likely to get distracted by other content, which is probably due to the various type of content present on the platform from GIFs to long-form blog posts.

It’s important that your business creates content on Tumblr, encourages users to create content about their business and partners with influencers to create another type of content. This balance of who’s creating content about your business is the measure of a healthy content marketing strategy.

Working with an influencer on Tumblr can help your business drive engagement with your content, gain visibility for your organization, build credibility due to the association with the influencer, and increase traffic to your web properties.

Here’s what it takes to find the right influencer, establish the partnership, and cultivate it to last for the long-term.

Identify a match for your business

Any partnership with a influencer will falter if they aren’t a proper match for your business and its customer base. A perfectly matched influencer is one that shares a common interest in similar subjects to your business or even already has a connection with or a passion for your organization.

To find an influencer on Tumblr, search for topics related to your business and find Tumblr accounts that consistently share content related to those subjects. The next step is to analyze their content to see if its well-shared or not to ascertain if they have an impact on the social network.

This can be measured by seeing how often their posts are reblogged or if they are receiving comments on their content consistently, among other indicators. However, there isn’t an exact number to work off of when it comes to how often something is shared on Tumblr.

This is mainly important to get a general idea of the popularity of a particular Tumblr content, since you’ll likely get deeper insights into an influencers Tumblr traffic once you’re communicating with them about a partnership.

After establishing that they are in fact an influential Tumblr, it’s important to review the content they share more closely to see if it is aligned with your industry, your organizations goals and the preferences of your audience.

fashgif tumblr 3 steps to forming partnerships with influencers on Tumblr

For example, FASHGIF is a Tumblr influencer that consistently dissects images from fashion runway shows and photo shoots to create captivating GIFs of women wearing the original looks with an added twist. Her content is well-received on Tumblr, often seen by a large audience every time she’s publishes a post.

She’s collaborated with Nine West, Gap, Calvin Klein, Tiffany & Co. and many others apparel brands that cater to women. These brands are smart to partner with FASHGIF on her Tumblr blog since she’s influential in the fashion niche, which is a relevant audience that these apparel brands are trying to reach.

Browse your industry on Tumblr and see what content is getting traction on the network and who’s typically behind this messaging. To find more influencers, visit the Tumblr dashboard and visit the account section of the dashboard on the right hand-side to access the “find blogs” feature.

tumblr dashboard 3 steps to forming partnerships with influencers on Tumblr
This will take you to a directory of recommended Tumblr blogs under the spotlight tab that have been selected by Tumblr due to their popularity, quality content, and focus on a particular niche. This directory is broken up into different categories like architecture, business, comics, non-profits, music, food, photographers, sports,  and more, which can help make identifying a relevant Tumblr blog for your business much easier.

For example, if you browse on the food category on the directory it’ll highlight some of the following Tumblr blogs as seen below.

tumblr directory 730x682 3 steps to forming partnerships with influencers on Tumblr

It’s really important to identify influencers on Tumblr or any social network that would help build a beneficial partnership with your business, otherwise the collaboration could come off forced, irrelevant to your audience, and potentially a waste of your time and resources.

Frame partnership for mutual benefit

As an important part of your Tumblr marketing, an influencer partnership should benefit both the influencer and your company in order to be a successful campaign and ideally, a long-term relationship.

Once you’ve identified an influential Tumblr blog you’d like to partner with, create a quick outline of how you’d envision a partnership with this individual or group of individuals to better prepare yourself before reaching out to them.

Find their contact info, which can typically be found somewhere on their Tumblr blog if they are interested in hearing from potential partners. If their contact info is extremely difficult to find, it could purposely be hidden by the influencer and it’s best for your business to move on to contact a different Tumblr blog.

When you reach out via e-mail, present the outline you’ve developed about the potential partnership and make it clear what you’d like to accomplish together, how you envisioned a partnership and how each side will benefit from the relationship.

Ideally, you’ll collaborate with an influencer on Tumblr to create content together that will be originally shared from their blog, shared on your blog, or reblogged from your Tumblr to theirs. This continued exchange will likely draw more interactions, visibility, drive traffic, and build upon your Tumblr community for your business.

For the Tumblr influencer, it’s likely that they’ll need something more in return in conjunction with the growth of their community as a result of the partnership like exclusive access to your content, an invitation to your company events, free product, or payment for their time spent on the partnership.

the signal tumblr 730x571 3 steps to forming partnerships with influencers on Tumblr
The most ideal partnerships don’t simply involve paying an influencer to talk about your brand, but are an actual relationship that’s genuine due to a strong motivation from both parties that want to work together over their common interests.

For example, The Signal is a Tumblr blog that focuses on fashion exclusively, despite the fact that it’s owned by Lexus, that has utilized influencers to help fuel its success to date. Obviously, the company sells cars but the intention of their blog is to further align the Lexus brand with luxury.

One of the many models they decided to use in their photos and work with is Coco Rocha who is world renown supermodel, blogger, and influencer on Tumblr. Through their arrangement working together on photo shoots and creating other content, Coco Rocha also reblogged content from the blog onto her own Tumblr to help further spread the visibility of their partnership together.

Use this as an example of a strategic relationship with many facets, one of which being that they’ll work together to further grow their Tumblr blog. Not every business can land Coco Rocha to work on their project, but that doesn’t mean another influencer on Tumblr isn’t accessible to model in your photos, contribute to your blog or reshare your content regularly.

Once again, it’s important to not force a relationship with an influencer because it simply won’t work, but instead reach out to influencers with common ground, while also making sure to outline how each side of the partnership benefits from the very beginning.

Establish a long-term relationship

The most ideal partnerships your brand should enter into are one’s where the influencers are working with your organization for the long-term.

Yes, there are still campaigns where you’d likely interact with an influencer on a one-off project, but for the most part, there is more value to be add if both parties are involved for the long run.

One of the main factors that affects the likelihood of a longer engagement with a relevant Tumblr blog is doing your research as to which Tumblr influencers would be a best match to reach out to for your business from the start.

This is typically the most important step for putting a long-term relationship into motion, since it’s critical that your organization is fairly aligned with the influencer to ensure it’s lasting partnership.

A more informal way to generate results from a variety of influencers on Tumblr is to feature them on your own blog in a positive light, whether in a profile, interview, video, or other form of content.

Converse features a variety of artists on its music Tumblr in order to create a compelling experience for their audience, but also to capture the attention of influencers to hopefully reach their audiences on Tumblr as well.

converse tumblr 730x410 3 steps to forming partnerships with influencers on Tumblr
An influencer is more likely to share content from your Tumblr without a formal agreement if you feature them on your blog, which is important to think about as you first begin to craft an arrangement with them.

When initially crafting an arrangement with a well-known Tumblr blog, keep in mind how this will relationship will remain constant weeks, months, and years from now between them and your organization.

As one option, consider bringing them on as a guest contributor to your Tumblr blog on a weekly or monthly basis to start the relationship off as an ongoing commitment.

Again, matching your organization with the right influencer will help better tie them into your ongoing messaging on Tumblr as opposed to a singular campaign.

Consider working with this influencer on other social channels your business is active on as well to further incorporate them into your company’s marketing as a consistent voice, if their audience is similar across each social network.

What’s the biggest roadblock for your organization dedicating time to Tumblr? What issues do you face finding the right Tumblr blog to partner with? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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