Marketing and analytics company Curalate has joined Tumblr's A-list partner program to become the social network's only visual analytics partner. While most social media analytics tools rely on keywords and other text-related data, Curalate's solution combines the social signals found on image-oriented social networks with its proprietary algorithms to identify the images that relate to a company's brand and determine which of those drive traffic and revenue. Originally focused on delivering marketing and analytics tools to companies using Pinterest, the company has since expanded its technology to provide analytics based on brands' presence on Facebook, Instagram, and now Tumblr as well.
"If you look across social media, images are everywhere, but from a marketing analytics perspective, images have been virtually invisible. There are tools out there that can analyze a brand's performance across social media based on hashtags or mentions, for example, but images that aren't associated with any text have presented a major challenge," Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, says. On Tumblr alone, roughly 130 million photos are shared daily, which constitutes about 75 percent of all posts. "That's a lot of data that isn't necessarily being utilized fully," he says.
By becoming an A-list Tumblr partner, Curalate now has access to Tumblr's firehose, a feed that includes all of Tumblr's public data. With access to Tumblr's firehose, Curalate can monitor page activity as well as track posts that include a given brand's products and images, regardless of whether the brand name is mentioned specifically. With that insight in hand, marketers can start to pick up on patterns and pinpoint the type of content that's most effective for engaging fans. The insight can be taken further than just social media campaigns, too, and can be used to plan business-wide efforts such as email marketing and e-commerce strategies.
Curalate's analytics dashboard allows marketers to filter between "Trending" and "Popular" tabs to gauge what is currently "hot" versus what has been historically popular, and enables them to access Tumblr data in the cross-platform view to evaluate how engagement on Tumblr compares to Instagram, >Pinterest, and Facebook."Because our technology can provide analytics from different channels, it can be used as a comparison tool that provides a holistic view of customer engagement on various social networks," Gupta says.
The solution can also zero in on the most influential customers to identify the users that actively share marketing content or engage with the brand most often and help marketers build relationships with these customers. This can be a helpful tool when a brand is, for example, launching a new product. "In that case, a marketer can reach out to the influencers identified by Curalate and invite them to share or engage with exclusive content and spread the word," Gupta explains.
Though Curalate's technology gives brands an opportunity to tap into their Tumblr presence, a brand doesn't have to have a Tumblr page or account to leverage the insight Curalate can provide. Because Curalate not only tracks brand-page activity but general activity as well, the company can still deliver valuable insight regardless of whether an official brand page is set up.
"Right now, we're working with Lilly Pulitzer, [a retailer] that doesn't have a Tumblr page, and the company is utilizing our analytics to inform some of their next marketing steps. I know they're planning to make the platform a more significant part of their digital marketing strategy, and our technology can give them the data they need to form that strategy," Gupta explains.
In addition to Lilly Pulitzer, Curalate works with roughly 400 brands include Gap, Neiman Marcus, and Michaels. "We think that visual social media is starting to play a significant role in the way customers are making purchases," Gupta says, "and we're excited to give brands that tools they need to connect with their customers through these image-oriented channels."