Many know Taylor Swift as a music star and international personality.
When she speaks young people listen. Then they buy her music, in droves.
Her latest album, 1989, sold over 1 million copies in its first week. It is the top selling album of 2014.
What many don’t know is the marketing genius behind the Taylor Swift “brand”. Ms. Swift may be as good a marketer as a she is a singer, and that is saying a lot.
The strategy behind the release of 1989 provides an outstanding case study of marketing techniques.
Many can be applied to nearly any business wishing to build a public relations campaign that creates awareness, builds momentum and separates them from the competition.
- “Influencing the Influencers”.Ms. Swift told David Letterman that she held private parties at her residences in advance of the album release. The goal was to let some true fans hear the music gain some feedback, and create pre-release buzz.
This technique has been used by large innovative companies such as Apple that have been known for sending laptops, iPhones and other devices to the media and other influential individuals in advance of their public launch.
Almost any business can do the same. They can send their products to key well-known clients, the media and even influential bloggers. The result can build excitement for your product and a lot of chatter about your company.
- Spread your message creatively across a variety of social media channels. Swift is said to handle her own social media posting. This includes connecting with fans on a personal level with individualized messages as well as using different channels for different purposes, all reaching a variety of audiences in a variety of ways.
Creating one message and putting the same thing on a pre-planned board that hits five outlets with exactly the same thing is not the answer. Instead create a video specifically for YouTube, create an Infographic for LinkedIn, generate an engaging photo for Twitter, and post other more personal photos on Facebook. Generate comments and respond to feedback. Business should take some time to understand their audience, analyze how their clients use social media, and determine the best channels to reach them in the most creative way possible.
- “Partner Up”.It helps to have friends in high places and Swift’s friends Lena Dunham (HBO Star), Lorde (music star) and other A list type celebs used their social channels to talk about the album. One would expect the favor to no doubt be returned.
A business could do something similar by hosting an event with a company(s) that provides complimentary product offerings. All firms could work their list and invite their customers to attend. At the same time, all could use social media to not only send out information about the happening but also promote their partners’ products as well.
The end result raises the awareness level for all concerned while at the same time helps each firm reach new potential groups of clients.
- Utilize all facets of traditional media.As an international celebrity, Swift was easily able to appear on every national talk show and sing highlights from the new album. While most businesses can never pursue this type of exposure, nor, in most cases, should they, even small businesses can obtain media coverage in a daily newspaper, business journal or trade publication.
Many firms have products or services well suited for TV news coverage or radio interviews. As you send out email newsletters, marketing pieces, and attend trade shows, keep in mind the power of the press and the value of a few well placed articles that can reach hundreds if not thousands of key prospects.
- Focus, engage and execute.Once Swift launched her album, she seemed to appear everywhere. As mentioned earlier she was a guest on network talk shows, day and night, and featured in newspapers and magazines. This was in addition to constant connections with her fans on social media. She even put together a deal with Target for additional exposure.
When launching a new key product or service, a business should muster all their marketing muscle and deliver the message across all pertinent channels, all at the same time. Whether it involves email, newspaper coverage, or special events, running these efforts concurrently will help your business reach greater levels of awareness and speed the effort to reach your marketing and sales objective.