Never Go Out of Style: What Businesses Can Learn From Taylor Swift
What comes to mind when you think of what you can buy with $40,000? A new car? A deposit for a house?
For some, it’s a ticket to Taylor Swift’s latest ‘ The Eras’ tour.
Yeah… our jaws dropped too. Apart from the ridiculous price gouging happening, the price of these resale tickets proves just how damn popular Taylor is. The numbers speak for themselves – demand was apparently a mind-blowing 20 times more than what was available.
Taylor’s massive army of fans proves my point even further – they recently banded together to sue Ticketmaster for the pricing scheme. If that doesn’t show how passionate her ‘Swifties’ are, then we don’t know what will.
What’s more, is that her recent album, Midnights took all 10 of the top spots on the Billboard Hot 100 AND only took 4 days to break the record for biggest album week.
So, how did Taylor Swift’s popularity reach such a high? Let’s unpack it in this blog.
Social Media Strategy
It’s 2023! Any artist that steers clear of social media is missing out on a huge avenue to generate a buzz – and sales.
Taylor Swift, on the other hand, is no stranger to the social media game.
Her eagle-eyed followers (250 million on Instagram alone!), are always on the lookout for any clues about new music and tours shown on social media. For example, Taylor suddenly deleted all posts before announcing Reputation, and her announcement for Midnights got a massive 8 million likes.
The superstar clearly keeps up with trends, because for Midnights, she chose the hugely popular TikTok platform for her series ‘Midnights With Me’. Each episode revealed a new song title from the album, effortlessly keeping fans in anticipation for the next episode.
By Midnight’s release date, the TikTok series had already hit 74 million views, which helped boost streams and sales.
Taylor Swift’s tactic of leaving ‘easter eggs’ behind for fans to discover did wonders for engagement too. It makes the fans feel included in the journey, but also accomplished as they uncover more hints. Business owners should take note if they want to generate buzz about their own products!
Another artist that throws a good ol’ ‘easter egg hunt’ is the now-viral DJ, ‘Fred Again’. Before his shows, he’s known to scatter merchandise in secret spots, posting location clues on Instagram.
Those successful in the scavenger hunt get free tickets to his gig and he gets extra social media buzz in the process. It’s a win-win!
Reinventing Her Brand
You know what they say; out with the old and in with the new.
Speaking of, do you remember our blog on marketing myopia? In a nutshell, it’s when businesses fail because they aren’t adaptable and expect one strategy to work forever.
Just like businesses need to keep evolving, artists do too, in order to stay relevant and interesting in the eyes of the public.
And if anyone’s done a good job at reinventing themselves, it’s Taylor Swift.
According to her, the female artists she knows “have to remake themselves, like, 20 times more than the male artists…or else you’re out of a job.”
It seems like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé have similar thoughts, having released her very first house-inspired album, Renaissance just last year. And considering that Taylor Swift and Beyoncé are some of the most successful artists of all time, they must be onto something!
From Country Sweetheart to Global Sensation
Born in the country music epicenter, Nashville, Taylor Swift stayed true to her roots and started as a predominantly country artist.
Things started to change when Red came along, and even more so with the complete pop takeover that was 1989. We’re talking about the album, not the year, by the way!
Taylor proved she still had plenty more tricks up her sleeve, releasing two folk-inspired albums, aptly named Folklore and Evermore. Despite being previously uncharted territory, Folklore actually ended up getting her yet another album of the year at The Grammys. No biggie.
But wait – there’s more.
Swift’s latest album, Midnights, sees a return to her pop sound, but with some dreamy, mystical undertones.
Taylor epitomizes reinvention done right. It’s a great way to keep her fans guessing, as well as opening up opportunities to grow her audience and reach with her diverse sound.
Beyond sales and streams, artists need to tour to maximize income and remain on the public’s radar. And Taylor Swift knows it better than most.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t only hurt businesses; it deprived us of various experiences, including attending concerts. Taylor Swift’s 2020 ‘Lover’ tour was cancelled because of it and since then, she’s released an impressive 3 albums (5 including re-recordings).
What came next?
‘The Eras’ tour.
It features a whopping 44 songs spanning a catalogue of 10 albums. Each album gets the honor of having a dedicated era during the show – complete with different stage set ups and outfits.
Despite only kicking off recently, ‘The Eras’ tour has already broken Madonna’s record of being the highest attended female-performed concert. Considering that videos from the show are already flooding TikTok feeds, we wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes Taylor’s highest-grossing tour yet.
Merchandising and Partnerships
Celebrity partnerships are nothing new. Practically everyone who’s anyone is doing it – from the Kardashians to sport stars and everything in between.
Because it works.
Taylor Swift has partnered with too many big names to count, including Apple Music, Elizabeth Arden and Coke. Except she doesn’t stop there.
She also releases a variety of her own branded products; be it earrings, towels, clothing, or something else entirely.
But let’s be real, Taylor’s so influential that she could even release trash bags and have them sell out. If only we could do the same…
We can’t all be songwriting maestros like Taylor Swift. However, business owners do need to know that good storytelling is at the heart of all strong marketing campaigns.
In Taylor’s case, her songs span the topics of love, friends, parties, the lives of other people and even fictional characters. But whatever the song is about, one thing stays the same – they tell a story that her fans won’t forget.
Storytelling is a great way to humanise your brand and create a stronger relationship with consumers. For example, Extra Gum made a hugely successful commercial that told a story about a couple falling in love, all while boosting their sales. By promoting your brand in an innovative way rather than a hard-sell approach, it makes your campaigns and copy a lot more memorable and entertaining.
Even if you don’t get to launch a brand-spanking new campaign anytime soon, you could just start by adding more personality to your existing content.
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So, if you’re ready to get into the big leagues like Taylor Swift, why not contact us today?
You’ll never go out of style with First Page.