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In 2022, it’s hard to discuss the pop culture landscape without mentioning Taylor Swift. Like Barbara Walters once opined: she is the music industry. Whether you agree or not with that statement, though, you can’t deny Swift’s marketing acumen is anything short of genius.
Swift has not only produced #1 album after #1 album, she has also built one of the most successful and airtight personal brands in American culture while amassing a net worth of $550 million.
What makes Taylor one of the most successful pop stars on the planet nearly two decades after her debut? Content marketing. And there’s a lot you can learn from her to win over customers and make them more “Enchanted” with your brand. So let’s “Shake It Off” and dive headfirst (fearless) into how you can use Taylor’s approach for your own content marketing.
You probably already know Taylor Swift is in the midst of re-recording her first six studio albums. The move – prompted by her masters being sold without her knowledge – left some people scratching their heads. Would listeners really care enough about albums that came out years ago to justify the money and resources put into this project?
Long story short: yes, they care a lot. The first re-record, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The following album, Red (Taylor’s Version), broke all kinds of records after selling hundreds of thousands of units, and All Too Well (10 Minute Version) charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
So what can marketers learn from this? The re-recorded albums are composed mostly of tracks that fans had been listening to for years. But Taylor gave these re-recorded albums a fresh spin, tweaking production to make them more palatable in the current sonic landscape and adding new songs, dubbed “vault tracks,” at the end of each album.
If you invest the time and energy upfront to make solid content that addresses your consumers’ needs and wants, they’ll come back to your brand time and time again. And this content can be updated and refreshed over time to reflect current trends without having to start from scratch — saving you valuable time and resources.
What makes Taylor a great content marketer is that she goes beyond simple social media tactics like selfies and stale interviews, and instead curates her social media as a space for intimate interaction between her and her followers (even if they number in the hundreds of thousands).
Most recently, this intimacy can be seen by Swift joining TikTok. There she posts funny videos of her cats, her take on popular challenges, and clips of her own music. (She even released Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version) after a clip of its chorus began going viral on the app.) All of this because droves of her audience – especially younger fans - were flocking to the platform.
The lesson for marketers is to meet your audience and prospects where they already congregate. If your audience spends most of their time scrolling Twitter, why spend your time and content marketing dollars on content for Instagram? Take advantage of your customer data and insights to figure out where they spend their time and then go there.
Once you’re there, share content that suits the platform and its technical limitations. Think about your followers’ expectations on the platform where they encounter your content, and try to craft the best possible experience.
One thing that makes Taylor’s music so beloved is that each song gives a glimpse into her life. Taylor writes about the loves of her life, whether that’s romantic love, her family, or her friendships. Her songs are deeply personal and story-driven.
While brands don’t necessarily need to send out love ballads to try to win their exes back, they should be opening up and inviting audiences into their stories. Consumers want to understand a brand's values and connect with the people who work there.
Look for ways to make your content more human. Tell the stories of your employees and what they care about. Turn your values, whether they’re sustainability- or human rights-oriented, into meaningful content series. Showcase the way your brand is giving back and what makes you unique.
When you start telling stories, your brand becomes memorable. Customers will go from saying “I Forgot That You Existed” to buying your products “Forever & Always.”
There are Taylor Swift fans, and then there are the Swifties, superfans devoted to following and supporting Swift in all of her endeavors. While all of her fans listen to her music and other content, Taylor knows how important Swifties are to her brand and success.
That’s why she rewards them for their loyalty by creating unique experiences only accessible to this group of die-hard fans. Secret listening parties in her own home, special merchandise offers, and exclusive access to tour tickets are just a few of the ways she recognizes Swifties’ dedication. In turn, these rewards make the superfans even more ardently loyal.
Content marketers are often focused on attracting prospective customers to their brand. But successful content marketers, like Swift, don’t ignore existing customers in their desire to acquire new ones. In fact, studies have shown that it can cost six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain existing ones.
While new customers are important to your long-term success, you don’t want your existing customers to tell you “We Are Never Getting Back Together”. Reward your recurring customers by producing content that is unique to them — product sneak peeks, special how-to guides, maybe even a giveaway or gift on social media.
Taylor is constantly listening and responding to what her fans want. She is aware of what her fan base craves more of, and she’s an expert at giving them exactly that.
It’s crucial for marketers to be just as in-tune with their audiences. While you might not have a billion people screaming their demands for your brand via every platform imaginable, you do have access to analytics.
Creating good content is just the first step — you also need to keep track of how it’s performing. Checking your site stats through Google Analytics will let you know what kind of content is making “Sparks Fly” and what content your audience finds “Untouchable.”
When checking analytics, pay attention to the number of social shares, page views, comments, and backlinks. Use this information to decide what content to focus on in the future.
Are you looking for help elevating your brand’s content strategy? TrendyMinds is a full-service agency with expert strategists, copywriters, and designers who can help bring your brand up to Taylor’s level.
We’ll bring your content strategy “Out of The Woods” and attract new customers who will be as loyal as Swifties. Contact us today to get started.
Content Marketing (Taylor’s Version) Official tracklist:
Fill the Blank Space
Speak Now…To Your Audience
Should’ve Said SEO
Dear Customers: Come Back, Be Here
I Bet You Think About Memes
URL At Home (Ft. Build Your Site Authority)
It’s Nice To Have A Trend
Long Story Short (Ft. Kill Your Darlings)
Tell Me Why (Ft. Content Needs Purpose)
No Body (Copy), No Crime
Great Content Never Goes Out of Style
Long Live Your Brand Voice
I Wish You Would (Ft. Share Your Brand Stories)