Taylor Swift: 1.287 Million Reasons Why Marketing Works


As lines between advertising, public relations, social media and SEO continue to blur, integrated marketing has become one of the best ways to market a brand. Encompassing all four disciplines successfully markets to target audiences both in real life (IRL) and in the bustling digital world. One personal brander and one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time has perfected this practice with the recent release of her all pop album, 1989. Let’s explore some of Taylor Swift’s brilliant tactics that’s leading the artist to break the record for most sold copies of an album in a single week since 2002:

Brand Partnerships

Swift is no stranger to partnering with big brands, but for this release she capitalized on not only one but two! With Swift becoming commonly known as someone who loves cats, especially her two — Meredith and Olivia, she launched a partnership with Diet Coke that features a spot with her and plethora of kittens that begin showing up in her living room each time she drinks her Diet Coke. What’s brilliant about it is that the spot, which appeared on TV a few days before the album release, featured an unheard, new song from 1989, and Swift herself voices a call-to-action to buy her album at the end of the spot. With only about 20 seconds of this new song used, fans couldn’t get enough and were only left guessing what the song was discussing and what more would come. It was simple, cute and very branded for Swift’s personality and interests.


Additionally, Swift partnered with Target through an exclusive Target-only edition of her 1989 album that included three bonus tracks and content. Also, a certain number of this special edition featured a special code that could be used to enter to win the SwiftStakes — a chance to get two tickets and a meet and greet to a future show or one of 1,989 other prizes.

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Filter This: Facebook and Instagram Face Off

As social platforms continue to create one-on-one connections between brands and consumers, it is important to look at all of the social media options available. Most brands grasp Facebook and Twitter by now, but as these networks become pay-to-play platforms thanks to discovery algorithms and as visuals become more important  in cluttered news feeds for boosting engagement, brands should start looking into highly active and visual platforms like Instagram.

In a recent survey on the state of corporate social media use (where 36 percent of the participants were B2B companies, 23 percent were B2C companies and the rest had some aspects of both) the adoption of Facebook by companies has stalled in the last year-and-a-half, while the adoption of Instagram has skyrocketed from 20 to 45 percent in the past year. It’s important to note the data shows most companies have stopped adopting Facebook because 90 percent of those surveyed already have a Facebook page. More companies have started adopting Instagram because it is a newer social platform that is not oversaturated with messages yet. In fact, Forrester recently reported that Instagram’s engagement rate is 58-times better than Facebook’s. While ours is not quite that high, we have noticed our Instagram engagement is indeed higher than that metric on our Facebook content.

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Why It’s More Difficult To Reach Facebook Audiences (And What To Do About It)

Facebook Audience ReachFacebook was at one time the Holy Grail of social networks. Companies invested millions of dollars in the development and maintenance of business pages. Every person was using it, and every brand wanted to reach its clients on Facebook — but this may no longer be the case.

About 50 percent fewer fans saw brand content from October 2013 to February 2014, according to a recent paper published by Social@Ogilvy, the social arm of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Because of an algorithm change, average organic reach (anyone who sees a brand’s content in their newsfeed) declined from about 12 percent in Oct. 2013 to a little over 6 percent in February 2014.

That’s a lot of people not seeing the content that marketers continue to work hard to create.

According to the study, Facebook has unofficially advised some social marketers to expect organic reach to decline to zero percent in the near future, making Facebook a pay-to-play platform.

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How to Choose the Right Social Platforms for Your Business

As an agency that has fielded inquiries from existing clients as social networks rose to prominence and continues to serve as a social media expert across consumer and B2B struggles, two of the top questions we get the most are, “Which social networks should my company be on,” or “Which platform should I choose to start my business’ social media presence?” While it may make sense for us to claim that the answers to these questions are quickly changing every day as each network evolves – sometimes for better or for worse – and new ones are introduced and adopted, that’s not in fact what we’d tell you. Instead, we’d tell you that social media is not a one-size fits all practice. Then we’d start to grill you on your objectives and your audience. And you thought you’d be asking all the questions, eh?

Social Media Experts Medium

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Facebook and Instagram Video Ads – the Way of the Future?

Late last year, Facebook announced it was beginning to test out video advertisements for brands. Then, earlier this year, Instagram jumped on board this video ads train. (Makes sense considering the photo-sharing platform is owned by Facebook.) If you’re thinking “so why haven’t I seen any video ads yet?” you’re not the only one. The majority of the advertising world is patiently waiting for this new option to be available for their brands. But before advertisers begin segmenting some of their budgets to social video ads, there are a few things they may want to know first:

What will be the parameters for video ads?

The video ads will be 15-second video spots that will automatically start playing as the user scrolls over them. This is similar to how the user-generated videos on both platforms auto play. We know that on Facebook, there will not be sound playing until the user opens it up to a full-screen view.

What will they cost?

A lot of dough! For Facebook video ads, it’s expected to cost between $1 million and $2.4 million a day. Instagram says it doesn’t have a rate card and CPMs are based on factors like targeting, reach and frequency. However, some ad executives are saying that a month-long buy could be anywhere from $350,000 to closer to $1 million.

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Should Marketers Engage in Reddit?

Most people have heard of Reddit. The platform has become a hot topic during major news events such as the Boston Marathon bombings. In the hours and days that followed, Reddit users acted as citizen journalists to report breaking news on the spot and working to identify the suspects. But when compared to other social media sites, it seems that most people don’t really understand how the Reddit community works or how their company could engage with it.

What is Reddit?

Original fan art by M/C/C

Original fan art by M/C/C

To start with the basics, Reddit is a completely user-driven social platform. By its own definition, “users provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk. Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links.”

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Haters Gonna Hate: How Brands Should React

In today’s world where blogging and social media provide multiple platforms for activists and customers to voice their opinions, businesses (big and small) are continually feeling pressure and hearing overwhelming amounts of criticism not for anything the company has necessarily “done” but for who they are or what they believe. It makes me think about these three important questions:

  1. Should brands correct their haters or let the criticism fizzle out?
  2. How can brands not get consumed by the negativity and survive the heat?
  3. What are some real-world responses from brands under attack?

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Are Social Media Users Already Desensitized to Ads?

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “the only constant is change.” That’s always been true of marketing and advertising, but the rapid shift from traditional advertising to social advertising has come at a blistering pace. According to a recent article by AdAge, in just a few short years, Facebook alone has surpassed the reach of the four TV broadcast networks in two key demographics: 18-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds. Pretty incredible really – and a testament to how many people are on social media. Pew Research Center issued a report and noted that an eye-popping 71 percent of all U.S. adults are on a social network. When this usage is broken down by demographic, the numbers get even more impressive: 89 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are posting, while 78 percent of 30-to-49-year-olds are on, as are 60 percent of 50-to-64-year-olds and 43 percent of those over 65.

With that kind of volume and reach to consumers, it’s easy to understand why social networks and brands big and small are banking on social media 476945953 - Digital Marketingadvertising. As brands evaluate a media landscape that’s increasingly fractured, many are intrigued by the opportunity to target specific demographics, social connections, interests, and habits. Combine that targeting with high engagement and desirable demographics and you can begin to understand the growth predictions. BIA/Kelsey recently came out with a study that offers one view, forecasting $11 billion of social ad spend in 2017, up from $4.7 billion last year.

So, with the explosion of social advertising across platforms, how will consumers react? Will they continue to be receptive to messages in their social environments or will they tune out? Continue reading

Selfies Are Taking Over The World!

Okay, maybe selfies aren’t as extreme as the title suggests, but with social sharing sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Imgur, selfies are becoming more and more popular. So popular, in fact, that “selfie” became the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2013.

Thousands of selfies are taken every day. Popular figures such as President Obama, Darth Vader and the infamous Justin Bieber have even caught the selfie bug. They are personal, revealing a glimpse of how people view themselves.

Also, let’s not forget what happened at the Academy Awards. Ellen, Brad and the gang’s selfie resulted in more than 3.3 million retweets and almost 2 million favorites! That selfie broke Twitter.

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In the Social Media Game, It’s Now Crucial for Brands to Pay to Play

Why pay to advertise on social media? The better question is — why aren’t you? Social media marketing is at an all-time high right now. Gone are the days to simply post and hope you engage your fan base. With all the conversations that happen on the platforms daily, brands need to start paying to be seen and heard.

With Facebook’s ever-changing News Feed algorithm, brands are having a harder time getting their posts viewed by fans. The new algorithm favors content that is timely and relevant. Posts that receive a lot of engagement or are considered higher quality, such as content from publications, will appear in a fan’s News Feed more frequently and for longer amounts of time. Therefore, brands need to seriously consider paying to promote their posts and using targeted ads to reach their intended audiences.

The same goes for Twitter! The “Twittersphere” is already very saturated with content. In fact, there’s an average of 500 million tweets per day. Brands cannot expect their tweet to reach a large audience when it can get swallowed up by the handful of other tweets that happen within the same second it’s posted. However, if a brand promotes a tweet or its account, the chances of their audience seeing them through all the clutter is greater.

And don’t forget about Pinterest and Instagram in the near future. Although the two platforms are relatively new to the advertising game and are still ironing out the details before they are open for everyone to use, brands should start to consider how they could use them when they are. This brings me to say, one of the most important aspects of social media advertising is to know which social media platforms your customers use and how they use each one. Before you even begin thinking about advertising, you need to know where your fans are and how you should be communicating with them there. For example, if you are trying to reach women and you have visually-pleasing content, Pinterest is your place. The platform is still predominately used by women. Also, if your brand is trying to reach a younger demographic, Facebook might not be the place to reach them. Younger audiences are starting to move away from the popular platform and, instead, are turning to photo-focused platforms Instagram and Snapchat. Trying to reach more of a B2B audience? Consider LinkedIn and Google Plus.

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