Marketing Like a Mastermind: 5 Marketing Tips to Learn from Taylor Swift (for B2B Businesses)
Taylor Swift is more than just a pop icon—she's a marketing mastermind. Her ability to connect with her audience, create powerful branding, and tell compelling stories has made her one of the most successful artists of our time (some would even argue she's the best). But we get it, Taylor isn’t everyone’s favorite superstar. Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that she’s a genius when it comes to marketing her brand. Although, her sold-out stadium shows and the additional tens of thousands of fans outside the stadium gates singing along to her concerts is proof enough.
Sure, Taylor’s fan base is loyal beyond comparison. The question is, how has she been able to form such a strong community with her fans? Can B2B brands generate the same loyalty and customer retention? Ultimately, is there something B2B marketers can learn from Taylor Swift's marketing success? Well, listen here, dear reader. Yes, there is!
In this blog, we'll explore some of the key marketing tactics Taylor Swift uses to build her brand and connect with her audience, and we'll discuss how these strategies can be applied to B2B marketing. Whether you're a die-hard Swiftie or a seasoned B2B marketer, this blog will provide valuable insights and actionable tips to help you take your marketing efforts to the next level. So buckle up, blast "Midnights (The Til Dawn Edition)" on your speakers, and get ready to learn from the marketing mastermind that is Taylor Swift. … Are you ready for it?
1. Understand Your Audience and Listen to Their Feedback
As mentioned, Taylor’s connection with her fans (a.k.a. her target audience) is unlike any other. But with millions of fans around the world, how has she been able to make meaningful connections with everyone? The answer is simple: she takes the time to understand her audience on a deep level—what they resonate with, what trends they follow, what pains they’re feeling, and more. Then, she works her magic to enchant her fans with new music, user-generated choreography, or killer music videos.
For instance, fans on TikTok initiated a dance trend called the "Bejeweled" dance, which involves walking like a model to Taylor's song Bejeweled, spinning around, and wiggling their fingers in sync with the lyrics that mention "shimmer." Long story short, Taylor saw the viral TikTok dance and implemented it into The Eras Tour choreography, as shown here. (And yes, she sent fans at the concert into an absolute frenzy).
This is just one example of Taylor connecting with her audience, keeping them engaged and delighted. Likewise, fans across all social media platforms have been playfully mocking the song Snow on the Beach featuring Lana Del Rey, as it solely features Lana's voice in the backup vocals. In response, Taylor and Lana recently released the song Snow on the Beach featuring More Lana Del Rey.
This is what it means to have a customer-first mindset. And all B2B marketers should take note. By gathering customer feedback from surveys, interviews, and third-party review sites, today’s B2B marketers can better understand the pain points of their customers and take action to create solutions that surpass their audience’s wildest dreams.
Imagine you're selling a SaaS platform that allows users to better organize their daily to-do list. As customer feedback rolls in through various channels, you notice that the biggest issue users have with your platform is that it doesn't integrate with Google Calendar. This is a great insight for you! Now, you can take the steps necessary to build the calendar integration and go to market with the tools your users need to stay, stay, stay a customer.
2. Repurpose Content to Maximize Reach and Longevity
A recent study found that 94% of marketers repurpose their content with the remaining 6% planning to do so in the near future. The same survey also found that 46% of marketers believe repurposed content delivers the best results as it relates to leads and conversions. And 21% of respondents reported that updating content was the most effective content marketing tactic.
And sure enough, Taylor Swift has found success in repurposing her content as well. For instance, in light of the battle over owning her own masters (you can read about the whole controversy here) Taylor decided to re-record her first six albums. Essentially, these “Taylor’s Version” (TV) albums are repurposed content from the originals. The difference is, these new albums offer something the originals didn’t offer: unreleased vault tracks that not even the most hardcore fans have ever heard and the newest fans adore. All Swifties would agree that the TV albums simply hit different.
The moral of the story here is that whenever you repurpose marketing content, provide your audience with something fresh to engage and captivate their attention. To start, transform content into different formats. For example, take a blog featuring the top 5 cybersecurity trends for 2023 and turn it into an infographic. Or take a section from an eBook and turn it into a blog post. Another option is to update legacy blog posts with new data and information to maximize your SEO. The possibilities can go on for evermore.
3. Tell a "Love" Story in Your Marketing Materials
People love a good story, especially when it evokes emotions in them and tugs on their heartstrings. And there are few who can tell a story better than Taylor Swift. Take, for example, her song, All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version). The entire song is a story of falling in love, the trials and tribulations that come with a breakup, and the sad, beautiful, tragic aftermath that leaves people thinking, “We are never ever getting back together.”
The song All Too Well has resonated with so many people because of its relatable storyline. This is why B2B marketers must tell a story throughout their marketing campaigns. By incorporating narratives and compelling storytelling techniques, B2B marketers can create a memorable and engaging experience that resonates with their target audience. Consider the following example:
Imagine a B2B software company offers a cutting-edge project management tool. Instead of bombarding their audience with technical jargon and features, they decide to tell the story of a fictional company struggling with disorganized and chaotic projects, leading to missed deadlines and frustrated teams. By incorporating storytelling elements, such as relatable characters, challenges, and a compelling resolution, the company effectively captures their audience's attention and communicates the tangible benefits of their product in a memorable and engaging way.
4. Highlight Partnerships with Other Brands
Partnering is nothing new to Taylor Swift or B2B marketers. We already mentioned how Taylor and Lana Del Rey collaborated with one another to create the song Snow on the Beach. But Taylor has collaborated with dozens of other artists to maximize her reach and gain new fans from other genres. Let’s take a look at a few ways Taylor’s collaborations have led her to reach different fan bases and audiences:
- ME! (feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco): Reaches fans in the Pop Rock genre
- no body, no crime (feat. HAIM): Reaches fans in the Alternative/Indie genre
- Bad Blood (feat. Kendrick Lamar): Reaches fans in the Hip-Hop/Rap genre
It’s a smart initiative, isn’t it? Well, it works for B2B marketing too. Below, we’ve listed a few worthwhile examples of co-marketing:
- Webinars: Partnering with another brand to co-host a webinar is a great way to maximize your online presence, reach new audiences, and connect with customers in different markets.
- Blogs: Co-writing a blog with another credible brand does exactly what you would expect it to—boost your SEO, your brand awareness, and your brand’s credibility.
- Co-created Products or Bundles: Developing a co-branded product or bundle that combines the offerings of both brands not only expands your product offerings but also allows for joint marketing and cross-promotion, attracting customers from both brands’ customer bases.
- Social Media Takeovers: Swapping social media accounts for a day or week with a partner company allows each brand to showcase their products or services to a different audience, increasing exposure and engaging with new followers.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Rebrand (When it Makes Sense)
Rebranding is a big lift. But it’s often necessary, especially if you want your brand to make a killer comeback like T-Swift did with her album Reputation. To put it in context, prior to Taylor Swift’s rebrand, critics were calling her a snake for allegedly crossing and backstabbing another celebrity (later proven to be false). So, Taylor gave the people what they wanted—she rebranded herself into a hardcore woman who doesn’t care about her reputation and just so happens to surround herself with snakes. And fans loved it. It’s true, she really does come back stronger than a 90s trend.
In B2B marketing, rebranding is often necessary to keep your brand up to date with the desires of today's audiences. In fact, many “companies consider rebranding once every 7 to 10 years with more minor refreshes in between to elevate their visual identity.”
As audience preferences and expectations evolve over time, rebranding allows businesses to align their visual identity, messaging, and overall brand experience with the current market landscape. By refreshing the brand's look and feel, companies can showcase their relevance and adaptability, attracting new buyers. Not to mention, a fresh brand image and messaging can help a company be the lucky one and stand out, capture the attention of new and old audiences, and make a memorable impression on potential customers. Here’s an example:
Say a B2B company specializing in IT consulting and software development wants to undergo a rebrand to align with the evolving industry and engage their target audience. With a plan to successfully capture attention, attract new clients, and solidify their position as a leading B2B technology partner, they might:
- Create a new logo and visual identity that exudes innovation and connectivity
- Focus their messaging on tailored solutions, cutting-edge technology expertise, and exceptional customer service, represented by the tagline "Unleashing Digital Potential”
- Revamp their website, publish insightful content, and organize industry events to establish themselves as trusted thought leaders