By: Mackenzie Maxwell On: May 27, 2015 In: Advertising & Marketing, Social Media Comments: 0
Taylor Swift is a Marketing Genius

Hater gonna hate.

Haters gonna hate, but Taylor Swift is a marketing genius. Whether you like her music or not, it’s hard to deny this fact. At just 25 years old, she has created a brand with more influence than most marketers dream of having. Better yet, she did it on her terms and remains in complete control of that brand.

The most recent demonstration of her marketing prowess came to us in the form of her ‘Bad Blood’ music video. The pop star leveraged her overwhelming social media influence to create buzz and excitement around the video’s release. No matter what you are marketing or who your target audience is, there are a few things we can all learn from Taylor Swift.

1. Create Anticipation Correctly

10 whole days before the Bad Blood music video was set to release, T-swift began posting teaser images that were styled as movie posters to her social accounts. Each new poster revealed another major celebrity that would be in the video, a great photo of them and a cool code name.


Bad Blood promotion poster

And that was it. She revealed almost nothing else about the video. Each new poster created more buzz, hype and – most importantly – questions.

How could she fit so many celebrities in one video? What’s the storyline? Who are the good guys? We need to know, Taylor!

That’s how you create suspense without being annoying. Give them enough to wet their appetites, and then leave them with interesting questions. You can make this technique work for your brand too.

2. Make the Right Friends

Sometimes it’s not about what you know; it’s about who you know. Networking to create lasting relationships is an important part of almost any career. Leveraging those relationships to help your brand can be tricky, but it is effective when done tastefully.

Many of the women featured in the Bad Blood music video are Swift’s famous friends. Each leading lady lent her own talents to the video and seemed to have a lot of fun making it. Swift even said that each actress got to name their own character, which gives the whole thing an authentic vibe.

Two of the celebrities featured, Mariska Hargitay and Ellen Pompeo, are women Swift admires. In fact, Swift named her two cats after these actresses’ famous television characters, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey. Connecting with people she idolizes and bringing them into her project was also a very smart way to market to different audiences. Which brings us to our next lesson.

3. Cross-Promote to Reach New Audiences

Bringing Hargitay and Pompeo into the video was a good move, and not just because it gave Swift a chance to work with actresses she adores. Both of these women have different audience bases than Swift, whose target audience tends to skew quite young.

But the cross-promotion didn’t stop there. You may have noticed on the poster that the video premiered at the Billboard Music Awards. Honestly, this was a smart move on Billboard’s part, as more people have probably heard of Taylor Swift than this particular award show. However, both parties in this partnership are winners because they both reached a wider audience by linking up.

4. Use Catchy Taglines and Hashtags

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes,” was already a hugely popular slogan for Taylor Swift fans before this video was released. Swift, being the marketing genius that she is, leveraged this by making it the tagline of the video. The best part is that this little line can easily get the whole song stuck in your head. It’s catchy, unique and fun to say – everything a tagline should be.

Of course, no good social media campaign is complete without a hashtag. In this case, Swift used #BadBloodMusicVideo in every post regarding the video. As with any effective hashtag, this one is clear and concise.

5. Deliver on Your Promises

The best marketing in the world won’t hold up for long if the end product is much worse than people expected. Think about sub-par movies with amazing trailers. Audiences go into the movie thinking it will be awesome and leave feeling completely underwhelmed. This is what makes managing expectations so important.

Luckily, the Bad Blood music video exceeded expectations. Fans were treated to the visual spectacle they were hoping for. The video broke Vevo’s record for most views in 24 hours and social media was all a buzz about it.

Do you agree that Taylor Swift is a marketing genius? Or do you think she’s all fluff? Let us know.

For more marketing insight, contact Duncan/Day. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or give us a call any time.