The old way of content marketing can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause it’s dead.
Ok, I’m being dramatic, but not entirely off base. The old way of marketing is quickly being replaced by a new approach — amplified marketing. And whether or not you’re a fan (haters gonna hate, hate, hate), there’s no denying that Taylor Swift is a marketing powerhouse who understands the importance of amplified marketing.
Not only is she harnessing the power of her literal voice through her songwriting in the form of audio content, she wrings that content out across other formats and channels. She has also created a community amongst her audience and even lets them inform what content she creates.
All this to say, as a marketer, Taylor Swift can show you incredible things.
Here are 13 examples of how Taylor amplifies her content all too well...
“All Too Well”
What better way to start this list than with the song that inspired it (along with countless tears): “All Too Well.” After its release in 2012, this song took on a life of its own. Originally 10 minutes long and pared down for the album Red (2012), fans have been dying to hear the full version for nearly a decade. And Taylor listened.
Not only has she recorded and released “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” she also expanded on the story behind the song even further with a short film. This is a prime example of repurposing old content and breathing new life into it, as well as listening to your audience, and giving them the content they want (and then some).
Taylor is currently in the process of re-recording her first 6 studio albums in order to fully own her work and content, and it has presented a unique opportunity for her to connect with her audience in a way she hasn’t before. Not only is she reigniting nostalgia with her fans by recreating her old music, she’s also wringing it out and providing them with new content in the form of reimagined and unreleased songs, as well as new video content inspired by her previous work.
Since her first album, Taylor has always included a deluxe version of each. These deluxe albums are expansions of the original recordings and include additional and alternate versions of songs. And starting with her album 1989 (2014), she began incorporating other forms of content including voice memos of her creative process, handwritten lyrics, personal journal entries, and behind-the-scenes photos, giving her audience more ways and mediums to consume her art.
As mentioned above, Taylor began releasing voice memos about her song-writing process for her album 1989, giving her audience a behind-the-scenes look into her creative process. This is a great example of not only creating follow-up content that drives more visibility and interest for your audience, but also harnessing her expertise as a songwriter and sharing that through audio content.
Taylor is first and foremost a songwriter, and her lyrics are something that truly resonate with her fans. As such, Taylor has been releasing lyric videos with each of her new albums to amplify it across other mediums beyond just audio. By doing this, she is able to reach a wider audience who have differing media consumption habits, while also providing a new way to experience her songs with the addition of visuals and text.
For many musicians, concerts are a way to create an experience and connect with their audience in a unique and personal way. And it’s no different for Taylor. But what she has done is record these live events and turn them into virtual experiences that she’s shared on other platforms. Sound familiar?
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
If you’re anything like me, the surprise release of folklore in the middle of the pandemic was a ray of sunshine in the dark abyss that was my life at the time. And with the loss of concerts and live events, I had no tour to look forward to. So you can bet I was ecstatic when she announced Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, a live performance of the album in its entirety. Not only did Taylor wring out her audio content into a film, she went a step further by adding conversations with her collaborators on the project, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antanoff, on the creative process behind each song, giving audiences yet another look behind the curtain.
While we’re on the topic of video, I should mention 2020’s Miss Americana, a documentary in which Taylor — as Netflix puts it — “embraces her role… as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice." By recording her experiences during a transformative time in her career, she was able to express herself, and come into her own as a musician, while giving additional insight into her life and craft as a musician.
Taylor is notorious for including easter eggs in her content. From hidden messages in the liner notes of her early albums to references in her music videos, she has included these cryptic messages and clues for her fans to find and decipher across multiple formats and channels. Not only is this a great tool for audience engagement, it’s also a wonderful example of repurposing old content as seen with her music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” in which Taylor takes old versions of herself from previous videos and tours and combines them into a single piece of new content.
The way Taylor has created and cultivated her fan base is nothing short of astounding. I could probably write an article just about this subject. Not only is she engaging with her fans on social media, but she has been known to send Christmas gifts, include fans in her music videos, and even crash a wedding. She has also started a tradition of hand-picking fans to attend “secret sessions'' in which she bakes for them and plays her new albums before they’re released. This not only creates a unique and exclusive experience for those lucky fans, but it also helps build up hype for her album’s release as she allows them to post about it on social media, which leads to our next item on this list.
The Power of Social Media
I mentioned above that Taylor interacts with her fans on social media, but it doesn’t stop with posting content and liking and commenting. She has been also known to lurk Twitter and Tumblr to see what fans are saying and uses that to inform her decisions as an artist, which is why she released “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version).” She also used social media to create buzz around her album reputation (2017). After blacking out her Instagram and deleting all of her posts, she then started posting cryptic videos featuring a snake, ultimately leading to an announcement for the album.
Taylor also harnesses the power of social proof by sending gifts to her fans and celebrity friends who in turn share on their networks. Another great example of this is when she let fellow artists Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray share snippets of songs from her then unreleased Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
Turning Life into Folklore
Taylor’s strong suit as an artist has always been her storytelling, which is why so many people connect with her music. Yes, she writes about herself and her experiences, but she also tells stories of other people, both real — as seen in “The Last Great American Dynasty” — and imaginary – many of the songs on folklore and evermore. By breathing life into an array of experiences, she is able to connect with her audience in a very personal way, but she also finds ways to share these stories in a variety of ways and formats.
There are many instances of lyrical parallels and complimentary lyrics in Taylor’s songs, but starting with the surprise release of folklore, she’s taken this a step further in her content creation process.
First, she introduced us to the story of Betty, James, and Augustine (or Augusta) in a series of three songs about a teenage love triangle. These complimentary songs — “Cardigan,” “Betty,” and “August” — are each told from the respective characters’ point of view, amplifying their story across a series of songs.
Another example is the release of evermore. Another surprise album drop, evermore is considered a sister album to folklore, and wasn’t something she originally intended to do. However, after writing folklore, Taylor and her collaborators just kept writing and diving deeper into those stories and created more and more content from it.
Amplified Marketing (Your Version)
So will your content be forever, or will it go down in flames? That’s up to you.
What I can recommend is to take a note from the Swift school of marketing and start implementing an amplified marketing approach to your content strategy. You’ll not only extend the shelf-life of your multimedia content, you’ll create real, meaningful connections with your audience by providing them with valuable content they want to consume. Plus you’ll make the lives of your content marketers so much better.
Ready to get started? Let Casted help. Check out the Amplified Marketing Playbook and dive deeper into how you can focus on creating quality content over quantity.
Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess. You plus amplified marketing? Just say yes.