5 Digital PR lessons we can all learn from Taylor Swift
Whether you’re a full time Swiftie or just dipping your toe into her tracks, Taylor Swift stands out as not only a global superstar, but a true marketing genius too.
No one can deny that Swift has achieved remarkable success in her career so far, and much of this can be attributed to her marketing prowess and business acumen. She knows her audience, what they want to see from her and how to capitalise on her viral moments too.
Taylor Swift’s approach to marketing results in a trove of lessons for marketeers to learn from. As the resident Wolfenden Swiftie, I’m going to be exploring just some of the lessons that Digital PR’s can learn from Taylor Swift.
1. Repurposing old content
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Taylor has re-recorded much of her discography over recent years, giving us the chart-topping ‘Taylor’s Version’ of several already successful albums. And one lesson that we, as Digital PR’s can all learn, is that if Taylor Swift can repurpose 10-year-old albums, you can revisit that infographic from 2021.
As Digital PR’s, we are always looking ahead at new trends, new tactics, and new strategies. But sometimes, it’s important to look back at old Digital PR campaigns and see how they could work in the present day. The cyclical nature of the media landscape offers a chance to repackage past work by updating any data, press releases, and on-site copy.
2. Focus on your Reputation, not just links
Taylor’s Reputation album was heavily inspired by media gossip and taking ownership of her public persona and reputation.
Our Digital PR campaigns need to do the same, focusing on brand perception rather than just chasing links. Relevancy vs quantity has been a hot topic in the Digital PR and SEO industry for years now. Sure, links are nice, but relevancy reigns supreme.
We need to focus on other metrics, and how the coverage we’re securing is impacting our clients from a wider perspective.
Did that coverage drive traffic? Target relevant keywords? Spark social media shares? Include a brand mention? These metrics matter too! Focus on building a good reputation, not just a link farm.
SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Analytics provide additional insights for reports. For instance, SEMrush’s Relevancy Network Graph can gauge the relevance of secured Digital PR coverage. Similarly, understanding Google Analytics helps us report on link value by tracking referral traffic from secured coverage and customer conversions.
So, if your reputation’s never been worse, then you might want to change your Digital PR outreach strategy.
3. Revisiting Digital PR ideas from the vault
One of the most valuable lessons that Digital PR’s can learn from Taylor Swift is revisiting old ideas from the vault. Often brilliant ideas will be sleeping, unused, in your archives. Over recent years, Taylor has been revisiting tracks from her ‘vault’, sharing never-before heard music to fans’ delight (regardless of whether you prefer Is it over now to Castles Crumbling).
We can take inspiration from this as Digital PR’s. Some of our old ideas might have simply needed a fresh perspective to flesh them out and help them shine. So, always keep your notes and revisit them regularly in team ideations.
Also, make sure to also check data sources such as ONS, Statistica and YouGov for newly released data sets which could breathe life into an idea waiting to be worked on. You’ll be surprised by the hidden gems hiding in your vault.
4. Understanding your brand and audience
Taylor Swift understands her audience better than most musicians. Although our aim as Digital PRs is to boost organic visibility and to build links for our clients, we should never forget how these campaigns represent the brands we work for.
We need to understand our client’s brand and core values, as well as its target audience’s aspirations and pain points.
Always ask yourself: ‘if an article didn’t include a link would I still want my brand associated with the story?’ The answer should always be yes. Only then can we create campaigns that resonate, build trust, and ultimately convert readers into potential customers.
A great way to understand the audience of your brand is to mirror their online behaviours. Join relevant Facebook groups and follow relevant hashtags on Instagram and TikTok. This will help you understand your customers interests, helping tap into a goldmine of inspiration for future campaigns.
5. Telling a great story with Digital PR
Storytelling is one of the most important lessons that Digital PR’s can learn. Taylor Swift is a master at this. Just like Taylor weaves narratives into her music, we need to master the art of storytelling in our campaigns. A catchy headline, a relatable hook, and a compelling narrative can cut through the noise and capture the attention of busy journalists.
Here are two of my favourite practical tests to hone storytelling skills:
1. The “Alien Test”
Imagine explaining your campaign to an alien. Would they understand the key message? Are you using clear, concise language, free of jargon and technical terms? This test ensures your message resonates with a broad audience and is quick and easy to understand.
2. The “Pub Test”
Picture yourself sharing your campaign idea with friends at the pub. Would they be intrigued? Would they want to hear more and share it with others?
This test focuses on the inherent shareability of your story. Does it spark conversation? Does it offer something surprising, relevant, or emotionally engaging? Remember, journalists are incentivised by stories that generate traffic and discussion. If your pitch captivates your friends, it has the potential to do the same for online audiences.
So, next time you’re writing a press release or thinking about your creative strategy, pop on your favourite Taylor Swift album and think about what she would do. And if you want to work with a team that create Digital PR strategies that will really sing, then make sure to check out our available roles now.
Did our overview of the Digital PR lessons that we can learn from Taylor Swift leave you feeling like a Mastermind (another pun for the fellow Swifties)?
Discover more, with Wolfenden’s leading digital marketing insights:
Lucy is our Senior Digital PR Account Manager, having worked in Digital PR for 6 years across a wide range of industries. Our resident pop culture and Taylor Swift expert, Lucy weaves in her knowledge of trending topics and media to guarantee success across a vast scope of clients.
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