Taylor Swift marketing secrets revealed

taylor swift m

1.3 Million records in 7 days? How did Taylor Swift do it, especially in a time when people do not purchase music anymore? First off, let me start by saying I do not jam to TS’ beats. But damn, Taylor Swift is a marketing goddess.

Perplexed by Taylor Swift astonishing record sales, I stalked her on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Line for 1 week. I dissected her feeds to understand her success and learn how it can be applied to other businesses. Let me tell you, I got my dose of fun – no more “shake it off” for me. The things I do in the name of research.

[Tweet “Engagement, Incentive, Exclusivity are some of Taylor Swift secret marketing tools”]

Here is what I discovered – Taylor Swift following these 5 STEPS :

1) Incentivize: Taylor Swift encouraged her audience to buy multiple albums for a chance to meet her in person. A unique sweepstakes code  was available in each album. Contestants could enter multiple times but only until November 2nd. Thrilled by the prospect of meeting their favorite pop star, many teenagers purchased multiple albums. Her album sales might not have reached the same results without this clever incentive.

As a business, it’s important to get into the buying psychology of your customers. What is their motivation for buying your product? How can you help them achieve their goals? Incentives help create a sense of urgency and push customers into a buying frenzy.


2) Engage: Taylor Swift retweeted and re-blogged her fans picture with her “1989 album”. She accumulated a record of 2 millions Twitter mentions last week with 70,000 tweets per minute on the night of October 26th. Her fans were overjoyed to be featured in her feed.

Now, of course, getting that type of engagement is easier for a celebrity,  yet I am often surprised by number of businesses who do not acknowledge their customers. You must take the time to interact with them – reply back to their comments and tweets. Encourage discussions online and ask for their feedback. Invest your time into nurturing your relationships with your customers as they are the ones who spread the word about your business.


  • Do not have a monologue in social media
  • Encourage interaction, ask your audience about their opinions
  • Re-tweet, re-post, re-blog

3) Tell a story that compels your audience: Taylor Swift’s music resonates with her fans. They identify with characters / scenarios she depicts in her songs.

[Tweet “Taylor Swift’s is an incredible storyteller who knows how to push her audiences buttons.”]

Storytelling is crucial in the health of your business. People love anecdotes they can resonate with. The more “real” / authentic a brand is – – the more people interact with it. Storytelling differentiates business from the competition. Many of us, including myself, often struggle with this part. Opening up about our everyday life, fears, insecurities, accomplishments is what will make your audience stick. It will help create a stronger bond between you and your audience.



  • Understand what your customers resonate with
  • What are their dreams? What are their fears? How does it relates back to your business?
  • What is your personal story? Why did you start your business?
  • Do not be afraid to spill your guts – you would be surprised by how much people love that

4) Create Hype: Taylor posted photos with her lyrics one week prior the album launch. She featured posted notes, band-aids, polaroids with her lyrics hand written in them. It was a cheeky way to remind her fans of her albums drop date while wetting their appetite for more. With this photos, she build anticipation on what was to come next.

Find ways to extend your brand story. How can you build anticipation by extending the story you are telling? What is the meaning behind your new product launch? Have fun with this task, like Taylor Swift did. Sending the same sales message over and over twill get repetitive and spammy.


  • Think through your marketing campaign
  • Establish specific goals
  • Create a story behind your launch
  • Expand your brand story using various social media platforms

5) Be exclusive:  Taylor Swift pulled all of her songs off Spotify. But most importantly, her bonus tracks were only available in the albums she sold at Target. She also included within each album different polaroids sets which could be collected. Again, encouraging multiple purchases of her album – she is truly a genius.

The more rare / exclusive an item – the more customers will go out of their way to buy it. Creating a sense of exclusivity is no easy task and it takes practice. A simple way to create exclusivity is by limiting access / quantity available (kinda of like Apple does). Flash sales are also effective. Exclusivity only works once your brand is more established and consumers have experience with your brand. You first need to create a need for the product prior trying to establish a sense of exclusivity.


Taylor Swift did an incredible job juggling different marketing tactics and bringing different channels into the mix to reach her goals. A lot of us, including myself, should take notes. Yes, she already has billion of followers. Yes, teenagers are more prone to marketing than others demographics. But, I assure you – if she had not put in place such a strategic marketing campaign she would have never reached her record breaking goals.

You may also like