If you are marketing yourself or your business digitally, your online strategy is every bit as important as your offline strategy, and a good overall marketing strategy combines the two. Social media on it’s own isn’t the thing that’s going to make your cause or business thrive, but it can enhance your overall marketing campaigns, give them a much longer shelf life and give your company, cause or product more exposure. I wanted to share with you a flawless online/offline strategy from a major brand – perhaps you could adopt a portion of this concept into your marketing.
Full Disclosure: I’m a Taylor Swift fan. Go ahead and judge me, but she’s one of the best ‘hook’ writers ever – and I’m a big fan of her her business chops. She lived in the same city as I do now, and I love that she’s donated to the city park, her old high school and a plethora of charities and causes.
Her new record 1989 released last week and Taylor took to Twitter to talk about it. You may know that CD sales have been W A Y down over the last 5 years as streaming dominates the minds of music buyers, so getting someone to actually BUY a CD is a bit of trickery. The story is that over the last 2 years as Taylor Swift was making her record, she documented this experience with a Polaroid camera, and had amassed a collection of pictures. Copies of the best of those images are included in the physical CD package – 13 pictures, – 5 different sets (65 different Polaroids in all). If you buy the Target exclusive CD, there are bonus tracks and a special codes to win unique fan experiences… These Polaroid pictures are what caught my eye this weekend.
Taylor on Twitter
Taylor Swift sent out a tweet to her 46 million followers that said “Yes, it’s a busy promo day.. But if you think I’m too busy to cyber-stalk you, you’re WRONG. #TS1989”. She included some pictures that fans had tweeted and/or posted on their Instagram. In Taylor’s tweets, there were 4 photos, which show up nicely in a Twitter stream.
Later, she posted another tweet that said “Oh my God, guys, you could not possibly be cuter. #TS1989” and included 4 new photos from fans (just like the first post).
Shortly after that, there was another post, this time including a new hashtag, #taylurking. That particular hashtag says to her fans, “I’m paying attention to YOU”.
A typical hashtag strategy is not as subtle or organic. Usually, there is some sort of campaign announcement “POST YOUR INSTAGRAM PHOTOS AND TAG THEM WITH #CAMPAIGNIDEA TO WIN PRIZE!! Taylor’s promotion seemed sincere, very organic and driven by fan engagement.
As time went on, Swift would group similarly themed pictures together and tweet those out. There was this one with a Halloween theme:
Some posts were endearing and sweet, with Swift showing genuine joy about the images that people were posting.
She then started tweeting pictures and including a piece of a song lyric, the fans became part of Taylor’s lyrical landscape.
There are multiple good things happening here.
1) Notoriety/Shared Experience: Getting noticed and retweeted by your favorite celebrity is a big deal to adults, and is a HUGE deal to teens. Taylor was able to connect with her fans and connect them with other fans in a really unique and organic way. Her audience responded – the hashtag #taylurking had over 250,000 posts on Instagram on 11/3/2014.
2) A Reason to Buy The CD: If you love Taylor Swift, you may want at least 1 set of the Polaroids. This is like a ‘Taylor Swift Happy Meal’ or ‘Taylor Swift Baseball Card Pack’. The randomness of “which set of photos did you get” is intriguing and leads to a conversation after the purchase… I spoke with a friend today that already paid for an early download. She mentioned she was going to Target to buy the CD just to get a pack of Polaroids.
Let’s Talk About YOU
Can you think of a way to tie an offline/online strategy together? How can you give people a reason to interact with you or your business.
- Could you have a coloring contest for children, take pictures of those entries and post them to Facebook for voting with a prize?
- What about a daily deal at your retail location that’s only announced on Twitter or your Facebook Page.
- Maybe you could send an exclusive offer to your email list that has to be redeemed at your location.
- Perhaps you offer an exclusive program discount to someone that shares your images on Instagram.
What are your ideas? Who else is doing a good job of online/offline marketing? Answer in the comments or tweet me up at @jason_elkins and let me know.