“You know you that b*tch when you cause all this conversation.” Beyoncé said it best herself. She is aware of her influence in pop culture and the nature of viral social media behavior. She is aware that when she takes a stand for the black power movement through the visuals in her video, it will be discussed. When she talks openly about her struggle through infidelity in marriage, it will be discussed. And when she only releases music on platforms that need payment, it does not hinder her success as an artist, music producer, and feminist.
The reason why Beyoncé seemingly has so much “power” and say in the entertainment industry is rooted in her personal branding and the revolutionary marketing tactics, which done correctly, can and should be applied to successful campaigns in any industry. We are going to break down some of Beyoncé’s most recent successes since her releases of “Formation” and Lemonade.
EXCLUSIVITY IN THE FORM OF RESERVATION
Beyoncé is well known for rarely discussing her personal life and opinions on movements but rather, she makes the noise for the discussion board to jump from. This caused a lot of backlash when she and hubby Jay Z stayed quiet about their involvement in the black lives matter movement. They were called out for being uninterested in their own cultural roots and the importance behind the movement. In reality, they were responsible for many anonymous donations and actively participated in the organization.
Their philanthropy is not what makes Bey successful, but what makes it powerful is the fact that she chose to keep it under wraps. Because her involvement was not well known, her hit single Formation took the nation by storm as it brought forth a public rise in appreciation and involvement of the black community.
Secrecy in new products is already a common tactic, but releasing it with little anticipation could help boost its popularity. Granted, this product or service has to be revolutionary in order to mimic the effect Formation had because with little advertisement and knowledge of a newly met need, traction can be difficult to create.
NEVER BE “OFF”
What do we mean by this? We are talking about basic social media marketing rules–leave little blank space. Yes, Beyoncé holds back on addressing rumors in interviews, but her social media and music never stops feeding information to fans.
When a college guest writer from TIME Magazine decided to say Beyoncé is not a trendsetter for fashion, the entertainment icon restrained from bitter tweets but posted gorgeous pictures of her wearing her finest attire. Let’s not even mention the huge slap in the face that writer received when Beyoncé showed up fashionably late to the MET gala in May of 2015 in a very sheer dress with rhinestones that barely covered her body. That moment lead to celebrities of all ages and shapes to show up on red carpets in sheer shiny dresses.
How does this change the social media marketing game?
It creates a constant craving for the future product. Had Beyoncé stopped actively posting pictures that slay on social media, her brand would have taken a huge hit and her secret albums may not have been as widely anticipated.
For example, her Lemonade album (second secret visual album) dropped last week strategically after a month of making her fans thirsty for more after releasing Formation.
MAKE IT IMPORTANT
Why was your Facebook spammed with Beyoncé’s Lemonade content/responses the minute it dropped and why has the exposure lasted this long?
Because the album mattered. Not only was Beyoncé talking about marital problems, but it was relevant to so many people who aren’t normally represented in the media (without stereotype attached).
Lyrically, the album talks about hard times, overcoming challenges, and forgiving mistakes. Everyone has gone through similar experiences and most can relate to her situation in one shape or another. More importantly, the album was not her usual dance-inducing party music that we have grown accustomed to since Destiny’s Child’s reign over the world. Lemonade had chain mail rhythms, slavery references, and inspirational lyrics for black women who have gone through marginalization. Malcolm X references motivate the black population to not stop fighting for their justice. Of course, she is going to cause conversation when her album has such raw experiences bleeding through the production, detailing events like infidelity to America’s ugly history of enslavement and oppression.
What if your product/ company doesn’t have any sociopolitically-charged connections to focus on?
Well, that can’t be true.
Companies are proud to represent movements like reducing the carbon footprint, ethical manufacturing practices, donations to relatable causes, etc. Let your consumers know about why your products are made with ethically sound decisions and avoid simply stating that they’re being made a particular way. Share the importance behind your actions. Don’t talk about activism like your company is superior for doing so, but encourage other companies to follow in your footsteps. Embrace Beyoncé and help create a voice for an issue that matters.