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What Beyonce’s #FORMATION Announcement Taught Digital Marketers

Two years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “5 Things Brands Can Learn from Beyoncé after she dropped a surprise album in the middle of the night.

Well, Slayoncé is back at it again. The day before the Super Bowl, Queen B dropped FORMATION (her best music video to date IMHO) and set off a chain of events that we in marketing like to call a perfectly integrated campaign. How did she do it? Get in formation and let’s check it out.

Time Your Announcement with a Major Event

Having a platform like the Super Bowl might not be an option available to you and your brand, but when you’re announcing a new campaign or product, doing so alongside an event relevant to your target audience is always a great choice. Find a conference, event, or holiday that makes sense for your brand and ride that wave!

Utilize Multiple Channels and Content Types

Beyoncé’s reign over the past few days has been due in part to her ability to diversify her offerings. Over the course of three days, Beyoncé released a new song, dropped a video, gave an epic live performance, announced a tour, and launched a #FORMATION branded merch line.

As you digital marketers approach upcoming campaigns, adopt this multi-platform mindset. It’s important to not just hammer home your message through one channel or content type. Spread your campaign across multiple media to touch the greatest amount of people, reinforce your message, and avoid fatigue.

Keep People Engaged Before and After

A great way to build or maintain buzz before and after a release is to show people what happened behind the scenes. In the days before and after Super Bowl 50 and Beyoncé’s performance, she shared a handful of clips from her rehearsals on Instagram, her social platform of choice.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

It’s relatively simple, but this is the type of intimacy that people crave and flock to social media for. Give your audience a reason to feel connected to your release, movement, or campaign by making it personal!

Partner with Brands for More Exposure

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.28.48 PM

Yeah, you read that right. Although I doubt Beyoncé and Red Lobster synced on the inclusion of their brand’s name in one of #FORMATION’s song lyrics, she did give another seemingly more-planned-out shoutout to AirBnb over the weekend.

It was a Super weekend Airbnb

Posted by Beyoncé on Monday, February 8, 2016

Beyoncé posted multiple pictures on Instagram at an incredible California home, which I just assumed belonged to her and Jay. However, yesterday she gave a shoutout to Airbnb for hooking her up for the weekend! Seeking out partnerships with brands is a great way to boost exposure and collaborate in creative ways.

Next time you’re looking down the barrel of a campaign, think about ways you could partner with brands or influencers to maximize your campaign’s scope…maybe you’ll get a $10K a night Airbnb out of it.

Slay on Social

Before, during, and after your campaign, make sure you know where the conversation about your brand is happening on social. Social media is a great place to gut-check your assumptions about what your audience will respond to. If you’re striking a chord, the people will tell you.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.41.14 PM

For example, Beyoncé nearly out-shined the Super Bowl on Twitter last week. Not too shabby.

I’d like to take this moment to say thank you to Queen B, for always pushing us to do better. Savvy digital marketers can take note of her creative campaign strategies and flawless execution and apply it to their brands.


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Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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