Love them or loathe them, the world simply can’t stop talking about them. On the back of International Women’s Day, Kim Kardashian inspired yet another Twitterstorm amongst not only the general public but a variety of high profile celebrities with another of her regular selfies that don’t leave much to the imagination. Just a self-indulgent and vacant celebrity looking for attention? Or a smart and savvy business woman who can teach us a thing or two about building a brand and content marketing?
For anyone that may not be au fait with the Kardashian clan’s stats, this is a family who are worth an estimated $300 million, according to a report last year by Instyle magazine. Their brand includes hugely successful TV shows, clothing lines, perfumes, cosmetics, apps, novels, video games… I need to take a breath, but I believe you get the point. Leader of the pack, Kim Kardashian, has an estimated net worth of around $85 million and commands a social following that could make grown marketers cry. With 62.9 million Instagram followers, 41.5 million Twitter followers and nearly 28 million Facebook fans, she certainly has social statistics worth talking about.
Whatever your personal opinion on her, it’s been mentioned time and time again in the press that this is a woman who knows how to market herself. And, despite ourselves, we’ve noticed a few content marketing principles we believe in that have been highlighted by Team Kardashian’s brand-building success…
1) The hard sell simply doesn’t sell
Kim doesn’t just plug her products with the hard sell. Instead, she seems to adhere to the 90/10 rule – 10% of posts are obviously promotional, pushing products such as her app, whilst 90% are personal posts of outfits, family life and content designed to satisfy her celebrity lifestyle obsessed audience. Is it working? Well, her Kimoji app rocketed to the top-grossing spot on Apple’s App Store in just one day. Brands can learn from this by ensuring their promotional posts are subtly sandwiched within and in-between content chosen to entertain, engage and connect with their audience.
2) Consistent content builds followers
As mentioned above, Kim’s social stats are something to admire. But it is her regular and consistent delivery of content that keeps her audience engaged and continues to grow her social following. Regular content is essential for keeping your audience engaged and attracting new traffic to your site, whilst demonstrating a consistent presence across your social platforms will strengthen brand name recall and establish your public persona.
3) Humanise your brand to connect with your audience
Opening their lives up to their audience is a classic Kardashian tactic. Everything from babies being born and weddings is up for public consumption. The effect? Their audience can relate to the brand and see the people behind the products – perhaps this is why they used to regularly sell out of $10 bottles of water with a Kardashian face printed on the side at their clothing store in Beverly Hills. Adapt this approach for your brand by showing off the human side behind the logo, perhaps by introducing members of the team or giving a sneak peek behind a particular project. Make yourself more than just another faceless company and you are more likely to win the loyalty of customers who feel they can relate and trust you. People appreciate transparancy, and you don’t get more transparent than a Kardashian.
4) Control your social conversations
Yes, it can often seem at times that to the Kardashians all publicity is good publicity. However, there are also obvious signs of a team that know how to take control of conversations about their brand. Hootsuite pointed out that that when Caitlyn Jenner hit the headlines by coming out as transgender, the Kardashians, knowing the commotion that was in store, took the conversation by the horns with an exclusive Vanity Far interview and even a spin-off show so they could have their own say. Brands that ensure they have a dedicated person or team to manage their social conversations are able to minimise negative publicity fast with swift and effective responses, taking control of the conversation before the conversation takes them down.
Even if the idea of the Kardashians as content marketing gurus gets a laugh or two out of us, let’s have no doubt that they are laughing along too. All the way to the bank.