Kim Kardashian has taken the world by storm. Since rising to fame through a seedy, leaked video tape and a reality TV show, Kim has established herself as an extremely savvy business woman who has shrewdly built, popularised and maintained the Kardashian brand.
Love her or loath her, there is no denying that Kim Kardashian’s brand-building and marketing strategies are enviable. Kim has consistently managed to keep her brand image at the forefront of the media like no other star has managed before. Kim Kardashian has shown how powerful marketing is in raising awareness and maintaining a brand’s image. So how does she do it?
Kim is the queen of social media and is extremely successful at leveraging social presence as a marketing tool. Her following is huge; with over 23 millions followers on Twitter and 18.5 followers on Instagram (at one point her following surpassed that of the President of the United States, Barack Obama himself!) There is no question that gaining this level of brand awareness takes dedication and hard work. Social media is being used by near enough everyone and is constantly growing so it is an extremely valuable tool. Marketers are realising the potential that social media holds, with 92% using it for their business, however, it is worrying that only 34% of marketers that are using Facebook think their efforts are effective (Social Media Marketing Industry Report, May 2014).
Kim personally uses Twitter and Instagram for self-promotion allowing her to present insights to her personal life through pictures and hash tags. This is content marketing at its best, delivering highly relevant content to an engaged audience through an accessible channel with viral distribution. The takeaway from this is that rather than spreading time and effort across a range of different social media sites, identify content that resonates with your audience and choose one or two channels which suit your brand and allow you to convey the correct message to your audience. For example, Instagram would be a great marketing tool for a restaurant or fashion business due to the ability to attractively showcase their products through pictures. However, for a tech company, Instagram wouldn’t be as beneficial.
Allowing people into the world of Kim Kardashian is another tactic that has maintained the Kardashian brand as a household name. By uploading pictures of herself and her family, holidays and outfits of the day (#OOTD), Kim Kardashian allows people to personally connect and relate to her. She is constantly promoting herself and this is a marketing technique that should be imitated. By taking a leaf out of Kim’s strategy of creating a balance between personal and promotional, marketers and companies will retain their audience for a longer time. Introduce your audience to your company on a personal level such as giving your audience a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on in a particular project or even introduce them to members of your team. This gives the audience a glimpse into your company’s world and allows them to understand more about you. By balancing the promotional with the personal and not constantly bragging up the company and its products, you are giving your audience a reason to return to your profile as they do not know what to expect next.
A good rule of thumb is the 90/10 rule: make sure promotional posts and posts about your product only make up 10% of your content, the remaining 90% should be content that entertains, connects and engages with your audience. This doesn’t mean that 90% of your content is useless from an ROI perspective. When you see a celebrity tweeting about their most recent fancy meal or where they’ve just got off the plane, they are still brand building, they are still engaging an audience, but in a subtle fashion. Whilst these are personal tweets, the celebrity is making sure that they are always at the forefront of the public consciousness, showcasing their brand. By letting you ‘behind the scenes’ they are creating a personal connection but at the same time relating to millions of people. Vin Diesel is an example of an A-list celebrity who uses social media as a channel to connect with his followers (without a social media team like most celebrities), rarely posting promotional posts but often posting personal pictures, statuses and videos on his Facebook page.
Not only has Kim excelled at using social media for brand building, she has also realised the importance of mobile and monetisation in today’s world. The ‘Kim Kardashian Hollywood‘ app for iPhone and Android developed by Glu, a well-renowned game developer company, has proved to be an enormous success. The freemium mobile game became the highest grossing game in history, raking in over $43 million in just 3 months (Business Insider, 2014).
The success of the game, like the Kardashian brand itself, is not due to luck. Kim didn’t just throw her name and image onto any old app, she chose one which epitomizes her, with the game focusing on the rise of fame and the celebrity world. This allowed for a target audience to be established – women. A clever move, considering there are no mobile gaming apps out there which are targeted solely towards women, being a demographic that game developers tend to ignore. Kim Kardashian found a niche USP in a huge market and it certainly paid off. It may be stating the obvious, but this is crucial to any company or brand. Find a unique and interesting aspect to your brand, and you’re off to a good start. Kim Kardashian herself rose to fame due to her niche – her famous curves. When you have established what you want your niche to be, don’t forget it. Make sure you are constantly aware of any new trends and information in relation to the niche; Google Alerts is a good tool for this.
So what have you learnt from this article and Kim Kardashian? Social media is clearly an important marketing tool to keep your audience interested and to inform them of your brand, but it must be used to its advantage. Mix up the personal and promotional content and make sure you understand your niche. These basic but important tips will not get you Kim Kardashian’s level of brand awareness but will help build your brand image and keep your audience interested.