Kylie Jenner is the world’s most-followed woman on Instagram. At the mere age of twenty-four, she has amassed an Instagram following of a whopping 311 million people (plus some bots). Her social media presence, supported by a stout business empire that is worth more than a billion dollars, and a reality TV career that began when she was a youngster, has propelled the Kardashian-Jenner family’s youngest member to unimaginable levels of fame. The women in her family (Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, as well as Kris and Kendall Jenner) have reaped a total of 600 million Instagram followers between them. Except for matriarch Kris Jenner, all the sisters appear on the list of top 20 most-followed people on Instagram. Their TV show Keeping Up with The Kardashians was on the air for 20 seasons and averaged over a million viewers every episode.
You might love them or love to hate them, one thing you cannot deny is the numbers! There is a lot to not like about them, but the biggest lesson they can offer is the art of converting followers into customers. They are a living example of the importance of social media to a business and how one cannot make money without the other. The influence this family holds on its followers is massive, evidenced by the amount companies pay them for advertisements. Kim Kardashian gets paid close to $900,000 per sponsored post, Kylie Jenner makes $1.2 million for the same. The influence of these sisters is unrivalled (unless people are willing to pay me a million dollars for creating effective Digital Marketing Strategies?)
The Kardashians, in many ways, have given shape to the influencer culture as we know it today. They make a case against the stereotype that influencers are not real celebrities. They have broken through the metamorphic glass ceiling that is designed for reality TV stars and influencers. If you are an aspiring influencer here are some tips to keep up with the Kardashian’s social media strategy that you can apply to your own career.
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Just Do Nothing
Unlike Nike suggests, take the easier route – just do nothing. When it comes to social media, you do not have to be the most talented person. While being talented is an asset, it is not a necessity for social media. More often than not, people follow influencers for mundane things; to see inside their day to day life or to get tips (#cleantok has 31.7 Billion views). It is not the high-quality videos that charm follower or flashing endless money, it is simply you. It is easy to forget the simplicity of social media. Platforms like TikTok are great when it comes to creating content that is both personal and simple at the same time. If you are struggling to find that niche, take notes from the Kardashians as they have never fallen into specific roles, rather they do a little bit of everything... and more often than not, they just do nothing!
(Don’t) Let It Go
No matter how small a sponsor might be, don’t let go of an opportunity to make money. The Kardashians probably don’t need to sell weight-loss teas or hair vitamins, but they do! Brand deals don’t only give you more credibility but also invaluable experience. You may not be getting sponsorships from Balenciaga, but there is no harm in making deals with your local grocery store. Look for innovative ways that you can approach less dynamic sponsorships and turn them into exciting viral content. If you need help with your content strategy you can book a free consultation with me.
Be (Sort of) Transparent
Audiences crave transparency, they don’t want people to leave the spotlight once they have sold what they aim to sell. The Kardashians take a journey with their audience which spreads further than any product they sell. They excel at something that isn’t easy to do: share the ugliest parts of their lives. While they are unapologetically happy to show off their luxurious life, they also share their sorrows with the same vigour, which is an important aspect of their appeal. I’m not suggesting you go around sharing your bank details or exact location in the name of transparency (Remember when the time when Kim got robbed in Paris?) I don’t advise relying on drama for the sake of showcasing something, but giving some insights into your personal life can be really helpful to make an emotional connection with your audiences. Just remember to draw the line between sharing and oversharing.
Own Your Audience
A very interesting trait about all the Kardashians is that they take their audience with them wherever they go. They give us the illusion that luxury can be achieved by doing absolutely nothing while simultaneously working on multiple businesses at once. Each sister has extended their social media platform into a marketplace. Don’t limit your audience to one platform like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Reach out to your target groups across multiple networks to avoid reliance on one. For example, in India, the sudden Tiktok ban hurt a lot of influencers who had committed themselves to a single platform. Aim for your followers to stay with you, wherever you are posting; build your own website, brand or look for different ways to stay connected with them.
Keep Reinventing Yourself
Can you believe that it’s been nearly 15 years since the Kardashians first made their debut on our TV screens? They have managed to stay relevant and in the public eye by the fact that they keep reinventing themselves. And not just via their plastic surgeries but rather through the power they hold which can make anything they touch relevant. Remember when Kylie said that she no longer used Snapchat? It caused the company to lose a massive $1.3 billion in stock, yet there was a time when each sister had their own in-app stores and when Kimojis were a thing! They have come a long way from following what was popular to deciding what is trending. The Pandemic highlighted how influencers who showed a capacity for rapid adaptation were able to reinvent themselves and keep relevant. Those who did well understood they could help their communities get through lockdown by keeping optimistic and authentic. Travel vloggers, stuck at home, turned their hand to cookery classes and exercise tutorials, while musicians moved their gigs into their front rooms.
At the end of the day remember the most important lesson is to keep learning. And while you may or may not like them, but you can certainly learn from the Kardashians. Kim, at the age of 40, is starting her journey to become a lawyer, just like her father Rob. After failing the bar exam twice, she put herself back together and passed on her third attempt (sharing each step with her followers of course!) The Kardashians have built a road map of success that is not traditional, but it does not mean they are wrong. Yes, they have made some questionable choices in their careers, and you might not agree with their ideologies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t copy a thing or two!
Finally, I will leave you with a quote from their mother Kris Jenner which she gave in 2015 to The New York Magazine –