The Kardashians: Queens of Marketing and Social Media

Alicia Nicol
Apr 15, 2018 · 7 min read

Throughout this course we have touched upon a wide variety of themes embedded within social media. We have taken a look at ways to create a brand and media presence online, how to make money off of what we post, and of course the dark side of social media. But when you think of a group of people who have seemed to master every aspect of social media, only one clan comes to mind for me as I am sure many others as well: The Kardashians (+ Jenners).

It is evident that this family did not get their inital fame through social media, however it is worth recognizing the fact they have managed to stay relevant through their online presence. Each sister has taken their success and translated it into the means of businesses, lifestyle apps, brand deals and modeling. Lets take a quick looks at each sister’s online presense individually:

Kim Kardashian

· Instagram: 110 Million followers

· Twitter: 59.9 Million followers

Kourtney Kardashian

· Instagram: 62 Million Followers

· Twitter: 23.9 Million followers

Khloe Kardashian

· Instagram: 74.5 Million Followers

· Twitter: 26.1 Million followers

Kendall Jenner

· Instagram: 89.5 Million Followers

· Twitter: 26.7 Million followers

Kylie Jenner

· Instagram: 106 Million Followers

· Twitter: 25.3 Million Followers

Many people question whether the Kardashians even do anything, which is a fair question. Sure from the outside taking a picture and uploading it online may seem easy and mindless, but for each of the Kardashian sisters there’s a lot of reward that comes from a single post. With a mix of brand deals and sponsored ads, the Kardashians make a ton of money by name dropping products and brands in their Instagram posts. In an article posted by Bazaar Magazine, it is noted that Kim makes about $500,000 per Instagram post, Kourtney and Khloe about $250,000 and the Jenners about $400,000 each. Also mentioned in the article, the girls primarily endorse products such as waist trainers and teeth whiteners. Upon my own research and observation of their Instagrams, they frequently post about Sugar Bear Hair vitamins and HiSmile teeth whitener. It is reported in the same Bazaar Magazine article that SugarBear Hair actually pays each Kardashian about $250,000 per mention on their Instagram.

Aside from Instagram, What exactly do they do?

The three Kardashian sister started out as socialites. Kim being friends with Paris Hilton had only catapulted their careers of doing club promotions, photoshoots and starring on their reality TV show. But as the internet began to rise, being on television was no longer valued in opposition of being viral on the internet. They needed a way to stay relevant while still being attractive to younger generations. So the most logical next move would obviously be to kick-start their online careers. With Kendall and Kylie growing up in the era of social media, the sisters were able to adapt to this culture very smoothly.

Their Marketing Strategy

Each sister was able to combat social media in entirely different ways. Starting with Kim and Kylie who both own businesses via ecommerce, these two sisters have decided to leave the marketing aspect of their businesses up to Instagram. Kylie has launched ‘Kylie cosmetics’ in 2016 and has created a projected value of 1 billion USD by 2022. Kylie’s main strategy is to launch a picture on her Instagram of each product. From there, she moves onto snapchat where she will include a quick video of her swatching all her new products. Kylie typically has music playing in the background of each video, music that is new and would catch the attention of the audience.

In terms of Kim’s ‘KKW Beauty’, she primarily follows the same marketing strategy as Kylie. However what Kim did differently was that she threw a launch party in which she invited all the most popular YouTube beauty gurus so that they can come test out her products before they were launched to the public.

Kim was extremely smart in doing this since she realized that the main demographic of people who support her and will most likely purchase her products are teens who follow her on social media, and who also follow beauty vloggers on YouTube. She was able to narrow down who her target audience is and find a way to cater to them in order to ensure that they will purchase her products. Kim doesn’t stop there, she also goes as far as to film herself being glammed with her products by some of the guests at her party.

As we even mentioned in class, majority of us would not buy a product online unless we know that others have tried it and shares faith in it. Both Kim and Kylie understand that aspect of today’s purchasing culture, and has again found a way to master that aspect as well. Anyone who follows the Kardashians on any social media would also know that they are notorious for their PR boxes. Whenever Kim or Kylie release something major, they send out a sample to some special influencers in the most extravagant way.

Both Kim and Kylie will send out free samples of their products to YouTubers in return for those beauty gurus to post a review of the product on their channel.

What About The Other Sisters?

Kendall Jenner is busy running her infamous modelling career which in itself is enough to remain relevant, however she also does not shy away from a brand endorsement here and there. As for Khloe and Kourtney, they both have dedicated their time to running their apps. Khloe has begun to be an advocate for healthy living in the sense of staying fit through exercise, while Kourtney follows a similar path that involves healthy eating. Kourtney is known for her strict diet of dairy free and gluten free foods, so she often shares recipes and tips on her app to help show others how easy it is to lead a similar diet. Khloe on the other hand, has become notorious for posting snapchat videos of her workouts. Khloe has utilized this opportunity to launch workout videos and tips on her app, as well as release a TV show entitled ‘Revenge body’. She has since released a line for denim jeans called ‘Good American’ that caters plus sized individuals. Kim and Kylie have also released apps to share insight into their lives.

Their Legacy

It is inarguable that the Kardashian sisters are amongst the most famous people in the world. No matter where you go it is guarenteed you will see or hear them somewhere. They are unavoidable. Every tabloid is filled with their faces, and every talk show has something to say about them. With Instagram’s new algorithm, one can check out their explore page and be bombarded with Kardashian clips from their show regardless if you ever watch or follow them. This is because they are followed by so many people and they are constantly in demand. In 2014 Kim took the cover of Paper Magazine in which she partook in some heavy photoshopped, controversial pictures. Yet as usual, she knew the outcome of doing a cover like such and decided to market it as “breaking the internet”. All the Kardashian sisters are known for posing nude and posting some scandalous pictures that will either gather the support of feminists or scary away conservatives.

So as you can see, the Kardashians have found a way to stay relevant as their audience has switched away from television and onto the internet. They used multiple techniques but primarily have master the concept of business intelligence and online visual marketing. All the sisters are consider influencers but aside from that they are all very strategic in their business endeavours. They have found a way to exemplify their value proposition and with that found ways to target specific audiences. They have analyzed the people who primarily watch their videos, follow them on social media, buy their products and used that information to create innovative ways to captivate that audience in the long run.

Overall, with their strategic use of social media I believe the Kardashian sisters are amongst the most successful businesswomen of this generation, and should be given more credit than what they receive regardless of how many nude selfies they post.

Baazar Magazine Article: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/culture-news/news/a40474/this-is-how-much-the-kardashians-get-paid-for-one-instagram-post/

RTA902 (Social Media)

Insights from a class of disruptors, innovators, artists and makers.

Alicia Nicol

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RTA902 (Social Media)

Insights from a class of disruptors, innovators, artists and makers.