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Photo: Ornament Credit: John Nyberg

Whether you love or hate Kim Kardashian, the Kardashian Family, or cringe at the latest Kardashian Family Christmas card, you have to admit the girl and her family can sell their asses off! Kim, like most skilled content marketers, knows exactly how to work her moneymaker. If you learn her secrets you can too.

That being said, Kim Kardashian along with international pop stars Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber are more than just house hold names for their respective talents (or lack there of), they are social media rock stars who have one major thing in common.  They all make insane amounts of money selling products to their fans. Social media is the flame to their content marketing.

There are lessons to be learned from how each of these social butterflies connects with their peeps to create fame and make money hand over fist. I’ll be the first to admit that as I work to build my media influence, I’ll be using these lessons myself. Here’s how:

1. Make People Want What You Have…Then Give it to them!

What Kim Kardashian does:

Kim is the master of presentation, and as you know presentation is everything. She leaves nothing about her looks to chance. She’s a flawless exotic beauty, with a carefully crafted visual presentation and alluring persona. Many women want to be her…everything about her. Kim knows this, and she doesn’t mind sharing her fashion and beauty secrets with fans through her social media presence.

Kim is NOT stingy with her love or her beauty secrets. In fact, she has the “Kim effect” (a low budget version of the Oprah effect). Her wardrobe stylist and makeup artist are becoming stars in their own right, as she uses her connections with fans to hook them up with business. Once Kim has her fans panting for more, she subtly replaces the fantasy with the perfect content marketer’s sales pitch.

Everything, I mean EVERYTHING is for sale. If Kim posts a picture of herself, and one of her sisters hanging out in their Christmas outfits, you better believe the outfit is from the Kardashian Kollection. Kim’s blog posts are aspirational. While her fans may not be able to afford all her designer outfits, they can purchase the affordable version she’s selling. Kim crowd sourcing designs for her latest perfume or platform shoe is salesmanship at it’s best. You never know you’ve been sold. P.S. the ad space on Kim’s page is dedicated to her own products.

What content marketers can do:

As content marketers, we’ve heard from Copy Blogger a thousand times we have to develop content people want to read, but I dare say it’s bigger than that. If you have products you want to sell, you have to make people want it. How do you do that? I’m glad you asked. YOU have to become the advertisement for the product. Back in the day I was in the beauty business, and I was a walking billboard for the services I sold. My clients always wanted exactly the same style I was wearing.

You have to be a living, breathing, commercial for you brand. But, you have to sell with the savvy of a friend. If you’re selling a great strategy for business development, show behind the scenes of pictures and clips of your business including the triumphs and tragedies. People want to see you in the product.

2. Make Yourself Available.

What Rihanna does:

She’s everywhere from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to concerts around the world, but she’s always connected to her fans on twitter. She’s serving saucy pictures to her fans on Instagram, sizzling in her native Barbados, but her people always know they can have a piece of her. They can’t get enough of her.

Rihanna’s talent is often debated, but her social media dominance is on point. She’s parlayed that into a nice little multi-million-retail nest egg called Rebel Fleur. Yep, she’s selling perfume AND peddling Cover Girl cosmetics. People not only want to smell like Rihanna and her bad girl ways, they want to be with her.

She makes her self available by connecting with her fans. This year she made history with her 777 tour, where she allowed fans, bloggers, and journalist to roll with her on a world-wide-concert tour. While some of journalists and the bloggers complained about the experience, I doubt they’d turn Rihanna down for a rum punch if she called this week.

What content marketers can do:

Respond! If celebrities with millions of followers can respond to fans, so can you. Of course they don’t (and can’t) respond to every fan/follower, but they connect with fans on a regular basis. Nothing helps you build an online community, sell your latest video course, or content marketing webinar like “talking” to the people who spend time on your site.

Recently, a fairly popular niche blogger (not a celebrity blogger of the Perz Hilton category) tweeted that she was in my city. I immediately tweeted her a couple of welcome to the city tweets…crickets. She didn’t respond. How rude! Call me overly sensitive, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way.

Respond to comments on your blog, talk to people on twitter, be available to give advice, and make those connections as your community and customer base grows. When you get millions of followers/fans, then you can reconsider your super star status.

3. Be Different.

What Lady Gaga does:

Musically speaking, Lady Gaga is singing pop music, nothing more nothing less. She’s not putting a classical twist on it, or lacing it with a touch of country. She’s singing pop music. What she IS doing though is giving it the ole’ razzle dazzle. The girl showed up to an awards show wearing a meat dress. The only thing that could top a meat dress is showing up in an egg (or uterus, or whatever). She did that too.

Lady Gaga keeps tongues wagging with her latest bizzaro uniform. In a world where everyone is trying to be the “next” someone else, Lady Gaga’s “thing” is being different. However, when it comes to social media, she’s just like Kim Kardashian and the others. She’s a social media monster. In fact, Lady Gaga and Justine Bieber were neck and neck to be the first with a million twitter followers. Gaga uses twitter to connect with her fans, which she calls Little Monsters, and she inspires them to celebrate what makes them different. There is a time when Little Monsters are encouraged to be the same, like standing in line to purchase Lady Gaga’s new perfume Fame. Are you starting to get the picture?

What content marketers can do:

Zag, don’t zig. Listen, by now we all know the world is FULL of content marketers. There are so many people with websites and blogs selling the dream of becoming the next big thing in social media. Why does your voice matter? It matters because you are the only person who can tell it from your point of view.

Remember Lady Gaga sings pop music. It’s not rocket science, but she has a different point of view. If everyone else in your niche is prim and proper, maybe you should throw in an f bomb to shake things up. There are more reality shows on television then we can count, but 2012 was the year of Honey Boo Boo. I know, I know!

4. Stay True to Your Core Audience.

What Justin Bieber Does:

Justin Bieber’s fame is the direct result of social media. He’s one of the lucky few who rose to fame after being discovered on Youtube. He’s tearing up the charts and taking little girls on the whirlwind ride with him. Prince Bieber is never far from his social media roots or his adoring legion of young fans. These girls are so crazy about Justin that they threatened to dismantle his girlfriend Selena Gomez. Yikes!

Justin Bieber rewarded his loyal twitter followers by letting them choose his album cover. He also rewards himself with a little pocket change by selling them Bieber endorsed products like Justin Bieber perfume and finger nail polish. The Biebs knows who butters his bread. You don’t see him selling sports equipment; right now he’s all about the ladies.  On the down low, Justin’s a venture capitalist for startups, but you won’t hear him talking about that on MTV.

What Content Marketers can do:

Know your audience! Develop content and products for your target audience. It’s ok to dabble with other projects and products, but keep your audience(s) in the proper perspective.

What are you selling?

I bet you a cup of egg nog, your content will continue to get better if you commit to a strategy this year. I’ll be taking my own advice, and plan to share my results with you throughout the year. Do you have any secrets you’d be willing to share? We’d love to hear them.

Happy holidays!

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Hillerie Camille
I'm a social media, and reality show obsessed, public relations professional who loves tech and pop culture. I author a Life and Style Blog teaching women how to kill it at work. In my spare time, I mentor an amazing group of Mass Communication Students at Grambling State University. I also love traveling, so maybe I'll see you around.
Hillerie Camille
Hillerie Camille
Hillerie Camille

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