With today’s world of mass communication at the tip of our fingers, companies can market and brand their products in countless ways. In the digital realm, online and social media channels are one of the top ways for brands to engage with their target audiences. Rihanna is a marketing maven within the social media realm. When not in the actual spotlight, Rihanna enters the media spotlight, and advertises herself and her brand, through constant updates about herself, her music, her movies, and her branded products.
Social Media and a Toolbar: In Constant Contact with Her Audience
At the shy age of 24, Rihanna has over 28 million Twitter followers and 66 million Facebook fans. Updating her social media sites with pictures, events and news as it comes, she has access to mass advertising for free, with many of her posts having gone viral or shown on the news. Although she spends millions on advertising campaigns, Rihanna’s online websites and social media sites have been one of her greatest allies in building her brand over the past five years.
Using social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Instagram, she blends her posts to balance between business and personal – so her audience builds a connection with her, though little glimpses of her life, while still receiving the marketing messages her label wants to broadcast. One post might be about how tired she is from late night partying with other music superstars, while a different post may focus on upcoming albums about to hit stores. By getting to “know” Rihanna through her personal posting, and also being exposed to her marketing posts, she builds fan loyalty to her, as well as to her brand.
Aside from the usual social media channels, Rihanna also has a dedicated toolbar – giving her another channel through which to share content with her audiences. Toolbars are also a great way to engage current and potential customers. Customers download a branded toolbar to their browser. This acts as a direct channel for providing content specialized to that audience. Rihanna’s Conduit toolbar is downloaded by loyal fans looking for easy access to her music for free. Fans get exclusive Rihanna content, a Rihanna music player, videos, photos, links to her sites (plural), and access to her fan pages. They also get updated news feeds about her, along with Google-powered search and a fully customized radio player.
Product Marketing: Expanding Brand Awareness
Here’s a run-down of how she specifically cultivates her brand into profit: First, she advertises to make sure she is well-known and recognized. Then, she creates her online presence by combining her business with her personal life. She promotes other products, which gets her more visibility, like been seen as the Cover Girl Spokesperson or in Kodak commercials.
She also promotes herself through personal products such as her perfume line, and her fashion line in England. Rihanna makes TV appearances, whether in commercials, Award shows or on the red carpet, embedding into the psyche of her customers that if it’s the place to be, Rihanna will be there. To maximize her audience, Rihanna collaborates with other music artists, which allows her access to their huge fan base as well.
Brand personality: Glamour and Confidence
An additional aspect of Rihanna’s appeal is how she conveys her values to her fan base. With taglines like “Be Secure!”, album titles like “Unapologetic”, and links to download her songs like “Diamonds”, she creates an experience for her customers that brings them into her world.
She is portrayed as sure of herself, in control and glamorous, all associates of strength, confidence, and quality. When her fan base is exposed to these descriptions of her personality and music, they may feel more value in purchasing her products, whether they are going for her music, her style, or her product lines.
The applications to the business world for any up and coming brand, as well as the more established ones, are endless. While most businesses that would like to build a fan-advertising base like hers may not yet have her global popularity, it is still possible to build up a strong targeted audience specific to any brand’s industry.
By utilizing the concepts embedded in Rihanna’s marketing strategy, fame and fortune are sure to come to any business willing to put in the time and effort.
42 West helps Rihanna master marketing as her PR firm.