April 11, 2016


DJ Khaled is the king of Snapchat – Bless up!

Forget the new filters; DJ Khaled is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Snapchat. Love him or loathe him, there is no denying the American record producer, radio personality, DJ, and record label executive is the undisputed king of the social platform.

With over 2 Million people tuning in each day to watch him eat breakfast, sit in a hot tub, ride his jet ski up and down the Miami coastline, or water his beloved flowers, Khaled has developed a loyal fan base through simply sharing his day-to-day life.

He has most definitely capitalized on his Snapchat success, marketing products from Cîroc Apple Vodka through to his very own clothing site, wethebeststore.com. While most celebrities promoting products are seen as sell-outs or appear mundane – DJ Khaled has incorporated his promotions into a daily narrative about his life, one that viewers can’t get enough of.

No matter how outlandish some of his Snapchat stories or catch phrases may be there are some major lessons, or as DJ Khaled would refer to them: “Major keys”, which all marketers can implement. Here is how the marketing genius has become Snapchat’s biggest brand.


Just like DJ Khaled starts each morning with egg whites, chicken sausage and water, your content and its distribution needs to remain consistent. Khaled sends out frequent snaps throughout the day. The stories they portray give consumers a sense of familiarity while staying fresh and entertaining.

Every individual tweet you put out, every comment you leave, every blog you post, every single piece of marketing collateral you produce becomes part of your brand, good or bad. Every time you put something out, you should be relating it back to your brand’s goals; your Business Narrative needs to be consistent and your tone constant. Building a story behind your brand sets up a broader context for your content to be successful and portray a clear and meaningful message to your audience.

To keep your message consistent and with the right context, you need to reverse engineer it. What do I mean by that? Think back to the goal you’re working towards. If you have a clear cut idea of where you want to be you can continue to refer back to it. Scaling that goal to everyone within your business, from entry-level employees through to the CEO, is vital to ensuring the context and content remain consistent across the board.

The biggest mistake a lot of businesses and marketers make is changing their message on a daily basis. If you ask any teen who DJ Khaled is they will tell you, “We the Best” or mention his hip-hop music that he produces. Would any of them recognize him if he started singing classical music and using new catch phrases? Probably not, people wouldn’t understand what he stood for or represented. The same goes for any business so make sure you speak with one voice and with consistency. Don’t be all over social media one week and print the next; it doesn’t work. Stay consistent with your message just like Khaled does.

Create value

There is a reason a lot of Khaled’s catchphrases and mannerisms have gone viral. His emotive and powerful tone gives credibility to his message. The expressions he uses are simple yet come across as powerful and easy to remember. And most of all, they’re motivational, constructive and positive. If ever there was a recipe for viral content, that’s it right there. Say what you will about the man’s music, but there is no denying his business sense is uncanny.

In most cases, the first thing you see when tapping through his Snapchat stories will be a pair of his “Bless Up” slippers or “We the Best” t-shirts. His merchandise, all which is available on his website, takes center stage around his catchphrases used in his stories.

Khaled may be the man when it comes to personal branding, but the thing that makes him such a marketing genius is the fact that while watching his snaps flooded with product placement and personal branding you don’t feel like you being sold to. His stories are so entertaining that you often simply forget that majority of the snaps are branded. As a consumer, you don’t mind the product placement as Khaled produces most snaps under the guise of giving away content and providing value without being asked. Providing free and valuable content creates credibility and rapport with your consumer.

When you don’t have someone continually bombarding you and throwing the product in your face, it makes it a lot easier to want to consume their content. Something Khaled is clearly aware of. When he finally does decide to make a sales proposition or, in his case, ask you to visit his online store or buy his music, as a consumer you are much more inclined to. That is because by converting or heading to his site, you do so under the impression that you are returning the favor for all the value he has provided you.

In some cases, the “ask” doesn’t even have to relate back to the bottom line. In a recent snap, DJ Khaled stopped his jet ski out the front of famous rapper P Diddy’s house. Providing his audience with Diddy’s Twitter handle, he asked them to tweet him. The next snap showed Diddy handing over a case of Apple Cîroc vodka, blatant product placement, but this snap empowered his consumers making them feel as though they had helped this happen.

Maintain active interaction

Khaled’s number one catch phrase is “We the Best” and there is a reason it isn’t “I’m the Best”. Khaled is all about “Fan Luv”. You will rarely see a day go by where Khaled does not include fans in his snaps. Seeming to go out of his way to spend time, give love and express his gratitude, something you would never see most celebrities do, this level of interaction has formed the foundation for a robust online community of followers. This is something all businesses should be trying to achieve through their online marketing efforts – building a community around your brand gives your consumers a voice and something to talk about. This creates an amazing opportunity for a top of mind positioning and increased brand awareness.

Think of some the brands creating great interaction with their fans across the social media universe – Old Spice, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Nike. Their social media follower numbers are crazy; these brands have taken full advantage of their huge social media presence with advertisements, user-generated content, and consumer interaction. Their numbers are so high because they take the time to interact with their consumers on a personal level making them feel loved and generating brand loyalty, something any business large or small can incorporate into their social media strategy.

Humanize your brand

The fact of the matter is people do business with someone that they like and trust, and it’s hard to trust a faceless company. Showing your true side and proving you’re a real life human, just like everyone else, is something most business or even people don’t demonstrate often enough. This is the reason shows like Gary Vaynerchuk’s DailyVee is so successful because they demonstrate the real life hard work and hustle that goes into everything he does, not just what is written or talked about. DJ Khaled does the same thing; his snaps show the reality of his life. From his typical breakfast through to his watering of his flowers and daily workouts, you see the hard work that is going on behind the scenes. The best part about it is that he is continually thanking his fans and showing his appreciation. DJ Khaled comes across as human and for a moment consumers see him as one of them.

Through establishing this natural rapport with your community, you will begin to develop a relationship that is more akin to two friends, making it more difficult for consumers not to buy from you and increasing the lifetime value of each consumer.

As marketers and business owners, we are programmed to think in a certain way. However, we often lose sight of who is on the other side of our marketing message. We are all human; we have emotions, thoughts and our own personal stories to share. As humans, we laugh, cry, think and want to feel alive. One of the key reasons DJ Khaled has been so successful in his social media efforts is the fact that he’s not afraid to be himself. He has attracted a huge number of loyal followers because he is original, his messages are bold, and he stands out from all the noise currently consuming the online world.

DJ Khaled is ultimately a brand – sure, he is a real life human but at the end of the day, his aim is to convert people to his online store or buy his music. When it comes to your marketing efforts, don’t be afraid to be bold, try something new with your message and stop being like every other competitor out there. The key takeaway from this article is to be real and to remain consistent in your message and who you are and your audience will follow.

Hopefully, these major keys to success can help your brand experience the same amount of success DJ Khaled has been lucky enough to receive. If you are not currently following Khaled on Snapchat, do it! Look for @DjKhaled305 and follow him on “the pathway to more success”.