Cardi B is blowing up the charts and everyone from Oprah to Rihanna is talking about her. Boasting 22.8 million Instagram followers and an album streamed over 100 million times on Apple Music, Cardi be is a marketing force to be reckoned with. Over the past few years, she's gone from poverty to a net worth of over $4 million dollars.
1. Be authentic.
"Authentic" is one of those buzzwords that's hard to grasp. Spend three minutes on Cardi B's Instagram feed, however, and you'll have a clear understanding. From silly videos of herself dancing in her living room to earnest video messages to her fans, Cardi B can't be anything but Cardi B.
In interviews and on her social media, Cardi B keeps it real. "Once you have money, everybody wants you to be their kid's godmother," she told Jimmy Fallon last year. Her candid hilarity endeared her to Fallon and made him fan within minutes (he recently invited her to cohost an episode, the first time he's ever had a cohost).
How you can you be like Cardi B? Be yourself. Your business don't have to appeal to everyone. When you are authentic, your message resonates with the people most compatible with you. These are your people, your customers, fans, listeners and team.
2. Involve your supporters.
To call Cardi B's social media following "significant" is an understatement. Fans tag her in posts ranging from children dancing to Cardi B's music videos to their own Cardi B fan art. She reposts these photos and videos with her captions, always thanking fans for their support.
Fans who like your work enough to voluntarily promote you are every marketer's dream. If someone takes the time to, say, turn your latest album cover made into nail art and post it on Instagram, you know they like you. When you share that excitement, you not only show your followers how much you appreciate them, you build even more energy. Repost, retweet, share, and tag your customers when they show their support.
3. Don't lose focus on your product.
In an 2016 interview with The New York Post, Cardi B confessed she almost passed on the opportunity to appear on VH1's "Love & Hip Hop" because she wanted to focus on her music. Though she took the gig, she ultimately left to work on her music.
Striking the balance between doing your work and getting your work known can be hard for entrepreneurs. A new venture can be a boost and help you expand your network -- but it may derail you from your primary mission. Before you accept that new project, consider the potential long term pros and cons.
4. Create content that makes an impact.
After her appearance at Coachella, Cardi B posted individual shout-outs to many of the performers on stage with her. Each note was personalized and gracious, whether the performer was an up-and-comer or an established star. These messages demonstrate her authenticity but they also create a sense of letting fans into her music industry world.
Cardi B was a social media influencer years before she ever released a track, and it shows. When other celebrities send her gifts, she posts unboxing videos directly addressed to her fans and celebrity supporters. "JLo sent me a present!"
Cardi B shares moments like this on her social media several times a day. She speaks directly to her fans in her social media videos. When she announced her upcoming hiatus from performing, she didn't write a formal statement--she shot a video from her tour bus and talked to her fans.
You can use your social media like this, too. Invite your fans into your world and thank them for being there. Gone are the days of "ask a question to boost engagement" strategies. Talk directly to your customers over whichever platform feels right to you.
5. Own your value.
"I used to underestimate myself, so I can't be mad at the people that underestimated me," she said. Fast forward to 2017, when she became only the third artist--and the first woman--to have five of the top ten songs on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart. When Fallon congratulated her for her the success of her latest album, she owned it:
"I am so proud of myself.... I worked my ass off for it."
Cardi B worked her way up from poverty to where she's at now. She should be proud of herself. How is this a marketing tip? When you know what you are worth, when you are confident that what you offer is the best it can possibly be, you can set your prices accordingly.
No matter what kind of business you run, these five lessons from Cardi B's success can help you increase engagement with your customers.