Lots of celebrities either own or lend their names to various product lines, but there are only a few who have had the kind of monumental success that Kat Von D has experienced. Von D began as a tattoo artist turned reality TV star, but after partnering with Sephora in 2008 to launch Kat Von D Beauty, she became a genuine mogul, known for her quality products that as of June 2016 are 100% vegan. Much of Von D’s success can be attributed to her online presence, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.
Kat Von D’s individual following is strong, with 12.8 Million Facebook followers and 5.8 Million Instagram followers. However, Von D also has 3.3 Million Instagram followers and almost 447,000 Facebook followers for Kat Von D Beauty alone. Yes, Von D who is known for her artistry, style, and beauty, has her own substantial following and has been able to shift a lot of the attention she already receives onto her cosmetics line. But again, many celebrities have tried and failed to grow a legitimate business via digital marketing and Von D has thrived. Not only that, she was doing this years before the likes of Kylie Jenner, etc. Von D really set the standard when it comes to building celebrity beauty brands online. Let’s take a look at Kat Von D Beauty specifically on Instagram and Facebook and see what works for Von D and how that can potentially work for you when marketing your products online.
Kat Von D & Instagram Video
Kat Von D has really worked Instagram to draw in followers to her Kat Von D Beauty handle. With each video averaging about 134,000 views let’s take a look at the Instagram video that received the most views in the last 90 days and try and figure out why it was so popular.
This video has over 450,000 views and counting. Upon first glance, it might seem a little bit boring. It’s a “swatch,” which online is just a video sample of a product’s color on an actual person. This video wasn’t even done by Kat Von D’s company; it was done by Instagrammer @zodieac who has 45,000 followers of her own. However, if you look at the elements and hashtags used as part of this post closely, you can begin to understand why it was so successful.
The first item Kat Von D Beauty released in 2008 was the Studded Kiss Lipstick. According to an article in Allure, the Studded Kiss Lipstick in the shade Lolita was Sephora’s number-one selling lipstick of 2015. Being well-aware that her lip-wear was a big deal, Von D went on to create Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, a (you guessed it!) liquid version of her popular product.
Any time a new shade is released, it’s a big deal and @zodieac ‘s video, which simply showcases the shade Nahz-fur-atoo being applied on its own (with a vampiric finish) is a straightforward display of how great the color looks on lips. The hashtag reminding viewers what the product is (#EverlastingLiquidLipstick) doesn’t hurt either.
Like we previously mentioned, as of June 2016, all of Kat Von D Beauty officially became 100% vegan. Von D is a known animal-lover and her makeup has become a way to express that love charitably. According to Wikipedia, in August of 2016 Von D released a limited edition lipstick called Project Chimps named after the organization where 20% of the lipstick’s sales were donated. This wasn’t the first or last time a percentage of the makeup’s sales were donated to charity. This kind of authenticity and standing by her values is what made Von D’s fans follow her from tattoo artistry to her beauty brand. The hashtag #vegan is a reminder of what Kat Von D Beauty stands for and that means a lot to followers of the line.
Kat Von D’s community of followers aren’t just fans, many of them are artists in their own right. Von D’s personal IG and Facebook page are full of other people’s art and Kat Von D Beauty is no different, constantly posting videos of people using Von D’s products to create beautiful makeup looks. This video by @zodieac is a perfect example. By posting videos of other people using your product, you create an instant online community; people who maybe didn’t follow your product before but who do follow the artist you posted may become new fans and vice-versa. Not only do these videos show how much Von D appreciates the artistry of her followers, but it’s very good for business. Von D even recently created the #KvDArtistryCollective, a group of influencers who have created stunning videos with Kat Von D Beauty products. Von D understands that the online community feeds her business.
Kat Von D & Facebook Video
Maybe not upon the first viewing, but if you pay attention to Kat Von D Beauty’s most viewed Facebook video in the last 90 days, you’ll see it has a lot of similar elements as the Instagram video above. This video with around 402,000 views is actually announcing Kat Von D Beauty’s official YouTube channel in a brilliant bit of cross-platform promotion:
If you’re trying to take followers from one platform or another, you’re going to want the brand’s main representative to show you the way. Kat Von D stars in this video, talking about how she’s traveling the world doing tutorials and presentations for Kat Von D Beauty and how she wanted to share everything she is seeing and experiencing with her fellow artists and fan community. She’s the embodiment of Kat Von D Beauty and who you want to follow to her YouTube channel.
Kat’s Facebook Community
While the video doesn’t talk about the cosmetics line being Vegan, we do get a front row seat to Kat Von D herself, talking about her message. She appreciates beauty and she’s lucky to be able to have amazing experiences and she wants to be able to share those experiences with her community of artists via different online platforms. The video is aspirational because we see Von D in beautiful locations, wearing amazing clothes and rocking several sizzling makeup looks, but it’s personal because she’s talking about how important you are and how much she wants to share her journey with you.
Kat Von D has created a beauty empire and one could argue she’s mainly done it via online video. She understands that to create engagement you have to engage. She has a mission and a message she stands by and is relentlessly herself, but she also loves collaborating with the online community she’s built and seeing how people use her products to express their own messages. A brand doesn’t have to be spearheaded by a celebrity to have an opinion or message. A brand does, however, have to be consistent in its representation and engage with fans and followers to be successful. At the end of the day, people want to feel like they’re engaging with a personality, even if that personality comes in a tube of lipstick.