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How DJ Khaled Became the Snapchat Marketer You Wish You Could Be

DJ Khaled is the best thing that ever happened to Snapchat. There, I said it. I’ve always loved this social network and music artist —“All I Do Is Win” was the anthem of my early twenties, after all — but now I am even more committed to checking daily, so I can find out where DJ Khaled is on his cross-country adventure and hear what ridiculous sound bite he is going to come up with next. I’m even exhorting all my non-Snapchat-obsessed friends to get on board. My best friend refused. We don’t speak anymore.

So how is DJ Khaled taking the Snapchat sphere by storm right now? Why does he appeal so greatly to Snapchatters? One word sums it up: authenticity.

DJ Khaled is not afraid to be exactly who he is, which is hilarious and honest and a wee bit aspirational (since he’s getting messed up at clubs with the likes of P. Diddy and Rick Ross, not your best friend Mikey). This means you inherently trust him and also, a little bit, want to be him — or at least watch him be him.

As outlandish as some of the things DJ Khaled says and does on his Snapchat Stories are, they’re also quickly becoming widely culturally recognizable — in just a few days. How can you “bless up” your own brand’s Snapchat Stories using DJ Khaled’s tried-and-true lessons? So glad you asked.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with Me

Is your brand bringing Snapchat users to dinner? To the hair salon? To the semi-tipsy ride home? No?

Dj Khaled Snapchat

Then you’re missing out. Snapchat is the perfect social network for slightly off-kilter, raw, behind-the-scenes footage of your life, whether that means your brand or your primary influencer(s). If you’re posting content that feels carefully “branded” or “curated,” you’re missing the point.

Epic Quote: “Tell ’em What the Vibes Is…This Is the Dinner They Don’t WANT You to Have.”

Fan Luv

DJ Khaled loves his fans. He loves his fans when he’s eating chicken and waffles. He loves his fans when he’s at the club. He loves his fans when he’s taking a break off the tour bus.

And he brings us along on those journeys. Find your fans and Snapchat them — it will not only breed brand-oriented conversation in your own fan community, it will also encourage further eyes on your content in the future.

Epic Quote: “Fan Luv. My man brought a lion out. We reppin’ hard right now.”

#WeTheBest, Bless Up, and the🔑 to Success

Not to mention “Vibes!!!!!” as previously mentioned in this post. These are all key terms (excuse the pun) that DJ Khaled has really made his own on Snapchat. As DJ Khaled himself will tell you, “Everybody needs a tagline.”

But it’s important to note that DJ Khaled did not create these terms on Snapchat…he’s been rapping them for years. Which familiar taglines and phrases do people associate with your brand? Run a keyword analysis on the other social networks you’re active on to find out and then embellish these keywords and phrases buzzing around your brand to create content for Snapchat.

A Sense of Immediacy

Of course, Snapchat as a platform is built upon a sense of immediacy, since all Snapchat Stories disappear, but DJ Khaled really leverages this feature of the platform.

Snapchat DJ Khaled

By leaving his viewers with cliffhanger questions and a sense that something is popping off right now and won’t be available after tonight, DJ Khaled generates a ton of interest in his appearances and new album. How can you replicate this one-time-only, get-it-while-it’s-hot sensibility for your own brand?

Epic Quote: “Getting That Fresh Cut. I’m Gonna Let Y’all See in a Minute. Rick, What Club I’m at Tonight?”

Come Back Later

DJ Khaled always answers the cliffhanger question; you just have to stay tuned to find the answer.


In one day’s cycle of Snapchat Stories, DJ Khaled kept mentioning the tour bus conversations he’d be having later on Snapchat…and, boy, did he deliver:


To build a healthy Snapchat presence, make sure your brand is giving users something that makes them want to check up on you later.

Epic Quote: “Tour Bus Talk Tonight, Right After My Appearance.”

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Do you have a major event, product launch, or project debut coming up? Don’t be afraid to keep repeating the details on Snapchat…as long as you’re making those details entertaining or sandwiching them with entertaining content.


What’s that old presentation adage? Tell them what you’re going to show them, show them, then tell them what you showed them? DJ Khaled is the master of this kind of repetition, and it works. He has so much success, he’s known to have suffered from it. 

Pro tip: Use the text area in your Snap to share the nitty-gritty details of your event or project, and use the camera for pure entertainment.

Epic Quote: “Tonight I’m at Rockwell. Meet Me There. Miami, South Beach.”

Yes, You Can Do Web Conversions

There might not be a way to successfully track web conversions from Snapchat yet or link to an external site, but I’d put good money on the fact that a significant percentage of visitors to originate from Snapchat.


Who said Snapchat’s no good for web conversions? Not DJ Khaled. DJ Khaled would never say something stupid like that.

If you have a website, even a microsite, that you want to push people to, don’t be afraid to type it out over whatever else you’re offering up to Snapchat users’ hungry eyes.

Epic Quote: “ Best Tees in the Game. Quality.”

Work Hard: Relatability, Inspiration, and Humor

It’s contemporary media’s mantra. It’s why reality TV works. People want to feel that their celebrities are relatable…but also, not really relatable. And, always, funny.


This talent is really at the heart of DJ Khaled’s Snapchat marketing success. He’s good at being funny and relatable (everyone works hard), but also inspiring folks, but also hilariously out-of-touch with reality, and, thus, incredibly entertaining.

How can your brand pair relatability, inspiration, and humor to generate appealing Snapchat Stories?

Epic Quotes: “Major Key Alert: Get Money. We Gotta Get Money to Feed Our Families. It’s a Cold World. It’s Freezing Out There.”

“This My Lunch. On the Road, it’s Survival. We Have No Choice.”

“I Gotta Work Hard…to Keep the Jacuzzi.”

Express Gratitude

DJ Khaled is a very grateful person.


When he was coming back from the club the other night, he even pulled over to the side of the road to fully experience this gratitude. Maybe a little extreme, but…how can your brand embrace gratitude in a way that’s genuine, yet slightly over-the-top?

Epic Quote: “I Pulled Over on the Side of the Road to Embrace My Blessings.”

Famous Friends Help

DJ Khaled parties with a lot of famous friends, including Rick Ross, P. Diddy, French Montana, and many more.


This is endlessly entertaining for Snapchat users who want the exclusive content that will finally tell them what it’s really like to party with the stars.

How can your brand leverage star power on Snapchat? It might be time to get that influencer program cookin’ in 2016.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Planned or Profound

Many of DJ Khaled’s most entertaining moments on Snapchat involve him trying to position his phone just right, or smoking a cigar and staring aimlessly at the camera.

But when sandwiched between more verbose, salesy content, these scenes are endearing and hilarious, sort of like watching your drunk, talented uncle take a much-needed break. Don’t be afraid to show the mundane, as long as it also shows the vulnerable.

Which brings us to…

But It Does Have to Be Perpetual

DJ KHALED CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP ON SNAPCHAT. He is constantly adding to his Snapchat Story. You might not have the resources to do the same, but your cadence should be at least daily — and once you get used to the idea that you don’t have to carefully plan every moment of dialogue and video, you’ll probably find yourself Snapchatting a lot more than that.

We know that, like DJ Khaled, you want to be prepared for whatever might come your way in 2016…


…So if you want a jump start, download our 2016 Social and Digital Marketing Predictions below. Cheers!

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Written By: Jermon DVelle Green

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