With all the noise and new companies emerging daily in this industry, marketing strategy is a critical component for any successful cannabis company.
The cannabis industry faces unique challenges however, and with that requires creative strategy to successfully market a product, service, or brand.
One strategy that is changing the way companies think about marketing is to work with social media influencers.
These influential creators are the Facebook fan pages, Instagram entertainers, YouTubers, and Snapchat creators that possess the unique power to create and amplify engaging content, while simultaneously maintaining an audience of dedicated enthusiasts ready to listen and learn.
In was once an influencer myself before starting Adspire, a company that specializes in executing influencer marketing campaigns for the cannabis industry. I’ve made many mistakes during my journey in this ever-changing marketing style and can provide some great tips and lessons.
In this article, I dive into a few tips and lessons I’ve learned that can help you increase your results on your influencer campaigns.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
I will admit, there is an allure to accounts being in the ‘1.0M+’ club on an Instagram account, but it’s only one data point in a set that you should use to evaluate the right partners for your brand.
Another data point I like to look at is engagement percentile. Accounts can vary greatly in the amount of people that interact with their content on average. These can make 100K influencers just as powerful as 1M influencers on certain occasions.
Creators vs Amplifiers vs Hybrids
Not all accounts are created equal and different influencers bring different forms of value to the table. For simplicity, I have created three classifications to determine the type of an influencer.
Creators are pages that create the content that they produce. Within this, falls sub-niches of pages. They are often a person or web personality, but not always (NowThis Weed vs SheSmokesJoints).
Creators can be valuable when you are looking to partner up with someone who will work with you to create content around your brand. Creators are often very skilled at creating engaging content and can prove to be super valuable for a brand.
These pages curate the best content from around the web. These accounts can also fall into a few sub-niches as well. An example of an amplifier could be a page that sources the best cannabis memes on Instagram. They can often be very large and maintain great engagement.
Hybrids are pages that are both amplifiers and creators.
This is A Relationship Business
Influencer marketing, at the end of the day, is a people business. The best syndications are the ones where both the brand and the influencers are satisfied with the partnership.
Influencers have invested years into their brand and many take it very seriously. Do keep this in mind when connecting with them. Working with influencers is fun and refreshing when it’s a match, so try to treat it how you would any other business relationship, and work to find a fit for both them and yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
One mistake brands often make is that their content is too company centric. Content that adds value is necessary for engagement. Influencers do so well because their content is fan focused. You need to be okay with trying new things.
An efficient way to develop a better eye for cannabis content is to follow the influential creators that are already doing great on social media. This will help you to identify patterns, trends, and understand what is working well for those creators and pages and replicate that in your own strategy. This is the strategy I used to grow a Facebook account from 0-200k in just 12 months.
Don’t shy away from entertaining your audience. This could be content that is humorous, educational, interesting, etc. The goal is to get people to engage in some meaningful way (a like, comment, share, view, etc). Try stuff out and see what sticks.
Influencer marketing is not always as simple as it seems, but can be an incredible value-add when used properly. Hopefully the tips and strategies serve useful as you think of how influencers can be of benefit to your brand.