One of the easiest ways to reach millennials and gen z is to utilize influencer marketing. It shows real people your target audience trusts using your product and can reach a larger audience than other traditional marketing options. It can be a useful and essential tool but can backfire if you go about it the wrong way.
I get comments on almost every selfie from brands wanting to "collab". They range from "Collab? DM us!" to "Hey cutie, we love your style. Want to collab?"
While both are intended to seem innocent and friendly, it comes across impersonal and sometimes rude. And when further investigated, anyone can see they didn't do their homework before reaching out.
So how can you avoid a mistake that makes an influencer turn up their nose? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Does your brand and their audience share common themes?
Would you run an ad on a children's toy website if you sold guns? Of course not. And while that is a very stark example, it proves a point. Your ad is useless if it is not in front of your target demographic.
Researching people you potentially want to collaborate with is a time consuming, but necessary step. If you throw out a comment or message to an influencer who knows their audience won't react to the product, it can come off as rude and unauthentic.
Follow and interact with their content.
Liking one content piece is doing less than the bare minimum. Anyone scrolling through their feed can do that. If you want to seem authentic, then actually interacting with their content. Commenting on the post itself, liking/upvoting/hearting the post, or sharing is important. Influencers who see you interacting with their content know that you are investing time in them, giving them a better chance of investing time in you.
Send a meaningful message.
When you finally pop the question, don't send a canned message. Saying things like "DM us to collab" or "Hey, we want to collab. DM us." makes you sound like a Russian bot from 2016. Send them a meaningful message privately or by their preferred contact method detailing why you like their content and how your brands can potentially work together.
Don't call an influencer cheap nicknames.
Bro, babe, cutie, sexy, lovely... these are all nicknames you should avoid, no matter who you are talking to. Having a complete stranger call you things like "Sweetie" then pitch a business proposal at you gives off creepy vibes. Actually use their name. It's the social media equivalent of eye contact. Influencers are humans too.
Influencer marketing is a key part of brand recognition and cultivating an authentic audience and following. With many traditional means of marketing becoming either outdated or unusable for cannabis brands, influencers offer a way to reach target demographics in a way that speaks to them. However, if you spam an influencer with botty, clumsy comments and messages, they will look over your brand without a second thought. By taking the time to research potential influencers, interacting with their content, and reaching out to them on a human level, you can cultivate great work relationships that benefit everyone.