It's no secret marketing in the cannabis industry is difficult. One of the most effective ways to reach target audiences is through influencer marketing. But as anyone who has spent any time in marketing can tell you, good advertising isn't cheap.
As a result, many smaller companies will work with micro influencers who have a target audience that mirrors their own. Micro influencers may not have thousands of followers, but working with the right one can be an effective marketing tactic. So how do you know which micro influencer to work with?
Find Influencers with a Similar Focus
This first step will often take the most time and a lot of research. Find one influencer (or several depending on your marketing budget) and dig into their feed. How long have they focused on their topic(s)? How do people respond to their posts? How do they interact with their followers? What is their reaction to trolling or negative feed? This information will help make your final decision on which influencers you would want to work with.
Interacting with Micro Influencers
No one wants to get a random message from a stranger. One of the most common mistakes I see is brands randomly reaching out (sometimes at weird hours) with a basic and often impersonal message. This is an automatic turn off for many influencers and can potentially damage your brand's reputation.
Instead, give them a follow and interact with their content for a period of time before reaching out with a message. When you do reach out, make sure your message is sincere and doesn't sound like it came pre-packaged. While it may take some time, it establishes trust between both parties.
Avoid This Common Mistake
No one will pay you to advertise your product. One of the most common mistakes I see is brands reaching out to micro influencers with a small discount in exchange for advertising their product. A rookie mistake is thinking that you are giving away free products, but that's not necessarily the case.
How much would an ad cost if you did it yourself? The manpower, the equipment, the editing... it can all add up pretty quickly. Depending on the cost of your product, it may be more cost effective to send a micro influencer some product in exchange for them promoting your product. Not only will they reach an audience you may not have reached yet, but it will also provide transparent advertising that younger audiences value.
The Bottom Line
Marketing isn't easy. Marketing in the cannabis industry is even harder. Influencers provide a unique marketing tool to reach audiences in a way that resonates. However, influencers are people and respond to brands as such. By acknowledging and treating influencers like people, it will be easier to make a legitimate connection. It is also worth understanding people will not pay you to advertise your product. Legitimate influencers know they are promoting your brand to their audience. In turn, that audience may be swayed to purchase your product. In return, your brand receives advertising and potential customers for a reasonable cost, boosting your ROI as a result.