The key to success for any business is getting your product in front of people – people who turn into customers when they patronize your store or engage with your product. In 2019 the fastest way to get your business in front of the people is online advertising on social media platforms.

But, what do you do when the biggest social media sites won’t allow you to advertise your business? Platforms like Google and Facebook don’t permit cannabis brands to place paid ads on their websites. This could be seen as a major damper to your ability to reach the people on those sites. Of course, content marketing strategies need to be utilized, however, there is another, very relevant method to reaching your potential audience: social media influencers.

Social Influencers are a cornerstone of modern online marketing. Essentially, a social media influencer is a person who has built a following that trusts the influencer’s opinions and who build their own preferences off those of the influencer. Typically an influencer has a “base” platform they’re most active on, though many have accounts across multiple platforms.

Although the term is relatively new, and the phenomenon itself feels rather abrupt, the reality is influencers have been shaping the way people buy products and interact with industries since well before the age of social media.

The immediacy of social media and the speed with which people can put their influenced behavior into action are two reasons why leveraging the right social media influencers can explode your cannabis venture’s exposure and extend your reach beyond your wildest imagination.

We’ve put together 3 major factors you should keep in mind when considering which social media influencers to approach to champion your brand.

QUALITY VS. QUANTITY

The point of a partnership with a Social Media Influencer is to get your business in front of as many people as possible…right? Almost!

Yes – you want the influencer to expose your product to their audience. But, what is exposure without conversions?

Perhaps a superstar influencer has 2 million followers, but only a quarter of those followers are inspired to actively engage with the post about your product, and a third of those who engage with a post click the link, and a tenth of the clickers buy – that’s under 2000 conversions.

Take another influencer who has a quarter of the followers – 500,000 – but whose vibe and lifestyle matches more closely with your brand. Let’s say half of that influencer’s followers engage with the post about your product, a quarter of those click the link, and a third of clickers buy – that’s over 20,000 conversions!

You want the best influencer for your product, not just the one with the most followers. In fact, sometimes the influencers with the most followers have already tapped out their base with all of their partnerships and brand ambassador posts.

FINDING AN AUTHENTIC MATCH

No one likes to be sold to over and over again. The sale works when the product speaks to the customer on an emotional level. At first, an influencer might be able to access that emotional touch point regardless of the product. But  – the more times a sale is attempted, the harder it will be.

TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR CONTENT AND BRANDING NEEDS

People choose to follow a social media influencer because they are inspired by the lifestyle, excited by their success, or aspire to achieve what the influencer has achieved. When a product really fits into the influencer’s life story (and therefore the life story their followers want to have) the conversions will be high. The sale makes sense, it feels right, and it enhances the customer’s life.

Finding an influencer whose lifestyle matches your brand and fits in seamlessly with your product is the most important step in this whole process. Otherwise, you might end up wasting your time and money on a partnership that won’t gain you lasting traction with customers.

HAVE A SOLID GOAL IN MIND

There is a slew of different ways a Social Media Influencer can support your brand. These are just a few:

  • A post about their experience using or engaging with your product
  • Trading guest blogs on your respective websites
  • A video or photo story demoing your product
  • An engagement post that encourages their base to interact with your social pages, perhaps involving a giveaway

The possibilities are almost endless. The most important step in choosing how the influencer will interact with your brand having a clear end goal.

Why are you trying to get all these new faces in touch with your brand?

Are you launching a new cannabis product, or trying to branch into a new demographic? Did you do a website redesign that you are hoping will spark renewed interest? Have you opened a storefront in a new area where the influencer lives? Are you trying to elevate the brand in some way?

Understanding exactly what you want to gain from your partnership with the influencer will make success much easier to attain for everyone. You will have clear indicators of whether or not the campaign is working, the influencer will know what you expect from them, and you will have tangible outcomes to build on for your next campaign.

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