Influencer Marketing for Cannabis Startups and Old Fashioned Dispensaries

Are you and your sales team excited about your latest cannabis product?

Great! You know what’s even better? When your customers are excited about your product too – so excited that they tell their friends, family, and even strangers about it.

And if you’re reached a point where your customers are more than happy to help you sell your product to others…

…then you might be ready to delve into the world of influencer marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?

First, let’s talk about what an influencer isn’t.

An influencer is NOT just someone with a massive following on social media.

An influencer is someone who can motivate their audience to do something, whether that means getting them to think a certain way or take a certain action.

To illustrate this point, let’s say you have someone with 1000 Instagram followers vs. someone with 10,000 followers.

On a surface level, the person with 10,000 followers might seem like a more powerful influencer, right?

But if the person with 1000 followers can consistently persuade 500 of those followers to visit a company website, while the 10,000-follower person can only persuade 50 people to do the same thing, who’s more influential?

The person with 1000 followers, obviously.

For influencer marketing to work, you need to build relationships with people who have a high level of influence. Plain and simple.

What to Expect From Influencer Marketing

Reach

An influencer needs to be able to connect with people in order to influence them. The more people they can connect with, the better.

Credibility

The influencer should be reputable, knowledgeable, and authoritative. When they speak on a subject, they should know what they’re talking about.

Salesmanship

Is the influencer compelling? Do they present themselves and communicate in a way that convinces people to take action? Are they good at driving traffic to other websites and platforms?

The answer to all these questions should be “yes.”

How to Find Relevant Influencers

A fashion influencer is probably not going to be of much use to you. You need to work with influencers that are connected to the cannabis industry.

So how do you find those people?

  • Use an influencer finding tool like BuzzSumo. It allows you to run searches on influencers according to topic and location. You can also filter your search using parameters like reach, authority, influence, and engagement.
  • You can do things the old fashion way and run keyword searches on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which can help you review a potential influencer’s connections and levels of engagement. Look at the types of conversations they’re having, especially ones that pertain to the cannabis industry.

Influencer Compensation: Payment vs. Free Products

Ideally, you don’t want to pay an influencer to market your products, as it could weaken the influencer’s credibility if the audience knows they’re being paid.

Influencer marketing works best when it’s built on an authentic relationship.

Remember: cannabis influencers need to produce new content just like you do. They’re already out looking for the next new strain, concentrate, or CBD product to talk about.

If your product is getting great feedback and reviews, finding an influencer shouldn’t be difficult. The influencer will be able to see the inherent value of your product, and they’ll be more inclined to translate that value into content for their audience.

However, when you first contact them, don’t ask them to promote your product just yet.

Start by following them on social media, posting comments on their blog, or sending them a quick congratulatory email for any recent success or awards they’ve received. Work on building the relationship and getting to know them.

When the timing feels right, ask them if they’d be interested in sampling your latest product. If you want, you can give them the option of just giving you feedback so they don’t feel pressured to promote it.

When it’s done the right way, influencer marketing can help your cannabis startup and dispensary reach a wider audience.

Remember, you need to find influencers with reach, credibility, and salesmanship. Use tools to find influencers in your niche, and build personal relationships with them. Once you do those things, you’ll increase your chances of success.

Need help crafting an influencer marketing strategy? We can help! Give us a call at (702)-381-9006 or email us at hello@hazymarketing.com for a free consultation!

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