If you haven’t jumped on the influencer marketing train yet, your marketing efforts might be lacking! As cannabis marketing gets rolling across new-to-cannabis states like Vermont and Virginia, being up to date on the trends of digital marketing becomes even more important. One way to attract new customers is through the use of social media influencers. Last year, in the first quarter of 2017, influencer marketing leaped by 28%. More than half of all marketers set aside a budget for social media influencers but not all of them will be up to date on all of the following trends for the beginning of 2018. If you already are utilizing influencer marketing, you’re already ahead of the game, but here’s how you can do more:
The Need for Meaningful Relationships
So far, we’ve seen a lot of social media influencers being deployed as more of a campaign tactic. For example, a cannabis company drops a new type of concentrate. The brand dropping the new concentrates will find someone their audience trusts and enjoys watching or interacting with (like Dabbing Granny, for example) to promote their new concentrates on YouTube or Instagram. Eventually though, the campaign just ends and the social influencer goes his/her own way and the company continues doing business as usual. However, in 2018 we are seeing that brands are better off when they build authentic, long-lasting relationships with their influencers. Likewise, influence marketers are being contacted so much that they’re likely to demand more meaningful relationships and contracts with the brands they know and love.
Using Multiple Influencer Strategies
In the past, it’s not unheard of for a brand to get away with using a single celebrity influencer. The problem is that one just isn’t enough! This year, we’re seeing a lot of brands finding themselves needing to integrate different, but related tactics to their marketing. We’re seeing marketers needing to combine micro and macro influencing strategies to earn the maximum return on their investment. For example, say a fitness instructor launches a new 8-week fitness program and Channing Tatum endorses and acts as an influencer for it. Channing Tatum becomes the macro influencer, but a lot of people aren’t going to buy the fitness program solely because Channing Tatum, an already fit person, endorses it. In this case, the fitness instructor will need to utilize micro influencers: the average, everyday people who use the program and share their personal results. Leveraging the macro and the micro influencers will help you amplify your cannabis brand and build better relationships with your consumers.
This year, we’ve already seen an increase in influencer fraud. Anybody can go online and buy a million fake followers. The problem is that you can also buy comments, post likes, and shares which makes it increasingly difficult to sort the real influencers from the fake. Fake accounts with post likes and comments can appear trusted and influential when in reality they have little to no impact in your industry at all. It’s important for your to fully vet a potential influencer for the number of interactions they earn and any additional articles or sponsorships they’ve earned, written, or been a part of.
Cannabis marketing isn’t always easy, but with influencer marketing, there is an opportunity to seize the day by riding current trends. Cannabis advertising strategies should also be integrated with your influencer program. With a team of influencers on your side, you’ll be surprised at just how much your brand can be recognized in a matter of a few hours.
Not sure exactly how to get influencers to support your brand? Let the experts at Team MaryJane help you get your products into the hands of the people who can help you take your brand to the next level.