Have you ever met a person and they told you that they’re an influencer? This is becoming more and more common as social media and network marketing are being hardwired into our society and the business world. Influencer marketing can be especially useful for small companies in the cannabis industry to get their name out into the world and start building brand awareness for themselves.

1) Some influencers are wary of promoting cannabis products

Influencers may have fears about their account being deleted and may be scared of losing followers who disapprove of cannabis use. There are several cannabis specific influencers who specifically market cannabis related content and are aware of the cannabis landscape on Instagram. Cannabis influencers are known for having their accounts deleted so make sure when you talk to them you understand the risks and plan accordingly. Influencers also can be picky about what brands they work with, so make sure you have an open and honest conversation with them about your products. 

2) Key things you can do to help avoid influencers accounts from being deleted

  • Avoid advertising prices or promotional discounts
  • Do not provide a way for users to order products
  • Include disclaimers on your profile that are age targeted if necessary, (21+ for adult-use cannabis brands)
  • Put adult only disclaimers on your profiles

There is no guarantee that these measures will prevent an account from getting flagged by Instagram itself, but they are a start to make sure your brand is staying compliant within the local regulations.

3) Choose an influencer who genuinely uses cannabis and identifies with your brand.

You want somebody that will help build your brand’s awareness and strongly identifies with your brand. Look at the influencer’s audience and make sure that it’s one you want to engage with. Look at how their followers engage with their content. Use the engagement ratio formula to calculate the level of engagement an influencer is producing. To do this calculate the average number of likes per post, divided by the number of followers, divided by 100. Typically for influencers with a smaller following, a 2% engagement rate is good. Pick an influencer who has strong content that includes quality photos and captions as well as an obvious theme they are trying to portray.

4) Influencers can show your brand being used in a relatable way

Cannabis is one of the most difficult products in world to market for legal reasons. Influencers can show your product in action and create a lifestyle feel that packaging can’t do alone. In the new era of legal cannabis it’s important to make sure that you are portraying relatable, realistic ways in which cannabis can be enjoyed. Think about who the influencers are and what they look like. Do they relate to your target audience? Do they know how to communicate with them effectively? Influencers are people and a brand so be sure to talk with them about how they communicate with their followers. 

5) People sometimes trust influencers more than brands 

People typically trust personal opinions over brands. Influencers are trusted by their followers because they work hard to build and maintain these relationships. When influencers promote your products, you become part of that equation between the influencer and their followers. Your brand marketing guidelines may differ from the way in which an influencer chooses to relate to their followers. Talk with them about how they plan on portraying the product and make sure both parties are clear about the expectations around imagery and language so the brand message is consistent. 

We hope these tips have helped you understand what influencer marketing is all about and how you can use it to your advantage. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on the world of cannabis marketing!