Let’s be clear - if you don’t believe in data, this is not the blog post for you. And if you don’t think people can be “influenced” or nudged or whichever word you want to use, you’re wrong.
Whether we care to admit it, we all seek advice to enhance our daily lives. That’s why the growing army of online influencers has become so powerful and, well, influential.
- According to Hootsuite, more than two-thirds of “North American retailers” employ influencers, spending at least 10% of marketing budgets on influencer marketing.
- And according to polling experts CivicScience, that 10% number about current marketing budgets is set to increase dramatically with investments ballooning to $10B by 2020.
- Still thinking of passing on recruiting influencers? According to leading influencer agency Mediakix, nearly 90% of marketers believe influencer marketing is at least as good as conventional marketing channels.
In the end, growing your cannabis customer base requires the same marketing tactics as other retail products, including online influencers. That said, who are the right influencers for your cannabis brand?
Know Your Target Audience
First and foremost, do the work to determine your ideal target audience. That means exploring relevant market and industry data to determine why and how your brand exists. Then and only then should you seek out the services of “on brand” influencers.
Pay Based On Your Needs
Of course, budgeting should happen before devising a marketing plan, but regardless how much or how little you plan to spend, a moderate investment in a less-than-famous influencer could better stretch your budget AND do so in a more authentic way.
Do Your Best to Keep It Real
When researching candidates, keep an eye out for influencers who are (1) living their lives while (2) endorsing products, in that order. Customers are attracted to influencers who post organically and, in turn, are more likely to value the brands they endorse.
Be Flexible But Consistent
Whichever influencers you choose to work with, be sure they deliver endorsements that consistently support your brand’s promise. Give each of them the room to promote their own brands, of course, but when it comes to your brand, make sure they’re following your marketing strategy.
Think Outside Your Brand
In addition to monitoring influencers who currently connect with your ideal target audience, be sure to study influencers of celebrated brands in general and note what makes them stand out. In turn, consider how to promote your brand across categories, industries, and demographics.