Handcuffed by strict advertising laws and murky rules on social media, cannabis businesses currently face limited options to get their brands out to the public. As Caliva’s Field Marketing lead Sam Peterson explains, “We’re limited to billboards, print ads and social media as our three main channels. Even among those platforms, we are severely limited as a cannabis company.”
Like many cannabis companies on social media, we’ve seen our Instagram account pulled without warning, after reaching thousands of followers. This crackdown has now spread to other platforms like YouTube. So how do you help prevent your social media accounts from being flagged? Establish a brand ambassador program.
Why Start a Brand Ambassador Program?
Caliva’s ambassador program, known as Caliva Circle, helps get the word out about the company while redefining the image of a typical cannabis user.
Increase your brand’s reach and sales
Quality brand ambassadors will embody the spirit of your company and seamlessly promote your products in their everyday lives. Genuine storytellers who truly connect with their followers while authentically incorporating cannabis in their activities can help influence mindsets (and purchases) regardless of geographic location.
Build a community around your brand
Cannabis is for everyone now, and brand ambassadors can help build that community around your company. As Peterson explains, “Our Brand Ambassadors help create this community of really amazing, unique individuals who are pursuing a hustle of one form of another, and they found a place for cannabis in their life.”
How to Find Cannabis Brand Ambassadors
Choosing the perfect people for your team boils down to your goals. You need to have the correct people in place to authentically convey your brand. Caliva Circle spreads our name in the space through the eyes of genuine, hardworking cannabis consumers. Presenting a diverse group of Ambassadors shows how cannabis consumption is a universal experience virtually everyone can partake in.
Seek out accounts you’d actually follow on your personal account
Instead of looking for accounts with high follower counts and little authentic substance, focus on people whose lives align with the tone you’d like to convey for your brand. While accounts in the high thousands and even millions are great, they may not be as connected to their fans as you may assume. Conversely, an account with a connected 3,500 followers could produce more fruitful gains for the brand.
“I think the ideal Ambassador is a combination of a [social] following and genuine storytelling,” Peterson elaborates. When looking over the profiles of our awesome Ambassadors, you’ll notice that they bring that diverse, authenticity that permeates all aspects of Caliva’s brand.
Serving as a genuine extension of the brand is key. As Peterson explains, “If it doesn’t feel genuine to me, it’s not going to feel genuine to the people looking at their page.”
Meet a Few Caliva Brand Ambassadors
Take Caliva Circle Ambassadors and #VanLife enthusiasts Pete, Tay and their dog Snoop. They are driven by curiosity while living their best lives out of an incredible van that they converted themselves:
Today kind of feels like the first REAL day of this conversion. We’ve been in somewhat of a limbo waiting for products to arrive and dealing mostly with logistics and other types of brain work that come with building and selling a #homeonwheels. Now we’re ready to close our laptops, put our phones on silent, and turn this van into a home for a lucky adventurer 🚐💨 Follow @vanlife.creatives to watch the process! – #vanconversion #vanbuild #vanlife #adventuremobile #sprintervanconversion #carpentrylife
Then there’s Darvill Rodriguez, whose page is undeniably fun, happy and full of life:
And for stunning images, Andrew Eggers and his captivating shots are sure make your jaw drop:
Hope you all had a great 3-day weekend 🤑🙃😎 . #gocaliva @gocaliva #sunsetstream_westside #sunset_madness #sunset_hub #sunset_vision #shotzdelight #usaprimeshot #wildbayarea #theimaged #streetsofsf #artofvisuals #earth_shotz #visualsofearth #sonyimages #sonyalphasclub #way2ill #agameoftones #ig_color #wildcalifornia #rawcalifornia #fatalframes #gramslayers #weekly_feature #createcommune #heatercentral #houseoftones #usaprimeshot #depthobsessed #eclectic_shotz #globalcapture
Creativity, adventure taking, daily wellness, inspiration seeking: All of these ambassadors live their lives in a way that represent the Caliva spirit.
The Perks of Being a Brand Ambassador
Being part of a company’s brand ambassador program often comes with some excellent perks. Caliva Circle members are always welcome to in-store discounts whenever they come into town – like when Pete, Tay and Snoop swung by in March!
Sometimes our ambassadors can’t make it to San Jose. That doesn’t mean we can’t keep them hooked up with incredible perks, like swag packs that include branded gear and other goodies. Caliva Circle members can expect awesome swag like shirts, hats, water bottles, and cannabis-specific perks like rolling papers, grinders and more.
While any brand’s goal is to enhance their reach and sales, an ambassador program should do much more. The ultimate goal is to build a community. To continue promoting this goal, Caliva also rewards ambassadors with unique events; June’s meetup includes a hike and beach-side picnic capped off with a joint tasting. The hope is that as this dynamic team of individuals grows and gets to know one another, they’ll create future meetups on their own.
Ready to Start Your Ambassador Program?
Cannabis brands stand to benefit from a well-implemented ambassador program. By aligning the goals of your brand with the program, you can work with the best connected names in the space and expand beyond the played out stoner stereotypes. Do so by making your team diverse and interesting subjects with quality content.
When you have your team, remember to reward them for their dedicated efforts. They help expand your brand and should be recognized when they increase traffic to your brand. By keeping the relationship mutually beneficial, your ambassadors are sure to love their work and your products. That sentiment is sure to come through their authentic, genuine content.
For more tips on building your cannabis brand, check out Cannabis Marketing 101 with Caliva.