If you’ve ever seen any super dank stoner memes on social media, there’s a good chance they came from Top Tree. A respected multimedia company that pivoted from an attempt to establish a Seattle-based cannabis brand, has since gone on to become one of the most utilized marketing services currently available to legal brands.
Their follower network is now over 10 million strong and they’ve been using their social media superpowers on the cannabis and music space and they have plans to soon expand into games and sports. Top Tree has essentially found a way to harness social media to generate sustainable growth for almost anything—products, brands or services.
Houston, TX natives Layne Schmerin and his older brother Jonathan Lepow found a way to combine their passions into a winning formula for engaging and growing anyone’s audience. I had the opportunity to pick Layne’s brain to find out how they’ve built their empire. As well as how they’ve come to work on campaigns for Russ, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and even Ariana Grande.
Jonathan comes from the world of dentistry, while Layne caught the bug for marketing via music early on. Jonathan went on to become the Social Media Director for High Times and Dope Magazine. By the time he was 18, Layne was booking some of the biggest names in rap to come and play at fraternities around Houston, as well as other big events.
When Layne was 20 years old, he moved to Seattle to work for Macklemore as his assistant. For three years Layne soaked up the true nature of marketing by seeing the inner workings of the music industry. It became clear that he wanted to begin building his own empire with his brother.
After the passing of their middle brother Brandon Lepow from cancer, Layne and Jonathan saw the substantially positive impacts of cannabis from the medical side. As well as the untapped market on social media for cannabis content.
Top Tree Is Born
Everything seemingly came to fruition when Layne and his brother put down investment and struck a deal with a guy to take over a medical dispensary in Seattle. Top Tree was born from this attempt at using the existing team of 12 from the old dispensary to work on a recreational cannabis brand that promoted itself with its own magazine.
A year went into trying to make this plan come together when some deals went south on the cannabis end. Commenting on this experience, Layne said “I feel the main reason why start-ups fail is due to the overhiring process in the beginning and not being able to get work done. You end up managing the staff more than the business.”
This rapidly brought overhead that made Layne and Jonathan have to make some decisive and difficult pivots to forge ahead. Slowly, the company had to scale down to a team of less than 7, including Layne and Jonathan. They sold their office and took the HQ back to Houston. Then Layne went down to LA, refined their team, and set the brand’s sights on social media marketing and growth. Over the last couple of years, they’ve built a company that can indefinitely keep growing.
Top Tree: Agency Network Strategy
Top Tree builds growth based on the vast network of media properties they have control of, broker content out to, or manage growth for. Their company engages your audience through highly-focused targeted campaigns that are built uniquely for growth and awareness. It isn’t just dank memes.
Using influential platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat they create a wealth of viral content. Layne said they’re currently working with a little over 30 cannabis brands in one of these three manners. The way they apply this strategy to music is by “distributing memes using the hook of the song across a bunch of large Instagram pages. We also do a ton of “Swipe-Ups,” all of these on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok too. All to drive streams and awareness,” Layne told me.
Their media properties are able to generate massive and immediate organic traffic thanks to a comprehensive understanding of data-driven social media strategies. What this amounts to is authentic conversion and an entirely real audience that engages and ultimately reduces campaign start-up times.
Content Creation, Photography, & Influencers
Some of the handles that Top Tree utilizes have other than @TopTree include @weed, @cbd, and @stonedclips. These accounts alone amount for over three million of their follower-base. If you look at any of these pages you’ll notice custom branded content that they create with a specific purpose. Their network of cannabis lifestyle photographers, models, and content creators have their fingers on the pulse of modern culture.
Some of their regular clients include Atlantic Records, Eaze Marijuana Delivery, and RCA Records. Because they make it easy to refine your brand’s image and start producing noticeable growth, utilizing Top Tree not only saves time, but it also can fast-track your growth path and lead generation.
Creating custom content that truly resonates with your own brand’s audience is one of the most important steps of this process. Once that content is distributed through highly targeted influential accounts, that’s when the secret sauce comes into play from Top Tree.
Having already worked with some of the largest music artists and cannabis brands in the world, Top Tree has helped to drastically shape the conversation and culture of cannabis online. The power of their targeted marketing campaigns has proven to have an incredible impact on social media growth, driving traffic to your online store, and dominating the conversation for niche culture and communities.