Current limitations and restrictions placed on marketing for cannabis businesses make it challenging and frustrating to gain brand awareness and to demonstrate your company’s value to your clients and customers. Navigating through the sea of advertising regulations can become a daunting task, so we’ve compiled a list of five marketing secrets you can use in your cannabis business right now.
1. Use Social Media to Express Your Brand’s Personality and to Engage with Your Customers
Although social media may seem like a cliché example in this day and age, often times it can be an overlooked strategy. Consumers love to see interesting and engaging content about their favorite products and services. Social media also allows your business the opportunity to easily communicate news, upcoming promotions, articles, reviews, etc., to your consumers in a way that is more approachable than traditional means of marketing. Build a unique, differentiated voice, assemble a killer profile filled with compelling content, post with frequency, and you’ll gain a cult following in no time.
Pro Tip: The cannabis consumer loves to engage with Instagram content. In just a few short years, Instagram has begun to take over the social media world, receiving 58% higher engagement rates than Facebook. Sixty-eight percent of Instagram users also engage with brands regularly on the platform vs. only 32% of users on Facebook. But, be cautious, you’ll have to get creative when deciding what to post. Instagram has very strict guidelines and has been known to shut down reckless and/or explicit cannabis profiles.
2. Build an E-mail List to Tap Into Your Most Engaged Customers
If you don’t already have e-mail list, starting one may seem like an overwhelming task. Building an e-mail list does not mean you need to e-mail every day or every week. Start small — focus on growing your subscriber list and emailing with whatever frequency works for you and your business. What is most important though, is having the list in the first place. While it takes minimal effort for a customer to like an Instagram post or share a Facebook post, there is much more weight in giving up your e-mail address these days. Meaning, the people on your newsletter list are your customers that care the most about your company, so when it comes time to announce a new product or service, THESE are the people who will care. Marketing professionals can verify that, when done right, email is typically a top performer within any marketing program. Email also has a significantly longer shelf life than social media, providing your reader the convenience to read at their leisure.
Pro Tip: Although purchasing lists can seem like a quick start for a new company, it’s not as fruitful as an organically grown, thoughtfully segmented list. Purchased lists tend to turn into dead weight, bringing down your metrics. Use incentives such as discounts or freebies to organically grow your list and keep your list engaged by delivering them interesting content.
3. Give Away Your Best Advice for Free
When thinking of promotions, what comes to mind? Free stuff, right? Want to give your prospective customers or clients a glimpse into how awesome your services are? Give it away for free (a.k.a. use a lead magnet). This doesn’t mean completely forgo your business model and start giving away your products and services, but what you can do is give away something small to demonstrate the value and knowledge you have in your category. Examples of great lead magnets include video tutorials, checklists, eBooks, infographics, guides, etc. Use a lead magnet to position your company as a free source of education and value to your customers, and we guarantee they will come back for paid services.
Pro Tip: You can use your lead magnet to organically grow your e-mail list. Example: Please enter your e-mail to receive this free video tutorial on how to set-up an at-home grow system.
4. Make Sure to Use Keywords and Retroactively Optimize Content to Improve SEO
As cannabis businesses, many traditional forms of advertising are not available for you to use. That’s why making sure your business ranks well in search engines is especially important. Use keywords and retroactively update content to make sure your site is optimized for the words your customers are using to find you and your competitors. Retroactively optimizing content is simple: take a high performing piece of content, like an article titled “5 Secrets for Marketing Your Cannabis Business,” for example, and go back and improve the article in length and keywords in order to recycle it as a new content, such as “10 Secrets for Marketing a Billion Dollar Cannabis Empire.”
Pro Tip: Make sure to sign up for and to spend time in your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to learn more about what keywords your visitors are using to find you and where on your site visitors are spending their time – then focus in on those words and pages!
5. Collaborate to Amplify Exposure
What’s the best way to expand your audience? Get in front of a new audience, of course! One of the easiest ways to expand your audience is to collaborate with another influencer or company with a similar target audience to yours to cross-promote your products or services. For example, if you own an infused products business, try collaborating with a dispensary to host in-store samplings (if regulations allow), offer exclusive discounts to that store’s clients, and send e-mails to promote the event. This gives the store’s visitors a more interesting in-store experience, increases sales for the store and sell-through for you via the exclusive discounts, and allows you both the opportunity to get your brand in front of each other’s audiences via the e-mail promotion.
Pro Tip: The key to a good partnership is finding a collaboration that is mutually beneficial!
Marketing a cannabis business can be tricky, but with these tips and tricks, not only will you remain fully compliant, but you’ll be marketing like a pro in no time!
For more how-to’s about owning and operating a successful cannabis business, and to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices, science, and cutting edge technology, join us at Seed to Sale Show in Denver, CO from February 7-8, 2018.
Or call (888) 409-4418 to Register.
Register by December 8, 2018 to save $400+
The cannabis industry is evolving more rapidly than ever. Whether you’re a new business looking to drive traffic to your site or a pioneer business interested in expanding, your success depends on being found. But there wasn’t a centralized online platform to find businesses serving the legal cannabis industry – until now.
As the only national trade association for the cannabis industry, NCIA is committed to supporting the success and growth of the industry. That’s why we are excited to announce the forthcoming Cannabis Industry Digital Marketplace.