Developing a Stellar Cannabis Marketing Plan for Your Business
Posted on September 28th, 2021 to Digital Marketing
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According to Hubspot, “Digital marketing… refers to all marketing efforts that occur on the internet.” Vague, but true. Businesses use digital channels of all kinds to market their products and services to current and prospective customers all across the internet.
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Typically, a new business that wants to market themselves online will deploy a strategy like this:
Digital marketing for cannabis businesses is hard for lots of reasons. But probably the most pressing reason – these key digital marketing channels are not easily accessible to cannabis-related businesses: pay-per-click advertising and social media advertising. These forms of advertising are often the quickest and easiest ways to see a return on your digital investment – so not being able to use them effectively throws a wrench in things…
In reference to how non-cannabis businesses attack digital marketing – cannabis brands and dispensaries have to completely skip steps 1 and 2, forcing them through a cycle like this:
While PPC & social media advertising provides an immediate path to traffic, it’s often lower quality than traffic acquired through SEO.
Simply put – it’s against Google and Facebook’s guidelines. Google does not allow advertisers to bid on cannabis-related keywords. They also don’t allow you to run ads to websites that mention cannabis in any way, shape, or form. CBD companies and dispensaries will not get ads approved if their website mentions anything cannabis-related. The same goes for businesses that have cannabis-related content on their Facebook and Instagram profiles. They won’t be approved to run ads and they might even experience a “shadow-ban”.
The fact that posts on social media may never be visible or that major ad avenues are off-limits may be beyond your control, but there are channels for cannabis brand marketing that are within your grasp. The key is to focus your marketing efforts on growing your presence through the channels you can actually control.
Shadow bans on social media, advertising restrictions, no PPC—this no doubt makes building a cannabis brand and getting noticed a little harder to do. However, you can still build your brand and get your products before the right people, you just have to do things a bit differently than a typical business owner.
Web (SEO) and email content are not so dictated by the powers that be, at least when it comes to cannabis. This means that you can freely create content that paints your brand in the best light and share it on either your website—the true digital hub representing your business—or via email—a highly effective means of straight-line, B2C communication.
Your website should be well-outfitted with optimized content, which will help people find you in search results. But, even more than that, a good content strategy can really elevate your brand in the minds of consumers. When you take the time to build up the digital hub that represents your brand, potential customers have a total package to experience. Give them:
Email, another controllable channel, can be used to gain traction with site visitors and followers. This route of communication is tried-and-true. It still works just as effectively for businesses needing to establish that ongoing connection with customers. Email can be used to share everything from personality-filled newsletters and new guides published on the website to dispensary news.
The more you know your audience, the easier it becomes to build a long-term strategy to give that audience what they want. The thing is, getting to know your audience is a journey, and it is a journey that requires constant review and refinement. Perform market research, use data-driven information, and determine how you can best engage with people most likely to follow your brand.
This process may even involve tweaking things like brand messages, content tone, and even portrayed personality in imagery or product packaging. However, the end result is building a more meaningful connection with people most likely to buy your cannabis products.
Double-down on the forms of marketing that you can utilize (like SEO & email marketing) as well as organic social media posting. We also recommend that you hire a content production service that specializes in SEO, and then utilize that content strategy in all forms of marketing. SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize it for other short-term benefits. For example, if you have an SEO service-producing content for you, make sure you are distributing that content through every. single. channel that you have at your disposal.
Here’s how it works:
So you want to get a month of content using a 1000 word blog post generated by your SEO team?
There are COUNTLESS ways to repurpose blog content, and you can always revisit old posts for new inspiration. At the end of the day, as a cannabis company you just have to get creative. Email is your best friend, as are testimonials and social proof!
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