How Cannabis Brands Can Differentiate in An Industry Ruled by Rules
In a space fraught with restrictions and misconceptions, solution-based content marketing may be the best way to rise above
Even though the cannabis industry is developing at an astounding rate, with retail sales in the U.S. expected to grow to 30 billion by the year 2021, cannapreneurs are faced with a unique set of obstacles when it comes to effectively marketing their product. There still seems to be blatant confusion and a strong negative stigma attached to cannabis in general, not to mention that the product is still illegal, for all intents and purposes.
Put all of these nuances together, coupled with some hard and fast laws surrounding where and how a marijuana brand is allowed to advertise, and you’ll start to understand the intricate plight of even the most talented cannabis marketers.
So, how are you supposed to get your products out there and reach new audiences when faced with industry-wide stigmas, legal issues, and federally-regulated rules surrounding cannabis marketing? It boils down to anticipating the needs of your customers and building a content campaign with a strong emphasis on education, relationships, and added value. This allows you to be more solution-focused, as opposed to trying to get ahead by highlighting your product.
Here are a few types of content avenues to consider:
Not only is writing and maintaining a regular blog good business practice for almost anyone, it can help a cannabis brand pack a one two punch at the same time. For starters, it is a great opportunity to include industry keywords and reputable links, which can help you boost your SEO rankings, but it also gives you the platform to showcase your mad knowledge on the product that you’re endorsing.
Through your blogs, you are actually reaching your customer and building rapport with them. Try researching their pain points and burning questions, and then tailor your articles around those topics. Remember, there are still very real misconceptions about cannabis, and this is one of the best places to position yourself as a thought leader by providing readers with some well-researched information.
Cannabis education is highly important for putting unsure patrons at ease, and a well-designed infographic will increase their willingness to read and absorb it. They provide a great way to relay tons of information in an easily digestible format, while simultaneously engaging with people who come from varied literacy, language, and industry backgrounds.
The trick is to include simple text, an interesting mix of colors, and short, easy facts. Not only will this help to ensure that your information is regarded, but it also increases the likelihood that it will get shared on the socials.
Videos have a reputation for providing tremendous value, and people like them way more than any other type of digital media. As a matter of fact, studies show that 80% of all web traffic comes from videos. Not only are they entertaining, but they have an interesting way of inviting engagement and influencing action like shares, lead generation, and sales.
You can even repurpose some of your previously posted content and transform it into a short video for social media. Since this is a marketing vehicle that is notorious for spreading far and wide, you can count on your content reaching those who are cannabis-curious and itching for someone to pave the way for safe consumption.
Case studies and white papers
As mentioned, cannabis brands can differentiate themselves by being solution-focused, instead of working hard to sell individual products.
When it comes to solutions, people are drawn to other people’s success stories before buying into a personally untested product. This is why case studies are so impactful when it comes to marketing in the cannabis industry. They are an account of someone else’s journey, from start to finish. By conducting them properly, you can put people’s insecurities at ease by positioning your products as the solution to a problem that someone, just like them, went online to solve. You also have the freedom to re-post relevant case studies written by reputable industry sources. Either one will accomplish your goal to educate readers and elevate your brand.
Those who prefer a deeper dive into the research and science pertaining to cannabis products will appreciate access to white papers. In general, white papers provide sensible, educational information, based on well-researched facts.
Posting case studies and white papers will solidify your standing as a thought leader, and after time, readers will visit your site often for an educational boost, and come to you when they’re ready to dip their toes into the healing world of cannabis.
When it comes to marketing in the cannabis industry, or even in day-to-day life, audiences have an innate need to learn and connect with others. As an industry professional or marketer, it is your responsibility to provide that education and connection, even in an environment riddled with restrictions and misconceptions. The key is to provide a solution to their problem, and become their trusted source for relevant and valuable information.
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