How to Effectively Market Your Cannabis Business
Use content marketing strategies to grow your cannabis-curious audience
The cannabis industry is pretty hot right now.
As Forbes recently reported, an Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics study indicated that spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach $57 billion by 2027. And, adult recreational use of the product is predicted to take up almost 70% of that spending.
With states recently legalizing the product for recreational use, like Oregon, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, consumers have a lot of questions about how they can purchase marijuana, its side effects, its medical uses, and the forms it can take.
Though there’s building interest in these topics, the industry is still new. Positioning your brand as an expert in the field will allow you take advantage of this recent cannabis explosion.
As you build your inbound marketing strategy for your cannabis business, keep in mind:
- Advertisement and social media restrictions
- How to rely on several content marketing channels
- How to implement well-researched content
Here’s a look at each of these aspects for your overall strategy.
Restrictions around marijuana
There are important legal implications to keep in mind when you’re releasing content about cannabis.
Marijuana Marketing Gurus point out several crucial rules to remember when you’re releasing cannabis content. These include:
- Never condone or depict illegal behavior.
- Don’t glorify or depict excessive use or addiction.
- Don’t depict anyone driving after use or similar activities that require alertness.
- Don’t target marketing materials to an underage audience.
- Follow state and local legal guidelines related to the substance.
- Don’t imply that the products can be used for treatments or health solutions.
According to federal law in the U.S., ads for illegal substances can’t be distributed either via mail or in newspapers or magazines.
You may be thinking, great—I’ll just use social media ads!
But think again. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites have strict guidelines around illegal substances and do not allow advertisements for marijuana.
However, you can still create social media profiles for your cannabis business, and post any content you want, as long as it’s not an advertisement.
Rely on multiple content outreach channels
For an effective inbound marketing strategy, it’s important to consider the four phases of inbound marketing: attract, convert, close, delight. This is the funnel you want your audience to go through as they become interested in your products, become a customer, and become a returning customer.
Because of the legal restrictions for your advertisements, you have to get even more creative.
Content marketing channels allow you to directly connect with your audience and get them flowing through these phases. Instead of ads, focus on the following outlets for your business:
- Email newsletters: make it easy for your audience to sign up for your brand’s newsletter, whether you include a call to action on your website or within your social media posts and profile. This is an effective way to send out original content about the market and your products without using ads.
- Social media posts and audience engagement: social media giants like Facebook don’t restrict you from creating a cannabis business profile or posting about marijuana; they just won’t run ads for the products. Create compelling headlines that will engage your followers. Start discussions around key issues the industry is facing.
- Killer website: your website is your place to really showcase your business. And, who you Make sure your message is accessible and your content is straightforward. Include a FAQ section about the industry, as the cannabis-seeking audience is always full of questions.
- Blog or “insights” channel: creating a blog is very important for any brand these days, especially brands who can’t engage with traditional ads. Post updates about your company or industry news regularly, and link back to it on your social media channels or in your newsletter.
Use well-researched, relevant content
It’s important for any business trying to succeed in this newer market to know their stuff. Your goal should be to teach your audience something or to be the first to tell them about a new study.
Make it part of your every day schedule to read up on industry news. Read the blogs and posts from competitors. Make sure you can relay important data or reports to your audience right away.
As AdAge points out, you should elevate your language around your products. Gone are the days when we think of mindless potheads when we talk about marijuana. Make sure you’re not harkening back to those days of hippie stereotypes with your outreach strategies. It’s just bad business.
The current best practice in the professional realm is to refer to the industry as the “cannabis” industry, not even marijuana.
Understanding these trends, and utilizing key data in your content, will help your company stand out. You’ll be able to build a solid following of people who are truly interested in your products, but who also want to learn as much as they can about cannabis.
So why is content marketing so important for your cannabis business?
- It’s a safe outlet that gets around legal restrictions.
- Having multiple outlets connects your brand with a larger variety of curious people.
- It shows your audience that your business is legitimate and that you know what you’re talking about.
With these inbound marketing strategies ingrained into your business model, you’ll be able to show your audience why the cannabis industry is growing fast, and why you’re a big part of it.
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