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How to do cannabis marketing

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How to do Cannabis Marketing the right way?

This is a question we get asked a lot.  The cannabis industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. With legalization increasing across the country, the industry is booming. According to some estimates, it is set to double by 2025!  If you’re wondering where to start with your cannabis marketing strategy, look no further. This guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to grow your business!  Marketing your cannabis business is tricky at best.  Despite being legal in 33 states and Washington, D.C., it is still prohibited by the federal government.  Therefore, cannabis advertising is riddled with strict regulations.

For one thing, you can’t advertise on national media platforms like YouTube, Facebook or Google.  Those companies don’t allow advertising for illegal drugs, and marijuana is still illegal under federal law.  Cannabis businesses are also subject to state laws and regulations when it comes to advertising.  For example, some states prohibit any kind of cannabis advertising.  Others have laws against advertising with cartoon characters or in a magazine that has more than 15% of its audience under the age of 21.

 

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So how can you market your cannabis business?

Marketing the right way is essential to your success. And it’s not just about selling the products. It’s also about educating the consumer, building a brand, and gaining loyal customers.  As a cannabis business owner or marketer, you have to look at cannabis marketing a little differently than other industries.  Because of federal laws and regulations, you can’t do what most other businesses do. You can’t advertise on big social media channels like Facebook or Google Ads. You can’t promote your products on billboards or radio ads without fear of running afoul of local laws and regulations.

And yet it’s not impossible to run a successful cannabis business. In fact, cannabis has been declared one of the fastest-growing industries in America (even with these restrictions in place). But you have to get creative and learn how to market your business within these restrictions.

With so much new information coming out about the benefits of medical marijuana and cannabis, there is a huge market that is looking for brands to develop around it. If you want to build your brand on the new wave of marijuana, you need to have an online presence that will help you reach the people who are looking for brands like yours.

Your cannabis marketing business should have an online presence that includes:

A clean and easy-to-use website with all the necessary information about your product – The best websites all have one thing in common – a logical layout that allows users to find what they’re looking for easily and quickly. They also have enough information available online to make it simple for people to understand what they need and how they can use it properly. Having a well-designed website will make it easy for potential customers to get all the information they need upfront. It will also help them feel confident when making their choice.  A clean and up-to-date Google My Business (GMB) listing, now being changed to Google maps. Wait, didn’t Google just change from maps to GMB, now were changing back.  Having a Google My Business listing is important for every business, no matter how small. With this free tool, you can digitally promote your business and make it easier for customers to find you.  If you need help with optimizing your GMB, Spark Factory can help.

But what if I don’t have a physical location?

Even if your business is entirely online, having a Google My Business listing is still beneficial. When someone searches for your business in the Google Maps app, for example, they’ll not only see your name and address, but also hours of operation, customer reviews, and more. The more information you provide about your business on your listing, the easier it will be for customers to find you.

The benefits of having a Google My Business listing are numerous:

  • With a verified GMB/maps listing, you can appear in search results when people search for businesses like yours near their current location.
  • You can share updates about your products or services right through GMB so potential customers can see what’s new with your business.
  • Customers can leave reviews on your GMB listing to help other people choose whether they want to do business with you or not.
  • You will also need a stellar website that has been optimized for SEO and user experience.  In the world of cannabis marketing, you can have the best website in the world, but if there’s no relevant content on it, you won’t get very far.
  • No matter how beautiful your site is or how perfect your SEO is (more on that later), if there are no relevant articles to read or products to purchase, you aren’t going to see any return on your investment.
  • People love reading about cannabis. The search volume for keywords like “how long does a high last” and “best marijuana strains for sleep” is off the charts. Because of this, many cannabis-related websites make a huge mistake by not offering any content beyond their products and services.

customer-reviews-examples

Properly maintaining your reviews is another key to achieving success.

Think about the last time you were looking for a new restaurant or coffee shop. You probably did what most people do these days, and pulled out your phone to Google it. The first result you saw was a map of local places and their corresponding star ratings, which immediately influenced your decision about where to go.

When it comes to online reviews, Amazon may have the lion’s share, but Google is still a major player. In fact, according to recent studies, Google reviews are considered more important than any other review source for local businesses, including Yelp, Angie’s List, and TripAdvisor.  If this is an issue for your business, Spark Factory can help with reviews management.

Start Local!  Know the laws in your state and municipalities and be sure to stay within those boundaries.  Find Law has a very comprehensive database when it comes to marijuana laws.  Once you have your legal ducks in a row, you’re ready to start marketing!

If you’re looking to get started in the cannabis industry, start small by targeting local customers. You can spread the word about your business through word-of-mouth marketing, social media, flyers and other forms of advertising.  Local SEO from Spark Factory is important because it’s the fastest way to get your cannabis business found online. Letting people know who you are and what you do is a critical first step in any marketing plan.

The internet has completely disrupted the traditional “get a phone book and look for something” model, replacing it with its own dynamic and ever-changing world of search engines, social media platforms, local directories, review sites, and more.  As a cannabis business owner, figuring out how to get your business listed in all those places can be the biggest cannabis marketing challenge you’ll face, (which is likely why you are reading this article)

Know Your Audience!  There are plenty of different target audiences when it comes to marketing marijuana products including medical users, recreational users and cannabis tourists who come from out of state just to buy marijuana products. You can figure out which audience is most interested in your product by looking at local demographics or talking directly with potential customers.

Attend industry events

I have always been an advocate for the importance of attending industry events. When I first started my own company, I attended as many conferences, seminars and meetups as possible. Through those experiences over the years, I have gained important knowledge about the industry and learned tips on how to improve and grow my business.  Attending industry events can help you network with other professionals, learn from others’ successes and failures, and educate yourself on what’s going on in your area of specialization. Here are some reasons why it’s important to attend industry events if you’re in the cannabis business.

Network with other professionals in your area. Networking is one of the most beneficial things you can do at an event; it gives you a chance to meet others in your industry who can help you grow your business or even become potential customers of yours. Your network is one of the most valuable assets to have. The more people you can connect with, the better off you will be for finding vendors, investors or even employees for your business.

Network, Network, Network

Learn from others’ successes and failures. Not only will you be able to meet people who might become customers or clients, but these events are a great way to learn from others in your industry. These professionals have been there before and know a thing.  Cannabis is a relatively new industry, and it’s one that’s always changing. This means that brands have an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve by implementing new tools, technologies, and approaches at the right time. A good example of this is content marketing.

Content marketing has revolutionized the way businesses market their products and services, allowing them to reach large audiences without paying for advertisements. Instead, they provide unique value to those audiences in the form of informative articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and other content.  Content marketing is a great way to get your business to the next level, and Spark Factory  has extensive experience marketing cannabis businesses in this manner.

Overall, cannabis marketing can be a serious challenge compared to marketing other businesses, but with great effort comes great reward.  Cannabis is one of the fastest growing, and most exciting industries in the the world, and all of the evidence suggests the industry will only get bigger.  With that in mind, we strongly encourage all entrepreneurs in this space to take marketing seriously, and make big investments while the industry is still in its infancy.

Need help, we are here. With over 21  years experience we have the best SEO’s in the country. Get in touch today.

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