Over the course of history, the way marijuana is perceived fluctuated from being a medical aid in folk medicine during the ancient times to becoming a forbidden substance, finally reaching a more mainstream audience thanks to changing public opinion. Today, more states are taking on a progressive stance with regard to legislation, especially with the plant’s medicinal and economic potentials.
With the current climate, the general public is starting to realize the value of cannabis, thus improving its reputation, particularly in states where weed is legal. While there may still be a long way to go before the plant becomes majorly accepted in society once again, like it had been accepted by ancient cultures, the push for legalization has definitely shined a positive light on the plant.
If you have been in the cannabis community for a long time, you have probably seen this shift in how the public sees marijuana. Cannabis business owners definitely understand the struggle with the reputation of marijuana and how it affects their company’s reputation.
With an open-minded public and consumer pool, you as a marijuana business have more leeway to work on your reputation. One of the best ways to do this is through a digital cannabis marketing strategy called online reputation management (ORM), which deals with reviews, feedbacks, and the overall image of your company online. Read on to know more about this practice.
Reputation Management or Public Relations?
Before we proceed with the value of reputation management, you might be wondering what exactly we are talking about when we say ‘reputation management.’ As is usual, many people mistake this practice to be the same as public relations (PR). This may not be the case, but it is important to note that they have similarities while having fundamental differences.
Both ORM and PR are focused on how their respective audiences perceive your company, the products or services you are selling, and the general industry you operate in. They both work to create a positive perception of your company through the same platforms, tools, and practices.
However, they are vitally different in terms of their goals and audiences. ORM primarily deals with the business’ target market, with a focus on how to convert this pool of consumers into buying customers. Meanwhile, PR is concerned with the general public and the creation of a positive image.
ORM and PR play an important role in your digital marijuana marketing strategy, especially as they both intend to position your business and offerings positively. However, ORM is a more targeted approach to monitoring your image within your target market. This is why it is an effective technique in gathering more feedback.
The Importance of Getting More Reviews
Now, you might be wondering why getting more reviews is necessary for the success of your business. Here are some of the most essential points in tackling the importance of increasing the number of reviews:
Make Yourself Known
Whether you are a new business or an older one, you want to make sure that your target audience knows about you. What better way to introduce yourself to your audience than through reviews, especially positive ones? Reviews shared by users increase your visibility on whatever platform they post it on. Plus, their comments can give future customers an idea of what to expect from your company and its offerings.
Having more feedback means that more users are availing of what you have to offer. When these users share their reviews, you are tapping into their networks if posted on social networking sites.
More Reviews, More Sales
Many existing businesses proclaim that having increased reviews can lead to increased sales. This is because consumers tend to decide based on feedback and there are two things about reviews that can affect their decision-making.
First, they look at the number of feedbacks a certain product or service has garnered. The thing about this is that many customers tend to neglect to leave reviews. So, the fact that an offering has a lot of feedback means that many customers have purchased it.
Lastly, consumers look at the quality of the feedback. Are they good or bad? Do they offer valuable details and insights about the product or service? The quality of the review can influence potential customers’ decisions to do business with you.
Now, it is important to understand that reviews can be a good thing, but they also have the potential to be a bad thing. Remember that while customers are your best friends when vying for the success of your company, you should also remember that they can also be unreasonable at times.
For example, a buyer who visited your dispensary when they are having a bad day may find your customer service unsatisfying. Unfortunately, if they write a bad review, this can reflect negatively on your business albeit inaccurately, creating a misconception. You can take this opportunity to address the bad review positively, thus dispelling such incorrect perceptions.
Say you receive positive reviews from individuals who have been immersed in the community for a long time. You might also receive feedback from experts. This is a great way to help the uninitiated learn more about the plant, as well as the products or services you have to offer.
Improve Your Business
Whether the feedback you receive is good or bad, you should always use this as motivation to improve your business. Some may praise the quality of your customer service, variety of your products, and the state of your physical location. This is all the more reason to improve your business.
Meanwhile, reviews that say negative things about your offerings can be used as constructive criticisms. This way, you can see these comments as points for improvements, which can make your business attractive to customers.
How to Get More Reviews Using Reputation Management
Now that you know how important it is to get increased feedbacks, you might be wondering how you can do so with the help of reputation management. If you are thinking of hiring a digital marketing agency for ORM, you need to know what it can do to help.
Elevate Your SEO Game
As mentioned, you can get more reviews by getting more customers. The question is, aside from your existing marketing campaign, how can you increase your sales? One of your best options is cannabis SEO or search engine optimization. Basically, this is the practice of getting your website to rank high on search engine results using various techniques. So when users search for dispensaries near them, they will be able to find your website.
The more customers buy from you, the greater your chances are of getting many reviews. Because more feedbacks can lead to increased sales, you can say that this is the gift that keeps on giving.
Create a Google My Business Profile
Your customers can leave reviews on your website, particularly the webpage of the specific product they are reviewing. With SEO, they will be able to find your site, browse it, and see these comments. However, the thing about SEO is that it can take time to get organic results. What do you do in the meantime? You should create a Google My Business Profile (GMB).
If you are not familiar with GMB, just think of the times you searched for a business on Google, and you are given a list of companies complete with reviews, star ratings, location, contact details, and opening hours. When you click on an entry, you will be taken to a Google Maps location alongside its full information. This is that company’s GMB profile and you want your cannabis business to have the same. Your ORM agency can help with that.
Utilize Available Platforms
Your digital marketing agency does not only deal with your website but also on other platforms. With the help of this firm, you can maximize various avenues that can help you monitor your reputation. Social media is one of them, including cannabis business social network sites.
Remember, almost all consumers have some form of social media account. The best thing about this is that there are websites solely dedicated to cannabis businesses, which means that you can take advantage of this platform for your business-to-consumer and business-to-business matters.
Work with High-Authority Websites
Lastly, your reputation management team can help connect you to high-authority websites that will link users back to your site. These are sites that are considered popular and trustworthy. In marijuana SEO, one thing that can influence your ranking is your site’s authority. Cannabis backlinks is an important aspect of this. Again, this is a great way to rake in more customers and at the same time, increase your chances of getting feedback.
The Bottom Line
Reputation management can help elevate your business to a whole new level by getting more reviews. For the best results, you should work with the right digital marketing agency. This way, you can get the proper help you need in the most effective and efficient manner.