As the cannabis industry continue to flourish, a lot of entrepreneurs see this as an opportunity to explore and jump on the bandwagon. Left and right, there’s dispensaries selling quality marijuana products to cater to both medical and recreational use. As more states legalize adult use, businesses are seeing this as a green light to carry more marijuana-derived products and get more profits.
However, since a lot of people think the same way, aspiring entrepreneurs can see roadblocks along the way. This includes a saturated market, with more manufacturers and giant brands getting in the way. So, the question is, how can startups manage to survive in this dense marijuana market?
Marketing is surely a good starting point, as it boosts the visibility of businesses or brands. Traditional marketing still works, no doubt, but there are new trends to try in order to win more customers. Increasing the presence online helps to tap more people, who are also using the search engines to find what they need.
In this article, we’re going to explore the cost-effective marketing tips that will help cannabis startups thrive in the market.
Finding Customers Differently
The advent of technology presents a number of challenges, including the need to explore the Internet and what’s out there. Pre-Internet era is all about traditional marketing and advertising, where businesses rely to media for publicity and advertisement. Although this is still happening today, there’s a shift in where brands can find their target audience.
Now, people can utilize the Internet to find what they need. This includes finding the nearest dispensary or marijuana store to get supplies from—either for relief, recreational use, or others. Using search engines pretty much changed the game because people can easily spot what they’re looking for.
Businesses and brands who aren’t jumping on the new trends lose a lot of opportunities and customers. Today, the game continues to change and there are new methods to attract more people and turn them into customers. In addition to online visibility, other factors contribute to how people make a purchase. In buying cannabis products, building a good branding is key to make people trust what you’re selling. This means, all products must have good reviews from customers, and must present all information.
This is why the first step is to create a good website and integrate branding throughout social media platforms. From here, brands can explore what’s more to content marketing, affiliate marketing, and of course, search engine optimization (SEO).
Understanding that people are on their mobile devices most of the time help to create good marketing strategies. Some brands are even hiring graphic artists and content managers just to publish engaging content. This is enough to get the word out in the open, expose the marijuana brand and to attract more people.
Best Marketing Practices for Cannabis Startups
Just like any other industry, marketing for cannabis brands require complaint to the laws in place. Marijuana industry presents more challenges than alcohol or cigarette because cannabis is still part of the prohibited substances in the federal level. In addition, cannabis brands can’t pump up advertisement anywhere because kids and minors can be exposed to using marijuana at a young age.
Even with these limitations, there are marketing practices that can help improve branding and boost overall sales. Here are some of the best and cost-effective ways to market cannabis brands and startups.
Focus on Reach and Engagement
Interacting with the target audience is the way to promote products without sounding like an annoying sales person. The way to do it is to simply focus on the benefits of cannabis-derived products and how it can help people with their everyday life. To do this, it’s important to foster engagement through content.
Publish a relatable content to drive more people into the social media platform or website. Chances are, there are people who are interested in the effects of CBD oil, certain marijuana strain, and other products. Informative content not only educate people or followers, but to encourage them to make a purchase.
In order to reach out to the audience, cannabis brands need to be visible online. Having a website is just the beginning; it’s important to utilize other factors like search engine optimization, and digital visual merchandising opportunity.
Instagram is a great platform to use in displaying some cannabis products and publishing engaging content. The platform has a number of features for e-commerce to use in order to get more people to go to a website and other pages. In addition, Instagram has stories to persistently engage followers, and to run campaigns easily. Hashtags are also useful for marketing the cannabis products.
Of course, Facebook is also a good place to start when it comes to marketing a cannabis business. The platform is easy to navigate and there are millions of users already using it. So, this social media page presents opportunities for gaining customers who are marijuana advocates.
SEO All The Way
Search engine optimization will always be useful in helping websites to be visible in search engines like Google or Yahoo. This practice exists for some time now, and different companies from different industries are already gaining benefits from SEO. Take this as an example, if a customer looks for a dispensary in a specific location, and your website pops up in the results page. The customer will automatically head to your website and check the pages.
If the customer is satisfied with the information and content, they will contact you or eventually order online. This purchasing pattern is happening now, as more people are drawn to websites that rank on search engines. Imagine if you have a website and you don’t utilize SEO—it’s like having a page for documentation only. SEO is responsible for making the website visible on the Internet. Without it, the website is simply a page to present or introduce the product.
Therefore, it’s important to be productive and consult professionals to find out how to get started with SEO. This will take sometime but the benefits are surely worth it. Note that search engines have a number of rules in ranking websites, most often according to the site authority, reliability, and accuracy of information.
Moreover, the website itself should be good quality, has faster page speed, and mobile-friendly. The later is crucial because more and more people are using their mobile phones to look for information online. If the site isn’t mobile-friendly, the content can’t be read and eventually web users would close the tab and move to another website.
Content will always be king because this is what people are consuming. Be it a blog post, social media post, stories, or infographic—content must please readers. It should be relatable, accurate, and fun to engage the audience. Otherwise, cannabis startups are simply not doing it right and losing traction altogether.
Some of the content ideas to publish include the best strains to get from a dispensary, meant to educate consumers on the best ones available. Posts about the new regulations also matter, just the same with news and recent turn of events that affect the marijuana industry. More people will likely consume content that are related to health, so make sure to include studies and articles that publish new findings.
High quality content that answers the questions of most readers is also helpful. From these interesting posts, websites can get organic traffic coming from people who want to know more about cannabis and products in general. The key here is simply taking time to know certain information that’s important for the marijuana enthusiasts and advocates. From here, brands can expound and publish more content.
Email marketing has been around for decades now, meant to reach out to customers and to engage them. Today, brands are doing email marketing to remind customers of new campaigns and promotions, update on new products, and even memberships. There’s tons of benefits from investing in email marketing as people mostly check their email almost daily.
What’s important to know is, email marketing works if you know how to utilize it. Brands can’t flood emails to customers for advertisement and promotional. This will be annoying and eventually, people will be blocking the emails from you. Instead of doing this, it’s important to set a specific time of day to target the attention of people. Also, email marketing has to be fun and creative, including visuals like photos and infographic. This will help make it more appealing for email subscribers and customers.
Marketing cannabis brands and startups need not be costly, but of course, it’s more efficient to invest a little to reap the benefits later on. Take the time to understand the new trends and to provide useful information for the target market. More importantly, utilize the technology available to attract more customers.
Work with the best and experienced digital team to achieve marketing goals for your cannabis business.