The cannabis industry is one of the most rapidly succeeding sectors in the United States. With various states implementing laws that legalized the medical and recreational use of the plant, the industry has skyrocketed significantly. Many experts expect this trend to continue, especially with more states considering the transition from medical marijuana only to fully legalizing cannabis.
The sector is so successful that sales have significantly increased throughout the years. In fact, the industry generated $6.56 billion in sales back in 2016, but this figure is expected to increase up to a whopping $24.07 billion by 2025. Even amidst the pandemic, analysts still see the industry to have a momentous economic impact. A July 2020 study even estimated that the sector could have an economic impact of $106 billion to $130 billion, which is a 181% spike.
As a cannabis business owner, these figures probably come as good news to you. However, with more than 9,000 licensed marijuana businesses, you might be wondering how you can get your share of the cannabis sales pie. Your location and products may play a huge role in boosting your sales, but marijuana marketing can definitely skew things in your favor.
Now, you probably have a marketing campaign in place. Some of the most typical tools include traditional platforms such as television, radio, print, and outdoors, as well as more modern ones such as social media and website. However, you want to make sure that you effectively use these tools, especially your digital platforms. Here’s what you need to need to know about cannabis marketing.
What Cannabis Marketing Strategies Should You Consider?
In this modern age, you want to make sure that your strategy coincides with platforms that are used by most people nowadays. With today’s technology, one of your best bets is digital marketing. This practice involves the use of, well, digital platforms combined with strategies that can drive traffic to your store, specifically your website. Check out some of the most important techniques you should consider:
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. This dictates how you produce your content, how your website is structured, and the activities that could drive more visits to your site. If you are not familiar with this tool, the first thing you should know is that it aims to make your website and pages rank high in search results.
Ultimately, the goal is to bring it to the first page of search engine results pages, especially the number one rank. How can you achieve it, you ask? The best way to do this is with a combination of high-quality content, keywords and website.
With marijuana SEO, you need to make sure that you have the right keywords incorporated not only in your content but also on your website, including meta-data, URL, and file names. This increases the density of keywords just enough to make it relevant to queries related to the keyword or phrase.
You can definitely get KWs off the top of your head. With a marijuana business, you are probably thinking to use “cannabis,” “cannabis strains” and other similar items. However, you should get into the headspace of a potential customer. If you are an Internet user looking for a great dispensary near you, you will probably key in “best marijuana near me” or “dispensaries in DC” or any other place.
Reputation and PR Management
Whether you are a new business or a seasoned one, you want to make sure that your reputation and public relations are positive and work to your advantages. These two concepts may seem too much alike. In fact, many people mistake them to be the same. However, it is important to know the difference between them in order to use them properly for your digital marketing campaign.
First, let’s talk about reputation management or online reputation management (ORM). This strategy is basically the use of digital platforms to monitor your brand’s reputation, ensuring that it remains positive. There are different ways to manage your reputation, including tracking positive reviews and responding to them, getting in touch with negative reviewers, and addressing bad reviews.
If this seems similar to public relations (PR), this is because the two practices use mostly the same platforms. In fact, both PR and ORM are concerned about your business’s reputation. However, PR uses strategic communications to create a positive image for the general public with a more informational approach, while ORM uses digital platforms to appeal to your particular target market, which shows that it has a promotional aspect.
Deploying ORM and PR strategies both increase your business’ potential in a way that they make your company more appealing to the prospective customers, which include both the public and your target market.
Join a Cannabis Business Social Network
While ORM and PR tackle your dispensary’s image, you want to make sure that your digital marketing strategy has some personal touches to it. It is important that your customers can reach out to you without hassle, and one of the best ways to do this is through social media.
Now, there are a lot of mainstream social networking sites that let you connect with consumers. This includes Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, you might be looking for platforms that are more focused on cannabis. Well, with the more progressive perspectives that the public has been taking over the past years, web developers have created social media networks dedicated to marijuana.
If you are looking for a business-to-consumer approach, sites such as WeedLife can help you connect with potential customers. This is a great way to promote your business through a platform in which you can build a following, provide contact information, and share website content.
Those who are looking for a business-to-business approach can take a look at MJLink and LeafWire have to offer. These platforms are dedicated for businesses to interact with potential investors, suppliers, and cannabis professionals. If you have attended events and conferences to network, then this is pretty much like that, except in a virtual space.
Cannabis Backlinks Strategies
Now, let’s say that you have implemented an SEO campaign, managed your ORM and PR, and created a social media profile to connect with consumers and potential partners. However, you might still find your website not performing well in terms of traffic. The reason for this is that SEO is the main driver of traffic toward your site, and it can take time before you get organic results.
You can jumpstart your way by getting paid advertisement slots to form Google. However, you definitely still have to work on your rankings. The best way to do this is to reach out to high-authority websites and have them publish content that links back to your site. You can benefit from link building when users follow these links, as well as even when they do not.
Some Tips for a Successful Campaign
The strategies mentioned above will definitely give you leverage when it comes to marketing your cannabis products. The smart implementation of these can help you increase your sales and revenues, while also widening your business’ exposure to the public and your target market. Below are some tips that can help you achieve this.
Look Into CBD Marketing
Cannabidiol (CBD) is rapidly becoming a trend not only in states where weed is legal, but also in those where it remains to be prohibited. This is because CBD is accepted in all states but three.
It is so popular that the sector saw an incredible increase in CBD product sales. From $535 million in 2018, the figures jumped to $845 million in 2019. By the end of 2020, sales are expected to reach $1.198 billion and by 2022, $1.918 billion. So, while investing in cannabis SEO is important, you should definitely spend some resources on CBD.
Contribute to the Cannabis Culture Through Content
Your SEO campaign is definitely important in increasing your sales and revenues, but you should also take this opportunity to contribute to cannabis culture through your optimized content. You can produce posts that inform the public about the benefits of cannabis and its cannabinoids, the science of cannabis, facts, and misconceptions, and many other informative topics.
Constantly Improve Your Campaign
As with any marketing campaign, you should never let your strategy go stagnant. After all, digital platforms and the digital world is constantly evolving. Combined with Google modifying its SEO guidelines from time to time, you should definitely be ready for these potential changes.
Improving your campaign involves keeping up with changes in guidelines, updating yourselves about marijuana laws and reforms, as well as generally being updated about cannabis culture in your area and the country.
The Bottom Line
Digital marketing can be your secret weapon when it comes to boosting your business. So, make sure to incorporate this practice into your marijuana marketing campaign and work with a cannabis marketing agency for the best results.