We run a UK cannabis marketing agency and have helped numerous people position their brands in the USA – here’s what we learned in the process
The federal and state laws, as well as the restrictions placed by social media platforms guidelines, can make marketing your cannabis brand a challenge. While you are fighting with this, your cannabis brand will also need to constantly prove your legitimacy to the critics of the industry. Fortunately, the cannabis industry is no stranger to a challenge and is used to having to be innovative in its approach so it can market brands to potential customers. If you are having problems marketing your cannabis brand, there are 5 ways that you can try to overcome the challenges that you are facing.
Utilise Smart Cannabis Marketing Create Compelling And Accurate Content Which Educates And Engages
The primary problem with the growing industry is the fact that there is a lot of opposition content which is generally not true. In response to this content, cannabis brands will need to focus not only on marketing their products, but also in teaching the public about cannabis. The content you have and the marketing you do will need to engage with people instead of providing passive information.
There are some creative ways of crafting a blog post which is about something that you are passionate about within your community. You could also host a Facebook video of different areas within your provisioning center or share some photos of your friendly budtenders along with a quick bio. You could also post your own responses to some emerging news and research in the industry.
These things will show that you are ready to work with, engage and be part of your potential customers’ lifestyle. It is also an attitude that will help customers pay attention to your brand. Your marketing is the tool that you use to gain attention even when the person is not sold on what you are doing. By projecting an educational and engaging image, any naysayers will be able to see that your business is legitimate and there is nothing nefarious going on with what you are offering to people.
Cannabis Marketers should Responsibly Use Social Media
Every cannabis business is sharing the pain of attempting to market their products on social media while staying on the right side of the regulations for these sites. Even if you have the best intentions, it is often hard to stay within the guidelines and not get your account shut down. This is where your creativity comes in handy.
You need to tread lightly and be careful with your language so you are not tripping the algorithms that these platforms use. An example of this will be the change that Instagram implemented in the way that cannabis brands are able to use their platform. This change stops brand from including location deals. Constantly being shut down is a bad reflection of your brand and it is up to you to ensure that you are adhering to the rules of the platforms that you are going to be using.
Look At Some Non-Traditional And Non-Mainstream Advertising Methods
With all the restrictions placed on cannabis brands by advertising platforms such as what content is allowed to be displayed, many brands are looking at other non-traditional methods to engage with their customers. It is important to note that these non-traditional methods will need more footwork than simply buying ad space. However, the payoff will be worthwhile.
You should look at creating, advertising and hosting educational events and speaker panels about topics which are important to the cannabis community. You should go and meet with medical doctors to talk about your brand instead of slipping them some information in a brochure. Find opportunities to be featured on cannabis podcasts or traditional radio shows where you can discuss your products and services. You should also look at taking part in trade shows as well as health and wellness fairs as this will place you in front of potential clients.
Become Your Community’s Expert On Cannabis
When you are an authority on cannabis in your community, you will not only help your brand grow, you will also give important stakeholders and the media a go-to on all things cannabis which will provide brand recognition as a thought leader. To leverage this method, you will need to make contacts with the media and some of the local legislators so that you can be their go-to authority and professional expert on all things cannabis and the impact it has on the community. When your dispensary’s name and your name are constantly seen as an expert, more traffic will be driven to your store and your products. This is due to the fact that people will trust your knowledge and opinion on products more than your competitors.
Bad Things Happen And It Is All About How You Deal With This
There is going to be a time when something terrible happens in your marketing strategy and this is something that no business is immune to. How your brand reacts to this situation is what counts and what will get you more customers or lose them. This is another time when creativity will come into play with your marketing.
If you have made a mistake in your marketing, whether it is the content or hitting the wrong nerve with your approach, you need to own up to your faults and be genuine about this. It is very easy to blame someone else or pretend that the problem is not happening, but these routes will generally turn people away from your brand. If you make a mistake, you need to look for the source of this and learn from it.
If there are people who are directly impacted by the mistake, you will need to alert them and provide them with information about the corrective measures you are taking to ensure this will not happen again. This might sound simple, but there are many brands that do not own up to their mistakes while fixing and learning from them. This is actually a tried and tested method of ensuring brand loyalty because it shows that your brand has integrity.
It May Not Be Perfect, But You Work With What You Have
Marketing your cannabis products is full of red tape and hurdles, which means that the best you can do is be creative and forge ahead. You need to model the way for responsible marketing and content which shines cannabis in the best possible light. You need to be a genuine and honest brand that is working in an imperfect industry and try to really educate people. This will solidify the relationship that you have with customers and will drive more of them to your brand. You will also find that they speak better of you to other people and this is important because word of mouth marketing is still gold. Friends love to take their friends to great shops and you want your shop to be one of their stops.