Digital marketing strategies in the cannabis industry are not as easy as it sounds. Even though recreational cannabis is being legalized, regulations vary across states, making cannabis advertising a little complicated. Numerous cannabis brands are facing the same issues as your business, which is why you have to stand out in order to thrive. Here in this blog, we will guide you through the challenges when working in this industry and how you can overcome these obstacles.
IMPORTANCE OF A STRONG DIGITAL MARKETING PRESENCE FOR CANNABIS BUSINESSES
The world is becoming more and more digitalized each day, so businesses have to implement a strategy to generate a digital presence to reach more customers. As a cannabis business, a strong digital marketing presence builds credibility for your brand and helps distribute relevant information about your products and services. This presence will lead to more potential customers interested in what you have to offer.
As mentioned above, navigating the cannabis industry has its own challenges. Here is what you should expect to come up against when in this industry:
Legal and Regulatory Hurdles
Cannabis regulation is constantly evolving, which can challenge businesses to try and keep up with the latest regulations and guidelines. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, ensure you are prepared to respond to regulation changes and adjust your marketing campaigns accordingly.
To give you an idea, check out our marijuana legality map of the USA here.
However, these regulations are mostly designed to avoid harmful use of cannabis. Such regulations are:
- Limiting THC to cap cannabis potency.
- Developing potency-based sales limits.
- Potency-based tax structure.
- Implementing data-tracking systems from seed to sale.
Despite those limitations, as the country continues to expand cannabis legislation, authorities should prioritize the preservation of public health. You, as a cannabis business owner, should aim to help share useful information about your products and stick to the best practices that will prioritize your client’s health. Remember that regulations can offer boundaries that limit the profit-seeking cannabis industry's promotion of dangerous cannabis usage.
Stigma and Preceptions
Despite the increasing legalization of cannabis, it still holds a negative stigma to many people. That is why your cannabis business should also focus part of its marketing efforts on educating about cannabis and its benefits. Heads up, this approach will also boost your organic growth.
In order to effectively communicate the benefits of cannabis, your brand voice should be consistent and emotionally engaging. The tone of voice should be positive, educational and inspiring. It is important to keep in mind that you’re not just talking about a product, but rather about an experience.
In addition to all the stigma and misinformation present, cannabis is still becoming more and more popular to this day. For example, the first two states to legalize cannabis, Colorado and Washington, are not the ones with the most consumers. According to an article by Vox, Rhode Island, followed by Alaska, are the two states where cannabis is the most popular. This shows just how more people are looking past the old stigmas and conceptions about cannabis.
Social Media Restrictions
Social media platforms impose restrictions on cannabis-related content. Different platforms have internal policies as to what is allowed to advertise about cannabis on their platform and what is completely not allowed.
Some of the restrictions include:
- Advertising restrictions
- Age restrictions
- Geographic Restrictions
- Community Guidelines
- Limited reach
It is important to understand these policies and restrictions prior to creating your cannabis-related content on social media. We recommend being proactive by researching each platform’s guidelines and staying informed about changes in the regulations. After understanding the rules, you can then tailor your content accordingly while still adhering to the brand voice and tone of voice you have established.
Social Media Restrictions
Just like social media, advertising also comes with its own limitations. The majority of cannabis-related content is banned, which complicates paid advertising campaigns for these businesses. In addition, cannabis companies must remember to carefully craft the tone of their message in order to create a cohesive brand voice.
According to an article by MarketSmith, these are the main principles you should follow:
- Make no health claims regarding cannabis or CBD products.
- Avoid using animation or characters that are appealing to youngsters.
- Do not target anyone under the age of 21.
- Do not target states where your product(s) are prohibited.
- Avoid promoting ingested goods unless they have been authorized by the FDA.
When effectively planned and implemented, a strong brand voice can help build trust among consumers as well as attract new customers. A professional and consistent approach should be taken when delivering messages that directly represent the company's mission and values.
Tips to overcome these challenges
Partner with a Reputable Cannabis Marketing Agency
Marketing is important in the cannabis industry. Not only that, but you also have to focus on your business operations to keep your business running smoothly. Partnering with a cannabis marketing agency will take this burden off of you, and it will also mean that your brand will be aware of the newest trends in the industry.
Using a cannabis marketing agency will help ensure that your company is represented in the right way. A good marketing team will focus on setting up an influential voice for your brand so potential customers can easily recognize it.
Create Content That is Informative and Engaging
As stated above, consumer education is crucial in this industry for people to understand cannabis products. This approach will differentiate you from other brands, avoiding myths and misconceptions surrounding your products. Providing insights into your cannabis expertise will position you as a thought leader, gaining the consumer’s credibility.
In addition, having an engaging and friendly brand voice will make you stand out from the competition. When crafting your cannabis message, use catchy words and phrases that are easy to remember for potential customers. Also, using specific keywords related to cannabis products can help people find your content more quickly when they type it into a search engine.
Create Strategies for Building Trust and Credibility
Numerous brands compete for the same consumers in the cannabis dispensary market. With this in mind, focus on what makes your brand stand out from the rest and make it unique. Developing a sense of brand identity can help you create strong foundations as the regulations loosen over time.
You must create strategies to build credibility and trust in your target audience without pressuring them to purchase your products. Do this by educating your audience on proper cannabis usage, its effects, and its benefits. Focus on organic traffic that will be useful for you.
According to an article by Search Engine Land, Organic traffic accounts for 53% of all internet site traffic. It is 41% for retail and e-commerce, which still outperforms traffic from social media, paid marketing, and other sources. You're missing out on visitors who may convert and build your cannabis business if you don't invest in search engine real estate.
Stay up-to-date on the Latest Cannabis Marketing Regulations.
Cannabis regulations are constantly changing, and you must keep up with them. Remember that your competition is also facing the same problems as your cannabis company, so you need to be on the lookout for the newest regulations so you can adapt your strategy and target more potential customers. By utilizing the right keywords in your brand voice, you can ensure that potential customers can understand what your cannabis company is offering quickly.
To ensure that your brand's message resonates with customers, it is essential to stay up-to-date on the latest cannabis regulations in each state. This will allow you to tailor your message and target customers who are seeking specific types of products or services. Additionally, understanding the changing regulations can help your business stay compliant with any new laws and regulations that might be set in place.
Thrive in the cannabis industry with us!
Cannabis marketing is challenging and innovative. Building a successful digital presence will help your business grow and gain credibility with your audience. However, you do not have to be on this journey alone. Working with a cannabis marketing agency will aid you in reaching your target audience and building your online presence.
Here at ThrivePOP, we are a digital marketing agency with over 20 years of experience. We strive to build strong relationships with clients who are motivated and ready to grow. If you want to learn more about the services that we offer, contact us today!