That’s a great thing! However, it means that there’s a lot more competition out there than there once was. Which also means, your marketing strategy has to be excellent and on point, or it’s not going to stand out.
Let’s just start by being honest; most businesses have totally sucky marketing. The thing is, so many people are stuck in the past. They don’t understand what marketing should look like today, especially in a booming, saturated industry. Everyone is so stuck on marketing their product. The problem with that is all of the other cannabis businesses are selling the same product, so what makes yours the one they should buy?
Of course your product matters, but what consumers really want to know is, why is your brand a better cannabis brand than any other? People today aren’t just interested in products, they’re interested in the company behind the products. They want to know who you are and what you stand for and if they are in alignment with your business, your values, and your mission.
Overall, your cannabis marketing sucks because you’re selling to consumers from ten years ago instead of to consumers of today. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. ThrivePOP can help you get ahead of the curve with exceptional cannabis marketing that speaks to today’s people. We’ll help you learn to use advertising, social media, your website, landing pages, and email marketing/automation, to create flawless and effective cannabis marketing campaigns.
Cannabis Marketing That Doesn't Suck
Before we get into the details, you need to understand the cannabis marketing funnel. If you don’t already know, a funnel is a basic description of the journey a person takes on their way to becoming a customer. The funnel takes the person from awareness of a brand or product, through each stage, until they come through the bottom of the funnel as a paying client.
Throughout the funnel, the person has various interactions and engagements with the brand, drawing closer to conversion in each one. It’s important to understand the marketing funnel when you design a campaign because each stage of the funnel uses different tools that the consumer connects with.
Our marketing funnel follows three phases; Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu. When the person has passed through all three phases, they’re ready to become a customer. So what do these phases mean? Let’s dive deeper.
TOFU (Top Of Funnel)
The Tofu stage is also known as the awareness stage. This is when the consumer first discovers your business through one or more outlets, including ads, social media, blogs, and websites.
The content you create for the tofu phase is incredibly important, as it is what will either propel the lead forwards through the tunnel or turn them right around the opposite direction. You need to make sure that your content is relevant, informative, and unique, in order to capture their attention and spark an interest.
MOFU (Middle Of Funnel)
In the Mofu stage, the consumer is considering whether or not to become a customer. This phase is also called the consideration stage.
During this stage, consumers get to know your business even more through emails, automation, webinars, and downloads. This is where they learn the information they need to know before they can make a decision to convert.
BOFU (Bottom Of Funnel)
The decision stage is known as Bofu. During this phase, consumers visit landing pages, read case studies, and even take part in any demos or trials you may have available.
By this time, the lead knows a great deal about your business. They have researched and read and listened, and they are fairly sure they want to become your customer. However, they need just a bit more information on your product itself and the experience that others have had with it. Once they have completed a demo or learned about how others have done with your products, they’ll be ready to say yes.
Follow The Marketing Funnel
In order to offer marketing that reaches your target audience and helps you stand out among your competitors, you’ll need to intentionally create content for each phase of the journey.
We know advertising isn’t easy. In fact, most business owners have so much baggage when it comes to advertising that they’d rather eat a box of nails or something than try to figure it out.
To top things off, cannabis advertising is actually way more difficult than advertising for almost any other industry (we said almost!). There are a whole bunch of rules and regulations that need to be followed that most industries don’t have to deal with. By addressing that right off the bat, we all understand that advertising cannabis is a little bit different.
Still, it can, and must, be done. The first thing you need to know is that almost three-quarters of consumers use Google search when they are looking for a business. Which means, if you’re not advertising on Google, you’re missing the majority of consumers. If your target market is going to even get to the first stage of the funnel, you need to advertise on Google. There’s no question.
When creating your ads, you’ll need to focus on the problem that you want to solve. Consider your goals and your keywords to expertly craft an ad that doesn’t just grab the attention of your target audience, it also shows them that your brand has the answer to their problem.
At this point, if your business isn’t on social media, go home. You’re still here? Okay, good. Let’s talk. Social media is literally top dog these days. You have to be there. You have to post informative, relevant, and creative content.
Yet, at the same time, it can be incredibly difficult to navigate social media as a cannabis company. Just like there are regulations in advertising, every social media platform has strict community guidelines that must be followed. Oftentimes, cannabis businesses are at risk of breaking those guidelines just by simply posting content about themselves and their products. You’ll need to be very intentional and careful with what and how you post on social media to engage with your target audience.
Make sure you know your audience and you’re actively using the social media platforms that they’re on.
● Facebook has 2.38 billion users. The majority of female FB users are between the ages of 18-24 and the majority of male FB users are between 25-34.
● Instagram has 1 billion users. The majority of female users are between 18-24 and the majority of male users are between 25-34.
● Twitter has 321 million users, with a female majority of 18-29 and a male majority of 18-29.
● YouTube has 5 billion daily users, with a female majority of 18-24 and a male majority of the same ages.
● LinkedIn has 575 million users, with a female majority of 30-64 and a male majority of 30-64.
Understanding these user statistics can help you decide which platforms to actively use and create regular content on. If you’re marketing your business to an older demographic, you may want to spend the majority of your time on LinkedIn. However, if you’re trying to target that 18-35 age range of males and females, Instagram is probably one of the best places to be.
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform that has added video capabilities and features over the past few years. In fact, Instagram Stories are rapidly becoming more popular than their grid posts, with over 500 million people viewing and creating Stories everyday.
If you’re going to be successful on Instagram, you need to use your Stories. Posting up to five stories a day can actually increase your retention rate by over 70%! In the current culture of short attention spans and an overwhelming preference of video content, Stories offers businesses a perfect opportunity to create quick, informative, relevant content.
Keep this in mind when marketing on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and any other platform that has a strong video element. Users want to see these videos! Just keep your content strategy in mind and create videos that will capture attention, entertain, and inform, in a short period of time.
Struggling to market your business on social media after the pandemic? Check out our webinar below:
Building a website isn’t easy but it is essential. The good news is, your website is actually your best opportunity for brand creativity and can help you craft some superb content that really stands out.
Just keep a few principles in mind when designing your website and you’ll have a high-quality, unique place to gain and nurture leads.
Your website should be built to give your audience the information they need right away. If they can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they’re going to leave. Not even kidding. You only have THREE seconds to grab your visitors’ attention. THREE SECONDS.
They need to SEE exactly what they need to see in those three seconds or they’re out. Put the most important information right up front, easily visible and clear, on your home page.
Your home page should be aesthetically pleasing and smooth. It should have visual elements while remaining simple and seamless. The content on your home page should provide clarity about what you do and should contain a call to action that you want your visitors to take.
It’s also a good idea to offer some sort of gating content on your website, such as eBooks or videos. These will grab your leads’ attention and encourage them to journey further down the funnel.
Overall, you want visitors to your website to spend as much time there as possible. If you focus on creating interactive content and options, they’ll be hanging around longer, getting to know your brand better, and moving that much closer to conversion.
One mistake that brands often make is to think that their overall website is the same as their landing pages. By grouping the two together, cannabis brands are missing out on a huge marketing opportunity.
On a website, a home page has basic business information with short sections and links to other pages that contain further information. A landing page is a page with a specific purpose that has a set call to action for the lead to take.
Landing pages are important because their sole purpose is conversion. This is why they’re in the Bofu stage and not the Tofu stage; people who visit your landing pages already know about your business and they’re very close to converting. This visit to your landing page could very well be the thing that sends them there.
When you create a landing page, make sure the information is clear and concise. Most of your leads will be visiting your landing page because they followed a link from an ad, so you need to ensure that the messaging in both places is cohesive.
Landing pages should follow a basic flow:
● First paragraph hook
● Big reveal
● Background story
● Customer testimonials
● Call to action
Another essential part of any marketing campaign is automated email marketing. Automation enables you to create email content and send it out to your leads regularly. With the numerous automation tools out there, you can be uber specific in targeting certain emails to certain members of your audience, which helps ensure effectiveness and a high conversion rate.
Tools such as drip marketing and Hubspot allow you to create and target email campaigns using the most relevant content. You can focus your content directly towards a specific group, differentiating your products and brand, as well as persuading your audience to take your call to action.
You don’t need to do something totally different. Simply use the resources and tools available to create the relevant, stand out content that is going to reach your target market and get them to say YES to your cannabis brand.
In Conclusion: We Can Help!
It can be tricky to get a handle on cannabis marketing, especially with the additional rules and regulations facing the industry. By working with a professional marketing company that specializes in cannabis, your marketing will be seamless and effective.
ThrivePOP offers expert cannabis marketing services. We understand the ins and outs of how to market in the industry, and will provide your cannabis business with the tools and resources it needs to stand out.
We are also realists. We know you want to see a return on your marketing investment.
ThrivePOP will make everything clear for you with scheduled presentations, open communication, and cost breakdowns. More than anything, we want to tell your story and help express your brand identity in a highly competitive space. Speak to our dedicated cannabis marketing team to workshop your brand and marketing presence and get you headed in the right direction.