4 Key Strategies To Bring Your Business To The Next Level

Over the past few years, the cannabis industry has grown exponentially. At the end of 2016, California – along with Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts- joined the ranks of other progressive sites and legalized the recreational use of cannabis. This move by California is projected to increase the value of the cannabis market to $20 billion in the next 4 years.  In the next decade, it is estimated that the cannabis industry will be worth an astounding $50 billion, that is more than 8 times its current size!

The cannabis industry has come a long way from the days of homemade baked goods and nameless products on the shelf. As the experts in cannabis marketing and advertising, Marijuana Marketing Gurus can help you seize every opportunity this growing industry has to offer. In today’s market, it is becoming increasingly important to create a brand that engages with its community and maintains a strong presence in the marketplace. Below we have identified 4 key strategies you must invest in order to smoke the competition.

1. Invest in Innovative, Engaging & Educational Content Creation For Your Brand

From dispensaries to gourmet cannabis baked goods, the cannabis marketplace offers a vast array of choices for consumers. Because consumers have so much choice when it comes to cannabis products it becomes imperative for businesses to embrace the 4 elements of content marketing: email, social media, blogging, and video. These 4 elements help you create a community around your brand by engaging with your current and potential customers all at once. Not only do these elements add value to your brand, but they can provide you with valuable insight into who your audience is and what they want.

2. Invest in Photography

We have all heard the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether they are surfing the web or shopping the aisles of the local market, people see thousands of images a day. Which is why it is vital that the images you use in your branding catch the eye of every potential customer from the get-go.

Stock Photos Vs. Professional Photography

While there is a breadth of stock photo libraries out there, the images are often generic and do not reflect who you are as a business or the products you sell. By hiring a professional photographer to shoot photos of your team, your operation and your products you can show your customers exactly who you are.

3. Create Packaging That Is Both Aesthetically Pleasing & Meets Regulations.

For today’s savvy consumer the design of the packaging has as much to do with their purchasing decision as the quality of the actual product. In fact, 70% of all purchasing decisions happen at checkout. So it becomes essential for cannabis business to create packaging that appeals to consumers and easily distinguishes their brand from the competition. In addition, cannabis packing does come with all kinds of regulations you must adhere to, so it is vital to work with a designer who is well versed in the rules of cannabis packaging.

4. Always Keep Track of Your Analytics & Metrics

The number one mistake that any novice marketer will make is to set and forget their strategy. Without regularly checking in on your progress, there is no way to see if your strategy is working. It is vital to utilize tools like Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Facebook and Twitter publishing tools to track growth and analyze your audience’s response. It’s not enough simply to set and forget a marketing strategy without regularly checking in on your progress. Data is gold to marketers and can help you make informed decisions when developing your marketing strategy.

One of the biggest mistakes cannabis businesses make is not bringing on professionals to implement the strategies discussed above. At Marijuana Marketing Gurus, our experts will help you build your brand. Let our experts take your business to the next level. Call us today to speak to one of our consultants.

 

 

3 Digital Marketing Trends Making a Difference in 2017

Do you want to make a difference in 2017 with your digital marketing strategies? If so, you must be able to anticipate changes and jump on the latest trends. We have made that a little easier for you by scouring the internet for the biggest trends in digital marketing for 2017.

#1 There Will Be a Transformation in Email Marketing

Email marketing is constantly evolving as technology changes. This year, we will see quite a few changes in email marketing. Here are a few of the biggest ones:

No More Newsletters

For several years, email newsletters have been losing momentum. Many people simply opt out of them or delete them without opening. Email content will be geared more towards the individual and will be more entertaining and visual.

Optimized for Mobile

With the significant shift towards mobile content, it is important to optimize your emails for mobile.

Fewer Emails

Most people’s inboxes are overflowing with emails. Many get deleted without ever being read. For 2017, the focus will be on making a difference with fewer, yet more quality emails. Emails should be engaging and relevant to your customers.

#2 Search Engine Optimization Will Evolve

There have been numerous changes in search engine optimization or SEO over the past year. Expect it to continue to grow in 2017. There will be significant shifts in the way that people search for information and SEO must evolve to account for those changes.

Voice Search Will Dominate

Voice search has become more popular than ever. Thanks to new technology, it has become much more user-friendly. Voice search is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing search options available. We can understand the appeal. Who doesn’t want a hands-free and easy way to find information? Marketers must optimize content for voice search.

SEO Will Move Beyond Keywords

Today’s consumers know what they are searching for when they turn to the internet for information. Search engines are beginning to focus more on user intent rather than on keywords. Consumers can enter entire phrases in search engines and get better results than just entering keywords. Therefore, businesses will need to optimize their content for user intent rather than for keywords. You will need to find out what brings users to your page and optimize based on their intent.

#3 There Will Be Big Changes in Social Media Marketing 

It is clear that social media is here to stay. Therefore, marketers must keep up with shifts in these platforms and adjust marketing strategies accordingly. For 2017, the following trends in social media marketing will be huge:

  • Live video
  • Customer service chat bots
  • Shoppable video ads

Since new technology, trends and tools emerge all the time; you must keep up with the latest advancements and trends in the industry if you want to capture your customers’ attention. Knowing the above three trends in digital marketing will help your company stay relevant in 2017.

 

Move The Needle: 4 Best Practices For Digital Advertising

Business owners and marketers in today’s fast-paced digital world face a huge challenge—grabbing customers attention with their digital advertising. Americans see thousands of advertisements a day, and they have gotten used to ignoring digital advertising. So, how can you engage potential customers and get them to pay attention to your advertising?  Here are four simple digital marketing best practices that will help ensure that potential clients see and pay attention to your digital ads.

Focus on Emotion

One way to capture your client’s attention is by creating a strong emotional bond through your digital advertising. Emotion makes people act, whether that emotion is sadness, happiness or anger. In fact, many research studies have indicated that emotion moves people to buy things. Not only that, but strong feelings cause social influencers to talk about your product or brand, and social influencers do help sell products. Studies show that people are more likely to buy a product or brand that has been recommended by their favorite YouTuber. So, every time you release a new advertisement, ask yourself “how did this make me feel?” If you can’t answer that question or answer with a “nothing”, then something is wrong. Go back, and think about how you can move your audience by eliciting a strong emotional response through your ads.

Don’t Pay So Much Attention to Clicks 

People are exposed to lots of digital information each day. Many people click on advertisements without ever buying anything. Rather than focusing on reaching as many individuals as possible, try to pay more attention to how you can reach the right person at the right time. Google Adwords or similar services are great forms of digital advertising because they allow customers to see your digital advertisements at the same time that they are searching for products or services that you sell. Targeted digital ads allow you to reach customers who are looking to buy what you offer at the time that they want to buy it.

Make Sure Your Digital Ads Are Mobile-Friendly 

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring how important mobile-friendly advertising has become. Mobile content is clearly the future. According to Google, as of 2015, more internet searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the United States. You are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to engage customers if you are not catering your advertisements, content, and website towards mobile users. All of your advertising should be mobile-friendly for various devices.

Collaborate Across Teams

A good digital advertising campaign requires several different teams within your company to work together. For instance, your content team should work closely with your marketing team to develop your digital advertising strategies simultaneously.

 

3 Advertising Pitfalls In the Cannabis Industry

shutterstock_472103500With the legalization of cannabis in another four states on November 8th, the cannabis industry has truly gone mainstream. Cannabis sales in the state of Colorado topped $1 billion in 2016.

The year ahead is going to be a huge one for the cannabis industry and success will largely be dictated by how well cannabis businesses advertise their products to the public.

Advertising should be a part of every cannabis business’ marketing strategy because it’s a great way to increase brand awareness and build trust with local customers.

State Advertising Regulations

That said, keep in mind that cannabis is still illegal federally and individual states that have decriminalized cannabis for recreational or medicinal use have their own rules when it comes to cannabis advertising.

Recreational cannabis states like Colorado have strict rules for advertising on the internet, for instance. The rules say that the “retail marijuana establishment” has to show that no more than “30% of the audience” for your website or blog is under the age of 21.

The aim of that regulation is clearly to limit advertising to underage audiences. Other legal cannabis states like Washington are more explicit about prohibiting advertising to minors.

In the state of Washington, cannabis retailers aren’t allowed to create advertisements that would be “appealing to children or other persons under twenty-one years of age.”

As you can see, that’s very general yet essential to keep in mind as you go about creating an advertising campaign that distinguishes you from your competitors.

Social Media Blunders

Social media outreach can increase your brand awareness and drive sales, and many cannabis retailers have even taken on social media managers to get the message out about their products. Unfortunately, social media giants like Facebook have erred on the side of caution when it comes to marijuana advertising.

Cannabis businesses have to be especially careful with posting on social media since sites like Facebook and Instagram have strict guidelines for cannabis advertising.

Facebook has essentially banned cannabis advertising on its social media platform. You’re not allowed to mention or allude to cannabis use nor can you directly advertise your cannabis product on Facebook or Instagram.

MassRoots is a great workaround solution if you have a readymade social media advertising campaign. MassRoots markets itself as the social media platform for marijuana and it requires users to affirm that they’re 21 years of age before entering the site.

Federal Marijuana Ban

Retail marijuana businesses operating in states that have legalized marijuana are in somewhat of a financial and legal limbo. Marijuana is still banned federally and considered a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

President Obama and his Justice Department created the Cole Memorandum to protect marijuana retailers advertising their products in states that legalized marijuana for recreational or medicinal use.

Questions linger about how President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions plan on dealing with the Cole Memorandum and marijuana advertising. Because marijuana is still illegal federally, marijuana advertisements are technically still illegal under federal law.

Our Guru Tips On Dominating Your Local SEO

Until cannabis has been legalized nationwide, business owners in the marijuana industry must be mindful of where they place their focus. Until you can legally ship your products from Colorado to Texas, your marketing philosophy should never stray too far from your home base.

But even in hyper-local markets, your customer’s journey still begins online. Recent studies suggest that 80% of customers look online before they decide to decide to buy from a business, and 77% of those customers use Google to begin their search. Most businesses know about using SEO (search engine optimization but far too few practice local SEO.

Local SEO is extremely important, especially for small to mid-sized business that don’t yet compete in the national market. Due to the legal constraints placed on the cannabis industry, your goal is to reach potential customers within your area of service. Local SEO is the best way to do this. Get on the path to search engine dominance by following these proven local SEO strategies.

How To Dominate Local SEO In Your Area

Step 1: Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your website properly will ensure that it will appear high up on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) for searches done within your area of service. The following are a few tips for optimizing your site properly:

Include both the name of your business and its location in your domain name. For example, if your company name is The Cannabis Store and you operate out of Boulder, Colorado then consider thecannabisstoreboulder.com as your domain name.

Use keywords that are relevant to both your business and to the community it serves. For instance, instead of using “cannabis products” as a keyword, use “cannabis products in Boulder.” This helps to narrow your audience down to those that are performing searches in the Boulder area, which in turn draws higher-quality leads to your site. Keywords should be used in your titles, content, anchor text, ALT image text and meta descriptions.

Add your NAP (name, address and phone number) to each page of your website, including your homepage and contact page.

2. Create Locally Focused Content

Create a blog and write content that is based on local news or topics relevant to your specific community. Publishing local content is a good way to boost local SEO. For example, publish a blog post on Fourth of July events being held in or around the neighborhood your store is located in. Then, when someone searches for Fourth of July events in that area, your site is more likely to come up.

3. Submit Your Contact Information to Local Directories

Submit your contact information, including name, address, and phone number to various online directories, including Yelp and Yellowbook to Facebook and Google. Make absolutely sure that the information you submit is correct. If the information differs from listing to listing, it can actually hurt your ranking. When submitting your info to local directories, make sure that you list your business in the appropriate category and that you use relevant keywords to optimize your description. Consider making your listings more informative by adding links to your site, photos, videos and more when possible.

4. Encourage Online Reviews

Ask your customers and followers to review your business online. The more positive reviews you have on sites like Yelp, Facebook and Google, the stronger your local SEO will be. Be sure to respond to various reviews as well. Address the problems raised in negative reviews and thank customers for positive reviews.

Need Help Getting Started? Ask the Gurus!

Completing a successful local SEO strategy is a complicated, time-consuming process. Don’t go it alone. At Marijuana Marketing Gurus, we provide a steady hand to guide you through your digital marketing journey. Combining our deep knowledge of your industry with cutting-edge marketing tactics, we lead growing cannabusinesses towards their full market potential. Ready to elevate your business to new heights? Consult the Gurus and begin the journey.

Marketing Specialists your Cannabis Business Can’t Survive Without

We live in a time of constant change, and few things represent that better than the marijuana consumer revolution. In a business world that shunned this incredible market, marijuana business owners have had to blaze their own trail. Where traditional media dropped the ball, digital marketing is taking over in a big way. Like marijuana, digital marketing has come a long way over the past few years, changing and evolving to best meet the needs of businesses and consumers alike.

Digital marketing strategy is essential to the success of any modern business aiming to reach new heights. Achieving your marketing goals requires quality talent, a strong vision, and the resources to make them work. This can quickly become a daunting task for business owners who don’t know where to begin, and don’t have the time to nurture real results. By choosing the right specialists to light the way and manage your digital marketing campaigns, you can maximize ROI while freeing up your time to focus on the thing you do best: running your business.

Here are the three digital marketing experts you should rely on for the journey ahead.

1. SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST

While social media platforms are an effective way to engage with your customers, getting your message across properly is no easy task. It is easy for your message to get lost in the clutter. A social media specialist will work to optimize your efforts to best reach your target audience.

Finding the right social media strategy requires a ton of trial and error. Teaming up with with a social media specialist saves you time and money while increasing your ROI.

2. BRANDING SPECIALIST

Since legalization, Marijuana’s image has come a long way from tye-dye and black lights. Today’s consumers crave more refined packaging, and a trustworthy image behind their products of choice. For any competitive marijuana company, branding is everything. Your brand is what separates your company from its competitors, and draws customers to your products above others.

A branding specialist will help you build a brand that stands out and resonates with your target audience. These are the visionaries who help you decide on a tone, an image and an approach that both unites your strategy and keeps customers coming back.

3. EMAIL MARKETING SPECIALIST

Don’t let people cloud your judgment, email marketing still works. When integrated into a well-executed digital strategy, email can be the driving factor in driving conversions and establishing a rapport with current and potential customers.

An email marketing expert crafts campaigns that send the right message to the right people at the right time, increasing the effectiveness of your overall marketing efforts.

Let Us Light Your Way

Discovering your path in the marijuana industry doesn’t have to feel like such a mystery. With the right partners there to guide you, your brand can truly thrive in this competitive industry.

As Marijuana Marketing Gurus, we offer a potent blend of quality branding, digital media expertise, SEO and other marketing services to help your business reach it’s full potential. If you’re ready to experience the difference, or if there’s a problem we can help you solve, let us know.

But whatever you do, don’t start your journey without consulting the gurus.

Digital Marketing 2017

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The Digital Marketing Specialists You Can’t Live Without

Digital marketing has come a long way over the past few years, changing and evolving to best meet the needs of businesses and consumers alike.

As crucial as digital marketing is to any business’ success, it isn’t something that can be accomplished without devoting adequate time and resources. It can quickly become a daunting task for business owners.The good news is that by choosing the right specialists to manage your digital marketing campaigns, you can maximize ROI while freeing up your time to focus on the thing you do best: running your business.

Here are the three digital marketing pros you should keep on speed-dial.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

1. Social Media Specialist

While social media platforms provide an innovative approach to engage with your customers, getting your message across them is no easy task. It is easy for your message to get lost in the fray, which is why it is crucial to streamline your efforts to best reach your target audience.

Finding the right social media strategy requires a ton of trial and error. Working with someone with industry experience saves you time and money while increasing your ROI.

2. Branding Specialist

Your brand is what separates your company from its competitors. Your brand is what draws customers to your products above others. Many businesses choose brands without considering what best reaches their target audience, clearly portrays their message, remains consistent through all channels, and sets them apart.

To combat this, enlist the help of a branding expert, someone who can take your vision and make it work for you.

3. Email Marketing Specialist

While some professionals write off email marketing as a thing of the past, it still works. Email marketing makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with both current and potential customers.

An email marketing pro designs campaigns that send the right message to the right people at the right time, increasing the effectiveness of your efforts.

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be scary when you have experts on your side. Reach out to JEMSU today to learn more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

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Creative 2017

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How social media marketing will dominate 2017

Social media marketing has seen exponential growth in 2016. Some people claimed that this is a temporary buzz that will pass with time, but they have been proven wrong. In their assumption, they may have overlooked the fact that social media is not static, but a dynamic outfit that keeps evolving to match new trends. The dominance of social media marketing will be evident in 2017.[/vc_column_text][list style=”check” color=”green-lite”]

  • Social media ads will make a comeback, with each company targeting higher visibility. With the tons of content on these sites, organic visibility is turning out to be unreliable. The social media platforms have realized the revenue potential in advertising and have gone out of their way to create different advertising options for businesses. You can then customize your advert according to your budget, target market and so on.
  • New social media platforms will emer
    ge as it happens every year; try to cut their niche in the market. However, marketers have learned to take their time before jumping onto a new platform. Instead, they will identify the platform that bests caters to their needs and invests fully in it.
  • Social media platforms will become more professional, adding tabs that allow businesses to engage more constructively with their clients. The most successful platform in this area will win more users.
  • Marketers will be taking customer engagement to new heights using the new technology. Live webinars, 360 videos and such like avenues will be used to engage users in the real-time, giving them a more vivid experience.
  • There will be a shift in the popularity of the various social media platforms. For instance, you may have noticed that Twitter is no longer that popular, while Snap is on an upward trend. Users are apparently looking for new experiences. 2017 could experience a decline in the dominant platforms while the newer ones gain more users.
[/list][vc_column_text]These predictions are not cast in stone, but they should give you a pretty good idea of ways that you can structure your social media marketing in 2017. You do not have to be on every platform; find the one that works for you and refine it to meet your client needs. A solid social media strategy will go a long way in reaching out to your clients even on a tight budget. 2017 is only days away; let’s wait and see how this forecast will fair.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

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How to Boost Local SEO

shutterstock_395497651One of the most important components of SEO (search engine optimization) is local SEO – especially if you’re running a small to mid-sized business that doesn’t have national exposure. As a smaller company, your goal is to reach consumers within your area of service. The best way to do this is by boosting your local SEO efforts in order to attract visitors within your area. The following are a few local SEO tactics that you should be sure to employ:

1. Optimize your website

Optimizing your website properly will ensure that it will appear high up on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) for searches done within your area of service. The following are a few tips for optimizing your site properly:

  • Include the name of your business and the location in your domain name. For example, if your company name is The Cannabis Store and you operate out of Los Angeles, then consider thecannabisstorela.com as your domain name.
  • Use keywords that are not only relevant to your business and to the content they appear in, but that also use your location. So instead of using “cannabis products” as a keyword, use “cannabis products in LA.” This helps to narrow your audience down to those that are performing searches in the L.A. area, which in turn draws higher quality leads to your site. Keywords should be used in your titles, content, anchor text, ALT image text and meta descriptions.
  • Add your NAP (name, address and phone number) to each page of your website, including your homepage and contact page.

2. Create local content

Create a blog and write content that is based on local news or events nearby your business. Local content is a good way to boost local SEO. For example, publish a blog post on Fourth of July events being held in or around the neighborhood your store is located in. Then, when someone searches for Fourth of July events in that area, your site is more likely to come up.

3. Submit your NAP to local directories

Submit your NAP to various online directories, from Yelp and Yellowbook to Facebook and Google. Make absolutely sure that the information you submit is correct. If the information differs from listing to listing, it can actually hurt your ranking. When submitting your NAP to local directories, make sure that you list your business in the appropriate category and that you use relevant keywords to optimize your description. Consider making your listings more informative by adding links to your site, photos, videos and more when possible.

4. Encourage online reviews

Ask customers and followers to review your business online. The more positive reviews you have on sites like Yelp or Facebook, the stronger your local SEO will be. Be sure to respond to various reviews as well. Address the problems raised in negative reviews and thank customers for positive reviews.

Use these tips in order to boost local SEO so that you can increase your company’s exposure in your area of service.

An Insight Into Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is focused on the strategic use of keywords throughout a business’ online content. Yet stuffing a website, blog and other online content with industry-relevant keywords and/or geographic identifiers is not enough to send a website soaring up the search engine rankings. On-page optimization is just as important as the implementation of specific keywords and phrases.

An Explanation of On-Page Optimization in the Context of SEO

On-page optimization in the realm of SEO is a term that refers to all of the factors that play a role in a web page’s listing in search engine results. “Optimization” is the operative word in this term as the each important factor is completely under the control of those in charge of managing the website. A digital marketing service with a highly skilled approach to on-page optimization can tweak these factors in just the right manner to send the website/web page(s) shooting up the search engine rankings. Examples of important on-page factors that influence search engine ranking include HTML code, keyword density/placement, page titles, internal linking and meta tags.

Page Content

A page’s search engine result position is primarily determined by its content. The content is what the web surfer desires so it makes sense that this information determines if the page is worthy of a high, middle or low ranking in search engine results. The importance of solid, relevant and helpful content cannot be overstated. Furthermore, high-quality content is “linkable”, meaning people should be able to link to it. More importantly, the audience should feel compelled to link to the page based on the merit of its content. In the end, if people can’t link to the page, search engines probably won’t be able to rank it. A page that can’t be ranked will receive few visits. A page with few visits won’t convert prospects into paying customers.

Metadata

The use of metadata refers to meta descriptions, titles, headers and beyond. Compelling metadata tags must be applied for every web page in order to maximize SEO. If you don’t know what title tags and the other terms listed above actually mean, you aren’t alone. Metadata is one of the more complex components of SEO. It should be handled by those who are skilled in this niche. Digital marketing gurus know exactly how to create descriptive title tags with 60 characters or less that make a meaningful SEO impact. The key is to keep these descriptive tags limited to this character amount so they are not truncated within search engine results.

Meta descriptions are read by web sleuths who seek a better understanding of what a page contains. Meta descriptions also serve the purpose of functioning as a call to action for your website’s products/services. This description should be 160 characters or less and encourage readers to click on your website rather than those of your competitors.

Keyword Selection, Placement and Density

Digital marketing experts know all the ins and outs of keywords in the context of an SEO push. It is not enough to select industry buzz words and/or local identifiers and use them throughout your online content. Rather, the selection of these keywords should be researched in-depth. Digital marketing experts are quick to testify that keyword research is often the most important step in a SEO campaign. Once the proper keywords are identified, they must be placed in strategic places throughout the company’s online content. They must also be used at the appropriate density. There really is an artful element to the proper selection and implementation of keywords that only the best digital marketing services can provide.