Why Content is Still King for Cannabis Companies

Marijuana marketing is filled with fads. Remember when every brand needed to be on Vine? Remember when memes seemed like the next great idea? Fads come and go, but core marketing principles tend to stand the test of time.

For instance, one marketing idea that still holds true today is the mantra, “Content is King.” It’s easy to see why.

Last year, 73% of B2B marketers reported satisfactory results from their content marketing. Whether or not your marijuana business should be using content marketing isn’t really a question anymore. The real question is how do you create marijuana content marketing that actually works?

Why Does Content Marketing Work?

To truly understand why content marketing works, it’s important to understand why other digital marketing trends fail.

Back to memes for a second. When an obscure or narrow brand creates a meme to promote their business, they think they are joining a conversation and getting in on a joke with potential customers. At best, this kind of messaging ends up being ignored. At worst, it is mocked on websites like Reddit.
It’s not just that these efforts are corny. They fail to address a need, a question, or a worthwhile benefit to using your brand. Effective content marketing does all of that and more.

Content provides consumers with substance, something they can take home with them and associate with your product or service. It educates, inspires, motivates, and converts by creating and expanding on a prospect’s genuine interest.

Using Content to Get Ahead in 2017

The beauty of content marketing is that it’s never too late to get started. Everyday, millions of people go online to look for new information. Are you getting your share of this massive pie? There are several ways to do this, but below are the most effective methods.

Awareness Stage

One of the most common content marketing errors is mistaking prospects for leads. Don’t jump the gun and tell someone to buy your product before they even know they need it! The following styles of content are ideal for creating awareness and opening the door for new clients.

  • Blogs: Today, and in the future, a blog is an essential asset for any brand looking to do business online. Not only are they a must for SEO, a well-populated blog gives both your sales team and customers a library of helpful information. It creates opportunities to answer consumer questions while guiding them directly back to your product or service.
  • Infographics and Visuals: Informative blog content is a key asset for reaching awareness-level prospects. Without the right visuals, however, it just might fall by the wayside. Colored visuals increase willingness to read your messaging by 80%. Content with relevant imagery gets viewed 94% more often than content without it. Infographics get shared 3x more often than any other type of content. If you expect your long-form content to find life on social media, you’ll need distinctive imagery to help your brand cut through the clutter.
  • Video Content: It’s official: people love video. In fact, it’s anticipated that 74% of all web traffic in 2017 will be from video. Taking a blog or an infographic and repurposing it for a short newsfeed video is a fantastic way to get your audience’s attention and drive them towards your brand.

Lead Generation

Just because a consumer is aware of their problem doesn’t mean they’re ready for the hard sell. First, use informational content that speaks more directly to the potential relationship between you and the consumer, and then let them decide for themselves.

  • Case Studies: Few things sell your brand better than a good success story. A well-composed and strategically-delivered case study positions your service as the solution to the customer’s problem and can have leads knocking on your door instead of the other way around.
  • eBooks: What if you could generate a list of qualified leads AND make a preliminary sales pitch all in one go, without having to make a single cold call? Writing a short eBook gives prospects a no-obligation incentive for giving you their email address, and warms them up to your service or solution in the time between the download and future communication.
  • White Papers: Even though its audience is more narrow, a quality white paper can illustrate expertise, thought leadership, and brand superiority in a way simple ads and blogs might not. Incorporate these into your email marketing strategy and into your social channels to reach both industry influencers and potential customers.

Creating Content That Stands Out

In a sense, anyone can create content. But effective content requires a strategic approach. It takes more than just knowing your business and your clientele: it requires marketing expertise, creative ability, and a team of like-minded people to make your message stand out.

At Marijuana Marketing Gurus, we make it a point to know your business inside and out before we start creating. With an emphasis on strategy, design, and engagement, we create content that informs, delights, and converts leads into customers. Ready to see what effective content marketing can do for your business? Let’s get in touch.

Can You Advertise Marijuana on Facebook?

imgres-1Facebook is an obvious go-to for any business hoping to promote themselves, but is it okay to advertise marijuana on it? Recreational use is now legal in several states, and medical use is sanctioned in far more. Nevertheless, proprietors of marijuana dispensaries and related businesses must still adhere to certain laws and restrictions when it comes to advertising. This is especially true for businesses hoping to reach multi-state consumers. Cannabis websites alone generally do not get into hot water, but where does Facebook fall among legal marketing platforms?

It turns out that Facebook is still a bit of a gray area. Fortunately, however, much of this grayness comes from misunderstandings about the social network’s policies. The fact is that posts and sidebar advertisements concerning marjuana are still prohibited by Facebook (yes, even if they originated in areas where such content is not illegal). This is basically Facebook’s way of protecting its own interests, since after all, marijuana still remains illegal on a federal level.

But all hope is not lost. Facebook pages for dispensaries and marijuana-related businesses are still very much alive. And in general, they do not get blocked or taken down. The key difference here is that simply creating a page for your business is not illegal (just look at all the different kinds of pages out there, about virtually anything you can think of) nor is creating a page advocating for the legalization of marijuana, but advertising your product is. So even if you already have a marijuana website design you’re pretty proud of and/or have mastered marijuana SEO, you should still seize the important opportunity of creating an active Facebook page for your business. Then, you just need to be rather careful in your wording of your posts to make them not appear to be advertisements (simply sharing articles on marijuana-related news or sharing marijuana websites is a good start, for instance).

Now, because of the “no advertising” policy, this means that the vast majority of your page followers will have to be grown organically. Be sure to put a Facebook symbol or even a “like us on Facebook” sign in your store (if you own a store), your website, or even on T-shirts and other merchandise. Marketing is really all about creativity, after all.

Now, if your page or any of your posts DO happen to get blocked by Facebook, it never hurts to shoot their service center a message about it (make sure it is well-written and polite). You never know– sometimes what one person may perceive as blatant advertising may be viewed as something else entirely by another. It’s your business, after all, and it is worth the effort.