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.

 

The Top 3 Marijuana Marketing Pitfalls (and how to Avoid Them)

Marijuana Social Media

With 26 states having at least some form of legalized marijuana, the cannabis industry has officially gone mainstream. If the votes don’t prove it, the money sure does. Colorado alone made over $1 billion last year, and business doesn’t appear to be slowing down anywhere in the country.

Needless to say, the year ahead is going to be a huge one for the cannabis industry. The businesses that stand out and succeed against the competition will be those who market themselves effectively, and stay on the right side of a shifting legal landscape.

While advertising should be a part of every cannabis business’ marketing strategy, there are three potential pitfalls that all cannabis business owners can work to avoid.

STATE ADVERTISING REGULATIONS

Even though over half the country has legalized either medicinal or recreational marijuana, cannabis is still illegal federally. With no federal guidelines, each state has their own unique rules on cannabis advertising.

Take Colorado for instance. Like other states with legal cannabis, Colorado has some fairly strict laws regarding online advertising. According to their rules, a “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.  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.”

Because of these and similar laws around the country, cannabis marketers need to be especially careful with how they target their campaigns, and when and where they place their advertising.

SOCIAL MEDIA BLUNDERS

Social media outreach can increase brand awareness, attract new fans and drive sales. 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, and do not allow for retail marijuana businesses to run paid promotions for their product.

While you can post ands sell to followers who live in your state, Facebook will typically block any attempt to run a cannabis-related ad on their platform unless you are extremely delicate in selecting your language and imagery. Brands that provide services to the cannabis industry or who use their pages to promote cannabis advocacy and information can make careful use of Facebook’s advertising tools to run specific types of ads and promotions.

Another great option for running your social media campaign is MassRoots. 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. There, you can run just about any ad you want to a highly targeted, useful audience.

STONER CLICHES

Gone are the days of Bob Marley posters, tie dye and Cheech and Chong. Today’s cannabis users and business owners are a much more sophisticated audience than they had been in the past. Between recreational and medicinal cannabis, everyone from rappers and comedians to doctors, lawyers and even grandmothers are interested in using cannabis and your marketing has to be able to meet them in the middle.

To avoid turning off a lucrative audience, avoid stoner slang and overly pot-centric visuals. Instead, opt for modern designs, sleek fonts and a clearer brand voice to carry your message to the most diverse audience possible.

Six Strategies for Truly Effective Digital Marketing

Cannabis Websites

The cannabis industry is exploding nationwide. According to Forbes, marijuana sales topped $6.7 billion in 2016 alone. With so much money to be made, it seems as though new cannabis business concepts are appearing over night. The brands that stand out and thrive in this evolving market will need to work with the future in mind, a path that starts with these core steps.

Create a Conversation Online

It’s about more than just hashtags. The cannabis industry is literally a multi-billion-dollar enterprise linking millions of people. The best part? Its years spent underground have inspired a large and passionate community that’s only grown and evolved as more states have legalized marijuana. A major percentage of these cannabis enthusiasts are already online, posting blogs, talking on forums and sharing content conversation on social media.

Creating and hosting your own unique content is essential in helping your brand find it’s way into the conversation. Building useful, creative and entertaining content encourages fans and new customers alike to spread the word and include your brand in the online conversation.

Listen to Your Customers

One of the most important tools social media gives your business is the ability to see what your customers say and do. The brands that are currently winning in the cannabis industry are putting this concept to use daily. Knowing both what your customers like about your brand and what they value in other brands is crucial to forming lasting connections and converting fans into advocates.

Each specific cannabis niche will have its own unique target audience. For instance, many modern cannabis consumers are also interested in health, wellness, and fitness routines. Discovering that information first hand and marketing in ways that emphasize and tie your brand into a healthy lifestyle will help you resonate even stronger with your audience.

Encourage Audience Participation

Use your social media to promote contests, giveaways, games and discounts earned through user interaction. Encouraging you fans to like, share, provide information and submit content in exchange for a small reward is a fantastic way to spread brand awareness, and earn good will from your online audience.

Work Within Your State’s Laws

Each state has its own set of laws and regulations on cannabis advertising. It’s essential that you understand both state and local advertising laws before you create your marketing campaign. You don’t want to pay fines or have to redo your entire campaign because you didn’t consider something basic.

Create New Experiences

As important as it is to follow the rules, it’s ok for your brand to take some creative risks. Embrace new marketing channels alongside your audience, and develop content that people actually want to see.

Don’t be afraid to abandon old stoner clichés in favor of more modern design and marketing concepts. The brands that dominate the national market in the future will be the ones that appeal to the widest range of people, embrace opportunities to stand out above the crowd and be found in new and unexpected places.

Send The Right Message

Just remember to market according to your state’s laws and always use words and graphics that convey the image you want associated with your brand. Avoid words like “ganja” or phrases like “getting high”. Instead speak to more tangible benefits such as the effects of a strain or the lifestyle benefits of your service. That way your actual goal won’t get mixed up in tired clichés and bad stereotypes.

Our Guru Tips On Dominating Your Local SEO

Marijuana 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 business 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

Marijuana Branding

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.

Can You Advertise Marijuana on Facebook?

Facebook 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.

Know Your Clients: Target Your Marijuana Marketing

Marijuana, like any consumer product, is a competitive business. Companies are competing every day for business and customers. If your company wants to come out ahead of all the rest, then it is extremely important that you know the ins and outs of your client base. In order to get the most return on your marketing investment, you need to be focusing your marketing strategy and resources on the people who are actually buying your product.

The first thing you must do as a dispensary owner is determine who you are targeting. The demographics of recreational users are different from the demographics of medical users, and it’s important to know who you are selling to in order to focus your efforts correctly. Medicinal users are typically middle aged, and two thirds of them are men. The bulk of medical users have used marijuana before, and are looking primarily to relieve pain rather than smoking for recreational use. Therefore, if your dispensary is medically focused, your marketing should focus on middle aged users who have experience smoking, with a slant toward men.

Recreational users, however, have a much different demographic breakdown in terms of potential sales. Recreational marijuana users in Colorado, for example, are distributed across all ages. Colorado recreational marijuana users who use every day or nearly every day account for only 30% of users, but make up 85% of overall sales. Your business must therefore focus on the acquisition of long-term customers.  When selling recreational marijuana, the repeat customer is absolutely integral to your business.

There is another important marketing focus when it comes to recreational cannabis. In Colorado, a large portion of the sales not made to repeat customers in cities are made instead to tourists in the mountain counties. Tourists are an important demographic to market to because people on vacation are already prepared to spend money on recreation. If your marijuana website and other marketing tools are enticing tourists, you will be well on your way to cashing in on this important clientele.

With all of this information in mind, it’s important to figure out what to do with it. The demographics of marijuana users demand that a business present itself as clean, professional, and accessible to a variety of clients of various usage frequencies. A marijuana marketing agency can be a great tool to help build your business through focusing on the needs of your clients to drive sales, and your business will be much stronger for it.

Three Effective Strategies for Cannabis Marketing

Brand marketing has become the most effective tool in the cannabis industry as an increasing number of companies are targeting to expand their business across cities, states and international boundaries. Traditionally, growers, dispensaries, infused product businesses and retailers mostly depended upon word-of-mouth to have their names out in the local community. Many took the help of online listing sites like Weedmaps and Leafly, while some put ads in regional alternative newspapers.

This worked efficiently until the business came out of its confinement and started to expand. Today, growth in the marijuana industry is rising relatively and businesses are looking for answers for making their products a household brand.

Many established medical marijuana businesses are trying to expand their brands into new markets like Illinois and Nevada. On the other hand, recreational corporations in Washington State and Colorado are trying to extend their hands in Alaska and Oregon. Putting up a product on shelves or opening up a store in a recognizable state is an effective expansion strategy for cannabis marketing. Estimates suggest that over 90 percent of cannabis companies will grow this year. Therefore, branding will be a necessity to win the race.

The Walgreen’s Model

Bruse Nassau, the co-founder of Tru Cannabis, says that Branding is the most important factor in marketing and that customer recognition is the most valuable asset for any business. He currently owns 5 recreational shops and dispensaries in Colorado.

Prior to owning the Tru Cannabis chain of dispensaries, he owned a cable television installation and servicing company called Telecrafter Services. He says that his brand marketing campaigns helped him establish a name for his cable television company. His hard work paid off real soon. It was not long when Telecraft became a recognizable and respected brand in the world of cable companies. Even the executives of large cable companies were aware of his company. This opened up lot of opportunities for Nassau and helped him grow revenues.

He plans the same for his newly owned dispensaries. He suggests that a Tru Cannabis client form Denver can easily access a Tru Cannabis store in Portland. The only thing you need to know is the name, logo and reputation to make purchases without any hassle. He calls this strategy “Walgreen’s Model”. According to this model the cost of advertising also decreases as you have to put on a single ad for all the stores under the same brand.

Early Adopter

Dixie Elixirs is an edible company that has created a good brand reputation in the industry. Advertising in the cannabis industry is restricted to a large extent. So, executives of this company has used a combination of marketing, press relations and word-of-mouth to reach out to larger number of customers.

Along with customers, this company markets its products to dispensary owners who sell them. After creating a creative logo for the company, executives also designed the packages. Since packaging is the initial handshake with the customers, this company has high hopes on its cannabis marketing strategies.

Look to Beer Industry

Ideas for cannabis marketing strategies can be drawn from long-standing beer companies like Budweiser. People prefer Bud products over others because of its recognizable brand, logo and catchphrases. However, creating a recognizable brand name is not easy and requires lot of time and hardwork. For success in the long run, it is important to establish a name, logo and marketing strategies. If you are doing the job right, you will blessed with improved revenue and a broader customer base.

For more information on how to promote your cannabis business, reach out to the experts at Marijuana Marketing Gurus.

Cannabis Marketing Strategies That Will Help You Boost Your Traffic

In this day and age the internet is probably one of the most crucial tools  you can use to create a successful business. The internet is omnipresent and if your presence cannot be felt online then there is a very high chance that you will miss out on a lot. If you are running a cannabis business you need to build your reputation and promote your brand on the internet in the best way you can.
When you decide to practice cannabis marketing it is important that you exploit the natural curiosity that can be found in human beings. Humans have a thirst for knowledge especially on issues that they do not fully understand. But if the text is too complex or long they will rarely read it since in today’s world there is very little time to spare. You need to present your info in an easy to digest and visually appealing form. Below are a couple of the strategies that will help you grow your website traffic:
1. Infographics-This is the use of visual representation to help show the maximum amount of data using the minimum package possible. This is a good way to represent data that is of great importance to the user. For cannabis you could show the advantages of using the substance and myths that are associated with the marijuana. The facts presented here should be interesting so that they can be shared on social media sites which will help generate a lot of traffic.
2. Videos-The use of videos can also really help increase traffic. For cannabis marketing you can post videos where you are showing people how to roll the marijuana which they are going to use for medicinal or recreational purposes. It takes very little time and effort to produce the videos but they will most certainly be well received. Videos that are rich in information not only go viral but they are also ranked highly on Google search engines and this is great for business.
3. Guest Posting-For the videos or infographics to work for you website they need to be seen by many people. The internet is a cruel place since you may post a great video which will get no likes while a lame video may go viral in just a few hours. You should devote time and money to build your presence through other means. One of the most popular of these is guest posting. This is where you get to post your content on another person’s blog. This will provide you with a lot of exposure and the owner of the blog will have good content for the site.
4. Authorship-On Google they have a feature called Authorship which allows you to claim ownership of content published on the internet and link it to your Google profile. The search engine results will display a link to your Google+ profile and picture so that those who are interested can see what else you have to offer. Through your Google profile you will be in a better position to continue cannabis marketing.

FAQ About Marijuana Marketing

FAQ About Marijuana Marketing

Since its legalization for recreation in Colorado and Washington last November the marijuana industry has grown exponentially.   Officials at the state legislature estimated the marijuana industry will bring $60 to 70 million by the end of June 2015.    As such many business owners are seeking to get their slice of the pie. However, marijuana is a complicated business venture for even the most seasoned professional.    While demand for this product continues to grow,  many new business owners are encountering an unexpected complication, marketing their business.  Marketing for marijuana is fraught with complication, as there are certain limits to marketing a substance like cannabis.  Many business owners often default to traditional marketing and advertising methods, the industry has changed and digital marketing is where it is at.  From building a unique and effective website to optimizing all content for SEO, digital marijuana marketing experts have the experience to market you business and translate clicks to dollars in your pocket.   Below are some of the most common question business owners ask about marijuana marketing,  and the answers that only the experts can tell you.Q:  What makes an effective website for a marijuana business?

Did you know that 25% of all business decision start online? We live in a digital world, as such we are almost always plugged in.  Which is why it is so vital your website is responsive and function for both a desktop or mobile screen.  This will allow consumers easy access to your site and provide them with accurate information in the palm of their hand.    It is also imperative you website contains information that your customers are looking for like product descriptions, prices, business address and phone number, etc.

Q:  How do marijuana businesses continue  you invest in affordable marijuana marketing in an increasing market?

We recommend business owners think outside the box of traditional marketing.  Instead of spending your entire marketing budget on print or television, place that investment in digital marketing campaigns like SEO, PPC Web Design Etc.  These marketing opportunities offer a better ROI, and are proven effective.

Q: Can we use social media to promote my business?

Yes,  However there are certain restriction on what you can promote or share on the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.   Never solicit or appeal to viewers under the age of 21.

Q:   What are the limits to marketing marijuana on social media platforms?

All marijuana marketing or advertising content must not contain any statement or illustration that may be misleading, promotes irresponsible use,  promotes the effectiveness of the product for treatment of any condition, or depicts a minor consuming the product.

Q: Can we use Google Ad words or other advertising links within websites to promote my cannabis business.

Yes.  Just be sure to research any restrictions or recommendations.

Q:  Can we create content for a YouTube page, even if content takes a comical look at promoting my business?

Yes. Just be mindful of appropriate content and never promote your content to viewers under the age of 21.

If you are ready to join the digital revolution, contact the experts at Marijuana Marketing Gurus today!