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.