By Katherine Wolf, Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Malek’s Premium Cannabis
According to MJBizDaily, cannabis sales are projected to reach nearly $25 billion by the end of 2021. As the cannabis industry continues to grow (pun intended), what can your brand do to grow along with it and stand out from the competition?
Here are four top marketing trends that made a splash in the industry this year, and how your brand can start leveraging them to stay ahead before 2021 is over!
Focus on Cannabis Education
With so many products and brands on the market, one of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to become a go-to resource for cannabis information and education. There are nearly endless topics to cover and channels that can be used to accomplish this.
From showing behind-the-scenes content about how your cannabis is grown to creating a YouTube video on how to roll a joint or reposting the latest industry news on your Instagram story, educating consumers on cannabis and how to enjoy it safely is key. You can also use these tactics to educate customers on your products specifically, for example, the results of smoking one of your joints versus applying one of your topical creams, or the physical and mental effects of your various strains.
This marketing strategy does much more than give you additional content to post— it positions your brand as an industry thought-leader and shows your customers you care about more than just selling products. This in turn builds credibility and trust, leading to repeat buyers and loyal brand advocates!
Use An Omnichannel Marketing Approach
An omnichannel approach is one where each marketing platform, A.K.A channel, works together to create a uniform message, voice, and brand for your company. This provides your audience with a reliable, cohesive experience that leads to higher engagement, more brand awareness, and ultimately increased sales!
For example, rather than putting all your marketing eggs in the social media basket, you should be sure to have a strong presence across all the channels your target customers are using. This might include social media, your website, podcasts, advertising in local magazines, joining industry networking groups (like The Cannabis Marketing Association!), and more.
Having an effective omnichannel marketing strategy is so important in our industry because customers will often need to build up trust with a cannabis brand before they feel comfortable enough to purchase from them. Luckily, leveraging all the channels that your customer base is active on helps boost engagement and familiarity with your brand in order to build that trust. In fact, marketers using three channels or more in their campaigns earned 18.96% engagement, compared to only 5.4% for single-channel campaigns. Additionally, omnichannel campaigns have a 90% higher retention rate than single-channel ones!
Create More Video Content
With consumers being hit with so many advertisements every day, more brands are turning to video to help their message break through the clutter. Brands in the cannabis industry are no exception! From placing a hero video on your website to creating Instagram reels, video can help you meet your marketing goals and attract new customers to your brand. Check out these stats that prove it:
- 53% of marketers say that video helps them raise awareness.
- 49% of marketers say that video helps them engage their audience.
- 52% of marketers say that video helps them build trust with potential customers.
How can you implement more video content in your marketing strategy? Not every video needs to be a huge, professional production—something as simple as creating an engaging, informative reel for Instagram or TikTok on your iPhone can often do the trick. Instagram especially has been moving towards the trend of short-form video, and since Instagram’s new User Interface (UI) update has put IG Reels front and center on the platform, these 15-30 second video snippets are a great way to get organic exposure and increase brand visibility.
Get Strategic About SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic through organic search engine results. It’s important to determine what keywords your target audience is searching for online and ensure your website content includes those keywords through clear, concise messaging. Here are a few quick wins your cannabis brand can implement on its website to boost SEO rankings:
- Make sure all your website pages have title tags and meta descriptions.
- Include alt text on all of the images on your website.
- Search engines place more “ranking weight” on titles, so ensure all of your website pages have clear headers with relevant keywords.
- While you want to rank for relevant keywords, remember that you’re speaking to humans, not robots. Avoid keyword stuffing and instead insert keywords only where it feels natural and flows properly.
It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) helps drive traffic to your website, but did you know it can also be used on social media? In recent years, Instagram has become more search-friendly, allowing you to search for a keyword and in turn, showing relevant videos, profiles, and posts. This means your posts (and therefore, your brand) will be seen by more users if you’re using the right keywords! Since Instagram is notorious for blocking cannabis content, including relevant keywords in your profile, videos, and posts will help guarantee that people of legal age who are looking for your brand or the types of products you sell will actually find your profile!
Make the Most of Your Cannabis Marketing Strategy in 2021!
Our industry is moving fast and is highly competitive. You could have the world’s greatest product, but if you can’t market it effectively, it’ll likely get caught in the cannabis clutter. By taking advantage of these trends in your marketing strategy, you can get ahead of the curve and better resonate with your target audience — ultimately driving more revenue for your cannabis brand!
Katherine Wolf is the Chief Marketing & Operations Officer at Malek’s Premium Cannabis, crafting small-batch, flavor-focused cannabis out of Denver, Colorado. Check out unique strains designed to provide the best quality, taste, and overall smoking experience on our Instagram and website.
Discover more cannabis marketing content and visit CMA’s blog.
For more information on becoming a member of Cannabis Marketing Association, visit our membership page.