Developing a cannabis marketing strategy can be tricky, and sometimes, just downright difficult. With ever-changing regulations and trends, it’s important to make sure your marketing efforts are being as effective as possible. Here are a few marketing mistakes that are commonly seen in the cannabis business that CMA wants to make sure your brand avoids.
Failing to Assess Your Cannabis Content
Content marketing is the creating and sharing of online material. This can be in the form of social media posts, blogs, videos or really anything created/shared by your brand. Remember, content marketing doesn’t have to be explicitly selling a specific product. Content marketing is meant to convey the relevance and value of your brand. Consumers are more likely to purchase from your brand if they are engaged and have a connection with your brand. Cannabis companies can benefit from content marketing by using content to build trust, reputability and cultivating customer loyalty.
Begin your content marketing development strategy by analyzing your current content. As yourself the following questions:
- Is your brand producing/sharing content?
- Does your brand have a blog?
- What is your social media strategy?
- Is your content relevant?
- Is your content engaging?
These are all questions you should be constantly asking yourself as you prepare to develop your strategy.
After analyzing your current content strategy, find deficiencies in your strategy and where you can improve. Make sure to create clear, concise communication objectives for your content strategy. Come up with a schedule for blogs and social media. This will help you be as time efficient as possible.
Remember, this process can be used at any time to refresh and revamp your cannabis brand’s content strategy.
Avoiding Assumptions About Your Target Market
It is worth the time and effort to do some research to identify your target market. The cannabis industry is rapidly changing and your consumer base may continue to change. Never assume your brand is strictly catering to one group of people – or consumer persona.
Cannabis has an array of different uses that appeals to many different consumer subsets. Creating a specific marketing strategy for each separate persona will help your brand create effective, purposeful content that will resonate with your target audience. The target personas can be segmented by an infinite number of characteristics. By assessing your product and its value to your consumers, you can begin to identify what’s most important to each segment of the overall market.
Ignoring Cannabis Marketing Compliance Rules and Regulations
Failing to understand the regulatory ecosystem in which you operate could very well be the leading reason most young companies fail in the cannabis industry. As cannabis laws change across the nation, so will the guidelines on how your brand is allowed to market itself and your products. Currently, cannabis laws seem to be changing daily.
Compliance breakdowns lead to the deactivation of social media accounts, suspension, and termination of licenses, profit-loss, and ultimately, failure. Ensure your company is putting time and effort into keeping up with compliance regulations. If necessary, do monthly research on what may have changed in the world of marketing cannabis and communicate them to your team to ensure everyone is working to the same regulatory standards and limitations.
Failing to Differentiate Your Product from the Competition
What makes your product different from other products like it? Why should your target consumers choose your product over others? If your marketing strategy doesn’t address what makes your product so cool and special, it may be time to rethink your strategy. With so many new, competing cannabis products launching every day, it’s important to know why your product is so special and stands out in the crowd. Demonstrate how it’s different and why this should be important to the consumer.
Ignoring Available (Free) Tools and Data When Making Strategic Decisions About Your Business
A recent study published by Bazaarvoice demonstrated that in-store shopping behavior is significantly influenced by online research. The report, The ROBO Economy (Research Online Buy Offline), showed that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store and 45% read reviews before making a purchase.
Understanding that data point makes search engine optimization (SEO) and search keyword ownership critical to reaching the widest audience possible. An effective SEO strategy will understand how the consumer is finding your website. Combining strong, diverse sets of keywords, indexed web pages, and content tags throughout will go a long way in affecting your prominence in search result rankings. Make sure you are performing regular keyword research to know what folks are looking for when they click through to your site. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most popular keywords are the best ones. A clear, concise SEO strategy (or a reputable SEO optimization partner) will help drive the right kinds of customers and traffic to your brand.
Understanding your product’s place in the overall cannabis market will allow you to position your marketing efforts for success. Cannabis Marketing Association is here for you. Join CMA today to keep up on all the latest cannabis marketing trends and developments to help keep your business marketing strategy strong!