Party Like a Marketer Podcast

Episode 25: Best Strategies for Improving your Cannabis SEO

Episode Description

Lisa Buffo, Founder, and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association sat down with Dmytro Syvak, Head of Business Development at MJSeo Agency, to discuss the Best Strategies for Improving your Cannabis SEO.

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Lisa Buffo  00:12

Hi everyone, welcome to party like a marketer, the podcast dedicated to cannabis marketing, public relations and authentic storytelling. I’m your host Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the cannabis Marketing Association. You can connect with me on Instagram at LeBoeuf and Twitter at Lee buff 21. And I hope to see you all at the Cannabis marketing Summit coming up this June 7 through ninth in Denver, Colorado, where you can join us for two and a half days of networking and learning cannabis marketing best practices. Early Bird tickets are on sale now. So check out our website, the cannabis marketing to save up to $200 on tickets. Today’s guest is Demetrio cvac Head of Business Development at MJ SEO agency, and he is from Ukraine. Dimitra is 25 and has had the opportunity to live outside of Ukraine and understand and see how other cultures live and develop. MJ SEO agency helps the cannabis industry to grow and show the world that MJ is the future using the best marketing tool SEO. MJ SEO agency works in all types of cannabis businesses starting from the medical and recreational dispensaries ending with cannabis transporters and much more. This conversation was recorded on February 23, the day before Ukraine was invaded. I have spoken with Dimitra who is based in Kiev, and he is safe as of this recording on March 7. He asked that I let guests know about the invasion led by Russia and point them to his LinkedIn Dimitrova cvac syv AK, where he has posted resources for how you can help Ukrainians. He wants our audience to know that the situation on the ground is worse than we know and encourages everyone to read up about it and help in any way possible. We have offered our support to Demetrio and his team and we’ll continue to be in touch with him. Okay, good morning, everybody. Welcome to today’s episode of Party like a marketer, the podcast dedicated to cannabis marketing, public relations and authentic storytelling. I’m your host, Lisa PoFo, the founder and CEO of the cannabis Marketing Association. And today’s guest is Deema Syvak, the head of business development at MJ SEO agency Deema. Thank you so much for being here today.

Dmytro Syvak  02:30

Hi, guys. Thank you. It’s pleasure for me to be with you. Hopefully, you’ll get something useful. And I was really, really looking forward to it.

Lisa Buffo  02:38

I’m sure we will. So diba tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? How did you get involved in cannabis? You know, what led you to SEO? Can you give us a little bit of background on who you are?

Dmytro Syvak  02:52

Sure. Well, my name is Emma. I’m from Ukraine. So right now I’m in Ukraine in Kiev. I’m 25. I don’t know if that’s useful or not. I work with mg SEO. So we specialize more in the industry of search engine optimization. Well, I would say it’s quite funny how we got into the SEO into the MMJ industry because at the beginning, when they only started a we will not really sure if this is the future of it’s not. So we will not really ready to get into it. But when we saw the positive things about cannabis, we decided that yes, we should go into it. And we saw a very positive place into it. And that’s why we started to work in the cannabis industry. And I started to be the head of this project.

Lisa Buffo  03:48

And what what year was that? When did you first get started?

Dmytro Syvak  03:53

We started from 2020. So it’s been let’s say, let’s, I think it was October, something like that from 2020. So specific in the cannabis industry. However, in the search engine optimization, we’ve been in the market for much more longer.

Lisa Buffo  04:13

Awesome. Okay. And are you so did you help start this agency? Are you one of the founders?

Dmytro Syvak  04:21

I’m not the founder, the founder is Victor karpenko. However, I’m let’s say I’m leading the project. Yes. So I’m the right hand of the project. And I’m deciding to how to develop it, where to go what we should do. So everything is going through me.

Lisa Buffo  04:41

That makes sense. Okay, awesome. And then tell me a little bit about MJ SEO agency, what what services do you offer and how do you work with your clients?

Dmytro Syvak  04:52

Well, we work as all SEO agency should I hopefully all work like that. And we don’t really If we didn’t have, we have not changed our strategy which we have other industries, yes, we try to make everything clear as possible. For example, if we go for the complex sale, hopefully everybody knows what complex SEO, for example, it’s not when you go into one service, but when you want us to optimize your website. So takeover, adding links, concerns everything on our side, we prepare some questions which we need you to answer in order for us to do an update. So which can be for free from our side, it gives us a better understanding of the strategy, which should be for your website, because every clients customer, which we work with, with a specific strategy, so it’s a unique one. So we understand what he wants to receive, and we try to stick to it. So we don’t only do SEO, but we also provide service like Link services, we have one time services such as technical outdate initial analysis, which is very useful for companies which have been on the market for a long time. And they have been, they have their own in house team. Yes. And they see that they’re not growing, something’s just holding them back, or they want to do something. So we prepare for them our Nisha analysis, a strategy which gives them and they’re able to implement it. So technically, the Nisha analysis, PB ends. And also link analysis. Those are one of the main topics services, which we have, besides seal, we also do web development and app development. So we’re trying to combine everything to have a complex package. So you work with only one company as one of our main devices, which we have is have a good strong business relationship and with one team.

Lisa Buffo  06:58

That makes sense. Okay, so you do the audit first, and then you come up with a strategy. So what are some of the top things that cannabis marketers need to know when it comes to SEO? Where do you where do you kind of start with? What are some of the big areas you kind of tackle first?

Dmytro Syvak  07:18

Well, the first step, as I said, when we receive a request, that somebody is interested in our services, we ask some questions, in order to understand exactly where we are aiming, basically, they are almost always the same. However, before we do reach out, we check the website and we see the situation what is going on with it. So we already have an idea, what is the plan? Yes, where he, the customer is going, what is the goal? So first of all, we ask to answer the questions which we need. And then we send the case to our team to do an update. So to do an analysis of the websites, and have a strategy, from the strategy, you get a really a lot information, which is for free, actually. So first of all, we analyze the websites, which we receive, we check what is the situation with it, what kind of issues around and the main major ones, for example, the mass tax, then we also check the speed of the website, which is very important for search engine optimization, then we also do check the competitors, because in any business, whichever there is, you always have to know your competitors. And that’s why it’s a good idea also, to see your closest competitors. One of the main questions which we always ask, we know the competitors from our side, because we see it from the SEO side. However, the owner of the company knows much more better, who is the competitor for them, of course, because when they are located in one place, they may know their own competitor who is the closest to them, but we see a little bit different. So we always ask this kind of question also. So it’s very useful. And we share how they are on the situation with the search engine optimization, the websites, and we compare it with ours. And then we give a plan, what’s gonna be the plan for the first three months, because further on, it can change. But the first three months is mostly the same. However, it’s just changed a little bit. And then what’s going to be the result. And this is the most surprising thing because to see results. There’s a lot of aspects which plays a role, for example, depends on the website. If it’s new, it’s takes a little bit time to get better results. Because when the website is new is in so called sandbox in the SEO is determined, which means you have to get out and the website has to be seen by Google Go. A little tip, I think it’s gonna be really useful because we do get a lot of I’ll receive a lot of messages in LinkedIn, then that I do a lot of work, my website is new. But some ways it’s not growing and I don’t get a lot of audience couldn’t be one of the reasons will because of the sandbox. And in order to get to the sandbox as fast as possible, is to get Google seeing your website, use other platforms. So publish your link to your website, for example, on Facebook, different platforms, others platforms, Facebook, Instagram, wherever you can publish it. So you get more views, views, and you’ll get out to the sandbox as fast as possible. So it plays a very important role. And of course, old website is much more fast and easier to optimize, then a new one, because of the sandbox on other aspects. And finally, we give the results, which we receive on the budget, what’s going to be in monthly?

Lisa Buffo  11:07

And do you have a benchmark for when you’re out of the sandbox? Is that like a certain number of visitors a month? Or depends?

Dmytro Syvak  11:17

A bit times it’s really difficult to give a concrete time. Because even giving 100% results is not possible in search engine optimization, you have to understand this because we have a third part Google on the platform which engine engine X or whatever you’ll be using guess. And it doesn’t always depends on the work, which is done. Yes, it does depend. But other aspects is Google, how he will react to your websites. And the stock which you’re doing, for example, Google releases, minimum free updates a year and African change, for example, some time ago, keywords, which you had in the meta tags, were good to have on your websites. Right now. It’s more obey by Google notes as a spam. So it will react to your website as a negative. So you always have to follow and always be updated.

Lisa Buffo  12:20

That makes sense. So you want to stay on top of what Google is doing. And that is constantly changing. So it’s a kind of a moving target as far as strategy and what you’re working on. Right. Okay. Cool. That makes sense. Um, what are the some of the things that you see your clients or cannabis businesses getting wrong about SEO?

Dmytro Syvak  12:42

Well, getting rank in SEO, I think is the result and how it works. Because, again, I think it will go back a little bit to the question, which we already went through is depends on the quality of the websites, and the budget will go here. Also, they think that SEO works really fast, or any marketing to whichever you use, it works fast. Unfortunately, it doesn’t only relate to kind of this own as it relates to each industry, whichever we’ll be using marketing. First of all, you have to understand how marketing works. And see, I think business owners have to plan their budget and see how long they can be without results. Because when we say, okay, you have to wait minimum at least three, four months. And he says, No, I’m not going to wait because I need it now. None. And there’s no marketing tool, which you can use will give you 100% results straightaway, you have to have the time. And they have to find it much more better. So definitely, you have to understand how it works. And another which I receive a really funny feedback that marketing tools don’t work. And I noticed not only once, that’s the reason why it doesn’t work, because I’m not saying I don’t want to point that somebody is not professional, but they’re not just following the rules how it should be and not doing it to the end. So in order to get results, you have to pay for it good work is paid for work, of course, you’ll be able to get it cheaper. And the same with links. If it goes to search engine optimization. If you want to have good links to your website, you have to pay for them, not five bucks $100 or something like that they cost much more. So to get good results, you have to invest more, and then you’ll get good results. So that’s one of the most questions which I do get from clients.

Lisa Buffo  14:54

And do you mind speaking to the budget or cost and what folks can expect? When approaching it.

Dmytro Syvak  15:02

Well, this question is, I would not say 100% result 100% price because, again, depends on the situation with the website, it depends on the requirements which the customer wants to receive. Yes. So for example, I want to have, I don’t know, 1 million traffic, whatever or something like that, then of course, the cost can be much more depends on the project. For Sale, for example, if it goes for complex sale, there’s a lot of aspects which buys the industry. So we will just talk about the cannabis is getting really, really competitive. And everybody wants to shoot for the most popular keywords, for example, buy CBD, yes, and they want to be in the top 10. Well, to be in the top 10. With such a key word on your website is new. Unfortunately, it’s impossible from the main beginning, it’s going to take time. So to give price, it’s really difficult we say from for example, when somebody reached out to me, I can say it will start from here. But to give you a 100% price, what’s going to be for search engine optimization, it starts from two and a half $1,000. Monthly, that’s going to be month. But the results, of course can be not so high. It depends on the locations, how many vacations you’re going to have. So you want to shoot only for the USA, okay, it’s gonna be one price when you’re going for Canada and USA, then it’s going to be two occasions. So it’s like two separate websites. So you have to double almost the budget. But if it goes, for example, one time services links, again, on the requirements of the links, linking costs $100. The link and cost $200 Then can cost $1,000? Yes, it depends on the quality. If it goes for the technical audit, technical audit is, I’ll try to explain maybe some of the services which we do technical audit is we do a checklist, we scan the whole websites. And we see which issues the website is facing. Because whenever you start optimization, the first task will be doing the technical update. I know some guys who straight away start optimizing the website. And they don’t really bother about the technical part. However, I always tried to compare it to something which is much more simple to everyone. And I always compare it to a house before building and doing something inside you have to have a good basement. And basement in SEO is a technical part. So first of all, you have to have a good strong technical parts. And it depends for us, it depends on how many pages there are. So for us, we technical part starts from $1,300. And to do the technical update, and we check the whole website, when you get two times technical update, you pay once but you get to first we do it at the beginning, then we pass it to the customer. He implements the issues. And he says okay, guys, we have done it. Can you check it again, and we scan the website once again. And also we give a little bonus, we also provide strategy for the future optimization. link analysis also will start from 1400. It depends on how many links the website has Nisha analysis, it depends just on the difficulty of the niche he has, how competitive it is. And the price starts from one file, one file, one file $1,500. So everything starts from something, but to get 100% just I think just feel free to reach out to us. And we’ll provide you with a 100% price.

Lisa Buffo  19:13

So, so definitely they’re looking at a few $1,000 a month to start. But again, it’s it takes a at least three or four months to see results. But it’s it’s ongoing maintenance and it’s ongoing, adjusting the strategy and implementing it and and seeing results. But, you know, ideally, what’s happening is you’re getting that traffic so that you can increase your customers and you know your revenue, ultimately your bottom line, so it does it can be worth it.

Dmytro Syvak  19:40

Of course, yes. It just depends on the quality work. And as I said, how much time you’re willing to wait. Because for someone they want results straightaway. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. You just have to be able to be patient. And for example, you have understand if it’s worked for you, yes. For example, for this country’s Yes, a show is one of the best tools for small local shops, yes, seal will not really work for them because it’s going to be too expensive. Of course, if they will have a few shops, say in one stay in two states or something like that, then of course, it will work, okay? Then you have to understand if it’s going to be online, or if it’s gonna be offline your plan. So you have to understand and calculate yourself a little bit and find the most best marketing strategy because you can’t really do any business without any strategy or without any marketing. So you just have to decide for yourself which is work for you, and in which you can invest not only for one or two, but minimum half a year to get good results.

Lisa Buffo  20:55

And what are some things that those small shops can do? Or folks who might not have a full budget for SEO? What what can those marketers or entrepreneurs do at home or by themselves to kind of get started? What would you suggest?

Dmytro Syvak  21:10

Well, on the internet, thank God, you don’t have to go to someplace to read books on that stuff and don’t know what exactly to search for. There’s a lot of platforms where you can pick out a lot of useful and free information. Yes. It just depends on the person if he’s willing to sit down and do it by himself, and has the knowledge, I believe everybody has the knowledge and patience. So I think that’s the most question which we need to ask. From our side, as we see that cannabis industry is just developing. Already, there’s a big competition. And we do understand that not everybody is willing to invest into the website into SEO to 3000 $5,000. Monthly, they will instead do it by themselves. And that’s why on our websites on LinkedIn, then on the Facebook page, ours, we do have free tips, how we try to share our knowledge, our expertise of how you can use a seal for your business, and for free. And I believe there’s a lot of also useful on YouTube channel. So step by step. But you have to be careful. The most interesting thing about cannabis and this industry is that you have to follow the recommendations and follow the rules. So before you do anything, you have to understand where it’s legalized and where it’s allowed, yes. And how to avoid getting blocked. So you have to know how to do it correctly to get the results because you can via lots of links, but if you’ll be doing it incorrectly and not following the rules, definitely is not going to be possible to get good results. And I think that’s not only a steal, but regarding any marketing tool, which we’ll be using. So we soon will also hopefully, we’ll be shooting some short videos for SEO. In English right now we have it in Russian, where we have also conferences, and we share knowledge of how to optimize websites. And we have a lot of speakers that now our next step is going to be in English having those kinds of interviews on videos. So hopefully federal, and this will be also useful.

Lisa Buffo  23:33

That’s awesome. And you had mentioned that, uh, there so there’s some free tips online in your site, if you would also mentioned the compliance aspect and how there are certain things in cannabis that you know, you need to do to make sure you’re staying compliant. Can you speak to what those are from an SEO perspective?

Dmytro Syvak  23:55

Sorry, I didn’t understand your question. Can you have a phrase?

Lisa Buffo  23:58

So how, what are some tips that I guess what makes cannabis different from SEO in within this context of SEO from other industries?

Dmytro Syvak  24:10

Well, as I said, the main is to avoid any breaking rules, yes, getting into the blocks place, because not everywhere is allowed. And, for example, in Instagram, Facebook is much more easier to get blocked in this industry than getting blocked with a website. So you just need to follow the rules and know every place where you go and when your products if it’s allowed. And it’s always possible to kind of find all this information on the internet. But main question is, if it’s allowed course, it depends what kind of website you will have, for example, if it’s going to be informational, definitely is going to be allowed in most countries. Yes, there has to be likewise it’s just information mentioned Yes. But selling products in the country why it’s not legalized, and it’s gonna be really difficult. Of course some people go wrong.

Lisa Buffo  25:09

And so are you saying that if your Instagram account were to get shut down, it would impact your SEO?

Dmytro Syvak  25:17

If your Instagram will get locked? Well, definitely you hates a little bit your, your website because you’re losing? AUDIENCE Yes. Because of course, when somebody goes to your Instagram page or Facebook page, they will and you left your website link them, they will move to your website. So definitely you’ll be losing audience. Especially if the most if you invest most time in Instagram, yeah. So you have your website where you just have your products, but you’re not optimizing your website. It’s just there with your products or information. But the audience is coming specifically from other sources, then of course, a will effect.

Lisa Buffo  26:01

And, what are some of the top tools that you use for SEO? I know some folks use things like sem rush and Moz. Yoast on WordPress, we use Yoast like are there any top tools that you recommend?

Dmytro Syvak  26:16

Well, that’s a good question. Because every team and I believe every company has specific tools, which they use, yes. Some even just stick to one tool. And that’s enough. From our perspective, it’s not so good to stick to one tools, it’s always good to have a cue and even go from manual checking your website manually. So checking the links, manual Ericom that. But of course tools, we use sem rush, which he used, as we said years ago, a plugin so it’s much more for development. We also use it depends on the platform, which website is built on. Also, we use aircrafts similar to sem rush. But it gives us a better understanding and it has more functions than sem rush, because FX gives us the possibility to check the links better. And gives us better view statistics, all that stuff. However, sometimes it doesn’t give 100% results. The best results, which you’re able to see is from control console from Google Analytics, that’s the 100% results. However, only the owner of somebody will give the access to someone then you can see to it in other ways now. And I’d like to say tell a little funny story. I remember. A guy reached out to me link and then and he said, You know, I would like you to check my websites and tell me a strategy. I said, Okay, no problem, we did the analysis. And I’m sharing with him the screenshots from aircrafts and other tools. And he said he broke my website, I’m gonna go against you, because it’s unfair, you’re not allowed to it. And I was trying to point out that we didn’t break your web. So we’re just using the two, which gives us not 100% result, what gives 50 70% results. So it was a funny situation, however, thank God it ended well. So hopefully, our audience will understand that when somebody is using, so it doesn’t mean that they breaking your website. It’s gathering data, but it’s doesn’t give us 100% results. Also, we use a tool such called Screaming Frog gives us the possibility of checking the website from the technical parts. Also, we have built our own applications, which gives us the possibility to do our job better. For example, Link Checker is one of our application which we have. And it gives us the possibility to monitor the links. So the links or the links, which you have on your websites, we see the situation with them. So we monitor if it’s working well if it’s something went wrong with it, so we know exactly what’s going on with it. So we try to use as much links as circlings as much as possible application as we can. But we don’t overuse them. We also do it manually.

Lisa Buffo  29:24

Yeah, so having multiple tools helps you see the bigger picture and see it from different angles so you can get a more complete picture of what’s going on with the website and where it could use help.

Dmytro Syvak  29:36

Yes, but you have to be careful with them because not all application give 100% results. And you have to understand what you’re searching and understand maybe this issue doesn’t really appear so use a few and if it’s possible, check manually.

Lisa Buffo  29:58

Okay, damn make sense? I like that. Yeah. And Google Analytics and Google Search Console do have a lot of great information, obviously. I mean, it’s from Google itself. But you do have to know how to read it, and make sense of it and understand what information is important and relevant to you to take insights, because there’s so much there. And that’s where it can help to work with somebody who really knows that.

Dmytro Syvak  30:22

Yes, I agree with you 100%. I think in any IoT products, whichever you will use, you have to understand how it works, and understand what information you’re receiving and how you can use it. So everything can be useful, but you have to understand how you can use it.

Lisa Buffo  30:42

Yeah, definitely. Awesome. Okay, so we’ve talked about some tools, we talked about what you can do if you’ve got a small budget, we talked about the differences in cannabis. And I want to hear a little bit more about you specifically, what are some things that you’ve learned in the cannabis marketing space? So getting into this industry and working you know, here isn’t easy. It’s part of why I founded CMA was because marketing is very different to some degree in this industry versus others. So what are some lessons that you’ve learned or stories that you have as a cannabis marketer?

Dmytro Syvak  31:19

Well, I worked in many industries, first of all, not only in the cannabis, and for me, cannabis was a new step, I would say something new. At the beginning, I was not really expecting so difficult industry because I was thinking it’s gonna be much more simple. My background, I have English knowledge in Business Media. And I know a little bit the culture. So I was thinking, Okay, it’s gonna be fine. I know how to locate other cultures, it’s okay, it’s going to be easy. But when you got into it, it was difficult because to have a good business relationship with someone who is in the cannabis, first of all, you have to know cannabis, and you have to love it. So you have something in common. Where insurance of other industries Yes, which we go for, it doesn’t really matter if you know it, or you don’t know it, they’ll tell you, they’ll try to get you in there. But hey, it works. So it’s different, you have to understand it, you have to be fascinated with it interested and just be attracted to it. So I think this was the most biggest shock for me. Still am learning because what I really like about cannabis is that it’s always growing and developing. And that’s why actually we did start working in the cannabis industry. And we created a completely different website, MJ CO, which we are trying to show from our side that we understand the industry and how it works and how to get good results. So just not just a CEO company, but an a cannabis company, which is specialized in this. So definitely, this was the biggest shock. And what I do also, as I said I like is that it’s developing, specifically in the medicine industry. And I hope it will go even more and more further. Because I know people which are ill, and not in Ukraine, because unfortunately in Ukraine, cannabis is not allowed. But outside. For example, in the USA and UK, I do have friends which are using cannabis in order to for the treatments. And I was really fascinated about this, and I support it. So I think this is the most useful thing about cannabis right now, for me specifically.

Lisa Buffo  33:56

Yeah, I was gonna ask, so it’s not allowed in Ukraine. Is there any discussion or any changes you see possibly happening there? What’s what’s going on in Ukraine?

Dmytro Syvak  34:06

Well, hopefully, fingers crossed, it will change and the it will be legalized. But I don’t think it’s going to be in the closest three, four or five years, unfortunately. Because the main problem in Ukraine at the moment when somebody hears about cannabis, they start laughing. They think that it’s illegal. They still stick to the old years where for example, when my family heard and know that I’m working in the cannabis industry, there was a okay, you’re selling drugs? Yeah. And that’s what it’s in the Ukraine in the Soviet Union’s countries, but they think in the cannabis is drugs and it’s bad stuff. And it’s gonna take time in order to change it. So I believe that of course it will change because we are all declining. Thank God it’s developing and new technologies coming in. And we are trying to be updated and follow the top countries in the Madison area. I think it’s not going to be closer than five years. But I can be wrong. Yes. So hopefully we’ll.

Lisa Buffo  35:20

Yeah, I hope so too. We’ll see. We’ll see. Um, so I mean, you’re pretty young yourself. You said 25. So what some advice you could share with younger cannabis marketers, who are looking to get into the space? And when so when exactly did you get started in cannabis? And yeah, what do you wish you kind of knew when you first got in?

Dmytro Syvak  35:46

Well, first of all, as I said, for me, the biggest surprise was how to communicate with the owners in the cannabis, yes, so you have to be a part of the family, I would even say like that, it’s not so easy to get into it. So definitely, this is gonna be the first step. So love it, understand how it works, and have a good relationship with others. So this is gonna be the first plan. I think here, there’s going to be a few points, which I will touch, whenever you will start, I think this will be basics, whenever you start any business, it doesn’t matter, whichever it says, You have to have a good business plan and stick to it. Then again, you have to know if it’s Likewise, in this can be also interesting topic which you need to find out for yourself and understand how you can do your business. Because if it’s not going to be legalized in the place where you are, so maybe to think okay, so I have to maybe do some kind of hung off online. So I can do a be there in one place, and I can sell the products in other place. So this is definitely done, I would say definitely you will need to think about your competitors. So do a little analysis of your competitors. And due to the competitors, you understand that it is worth for you to do to get in the cannabis business in the area where you are or maybe to move out and do the business somewhere else. So this is also very good. I think advice. Well, if you already started and you know how it works, and all that stuff, I think, very important aspect will also play products, which you will have. So what do I mean here is that you have to have good quality products. And I know not a one situation when unfortunately, it always ended not so good. In the end, the beginning, it was great, it was going fine. But then I think one side. And the reason was that at the beginning, they had good products, but then they got the audience, the customers and everything was fine, and then decided to have poor, lower quality products. And I understand that from the business side, because when at the beginning, you need to show yourself from a good side, and then you just got your audience. However, in order to be on the top place, you always have to be competitive and have good product. So I would say this is a very important point. And then when everything is going fine, you have to think of how you can develop a little bit and improve the situation which you are on. And think about marketing. So as we talked already about it, find the most useful for yourself, marketing to which you can use, if that’s going to be SEO optimization, if that’s going to be Instagram, if that’s going to be Facebook, LinkedIn, then I know also been used for. For some people, it’s quite good to also Weedmaps maps. So there’s a lot of marketing tools which you can use for yourself in order to show yourself Yes, but you just have to be active, visit different conferences. So just show yourself as much as possible.

Lisa Buffo  39:11

Yeah, and I want to touch on that effective marketing strategies as well. But before we do I, your point about having good products is the key. And I think so many people think you marketing and advertising can be the solution. But that’s only if your products are solid at their core. And if you’ve got great products and marketing and advertising can sort of take you to that next level but they can’t. What’s the phrase like put lipstick on a pig like you can’t have great marketing and advertising and not great products and expect that the marketing and advertising is going to carry its weight because at the end of the day, if that customer is not having a good experience with your product, if they came in and bought then your marketing and advertising worked, but they’re not going to come back if they didn’t get that desired. effecter what they were, you know promised or what they thought they were going to get. So that is totally at the core of all of this marketing and advertising is just kind of the the next step, if you will, as far as growing that reach but, but I’m really glad you shared that story, because I’ve seen that happen not infrequently. And it’s a mistake, it’s a mistake, you’ve got to stay competitive.

Dmytro Syvak  40:24

Yeah, it’s not only in the cannabis, I would say is in all businesses. And unfortunately, I had a friend, which had a coffee shop. And at the beginning, he was also really good going. But then he just decided to change the coffee. And it was poor quality, and he lost the competitor, lost the customers. But if it goes specifically to the cannabis, it depends on your goal, which you want. So for example, you may go fix, I’m talking right now about SEO marketing. So you have products, but you don’t really care about the products, your main goal is to get customers to your website, so just improve the traffic, and you can earn from it. So it depends, actually, what’s your goal? Of course, if it’s selling products, and of course, you have to have good quality products, always not only for one time.

Lisa Buffo  41:17

Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, well, I want to talk about back to marketing strategies. What are some other marketing strategies that you see brands utilizing that might be complementary to SEO or kind of work with it?

Dmytro Syvak  41:32

Oh, well, me in SEO is just well, SEO is the best outside, not the Well, the most one of the useful tools which you can use for marketing. Because in everyday, everyone has a smartphone. And everybody, let’s say not everybody will have access to Facebook or Instagram, there are still people which don’t use those applications, yes, platforms. However, visiting a website, a lot of people will visit a website, definitely. So definitely, that’s why SEO is one of the best tools. However, as we touch other aspects, as I already said, Instagram, Facebook, these are one of the tools, which has been using and in the future, I’m 100% sure there will appear new marketing tools, which you can use. But again, you just need to follow the rules. If we go a little bit wider. In every industry, there are specific platforms where you can publish your products, publish your own articles publish information about yourself. So you just need to sit down and search for specifically in your industry. Other ones is going to conferences. So for example, if you have a big company, I think it’s going to be really useful for you to visit some conferences, share your products, and try to spread as much as possible about yourself. So that’s one of the best ones. If it’s going to be in a city in a small city, then I think it’s going to be not so hard for you to be the top. If you do it correctly, and you have high quality products, of course, you’re going to be the top in your small city on the village. And it’s going to be much more easier. So in that I wouldn’t really think that it’s going to be useful for them to have any digital marketing yet. It’s just gonna be enough. Some paper somewhere, something like that, or radio, or just people will tell you someone else. So be more communicative with others.

Lisa Buffo  43:50

So sorry, go ahead. No, no, no, no, sir. Yeah. So So you want to do things that are complementary, and reach them at different channels, so that you can direct folks to your site and put your messaging out in different ways?

Dmytro Syvak  44:07

Yes, that’s the structure. And I think that’s one of the best ways because, well, not everything only in digital is also life. Yes. So I do recommend also using as much as possible, maybe connections.

Lisa Buffo  44:22

Yeah, definitely. Okay, so last question. Deema. Where do you see the industry going in the next year or five years? And you can use that however you want, whether it’s from SEO, the US the Ukraine, however, where do you see the future?

Dmytro Syvak  44:42

Well, I always try to think positive to the things which I’m involved. Because if I get something I see future in it, so definitely in the cannabis at the moment I do see the future. Hopefully it will be growing as fast As it has been already and even faster, but the main question here remains is where is it going to be localized? And how fast is going to be localized in other places? So, for example, in the USA is not everywhere allowed in Europe is not everywhere allowed. So this is the main question how fast it can be allowed in other places? And hopefully it will be example, in Ukraine. Yes, it’s not allowed yet, but hopefully it will be. My, why I came into the cannabis has already said this, because I see the future specifically in the medicine because I believe we’ve not found all the positive and useful things in the cannabis, which can help people or not only people also animals, yes, maybe even the nature, which we can use and use cannabis and improve the situation which we have right now. So I hope specifically in this area, definitely is going to be used in the negative also aspects. Unfortunately, everything is used in negative but we are more interested in the positive. So yeah, I hopefully it’s not hopefully I’m 100% sure is going to be growing, but it will just depend on how fast.

Lisa Buffo  46:22

Yeah, I hear that. And I love the point about animals too. I think they sometimes get left out of the conversation, but they haven’t some of them have endocannabinoid systems to so.

Dmytro Syvak  46:32

Yes, that’s true. I was really surprised. I always try to search for new, just sit down into it and just search for some new places where cannabis is used. And first I was a little bit sharks I saw in water for me, it was always a bit shots a long time ago. Then it was in coffee in tea, food for children, food for dogs for horses. So for me, it was like, wow, it’s growing. It’s going really fast. And in many places where you can use.

Lisa Buffo  47:08

Yeah, definitely. Well, is there anything you feel like you didn’t get to say that you want to say before we wrap up, or we didn’t mention?

Dmytro Syvak  47:17

I think we touched all the main aspects? Yes. If somebody will have any questions regarding SEO, I think they can feel free to reach out to us to our website or straight to me link and then I’ll be more than happy to give any advice. Check the website, because I’m sure there’s going to be questions which I didn’t answer. So I think that’s gonna be the best option.

Lisa Buffo  47:45

And what’s your website?

Dmytro Syvak  47:47

Yeah. MJ SEO agency?

Lisa Buffo  47:50

MJ SEO.Agency?

Dmytro Syvak  47:52

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Lisa Buffo  47:53

Awesome. And where can they find you on LinkedIn? what’s your what’s your full name on LinkedIn.

Dmytro Syvak  47:58

And my full name is Metro sevaks. So you’ll be able to find me on LinkedIn, then I think if you just write Metro, I’m already straightaway showing because I’ve been trying to be active. Hopefully some of our audience will be also be for me in for the Groups link and then on leaf fly also require awesome data. So I’m trying to use as much places as possible to share our knowledge and help others.

Lisa Buffo  48:29

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here today and taking the time to share your information we really appreciate it.

Dmytro Syvak  48:36

It’s my pleasure. It was nice to meet you. And hopefully it was useful for everyone. And maybe we were able to schedule another call. And so maybe questions which audience we’ll have.

Lisa Buffo  48:49

Awesome. Sounds good. Thank you to Dmytro.

Dmytro Syvak  48:53

Thank you. Bye.

Lisa Buffo  48:54

Thank you for joining us for another episode of Party like a marketer. Follow us on Instagram at party like a marketer and on our website, the cannabis Marketing Association calm and be sure to join us in person this June 7 through ninth for the annual cannabis marketing summit happening in Denver, Colorado. Check out our website for more details and membership information. We’ll see you next time.

Meet Your Host

LISA BUFFO, Founder and CEO of Cannabis Marketing Association

Lisa Buffo is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019 and named “The Marketing Guru” by Women & Weed magazine and is a featured speaker and media source in publications like Forbes, The Guardian, and VICE. You can find her on Instagram @libuff and Twitter @libuff21.

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