Take advantage of 5 key marketing strategies to grow your cannabis brand. Whether you are a producer, processor, distributor, or retailer of cannabis products or considering entering one of the fastest-growing profitable businesses in Canada, be prepared to navigate through the challenges and barriers to marketing your brand and your products. Traditional marketing strategies won’t be the silver bullet to rapid success but a strong brand and integrated marketing strategy can be the best marketing investment you can make.
With the industry still in its infancy (3-years since legalization) and government regulations very staunch, a cannabis business must be strategic when it comes to selling its products and services. Building your brand and demand for your products and services using online platforms can be limiting and challenging. Even though it’s legal in Canada, giants like Google and Facebook whose home base is in the U.S. have strict policies against cannabis promotion. And Google is going even further with their newly introduced three-strike policy to address repeat ad violators, who’ve skirted the system and found other ways around their algorithms and cop bots.
Starting September 2021, Google will issue a warning and three strikes, followed by the suspension of your business account. So where does this leave cannabis brands looking to connect with their target audience and can not rely on Google AdWords or social media boosting strategies?
5 Key Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Cannabis Brand
As a cannabis brand looking to reach your buyer consider these five key marketing strategies to successfully build your brand and grow your business:
Branding is one of the 5 key strategies to grow your cannabis business. Having someone from Fiverr do a logo is not branding. A meaningful unique value proposition, professional graphics, consistent messaging, integrated look and feel, engaging, well-designed website, follow-up communications that are personalized, and relevant and stellar persuasion sequences, builds an impenetrable brand that gives you the competitive edge. A strong brand has loyal, less price-sensitive buyers, stronger repeat sales and a higher resale value when/if you decide to sell your business.
Content Creation for the Cannabis Industry
Building content sounds like an easy endeavor but in the cannabis industry, everyone is sharing similar content with information overload. Using content as a key strategy to grow your cannabis brand starts with creating content that is specific to a target segment that aligns with their pain points and provides needed solutions. When you invest in understanding your buyer and are strategically creating content to support SEO, webinars, demand and lead generation you are on the fast track to growing your business and reputation. There are great content-rich cannabis sites you can find with visitor demographics that are bound to reach your ideal segment whether you are DTC (direct to consumer) or B2B (business to business). The following are the top 5 cannabis content-driven websites to consider partnering with:
These and other sites like them provide opportunities for guest blogging, promoting content and programmatic advertising. If you are in the market with regular content that is viewed as useful and meaningful, this elevates your credibility in the marketplace.
Don’t discount the value to have your brand re-appear with a consistent message in front of many eyeballs, and to leverage the power of marketing technology to track and improve performance. With any tactic, you should measure its effectiveness to determine if it’s successful and worth repeating.
Database Marketing to Fill Your Sales Funnel
Do you have a database of prospects and clients and are you utilizing it strategically? If you’ve been collecting customer and prospect data and you are doing it in compliance with CASL (more regulations set out by the government) consider this email list one of your most valuable assets because it’s yours. Consider the benefit of a regularly scheduled communication, personalized to reach your contacts’ inbox. Look to build your base from website visitors through newsletter subscription, online chats, tradeshows and webinars. With well-crafted content and a captive audience to send timely communications, you are on your way to building an effective persuasion sequence to fill and refill your sales funnel.
Webinars to Build Your Reputation and Sales
If you are creating worthwhile content that is educating your audience, you should consider turning that content into a webinar or even a series of webinars. You can look to other industry partners that support the same buyer’s journey to co-brand a webinar together. A webinar is a smart strategy to connect with your target audience and capture the buyer’s intent. These become warm leads for direct follow-up and can be added to an email persuasion sequence. Webinars also add to your brand’s credibility.
Cannabis Industry Tradeshows
Since the early days of cannabis legalization tradeshows were where it was at. The roster of shows from MJBIZ in Las Vegas to the LIFT conference in Vancouver and over to Europe, the number of shows was off the charts. Three years later, and a global pandemic mixed in changed the way cannabis executives viewed these events. It no longer makes sense to spend 50% of your marketing budget on sponsoring cannabis conferences. Choose to keep tradeshows as part of your integrated marketing mix, but balance it with your overall budget. Consider reducing it to less than a third of your overall budget and look for other opportunities such as speaking engagements solo or as part of a panel. Conferences are a good way to showcase the brand and your expertise on a given topic. Don’t look to tradeshows as your main strategy to fill the sales funnel as often the leads you gather at these events don’t deliver the ROI you’re looking for.
At 360 Integral Marketing, we look at business growth holistically. If you are looking for key marketing strategies to grow your cannabis brand, we take a strategic approach to filling your sales funnel. We conduct a brand review, competitive opportunity analysis, create a defined marketing strategy and a persuasion sequence growth action plan. Connect with us to find out how we can help your cannabis business grow in these competitive times.