Blogging & Writing
One of my favorite ways to tap into my creativity and bring value to my clients is through writing. Whether it is crafting a newsletter geared towards winning over new podcast listeners, blogging for the cannabis industry for a marketing consulting agency, or painting a high-level view of how a product can be marketed to an ideal customer, I thoroughly feel in my element. Empowering businesses to connect and build communities with their desired audience is how I measure my professional success. Let me help you tell your brand's story!
Cannabis Marketing: How to Win Customers
January 11, 2022
With its ever-changing landscape, I feel I learn something new about the cannabis industry every single day. It’s like one of those PSAs you used to see on TV in the 1980s and 1990s - “The more you know”. As someone who not only advocates for a better attitude towards cannabis, but who is a member of the cannabis industry’s target market, even I get confused or mixed messages at times. So how do you, as a cannabis company, know how to market to your target audience? How can you leverage marketing to win customers time and time again?
Cannabis Marketing Strategies
In one of our previous blogs we talked about how social media marketing in the cannabis industry can be quite tricky. Because it is federally illegal, most social media platforms watch cannabis companies like a hawk; ensuring that you don’t slip up even a little bit. So how do you circumvent those regulations and attract new customers?
Education is a top priority for any cannabis company because it presents an opportunity to help break the stigma around cannabis as well as helps new potential customers understand the benefits that cannabis can provide. By educating your consumers, you are providing thought leadership on a subject that you are already an expert in. It’s a win-win. “Content can also be created for longtime cannabis enthusiasts as well. Talk about terpenes, lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG, the differences between isolate and a full-spectrum product, and share recent scientific developments or discoveries” (Wise, 2021).
Other ways you can show up to your target audience is by becoming a sponsor for a cannabis-culture podcast, partnering with complementary brands to expand your reach or working with other vendors to host a community event in your local area. Digital marketing is wonderful when you are able to do so, but with the hindrance of social media, cannabis companies have to get creative to show up in front of their target audiences and cut through the clutter in other ways.
Cannabis Loyalty Programs
Most dispensaries love utilizing loyalty programs to incentivize their existing customers to return again and again or to spend higher amounts of money at once. Tapping into your business’s CRM to track your loyalty program can yield a plethora of information regarding your target audience’s spending habits, cannabis favorites, product curiosity, demographics, etc. Through loyalty programs, you have a direct link to your customers to keep them following through your marketing funnel through text messaging programs, email newsletters and promotional emails. Having that direct link that isn’t relying on social media to market your business is crucial to the success of your cannabis company.
Cannabis Influencer Marketing
One of the oldest ways to market, and one of the most effective ways to market, has been and probably always will be, word-of-mouth marketing. Leveraging influencers in your local area to help spread the word about your cannabis company can help you stand apart from your competitors. “Most people find the majority of information through Google searches, cannabis websites, and online video platforms like YouTube. But friends remain the biggest marijuana resource, as 43% of people rely on social circles to keep them informed” (Bures, 2020). Aligning your business with an influencer in your local community or for your industry can yield a wider net of marketing opportunities for your business.
It isn’t always going to be this difficult to market your cannabis business, but until our country changes the law, the cannabis industry has a need to cut through the clutter on a more local level than some other industries. It’s a challenge due to the social media regulations, but it isn’t impossible. Playing to some key strengths such as local community groups, influencers, educational events or marketing and aligning with complementary brands can help build on getting you in front of your target audience. I don’t know about you, but I would love to attend an educational workshop from a cannabis company that I’ve never even heard of. I’d love to expand on that “the more you know” sentiment I keep gaining every day.
Bures, Brendan. Consumers require better education on cannabis 101 from marijuana industry according to survey. Chicago Tribune. 2020, June 17. https://www.chicagotribune.com/marijuana/sns-tft-consumer-cannabis-education-study-20200617-uorr6ia6s5avbhe274h6vdqu7a-story.html.
Wise, Harrison. How to Educate Cannabis Consumers Through Marketing. RollingStone. 2021, March 10. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture-council/articles/educate-cannabis-consumers-marketing-1137693/.
This blog is part of a marketing funnel aimed at cannabis dispensaries to attract leads for Weese Cannabis Consulting. It was posted and shared on LinkedIn and Leafwire, and has attracted leads from across the United States and Canada.
This electric vehicle campaign that included a blog, several social media posts and an email newsletter that was conducted over three weeks resulted in an increase of 20% of leads and two sales.
Do you know when to delegate and outsource?
I always thought I would just take on the world and never get tired of it. As a new business owner, I have been enthralled and intrigued by all the various aspects to running a business.
But, after a few months of running on the giant hamster wheel, the exhaustion and moodiness settled in. As often as I think I can be superwoman, reality always is sure to follow soon after.
This time around though, I knew I needed help.
My empowerment mentor/business coach taught us to delegate when we need it. It’s something that seems foreign to me most of the time, but I would have to make it a priority so I wouldn’t feel burnt out.
I was going to have to give myself some tough love and recognize that it’s okay to ask for help, even if that means outsourcing some of those not-so-fun tasks. It’s also okay to not want to do the tasks that are not in my wheelhouse, such as filing taxes for example.
I know that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has certain skills and jobs that they LOVE doing.
For me, I love love love marketing. I find it fascinating, exciting, and it always presents me with new challenges to overcome. One of my favorite things about marketing is the direct ability it has to create a confidence boost to my clients, the increased financial stability it can provide to my clients and myself, and the impacts those effects can have on local communities - when you make money, you spend money.
For small business owners interested in outsourcing their marketing, boutique marketing agencies aren’t always the first on their list. Boutique marketing agencies are lesser known and usually a small team (or in my case, a team of one). But there are some significant benefits to hiring one over a large agency.
As a way to connect top-of-the-funnel leads to my boutique marketing agency's website, I created e-mail newsletters that filtered into my business's blogs. This allowed me to directly speak with qualified leads, establish thought leadership and generate a growing email list that helped me develop more research around my target audiences.