If you're the tiniest bit involved in the cannabis industry, you already know that competition is fierce. You need to stand out among the other cannabis businesses in your community or specialty and do it fast.
Ready for some good news?
Content marketing is an exceptionally effective and budget-friendly way to build your name and grow your business. That's because it provides the opportunity for your cannabis business to market directly to your target audience. The regulations of social media platforms make it risky to try and promote your brand on websites like Instagram and TikTok. You may already have nightmares of shadow bans, and Google continues banning cannabis ads.
So what can you do?
Content marketing allows you to reach your audience and build your SEO without running afoul of Google’s rules or Instagram's algorithms.
How is Content Marketing Different than Advertising?
Content marketing is a process for sharing information about your products with your target audience—without selling to them. Instead, the goal is to help them navigate your sales funnel until they convert into customers.
Content marketing is a smart way to market your business. A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found that 85% of respondents preferred to learn about a company through content, not advertising. Take that Google Ads!
The majority of a good content strategy focuses on educational or entertaining content. Yes, you’ll have some promotional posts (think 15%), but the purpose of content marketing is to guide, not sell.
Why Is Content Marketing So Important for Cannabis Businesses?
Content marketing can be a powerful tool to help you grow your business. When done right, it can help you attract customers, increase brand awareness and website traffic, and inspire customer loyalty.
Creating content like blog posts, newsletters, and case studies about interesting topics in an educational and entertaining way will help you build close relationships with your customers that pay off in the long run.
The education of prospects is another important reason for content marketing. With the legalization of cannabis growing, people who never considered taking cannabis now find themselves intrigued. It’s up to each of us in this space to do our part to destigmatize cannabis use. Spreading awareness of the benefits of plant medicine is also important.
Top 10 Reasons You’ll Love Content Marketing
Wondering if creating a content strategy is worth the time and effort? Once you get started, you’ll realize that it pays off in many ways. When you implement a content marketing plan for your cannabis business, you take control of your company’s future.
1. Get your website traffic blazing
Your website is the center of your Universe. All other content should orbit around it, guiding prospects to your home planet. It’s the only sales channel that is 100% yours, so make the most of it with quality content that keeps the reader on your site, so they’re more likely to convert.
2. Bypass legal restrictions that limit your growth
The most popular channels for promoting your business, like social media and Google Ads, aren’t an option for your cannabusiness. Content marketing is the perfect way to get your messaging to your target audience.
3. Spend less on advertising
Save your budget for the real world, not advertising. Content marketing can be a cost-effective way to market your business without spending too much money on traditional advertising. You don't have to pay for expensive ads or hire a team of marketing consultants to help you create content; just get started with what you already have in place or reach out to a copywriter like myself.
4. Become a big shot in the cannabis industry
Word of mouth is everything in the cannabis field. A large number of opportunities are based on who you know. Content marketing can help you establish a strong presence in the industry that leads to opportunities for growth.
5. Achieve SEO glory
Quality content should include some SEO keywords and phrases that help improve your search engine ranking. If you don’t want to spend money on SEO specialists and PR firms, writing engaging content will increase the likelihood that people will find your website in search results—with very little extra money required!
6. Stop wasting time on cold leads
When you are in tune with your customer’s sales journey, you increase your chance of converting them into customers. Even if they don’t buy at one stage, they become stronger leads as they go through your sales funnel because your content strategy creates a sense of trust and familiarity.
7. Increase your revenue
Quality content increases your conversion rate, ultimately resulting in increased revenue for your business. When you invest in content marketing, you can be confident that you will see an ROI that you didn't think was possible.
8. Educate potential customers
When you have content available for your audience that destigmatizes cannabis use and leaves them hopeful that cannabis will positively impact their lives, they are more likely to consider your business as the ideal solution.
9. Build your tribe of loyal fans
Cannabis consumers are looking for a sense of community and belonging. There is no better way to provide that for them than to create engaging content that you regularly share. Newsletters with product announcements or discounts are an excellent way to keep your customers engaged and excited about your company.
10. Become a Marketing Ninja
After you create your content strategy, you can rest easy knowing exactly what’s coming and what it requires next. No more surprises! And, when you’re ready to scale up, you’ll know exactly what to do.
How to Create Your Cannabis Company’s Content Strategy in 8 Steps
Creating content that resonates with your target audience can be challenging. Still, there are certain strategies you can use to get started with content marketing. From understanding your audience’s needs and interests to creating engaging content that stands out from the competition, these steps will help you create a successful cannabis content marketing strategy.
1. Identity your value proposition
Figure out who you are and what you have to offer. What is your Mission? What is your (personal or brand) vision for the world? What do you or your organization know more about than other people, are better at than others, and/or that people might want to learn from you about? The answers to these questions will help you discover your identity and unique selling proposition if you don't already have one.
2. Determine your audience and their needs
Figure out your Buyer Persona's aspirational identity and underlying emotional needs (with research and by talking to actual people). Doing some keyword and hashtag research is a good idea, too. Dive deep into who your target audience is — this helps you create a better strategy and content.
3. Connect your goals to those of your audience
Figure out how you can help the people in your audience. What product or service do you offer that actually solves your audience’s needs? What are their pain points? What kinds of questions led them to your website? Answer The Public is amazing for discovering these questions.
4. Make it measurable
Connect a few KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to your goals. Unless you have a good size marketing team, keep track of no more than three main KPIs at a time. How many people will you reach? How many people will read your stories? If you’re selling something, how many customers will convert in a given period of time?
Make sure the numbers are as concrete as possible, not too high, but a reasonable challenge. And make sure you keep track of your results so you can change your plan whenever necessary.
5. Build your messaging
Build the messaging that conveys your understanding of what your audience needs, how you can help them, and how it will benefit them. A simple content flow could have three pieces that are linked together by a goal, leading up to a (paid) offer. For example, a blog post, lead magnet, and welcome email.
6. Select the right channels
You already know that you won't be advertising on Instagram or Facebook, but where CAN you draw attention to your cannabis company? Some industry-specific suggestions are podcasts (yes!), SMS messages, and videos. Do your research, talk to people, and test the response you get on various channels.
7. Gather feedback
Consistently measure and track feedback from your audience and customers on your messaging. Specifically, look at data that connects to the KPIs you listed in step four. Will you be tracking views, shares, or clicks? What about tracking website pageviews and submitted contact forms? Choose the factors that are helpful to you to chart success.
Don’t forget also to gather qualitative feedback: talk to people. Ask them how they’re experiencing your content. Is it helpful? Is it relevant? What could you do to improve it?"
8. Improve your storytelling and strategy
Continuously improve your content marketing strategy based on feedback and data from step five. Always remember to start with the problem that brings visitors to your site or one of your core services and you'll be creating a remarkable customer experience for your customers.
If You Struggle To Create Your Content and Strategy, Reach Out!
If trying to create a content strategy and filling it with goodies for your cannabis business makes you cross-eyed, reach out for a free consultation.
As a copywriter and content creator with project management experience and a dedication to a flawless customer experience, Dunlavey Solutions will create exciting content for an impressive ROI.