It can be a challenge to market your cannabis brand with all the state and federal rules along with highly restrictive guidelines for promoting on social media that restrict almost everything but the mention of brands. Also, cannabis brands have the additional problem of proving their legitimacy to naysayers on a constant basis along with other critics of this industry. The cannabis industry needs to be innovative in its marketing approaches to be able to responsibly market the brand to potential customers.
Here is a list of five ways to help you creatively market your cannabis brand while overcoming challenges of marketing cannabis.
- Creating Compelling and Accurate Content for Constant Engagement and Education
Cannabis is a growing industry but one of the biggest downsides is the presence of a lot of content opposing cannabis even though there is no truth in such content. Therefore, it is the responsibility of professional cannabis brands to educate the larger public about cannabis in addition to focusing on marketing their brands. This marketing and content produced by you should be ready to engage with the larger public instead of remaining passive about information.
Engaging the people creatively can be done in a number of ways including:
- Sharing your own views to emerging research and news on your own social media handles
- A Facebook video tour of areas within the provisioning center
- Sharing photos of friendly budtenders along with a short biography
- Posting simple blogs on topics you’re passionate about
- Working on your cannabis site’s SEO.
These are the things that tell people that you are ready to engage with them, work with them and become a part of their lifestyle and this is the attitude that can attract attention to your brand. The marketing and content you post is a tool to grab the attention of people who might not be sold on what you do. It’s a way of showing that you run a legitimate business by projecting an educational and engaging image through your marketing. It will give confidence to the people that there is nothing nefarious about your cannabis brand and what you bring to the community.
- Responsible Use of Social Media
All cannabis brands understand the pain of marketing their brands on various social media websites while staying within the strict regulations of these websites. Even though most of the brands have the best of intentions, it’s not easy to stay within the strict advertising guidelines issued by these platforms. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep your accounts alive. This is where you need to bring your creative A game.
Be thorough and use language that does not trigger the algorithms used on the platform. For example, the rules for cannabis brands on Instagram have been changed but it comes with a restriction that the brands do not include any location deals of retrieving products. If your brand is continuously shut down on these social media platforms, it does not look good and it’s your responsibility to make sure that you always abide by the guidelines and rules issued by the platforms you want to use.
- Non-Traditional Advertising Methods
There are a number of restrictions on cannabis brands for advertising. For instance, cannabis brands are not free to use all kinds of content and their ads can’t be displayed at all places which means the brands need to use non-traditional methods of advertising for engaging customers. It’s true that the non-traditional advertising methods will require a bit more work as compared to buying ad space but the extra work will be worth it.
The key is to use your brand to get the word out there. Advertising, hosting and creating educational events along with speaker panels important to the cannabis community is one of the ways. You should go out and meet medical doctors, and talk to them about the brand instead of just slipping a note under the door containing information about your dispensary. Try to find opportunities to go on mainstream radio shows or cannabis podcasts for discussing your products and services. You should try to take every opportunity that comes your way to participate in health and wellness fairs, in trade shows as well as in other venues where you can get in front of potential clients.
- Becoming the Cannabis Expert
One of the ways to get your brand out there is to become a cannabis authority in the local community. It’s a great way to grow your brand and can help you become a thought leader in the community by becoming a go-to on everything related to cannabis for the media as well as other important stakeholders. You should ensure making contacts with some of the local legislators as well as the media in order to become the local authority and expert on cannabis as well as to educate about the impact of this wonderful herb on communities.
When the name of your dispensary and your name will keep showing up as an expert continuously, it will drive a lot of traffic to your store and the products on offer. People will begin to trust your knowledge and on products which will give you a leg up over your competitors.
- Dealing with the Snafu
No matter how careful you are with your marketing strategy, mistakes happen. Every brand has to deal with the odd snafu that gets them in the marketing hot water. The way your brand deals with such a situation will decide whether you gain customers or lose them.
This is a situation where will you need to be creative with your marketing. In case you make a mistake with your content or with your marketing approach or something more serious, it’s best to be genuine and to own up your faults. Playing the blame game is easy. You might want to pretend that no such issue is happening but it’s more likely to turn people off the brand.
In case of a marketing slipup, the best way ahead is to find the source of mistakes and learn from them. If someone has been directly affected through your mistakes, you need to alert your customers. You should make sure that your customers know about the corrective measures adopted by you to prevent recurring of those issues.
It may sound simple but the sad truth is that a lot of cannabis brands simply refuse to own up to their mistakes, to fix their mistakes and to learn from their mistakes. This makes the fallout much worse as compared to just acknowledging the issue as it makes their customers wary of their products and gives more ammunition to legislators who are eager to shutdown cannabis retailers. This method has stood the test of time and it will ensure that your customers stay loyal to you as they are aware of the integrity of your brand.