The cannabis industry is, by and large, still in its infancy — with some states approving marijuana for medicinal use within the past decade and recreational usage becoming legal in only the past few years. This means that marketing rules are changing dramatically from year to year, with a lot of grey areas that leave many marketers unsure as to what they should or shouldn’t be doing.
While this makes things challenging for marketers who want to do their jobs effectively (and legally), it also presents an opportunity: Cannabis business owners have the chance to set precedents on how best to approach marketing strategies while taking advantage of new audiences.
Marketing within the cannabis industry means operating in a business sector that is, by and large, still illegal at the federal level. This has made it difficult for the industry to advance as quickly as it would like.
In addition, because marijuana remains mostly illegal on a federal level, marketing strategies are not yet well-defined or regulated. With this in mind, you must be extra careful when developing your marketing strategy in order to make sure you’re following local laws and staying relevant with changing legislation which can directly affect your business such as advertising regulations and federal law.
This guide will give you the dos and don’ts of marketing for the cannabis industry so you can get started right away!
Keep Informed On Cannabis Legislation As The Industry Rapidly Advances
The first thing you should do if you are interested in marketing for the cannabis industry is to stay informed about current legislation.
By doing this, not only will you learn what’s legal and what isn’t at both the state and federal level, but you’ll also be able to keep an eye out on upcoming changes that may limit your ability to reach potential customers.
These changes can be passed either by ballot or by Congress — so it’s important to know how these things come into play with your marketing plan. While it can sometimes be hard to keep track of every new piece of regulation , there are some places where you can regularly check for updates:
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) offers a free monthly newsletter that outlines everything from urgent political issues to new market opportunities .
For those interested in state-level updates, you can check out the following blogs:
Finally, if you’d like to stay informed on federal legislation and policy reform , there are many organizations that track this information. Two of the most reliable sources are Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). While MPP has a regular newsletter sent straight to your inbox, NCIA offers weekly updates via their website .
Stay Informed On The Latest Research/Studies About The Benefits Of Marijuana And Its Effect On Your Business
It’s estimated that nearly 30 million Americans use marijuana regularly — with over 88% of them getting the drug from illegal sellers. This means your potential customers are out there, but you’re missing some of them because they’re buying cannabis from other dealers.
If you want to improve your chances at gaining new customers and keeping your current ones, it’s important to stay on top of the latest research about medical marijuana.
Keeping up with recent studies can help you assess how your business stands with potential patients who are interested in using medicinal marijuana and let you know if any adjustments need to be made in order to get ahead.
This research also helps shed light on how effective various strains of marijuana are for different ailments — which gives doctors a better idea of what strain or combination of strains would work best for their patients. This kind of information is crucial when building an accurate marketing strategy centered on patients’ symptoms and diagnosis since you want your ad copy to attract customers who are more likely to purchase from you.
Find Out What Kind Of Cannabis Products Are Commonly Bought In Your State/Region
The first thing that comes to mind when we think about marketing for the cannabis industry is marijuana . While this is still one of the most popular cannabis products purchased by consumers, it’s important to know if there are any other, less-popular strains or products that would be beneficial for your business. It’s in your best interest to keep track of what kinds of products are being sold in order to ensure you offer a variety of options on your store shelves. Here’s how:
First, check out the latest on the most popular strains in your state/region are — and what their popularity is measured by (e.g., THC concentration, CBD concentration , etc.).
Next, look for the most popular cannabis products in your state/region— and what their popularity is measured by (e.g., number of hits/puffs, grams sold per year , etc.).
Find Out What Your Customers Are Looking For When It Comes To Information About Buying A Product Or Service Like Yours
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, it’s safe to say information has transformed marketing . Now more than ever before consumers want to know everything they can about companies, products and services. And with cannabis legalization will come a higher demand for research-backed information about medical marijuana .
The more you know about your target audience’s expectations of the kind of information they want, the better positioned you are to deliver it in an effective way. If your customer base expects basic details like strain names and dosage recommendations, make sure that this information is provided on your website.
If, on the other hand, they’re used to having third-party studies available at their fingertips (or at least links to them), make sure the same is true for your business or that there’s a clear call-to-action directing customers toward sources where they can find this info from trusted organizations like NORML , the American Bar Association , etc.
It’s important to know what kind of research your customers are used to seeing about products like yours because it can help you adjust your marketing strategy to better reach their needs. And the better your marketing strategy is, the more likely they are to purchase from you instead of someone else.
Understand That Consumers Are Looking For Quality Information And Products On The Internet — Especially When It Comes To Marijuana
According to recent studies conducted by Google and Ipsos on search engine behavior for health concerns , most of the respondents look online for information concerning things like symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options. One in ten consumers even searched specifically for medical marijuana-related topics — which means nearly 100 million people have visited a site about marijuana in the past month.
As medical cannabis gains momentum around the world, millions of people suffering from pain and other symptoms are being directed to websites that offer information about its use as medicine. There are currently a plethora of sites selling marijuana online offering a diverse array of products and strains. Considering so many people are searching for information on buying this product online — it’s crucial you create pages with useful content so visitors can quickly gather the details they’re looking for and move along to purchasing your services or products.
Create An Effective Customer Acquisition Strategy That Tells Customers What You Have To Offer In The Most Clear, Concise And Compelling Way Possible
Consumers search online for information about purchasing medical marijuana for a lot of reasons. For some, it’s out of curiosity or as an act of due diligence before making their first purchase. Others are searching because they’re currently in pain and looking to remedy that with cannabis . But whatever their reason may be, you need to make sure you appeal to your customer base by keeping content on your site easy-to-read, detailed and engaging — even if visitors never end up becoming customers.
Targeting Your Target Audience With The Right Content Is Essential For Providing Them With Accurate Information About Your Product Or Service — And Encouraging Them To Purchase
With consumers hating on information overload, you can stand out by tailoring content for each of your audience segments. This way you enjoy not getting marked as spam or buyers shunning your brand. targeted marketing also shows that you understand what the buyer needs or is interested in. This goes a long way in building their trust and encouraging them to buy. Even better, you can push content that helps them go from a stalker to a buyer without them even knowing it.
Need help with your cannabis marketing? Talk to the cannabidiol writer on how to integrate content creation into your marketing plan today!