The cannabis extraction business nets a more refined and potent product, so extractors need a branding and marketing strategy with an influence to match.
Cannabis marketing can amplify your messaging and attract a loyal consumer base. A strong cannabis brand identity lets cannabis consumers know you are a trusted source that informs and entertains with well-researched content.
Cannabis marketing isn’t as cut and dry as peddling more traditional products. This isn’t snack cakes or alcohol.
The complicated legal history of marijuana and other cannabis products brings a level of uncertainty to anyone looking to break into the marketplace and smoke the competition.
To find success, you need to eschew the well-traveled avenues of the commercial space and blaze your own path.
Why You Need a Cannabis Marketing Plan
With more and more states loosening their legal stranglehold on the plant, the general growth of the cannabis industry over the last decade has been phenomenal. But along with the potential for success, competition is also on a meteoric rise.
It’s a veritable Gold Rush out there, with the U.S. cannabis market expected to reach $41.5 billion by 2025.
The marijuana market is only going to become more crowded in the coming years. So no matter how confident you are in your process and product, you need to differentiate yourself with unique messaging and strategic branding.
The Dos and Don’ts of Cannabis Marketing
This industry is in a constant state of flux, so having a plan of attack is crucial. Here are some marijuana dos and don’ts that should provide some insight into cannabis marketing:
Do: Build a Solid Foundation
First things first, assess your website.
Make sure the design reflects your brand’s image and the customers you serve. You need to speak directly to your customers’ needs and wants in a way that comes across as genuine, personable, and user-friendly.
Build your site so it’s easily accessible across all devices and optimized for search engines. People need to find your site when searching for terms related to cannabis products, and when they find it, you need to hold onto their attention for as long as possible.
Don’t: Overlook Branding
Let’s not forget that a mere ten years ago, selling buds or the equipment needed to grow marijuana was essentially a black market enterprise.
Today, any growers, cultivators, or extractors attempting to reach consumers with cannabis products need to curate their public-facing image thoughtfully.
Work with an established marketing company so that you’re perceived as what you are: a legitimate business.
Do: Build a Social Media Presence
You can’t appeal to potential customers unless you hang out in the same space as them.
A robust social media presence gives you a platform to reach a broad audience and educate them about your products.
But with federal regulations still decidedly anti-cannabis, you should stick to organic reach as opposed to paid ads. This applies to all major platforms which have constantly evolving user policies which could see your account removed or shadowbanned without warning. This is best accomplished on these particular platforms:
- Instagram: A juicy bud is truly a sight to behold, so it makes sense that an image-centered platform can work wonders. Boost awareness and build a targeted, high-value audience with a diligently curated account
- Twitter: CEOs, influencers, journalists: they are all on Twitter and are all perfect candidates to help you amplify your message.
- Facebook: Build a community of like-minded individuals while promoting your customer service and keeping clients updated on the latest industry news.
Don’t: Be Cheesy
If there’s one thing cannabis consumers hate in this day and age, it’s cringeworthy campaigns that are transparent in all the wrong ways.
Your cannabis customer base is highly educated about these products and typically knows how to spot a company selling them a bill of goods. So skip heavy-handed cliches that perpetuate the stoner stigma.
Do: Get Creative
Advertising cannabis products and cultivating an audience these days isn’t easy, especially with all the brands vying for attention.
Get creative with your marketing by sharing your brand’s story. You can accomplish this by blogging consistently, using video, and even podcasting.
Don’t: Insult Consumers
This is bad practice in any advertising sector, but especially in the cannabis industry.
Never insult cannabis consumers or the counterculture. Both are driving forces behind sweeping legalization.
Cannabis consumers are serious customers, spending lots of money on flower, extracts, edibles, tinctures, and every other product on the marijuana market.
Earn the loyalty of customers by taking them seriously.
Do: Appeal to All Customers
While some marketers must focus on specific age groups to be successful, cannabis marketers need to appeal to various consumer personalities.
Cannabis consumption runs the gamut, from the young person looking to open the doors to perception to the older customers seeking relief from physical discomfort.
It’s challenging to build a strategy that reaches every demographic, but once you see the commonalities between disparate consumers, it becomes easier to hit the right messaging.
Don’t: Misrepresent the Facts
Part of successfully marketing cannabis is becoming a trusted resource for an audience of consumers that are frequently seeking answers.
It’s your job to provide customers with well-researched, accurate information and never cite pseudoscience or exaggerate the potential benefits of cannabis.
Cannabis boasts a wealth of positive attributes backed up by real science—so there’s plenty of information out there that can help you be honest, accurate, and engaging.
Do: Stay Updated on Regulations
Advertising marijuana products is vital to building your brand, but state and federal regulations make it exceedingly difficult to reach consumers via traditional means.
Take the time to learn state-by-state cannabis advertising regulations to ensure everything is above board and you’re upholding all local laws.
Key Cannabis Marketing Takeaways
Marijuana marketing may be a hazy proposition for cannabis growers and cultivators, but it’s a highly navigable endeavor when you take a deliberate approach.
Focus mainly on publishing content that’s informative, useful, and entertaining. Engage with consumers directly, touting the benefits of your cannabis product and the full extent of your services.