As the cannabis and hemp industries continue to take shape, businesses must continuously pivot to remain relevant among competitors. To this end, we see constant reevaluations of marketing processes that foreshadow new cannabis marketing strategies. Within this critical assessment and strategic execution work, you can uncover underutilized marketing strategies for cannabis and hemp businesses.
Looking at the cannabis and hemp businesses creatively will illuminate underutilized methods for traditional marketing and digital marketing. Utilizing unconventional marketing avenues like social media groups and local charities could be the key to unlocking a good deal of future business for your cannabis company.
To help give you a better idea of underutilized marketing strategies in cannabis and hemp, we put together a brief survey of critical avenues to explore. How you decide to utilize these strategies will depend largely on your business model and overall marketing goals.
Online Business Directories
Online business directories offer a great way to get your cannabis company added exposure on the internet. While directories are often free and easy-to-use, marketing departments and business owners are often overlooked.
Cannabis and hemp companies interested in utilizing online business directories for marketing have various options to choose from. For example, there are business directories specific to search engines such as Google and Bing and those directories designed for particular industries like cannabis and hemp.
Getting your name on an online business directly not only gives people another way to find your business, but it also helps your website's SEO performance with added backlinks. Business listings also help legitimize your cannabis company by presenting it among other established names.
Cannabis Business Directories
There are a variety of options of business directories specifically for the cannabis industry. Even more, specific directories have different levels of offerings that provide expanded opportunities for promoting your company. Depending on your marketing strategy and budget, you have the option of paid listings that will get your business more exposure than the free listings.
The Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) online directory has both free and paid options for cannabis companies. With the Free Basic Listing, the directory presents standard company information and includes a backlink to your website. Next, with the Paid Featured and Paid Spotlight Listings, your exposure grows exponentially with additions such as banner ads, company logos, and click-through offers.
Regular Online Directories
Whether your cannabis business model is B2B or B2C, regular online business directories can help establish a web presence for your company. These directories can be specific to a search engine like Yahoo or local business listings in a certain location.
Of the search engine specific business directories available, Google My Business is by far the most popular. With this free listing service, your company will get its own space on the screen when someone searches your company name or specific keywords on Google. Google My Business listing includes important company info like your address, phone number, and business hours.
We also recommend that you list your cannabis company in local business directories. Not only will this practice give you additional online exposure and benefit your SEO, but it will help solidify your company as part of the local business community. In marketing your company locally, you can further engender brand loyalty from your neighbors.
Social Media Groups
Social media is a juggernaut in the world of digital marketing. Yet, as social media marketing has grown in popularity, most businesses are prone to "stick by the playbook" of established practices. Companies tend to underutilize social media groups as a legitimate avenue for online networking and marketing.
Whether they use pre-established groups or create their own, savvy cannabis companies can use social media groups to capture their target audience more efficiently and drive traffic further down the sales funnel.
The social media platforms with the most significant group networking are Facebook and LinkedIn. To illustrate, if you are a craft cannabis grower in Oregon looking for new customers, joining groups named something like "Oregon Cannabis Network" or "Oregon Cannabis Business Group" could prove beneficial. Namely because joining these platforms provides exposure to targeted audiences who may already be interested in your business offerings.
Experts recommend that communication on social media groups should be interactive and engaged at the outset. Once you have established your peers' respect in the group, it is then okay to start promoting your business.
Cannabis Advocacy Groups
Cannabis advocacy offers a great way to market your cannabis company in the best light possible. Within the cannabis space, there is ample opportunity to spread goodwill with your peers and the greater community. In doing so, you will help establish strong business partnerships while you also help legitimize cannabis in the mainstream's eyes.
The cannabis industry has no shortage of advocacy groups. Yet, business owners tend to overlook groups like NORML and Last Prisoner Project as legitimate opportunities to meet like-minded people. Nonetheless, by spending a bit of your time and money working towards a more significant cause, you can catalyze your relationships with industry peers in cannabis advocacy groups.
If you are interested in marketing your company through cannabis advocacy groups, you should enter them to help others legitimately. In time, when you have proven your worth with the organization, you can tastefully discuss your business within the network.
Marketing strategies in cannabis and hemp are anything but conventional. To this end, both industries experience unique challenges not seen in more traditional businesses. To illustrate, cannabis companies must remain acutely aware of the marketing regulations in their specific regions. Similarly, to avoid issues with the FDA, hemp CBD companies must be diligent about their terminology to describe their products.
Yet, the best marketing teams not only know how to navigate a confusing patchwork of regulations, but they can also capitalize on it. That being said, as you continually reassess your company's marketing strategy, don't be afraid to try something new. From social media to cannabis advocacy, there are plenty of opportunities to capture the attention of your target audience.