Make big moves, cannabis marketer.
The recreational cannabis industry is growing at breakneck speed thanks to savvy visionaries like yourself. Our partners have built amazing cannabis products but have had trouble figuring out how to properly market their brand.
Pardon me if this is old news to you, but because the cannabis industry has not reached federally legal status, and is still very illegal in some states, conventional marketing tactics that utilize nationally-syndicated platforms simply are well, illegal. This means running ads on social media, Google, and television is extremely regulated. One bad turn could put your brand in serious jeopardy—which is the exact opposite of what we work hard do here at BRDG. Our team shared this information with one of our clients who was interested in building a cannabis brand so figured we’d share it with you as well.
1. Get to know your target customer(s) beyond cannabis.
As with any product or service, your job is to provide a solution or memorable experience for a very specific reason. Your customers are people with a variety of interests and perspectives. As a marketer, it is important for you to seamlessly seep into your target’s world and provide value every time they engage with your product. The way you do that? Build empathy for what your customer cares about with or without your product.
2. Create video and audio content at scale.
The algorithms say what the people say—video and audio are far more engaging than static images. Play the game and start creating content at scale. It may sound daunting, but we’ve got a hack for you that can get you several hours (or TONS of 20-second clips) of high-value content. Play the game like 82% of web traffic by 2022 depends on it.
3. Develop relationships with cultural leaders.
Can you come up with a community or culture that doesn’t have a vibrant cannabis subculture? We tried, to no avail. This (presumed) fact serves as a massive opportunity for the bold marketer. Find your brand’s niche and build relationships with the cultural icons in that niche. You can fast track the hassle of trying to build your own community from scratch when you partner with the ones who drive culture.
4. Make the data work for you.
Even though the cannabis industry is super bright-eyed and green (ha!), there is both a ton of data available and a ton of data your brand can capture to make informed decisions about how to engage your customers and prospects.
5. Show up at the top of Google searches.
If you’re anything like us, you Google pretty much everything. Have you tried Googling something specific about cannabis? Chances are you were underwhelmed by what you found. This is a huge opportunity, cannabis marketer! Fill those gaps (and rank highly in search engines) to drive a ton of traffic to your page. If you are a dispensary or local service provider, Local SEO is crucial.
6. Know the law.
Don’t mess around with this one. It should go without saying, but even with years of experience running a successful brand or conducting brilliant marketing campaigns, you have never encountered anything quite like the cannabis industry. Your meteoric rise can quickly turn into your meteoric demise with one wrong move, so learn the law and play by the rules.
7. Speak and act on the social justice issues of the cannabis industry.
Legal cannabis is AMAZING and has so many health benefits, right? This seemingly “brand new phenomenon” was built on the backs of millions of marginalized communities across our country. While many states have taken measures to expunge non-violent drug offenders, there are several opportunities untapped with regards to rehabilitation and even awareness. The conversation is just getting started and you have an opportunity to position your brand as a leader in human rights advocacy. We cannot move forward without acknowledging the past.