24 Feb CANNABIS ENTREPRENEURS: Four Awesome Cannabis Marketing Tips to Help Build Your Brand
It’s no secret that starting a business is a lot of work, but you know what’s even harder? Being an entrepreneur in the emerging cannabis and hemp industry. Not only do cannabis entrepreneurs have to deal with the normal process of starting a business, but so many years of stigma and miles of red tape taking something that has been in the political and social shadows for so long to becoming an accepted part of commerce can be frustrating, and at times even demoralizing. With this in mind, I’ll try my best to bring to light some cannabis business tips to help position you for success.
Cannabis Business Marketing: Reaching Your Audience
Like any other industry sector, cannabis entrepreneurs and small business owners need to understand and master some basic business skills. Cannabis entrepreneurs also have the extraordinary hurdle of getting out of their comfort zones, and play their part to help destroy the stigma and build an acceptable business culture. I’ll be dividing these topics into a series of articles to help better grasp the concepts behind each. In the meantime, we’ll start out with the following topics:
- Attracting New Customers
- Content Marketing
- Relationship Marketing
- Reaching out to a Niche Market
Attracting New Customers
Regardless of what stage you are in building your cannabis business, whether planning your launch or increasing your current momentum, the need to consistently attract new customers is a requirement. In today’s digital age, there are two key things that many businesses and entrepreneurs in other industry sectors are figuring out, and have discovered which has become somewhat a staple for success in today’s business environment: a) Creating content with value; and b) Building meaningful relationships.
In today’s digital environment, it’s common to come across much of the same information across many different platforms. There’s so much information on the internet that we find that a lot of what’s out there is repetitive. So how does a cannabis entrepreneur or small business owner stand out from the pack? By proving to your target audience that you appreciate them through high-quality and useful information that provides significant value! Additionally, having an effective content marketing strategy also helps improve visibility and search engine rankings (through Search Engine Optimization(SEO) which I’ll be discussing in a later article) and builds your company’s reputation and authority as a “Subject Matter Expert.”
Tip: Create a content marketing strategy and be consistent. Think “Reciprocity”! By putting out valuable content that’s selfless, your audience will appreciate it and will be willing to share with their community. Remember, word-of-mouth is a very powerful tool!
As cannabis entrepreneurs and business owners, you are the face of your business and brand. Every relationship you have and build becomes a marketing opportunity to grow your business. Whether your business is competing in a local market or against a big brand on the national stage, you have a tool in creating relationships with potential customers through various communication channels through valuable relationship building. By staying in your customers minds, repeatedly reminding them of who you are and what you do, you encourage your audience to drive business your way.
Being in the newly emerging cannabis and hemp industry, understanding this concept is important especially since many of your competitors don’t understand the fact that we are at the forefront of creating a business culture and destroying negative stigma. Since trust is important and is an increasingly valuable commodity, providing the best possible product and service can set you “head over heels” over the competition. Become the cannabis brand or entrepreneur who can execute and deliver by doing what you say you’re gonna do, not one who makes empty promises. You’ll be surprised how effective building relationships is and how much of your competition is not doing this. Relationship building can lead to your best opportunities for growth!
Find Your Niche
Even though it’s a new industry, the cannabis and hemp industry is very broad with so many different segments (i.e. medicinal, recreational, advocacy, biotech, cultivation, retail, ancilliary services, etc.), and without a large marketing budget, trying to cater to everybody in the beginning will lead to frustration and can be extremely time consuming trying to come up with a strategy that will make everybody happy.
By narrowing your target audience to a more specific niche, there are many benefits that can help grow your business. You can benefit from utilizing your marketing budget efficiently saving in operational cost, and also builds your reputation and credibility making you an authority in your particular segment of the industry. With this authority, you’ll have the ability to see “eye-to-eye” with other authorities within the industry, and can further your influence through them as well. So once you define your particular niche, how do you start reaching out?You break from your comfort zone and get into theirs! Simple right? Many new entrepreneurs and businesses think that marketing is all about bringing in customers and clients, but this is a misconception. It’s actually a two way street that requires a strategy and elbow grease on behalf of the business and cannabis entrepreneur to reach out as well.
Consider the following: “Where do my consumers play? Where are they most receptive?” Ask yourself, where do they work, meet, learn, etc. Try to meet them in their comfort zone as much as possible. If you want to go deep within a niche, test your marketing strategy with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) to see where a balance lies. From there, you can fine tune your strategy for efficiency to get the most ROI (Return On Investment).
Many niche markets have communities or locations that they frequent. Whether it be community forums, blogs, websites, or publications. Think about what your niche market reads, where they would go for questions, when and what they want to learn, and where they gather to meet other like minded individuals. From there, leverage and strategize the best way to get out in front of them in a manner that would work best.
By finding your target market where they are in their own comfort zones gives an opportunity to meet face-to-face to introduce yourself as well as your brand on common ground with common interest. Additionally, meeting them in a comfortable environment when they seek information or network helps build your credibility and reputation as a leader and trusted authority.
As cannabis entrepreneurs and business owners, what tips do you have for others in our community who are trying to succeed? I’d love to hear it in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on LinkedIn and feel free to spread this article by emailing it to a friend, or share it to your network. Thanks for your time!