Marketing your Cannabis related business in 2022 comes with a set of challenges unique to the industry. Recreational cannabis is still a relatively new industry and not legal under federal law. Because of this, most social media platforms don’t allow cannabis-related advertisements.
Optimize Your SEO Locally
Marketing agencies constantly clamor that you should be occupying top rankings on Google search. However, when working on your 2022 marketing strategy, you should be focusing on occupying the top rankings locally.
Focusing on local SEO optimization gives your business a key advantage over your competitors – you’ll show up higher on the list when people are searching on Google Maps. In fact, in 2022, 82% of users searched for a business locally on their mobile device. Users are far more likely to search for a business using maps, as it shows nearby and local results. The most important piece of data involving mobile searches isn’t that the majority of users are finding businesses via Maps instead of Search. It’s that 92% of users will select a business on the first page of local results.
Brand trust is one of, if not the, most important aspects of a customer’s decision to purchase from your business. 81% of consumers base their purchasing decisions based on being able to “trust the brand to do what is right.” Developing a brand people can trust is absolutely crucial to any 2022 cannabis marketing strategy.
Cannabis is still a high-risk purchase and establishing that rust is critical to getting consumers to shop at your business. A customer wants to know the service, treatment, quality of product, and overall experience with your business they will receive is going to exceed their expectations. The average consumer doesn’t expect this for just themselves. They are keen to notice it happening with all your customer base and how you interact with them.
Some ways to establish trust as a business:
1. Share High Quality Content on the Web
2. Nurture Interaction on Social Channels
3. Share your Social Values
4. Ask People to Review Your Business
5. Ensure a Consistent Voice Across Channels
Using some of these strategies will help your cannabis brand excel with marketing this year. Just remember – people are willing to support brands they believe in – both by spending money AND promoting it via word of mouth. If a person trusts your business, they’re far more likely to tell their friends and family about it.
Create a Brand Personality
Three of our pointers for establishing trust are all related to establishing a brand personality. Now, we’re not talking about getting your logo and graphics. Creating a brand goes far beyond those things. Your brand personality is your online presence – the aesthetics across your marketing channels, your voice and online personality, how you interact with your customers, and what your business believes in. Your brand personality is how your customers perceive your business.
Developing your brand personality should be thought of as “how do I describe my brand if it was a person?” It is a set of human traits that are unique to your business. They should be used to help shape an emotional connection with your customer base. According to The Journal of Marketing Research, there are five primary pillars of brand personality: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness. There are sub-traits that relate to each primary one, which will allow you to get even more specific with your brand’s voice.
From here, you can start guiding your marketing strategy towards creating a consistent brand that is easily recognizable and retains customers. It’s time to dig in to what really makes your business unique. The details you discover about your brand’s personality should be used to create materials that resonate with your audience and, if done well, will evoke emotional responses from them.
What does your business believe in?
Personal values and beliefs will shape who your brand is. What are your core values? What are things that matter to your customers? Let these guide your decisions in discovering who your brand is. Cannabis users want to buy from brands whose values align with theirs, including on topics such as sustainability, diversity & inclusion, LBGTQ rights, or other issues that are meaningful. Be transparent and open about your values and you’ll stand out and create some incredible trust with your customers.
How does your business act if they were human?
Have your team get together and start asking questions as if your brand was a person. It may be weird, but ask questions like What does my brand do for fun? Does it have fears? How does my brand talk to its friends and family?
Create a Style Guide
Having a defined style guide makes it easy when you transition through team members. It establishes set guidelines and rules they must follow when they don the persona of your brand. This will include details such as font choices, color palettes, language, voice, and visual aesthetic. It is also a time to define what is not allowed.
Be Willing to Adapt
A human personality isn’t a set thing. It evolves and changes based on numerous societal factors and inputs. Your business’ brand personality should also not be concrete. It needs to flow with what your audience feels. Too energetic? Try shifting toward more sincere and calm language, visuals, and colors.
Your brand personality is important for keeping your existing customers AND getting new ones. It is not something you can do on the fly. You need to have a solid strategy and plan to guide your marketing and outreach goals. Be ready for it to change, and be ready for it to evolve with your business’ 2022 marketing strategy.
Provide Thoughtful Educational Content
Education is key to moving towards country-wide acceptance of cannabis and federal legalization. While this movement forward is a good thing for the industry, there is still a stigma, thanks to decades of prohibition. This is the perfect opportunity to provide educational reading and information about cannabis.
Having high quality educational content will help distinguish your cannabis brand from others. There are multiple channels you can provide this educational content – on your website, across social media, email campaigns, and print marketing.
While you may be aware of providing educational content dissecting different strains of cannabis, what terpenes are, how to find the right strain, and more recreational usage topics, if you truly want to stand out your educational content should also be used to dispel common misconceptions about cannabis. Tackling misconceptions head-on and providing thoughtful insights that are not condescending will only benefit moving towards the mainstream. People react poorly if they believe they are being talked down to or talked at. Your content should reflect a voice of talking with.
Cannabis as a Wellness Tool
Many cannabis users partake for reasons relating to wellness. Reports indicate nearly a quarter of cannabis consumers use cannabis to improve health and wellness rather than treating conditions or for strictly recreational use. Users are using it to improve their quality of life and improve their fitness training. Using familiar shorthand and language from these communities is a great way to promote how cannabis can be used for wellness and quality of life improvements.
Your 2022 Cannabis marketing strategy will evolve as the year goes on. But we believe these key areas of focus will allow you to lay the groundwork for being successful in all digital sectors. Don’t just set a plan and stick to it rigidly. Let it flow and evolve based on customer interactions, insights, and market trends.