Do you ever feel like your approach to marketing and branding in the cannabis industry is a little mechanical? You’re not alone. We have been getting questions regarding the power of human connections within the cannabis industry pretty often this year. The most common question has been “How can I add personal flair to my brand?”
In the past, businesses were able to get away with simply showcasing their products, services, or work. Today, it’s getting easier and easier for the average person to spot, tune out and completely ignore promotions, paid ads, and sales pitches. This year, we’ve seen a big shift toward a more authentic and vulnerable online presence for cannabis brands. With this comes more depth in the connections we make with our followers, customers, and clients. Today, we’re learning more and more every day the power of human connection in the new and improved Colorado cannabis industry. We have learned in the last few months that people are far more likely to trust and engage with a cannabis brand or business that has some shred of humanity and personality behind it. It isn’t enough to just showcase what you do anymore, you need a personality for your brand! If your goal is to have true fans and not just followers, then you’re going to have to rebrand yourself to share more than just what you sell. Here’s what you can do:
Fine-Tune Your Voice
When you publish anything online or do anything for your brand, you need a voice. If you and I were sitting across from each other, how would we speak to each other? Most likely, we’d have a fun, casual chat that is comfortable for both of us – like we’ve known each other for years. This should be translated into your branding! Far too often, when we go to talk or write about our products or services we turn into something boring and stuffy and awkward. Something that people just want to tune out or walk away from.
Traditionally, marketing professionals led an evangel that the only way you could ever be taken seriously in a professional situation was having all of your marketing efforts appearing as formal and professional as possible in order to be taken seriously. Additionally, marketers believed that in order for you to sell anything you have to constantly lead with a written up sales pitch and not a meaningful conversation. Luckily, those days are long gone.
Pay close attention to the way you speak to your friends. Use that same voice in your online branding efforts so that you can appear more approachable and less mechanical. In a deep sea of cannabis marketing pitches, be a genuine thought and a nice conversationalist!
Tell a Meaningful Story
When you first get started, it’s easy to only want to share posts about what you’re selling. The goal is to create awareness on your product or service. However, this tactic is often a little counter productive. You can’t expect your service or product to be the one crucial touch or connection point that will take someone from a prospective buyer to a customer. Your brand should never be based on simply what you’re selling.
You should take stock of all the things that make you and your brand different from every other cannabis brand out there, and then create a system that you can use to SHARE them so that you never sound like a broken record stuck on the same track. Tell a meaningful story that shares your work ethic, your passion, your team of passionate individuals, your goals, your mission and why it’s important to you, fun facts, and so much more. Create a well-rounded brand that will give people a reason to follow you and keep visiting your pages even if they’re not currently in the market for your product or service.
Offer a Behind-the-Scenes Look
Behind the scenes are usually behind the scenes for a reason: It’s not very glamorous stuff. However, people really enjoy thinking about what you do, especially in the cannabis industry. People love to take a look at your grow team busy at work, your team managing packages and shipments, or your budtenders candidly working with patients or customers. You never really think anyone will be interested in what you’re doing day to day but when you create a true brand (which is MORE than a business), people start to get invested in YOU. This connection not only creates loyalty, but also allows you the opportunity to tell a more meaningful story in your posts, feed, and online. Offering people a little look into some of your business’s behind the scenes magic, you’ll find yourself able to finally foster more positive connections and let your audience feel like they’re being let in on the whole process.
Share Photos of YOU
Did you know that for the average Instagrammer, their top engaged-with post is usually a photo of themselves and not their work? Humans prefer to know, like, and understand the creator when it comes to connecting with your work. The more you share of your personal side and the more you allow people to take a deeper look into your personal life, the more they begin to feel like the brand they’re engaging with is a real living breathing person and not just a sales pitch. Share pictures of your face! Make yourself recognizable. You’ll begin to feel more like a friend to this audience and less like a person trying to sell a product. And yes, you ARE camera ready, so smile!
Be REAL, Not Perfect
When you’re scrolling through Instagram, it probably feels like everyone else has that perfect life, that perfect product, the perfect figure, and a stylized feed and you’re probably wondering how in the heck you’re supposed to turn your mess into a good message. After managing several cannabis brands, we’ve come to learn that what people are really craving is the real stuff when everything else looks so perfectly fake. You should take the time to talk about the real stuff when you get the chance. Making your brand appear a little vulnerable makes it more relatable to the average person who, like you, don’t always have everything in their life perfectly together. It gives them the chance to potentially say “Yep, I’ve been there!” You won’t be able to create a connection solely from what you’re selling, so having plenty of touchpoints that make you a real human behind the screen will serve you for years and years.
So that’s it. 5 very simple ways to make your brand appear more lively, more approachable, and more interesting to potential customers online. As cannabis marketing professionals in the Denver area, Team MaryJane is the leading authority on cannabis branding. If you have any questions, be sure to give us a ring today!