Photo by JPhotoStyle
Content Marketing Strategy for the Marijuana Industry
Content Marketing Strategy is the last topic in our 5 part series. This is it everyone! I know, it’s almost as good as a new car…almost.
Okay, not even close, but it will save you time, effort, money, and provide you with a useful and relevant education, which actually is pretty rad if you think about it.
Are you ready? Here we go!
The term “content marketing” is simply a label that describes a method of marketing through telling stories, listening to your customers, and building relationships with them. In other words…
“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”-Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute
To engage in content marketing you need 2 things:
- Places to converse with your audience, such as your website, a blog, email marketing, social media marketing, free downloads, slide-share presentations, infographics, video, etc.
- Knowing what the hell to say. In other words, content.
Where most companies fall down with content marketing strategy
You could certainly start your content writing without doing any of the work we’ve walked you through so far. In fact, that’s what most companies do. But, that’s a little bit like crashing a wedding, stealing the microphone during the toast, and delivering an impromptu speech. There’s a good chance, no one knows who you are, what you’re talking about, or why you’re talking to them. And, you’ll probably get kicked out.
It isn’t just how to write SEO content or how to write website content, and you can definitely hire out for content writing services (like by hiring our amazing team! We have lots of content writing examples…*cough *cough *ahem) But!! By taking the time to first define who you are (your brand strategy), understanding who your customers are (buyer personas), and learning what your customers are actually interested in online (keyword research and competitive research and analysis), you can join conversations that your customers are already having online. You have it all as part of your overall digital marketing strategy of where you want your company to go.
You can tell your potential buyers the stories they want to hear. You can introduce yourself to them by providing the helpful, useful and interesting content that they are already looking for.
You can be the life of the party…
… not than the asshole that keeps interrupting them at inappropriate times with irrelevant information.
If we were to reduce great content marketing down to a formula, it might look like this:
- Publish content online that your audience is looking for so that you can get their attention.
- Use that content writing and video to build awareness of who you are, what you’re all about and what you have to offer them.
- Continue the conversation (which involves both talking and listening), in order to build the kind of trust and loyalty that results in long-term sales and brand advocacy. (Remember our conversation about brand advocacy from part 1). Respond to comments on your blog and guide conversations on social media in a way that maintains brand integrity and furthers profitable customer action.
Look at your Brand Strategy
- Your content niche should already be pretty clear.
Look back at your Buyer personas
- List the questions that your customers have that you can answer:
- List the challenges that your customers have that you can solve:
- List the pain points that your customers have that you can relieve:
- List the wants and desires that your customers have, that you can meet:
Look at your Keyword Research
- How can you incorporate the words they are using to search for answers to their questions, challenges, pain points, wants and desires into: topics for website pages, blog posts , social media content , video content, etc.
Let’s use our fabled gluten free blueberry muffin edible company as an example of how content marketing really works…
They want to be known the world over as the foremost expert on delicious gluten free baked edibles. That’s their content niche.
Their customers are wrongfully deprived of the pleasure of really good blueberry muffin edibles. And they’re angry about it, dammit.
The gluten-free edible company knows, from keyword research, that a lot of their potential customers spend their lunch break perusing Google for information about “how to deal with being gluten free” and “the best gluten free baked edibles.” They suspect that their customers are searching for this information because they feel deprived, and so…
- They decide to launch a blog series and social media campaign focused on this topic: The Deprivation-Free Gluten-Free Life, now including cannabis edibles!
- They create two categories on their blog that uses their keywords: How to Deal With Being Gluten Free and The Best Gluten Free Baked Edibles.
- They write a series of posts for each category about how people cursed with a gluten intolerance will never feel deprived again in a cannabis legal state, with these tips and tricks and substitutions, and by ordering boatloads of the best gluten free blueberry edibles on the planet, of course.
- They create a series of social media posts titled “The Deprivation-Free Gluten-Free Life – Now Including Edibles!” that link back to the posts on their blog.
The customers get the information they want. The edible company sells muffins. Everyone is happy.
The Last Step: Where to Implement Your Content Marketing Strategy
Where and how will you deliver your content writing and video?
Now it gets fun.
By now, you should have a really good idea about what your customers want. You should know the kinds of information they are already looking for, the topics you plan to use to strike up brilliant conversations with them, and lastly, how to convince them that you are exactly what they’ve been searching for.
So… where will you have these great conversations? Where will you engage with your customers? How will you use all this great information to expand your reach, generate more leads and convert more of those leads to paying customers? Will you use a blog? Social Media? Email marketing? Public Relations campaigns? Paid advertising? A YouTube channel? All of the above?
Let’s take a brief look at your options and how you can start to create and implement a content marketing strategy that will help you achieve all of your digital marketing goals.
Wait. Goals? What goals? Obviously, the purpose of any marketing endeavor is to support sustainable growth. Your entire digital marketing strategy – everything you do online – should support all of the 9 following goals:
- Positive brand recognition or reinforcement
- Lead Generation and lead nurturing
- Customer conversion
- A shortened sales cycle
- Customer service
- Upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Website and social media traffic growth
- Generating subscription to an email or print mailing list
- Customer feedback
How can you create a digital marketing plan that achieves these goals? The first step is to select which digital marketing tactics make the most sense for you. Here are some options.
With few exceptions, every digital marketing plan should start with a blog that is published on your website. In fact, your blog should be the foundation of your entire digital marketing strategy.
Blogging can drive targeted traffic to your website, increase your search engine rankings, position your brand as an industry leader and give you the opportunity to develop better relationships with existing customers.
Goal(s) supported with this tactic: Positive brand recognition or reinforcement, Lead generation, Customer feedback, Generating subscription to an email or print mailing list
Goal(s) supported with this tactic: Lead nurturing, Customer conversion, Upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
You just kinda have to have video. There. I said it. “Everyone” watches videos, more than half of the people online watch videos everyday. If we can see it or read it, we’d always rather watch. Think of that what you will, but chances are, whatever your audience and personas have turned out to be, they’d all rather have a video teaching them something, or making them laugh than just about any other digital content. So yeah, hop to it.
You did it. You finished!
Well, folks, we made it. We learned. We processed. We expanded our thinking. We grew together. Our relationship has deepened. Do you trust us more now? Did we do all the right things that we suggested that you do for your business? We’re in this together. We’re all humans on this planet trying to make life better for one another as well as ourselves.
It would be most excellent that your best take away from this series is that. Speak to other humans, like well…other humans…listen, respond, and help out. If you have a cannabis product or service that you know would benefit the community, then the community really does want to know about it. More than that, they want to know about you, your company, what do you stand for, what do you believe it. Make it good, and once you put it in front of the right people in a in a way that helps them, they will trust you. They will value you. And that’s what we all want.
Do good work.
Let us know how we’re doing! We listen. We want to be useful for you.
Go on. Go for it.