Marketing in the cannabis industry is all about fads these days, although fad marketing comes and goes. Remember the days of Vine when everyone had to get their business involved? How about when businesses all had to be a part of meme culture? We’ve seen fads like these just come and go over and over again, but the fundamental content marketing principles continue to stay the same over time. An example is the “content is king” mantra, which continues to stand the test of time and hold its true value.
In 2015, almost 75% of B2B commerce marketers were happy to share that they have experienced consistent, satisfactory results from their content marketing tactics. Whether or not you should be using content to your advantage isn’t even a question anymore (because you definitely should be), but the real question is how you can create cannabis content marketing campaigns that actually work.
First, we need to look at why content is king.
Why does content marketing work?
The most important thing to look at is why the fad market and other digital trends fail if you want to look at why content works.
Let’s use memes as an example.
Meme culture is such a huge part of day-to-day life in today’s world that it makes sense for businesses to want to use this medium as a line of communication with potential customers. They think that using memes to join a conversation and have an inside joke with customers works when
in reality it doesn’t. Most of the people in your target market will ignore a message in this medium. Worst case scenario, you’ll get mocked for it on forums like Reddit. Using memes makes it look like you’re screaming “We’re relevant! So buy our products!” and is ultimately a turn off for consumers in today’s day and age.
It’s not that you’re being corny. It’s that memes always fail to address an important issue, such as a need, a question, or a worthy benefit to using your brand.
Content marketing, on the other hand, can do all of that and more when handled effectively. It provides your consumers, potential customers and even current customers with substance. It’s something they can learn from or reference to. Something they can take home with them and associate with your product. Content can inspire, motivate, educate, and convert a cold prospect by creating and
expanding the interest they already have in your product or service.
Getting ahead with content marketing this year:
The best thing about content marketing is that you can start whenever you want. There are millions of Google searches initiated every hour because millions of people are looking online for new information, and this is where you should be spending your time. Are you getting your share of leads from your website? There are lots of ways to do this, but these are the most effective methods to date.
Don’t fall into the common rabble and mistake your prospective buyers for leads. You wouldn’t buy a new car two seconds after seeing it for the first time. You want to learn about it. You want to know if it’s fuel efficient, you want to take it for a spin, and you may even want to browse different makes and models. Your prospects are the same way! You should never try to jump the gun and force a sale before your prospect even knows if they need your product. Here are a few types of content that are e
xcellent for attracting prospects and for creating the awareness you need to open the door for new clients.
- Blogs: A blog is an absolutely essential asset for any brand under the sun looking to do business online. Running a blog will help with your SEO and boost your rank in search engines, but it will also provide a treasure trove of helpful information to your sales team and your customers. A blog gives you the opportunity to reach out and answer your consumer’s questions and also gently guide them back to your product or service, allowing you to assist them further.
- Visuals and Infographics: While informative blog content is the most important tool in your toolbox for reaching awareness level prospects, your content can fall short without the right visuals. Colored visuals increase the willingness to read content by 80%. Content that includes relevant images gets viewed 95% more often than content without any visuals. Infographics that include text and short, easy facts are often shared 3x more on social media than any other form of content. Sharing blog content on social media is also important, and distinctive, branded images will help your brand stand out from others offering the same product or service.
- Videos: People like videos more than any other form of digital media. It’s actually believed that almost 75% of all web traffic will be from videos. You can always take an infographic or a blog and repurpose it for social media in the form of a short video. It’s an excellent and highly effective way to get your audience’s attention and drive them towards your brand.
Now that your prospects are aware that they have a problem or a need, keep in mind that they might not be ready for the hard sell yet. You should be segmenting your audiences based on their behaviors on your website. From there, you should use informational content that speaks more directly to the potential of a relationship with your business and let the prospect decide for himself whether or not your business is a good fit for him.
- Case Studies: Case studies are just success stories, and nothing sells a brand better than a good success story. By composing a case study properly, you can position your product or service as a solution to the problem that your prospect went online to solve in the first place. Instead of you cold calling and selling door to door, you can reverse the position and have them come to buy from you.
- White Papers: While White Papers are typically used for more narrow audiences, a quality white paper can still showcase your expertise, brand superiority and even your role as a thought leader in the industry in a way that blogs and simple ads can’t, You should incorporate these into your social media and email marketing strategies to reach potential customers and other industry influencers.
- eBooks: eBook downloads are an excellent way to segment your qualified leads and make a sales pitch in one easy piece of content. Writing a short eBook gives your prospects a quality incentive to exchange their email address with you. It also warms them up to your service or solution in the time between the actual ebook download and any future communications.
Content That Actually Stands Out
Everyone can write content and publish it online, but effective content that people will actually read and find useful is a strategic matter. It takes a lot more than knowing your business or your clientele. It requires creativity, marketing expertise, and a good team of like-minded people to get your message to stand out.
At Team MaryJane, we know that it’s important to understand your business inside and out before we can begin to create. We put an emphasis on design, strategy, and engagement and can create content that educates, entertains, and converts your leads into customers. If you’re ready to see what effective content marketing can do for your cannabis business, be sure to get in touch.