Marketing marijuana

Marketing Marijuana, Your Cannabis Business Part 1/2

In marijuana marketing, social media by Josh Whitaker

Marketing marijuana can be tricky, but it’s worth it. The marijuana market in the U.S. is around $100 billion per year. That’s right on par with alcohol sales per annum, but it surpassed alcohol and tobacco in Colorado last year. Want to tap into that?

We think you might.

We think you are a bold, enterprising business, wanting to reach a mass of people that have been begging for their chance to get the resources they have needed or desired for a disproportionately long time. Your customers are eager. With so many businesses racing in to fill the demand, you need to stand out, be noticed.

We are going to help you with some tips on how to do that in this 2 part series.

Social Media for Marketing Marijuana

Let’s start with the most important—mobile devices. Your business must be easily clickable with any device, especially the hand-held kind. Users want to push a button or two to pass the time while waiting in line at the post office, waiting for their friends to arrive at a restaurant, going to the bathroom, and let’s face it—at red lights. You want your business to be catchy, classy, and easy to use, no stoner mascots, or images of giant bongs, unless of course, that is your targeted demographic.

Get your business set up with a mobile app to help your customers search your menu in real time. Keep these up to date! No one wants to drive to a dispensary only to find that what they just saw on the menu is unavailable. Customers are lost quickly this way. Keep it simple. Make your address prominent, linked to maps, and your phone number easily clickable.

Consumers, hands down, search the internet for information on marijuana, over print ads, radio, or television. Banner adds, pay-per-click, direct links to product specials, information, maps, and apps, all get significantly more traffic and attention. Focus your attention here. Be seen. Be easy to click and view. Did we say that already? It’s important.

Make Daily, Interesting Posts:

Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media regularly. Social media helps engage consumers and gets your name out there. Consider blogging. Ask for input. Engage your customer base in a variety of fun ways.

Create a YouTube channel and tap into one of the largest sections of your market. Make videos about your products, talk about your specials, request reviews, do contests. The sky is the limit. Make them funny, interesting, interactive, entertaining, never pushy. You want viewers to like you. Comment and like other channels with relevant information. This gives you a presence in the marijuana community and builds your credibility, branding, trust, as well as your customer base.

Text and Email Marketing:

Some companies offer emails and phone area codes to get your message out. Take note here however, while this certainly can reach tens of thousands of customers, many consumers might find this cold-calling approach “spammy” and irritating. You want to drive consumers to your business, not run after them and smack ’em in the face. Consider your goals before choosing this option.

In short, make your business the easiest thing to access via any device. Keep up to date. Stay current, active, and interactive. Make it fun. Get your name out there. Get your customers to know you. Give your business personality.

Product Vision for Marketing Marijuana

Nearly 50% surveyed adults say that marijuana on some level of recreational or medical use is a positive thing. Many focus on the state and federal revenue potential into the billions as well as the lightning fast pace it has grown. You want to make your product stand out to the new era of consumers, as well as the already well established.

Emphasize the quality of your products.

Medical patients and recreational users alike are gaining knowledge fast on what kinds of products they want, with what percentage of THC and/or CBD. They want to know the strain, if it is organic, is it edible, an oil, topical, wax, resin, or must it be traditionally smoked. Sometimes they want to geek out on it. Tell them what you are offering and be specific.

Focus your business on your top three products.

If a customer initially tries one of your strains and doesn’t like it, they are not likely to try another. For that reason push your best options first, so that customers are more likely to try your best products first. Maybe later they will venture out to other options you may have, but if they like the first, you are more likely to have a loyal customer.

Build your brand image.

What do you want your company to portray? Do you want to attract the 21 to 35-year-olds with fun/catchy/stoner type messages or images, or a person receiving healing medical treatment for cancer? Think of your demographic. If you want a broader audience, perhaps something more streamlined, modern, and one that focuses mainly on the plant itself, rather than the lifestyle it may conjure.

Offer membership cards.

In Colorado it pays to take advantage of the Marijuana America Membership card programs which offer deals and promotions to card holders. It is said tremendous revenue is generated for business in this way, creating loyalty and a more consistent customer base. Check it out.

Have a goal for what you want your product to be associated with, and whatever decisions you make from there, keep that vision in mind.

Next week we’ll discuss branding, packaging and what NOT to do! See it here.