Understanding Your Market in the Cannabis Industry, Part 4/5

In branding, buyer persona, content writing, marijuana marketing, strategy by Josh Whitaker

How Keyword Research Can Help More Customers Find You

Welcome back to our Digital Marketing strategy series! This installment is all about using keyword research to understand what your market is actually interested in online. And, why do you care about what your customers are doing online? To save yourself time and money. The usual.

We’re going to talk about the crucial marketing tactics of Keyword Research and why you should bother with that, (‘cause you should). And Competitive Intelligence, and no, that’s not new robot technology.

Keywords are words and phrases of great significance because they are the actual words your customers are using to search for you.

Every online search begins with keywords. When you don’t know what those words are (or choose to ignore them), your website is probably not going show up where your customers are looking for it. Which kinda sucks.
I mean… what good is a store without any customers? A well prepared speech without an audience?

Digital Marketing Strategy for the Cannabis Industry | Keyword ResearchOk. So, if you want the fairy tale ending, just having a website isn’t enough. You also need visitors…  But not just any visitors. You need the right kind of visitors.  

Think about keywords as the sign you hang on a storefront to tell people what your shop is all about.

Let’s pretend that your company makes gluten free baked edibles. One of your products is a gluten free blueberry muffin edible. You set up a page on your website just for your delicious blueberry muffins and put the words “gluten free blueberry muffin edibles” all over the page because you want people searching for gluten free blueberry muffin edibles online to find your website.

You’re feeling pretty proud of yourself…

… but, after a month, only 20 people have actually purchased your blueberry muffin edibles, even though you’ve had 3,000 visitors to the page. WTF?

Digging deeper, you discover the problem. Nearly every visitor to your gluten free blueberry muffin edible page is looking for a recipe for gluten free blueberry muffin edibles. You inadvertently hung the wrong sign on your pre-baked, ready-to-purchase in a dispensary gluten free blueberry muffin edibles page.


Keyword research can save you from this fate. When you know the exact words your customers are using to search for your products or services, you paint those words on your sign.

Great keyword research will help you achieve 3 important goals:

  1. Visibility: Achieve better rankings in search engines. In other words – get found by your customers.
  2. Connect: When the people we are in business to serve can actually find us, we have the opportunity to connect with them because we’ve learned to speak their language.
  3. Value: It will help you assess which words will attract more buying customers. If you sell a variety of gluten free baked edibles, will you make more sales with “gluten free blueberry muffin edible” or “gluten free edible coffee cake?”

When you know exactly what your customers are searching for, you can create the content that gives them what they want. That’s why keyword research is one of the most valuable, high return components of your digital marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that choosing the right keywords is part science and part art. It requires knowing how to generate the data AND interpret it in a way that makes that data actually useful for you. If you’ve never done this kind of work before, be patient with yourself. You’ll catch on. If after reading this, you realize you don’t have the time or the inclination to conduct extensive keyword research, give us a call. We’ll point you in the right direction towards resources that can help.


Competitive Intelligence


1.the process for gathering actionable information about your online competition


2.the knowledge you use to get your customers to spend more of their hard earned money on your products or services

“Keep your customers close and your competition closer.”

Your “competition” is anyone with whom your customers are spending their money instead of spending it with you.

Let’s go back to our gluten free blueberry muffin edible company for an example… As the owner of said company, the corner dispensary that one of your customers passes on her way to work every day is your competition. Why? Because they sell gluten free banana bread edibles and 2 or 3 days a week, your customer stops in and purchases a slice to take home instead of eating one of your muffins. The result? Less money spent with you.

However, the corner dispensary in this scenario is not really your online competition, regardless of whether or not they have a website. Your customer is choosing their banana bread edibles over your blueberry muffin edibles offline. They don’t sell their products online, and even if they did, your customer wouldn’t order them. You might be able to compete with the corner bakery on taste, quality, price and convenience, but whether or not they show up in search engine rankings is irrelevant.

Digital Marketing Strategy for the Cannabis Industry | Keyword ResearchThe competitive intelligence we’re talking about here, is all about who’s showing up in search results when your customers ask a question on Google. In other words, your online competition is any website that shows up high in search results for your top niche keywords.

Knowing who your online competition is can help you make strategic decisions about how to differentiate your company’s offerings and open up new opportunities by highlighting holes in the marketplace. Online competitive research and analysis is an opportunity to ask yourself why Google thinks these sites are the most relevant search results for your customer’s queries. After all, if a strategy is working well for them, it could also work well for you.

3 pieces to good competitive intelligence:

1. Competitive research.

2. Competitive analysis.

3. Actionable takeaways.

This is a lot of what we do over here at Team Maryjane and it involves finding out who your actual online competitors are, how their customers are finding them, and what you’re going to do as a result of knowing how their being found. For instance perhaps you hire a professional photographer to take some wicked awesome photos of your gluten free baked edibles, or maybe you decide to provide the recipe, maybe you offer mini muffins. It’s highly dependent on what’s discovered in your research.

We can’t expect everyone to do this without a little help getting started, but with this information, you are well on your way to selling those delicious gluten free blueberry muffin edibles! And way more than 20 this time…

Next up!

One more installment to go to complete our five part Team Maryjane Marketing Series. The King (or queen, or non-gender conforming royalty) component, of all online marketing strategies…the content… Find out how to develop your content marketing strategy.

Watch for it!

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