Educating your prospects by sharing informative content is one of the most important things you can do as a B2B company in the cannabis industry. However, it’s even more important that these prospects are actually able to see and interact with that content.
It happens all the time in every industry: a newly-digital brand starts pumping out a ton of content, but that content isn’t preaching to a specific audience that will engage with it. So you put a link to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram only to find that no one has clicked!
Have no fear, though. There is a better way!
Developing Your Content Strategy and Delivering it to Your Audience
3 months go by and you find that you have absolutely nothing to show for your efforts. Don’t worry though, it isn’t just you, it isn’t that your content is just bad, and it has nothing to do with the number of hashtags you use on your posts. It isn’t any single one of these things, but a combination.
Odds are you just aren’t sending the right message to the right people at the right time, which is why you need to establish an effective content distribution strategy. Without a strategy, you won’t be able to reach an audience, drive engagement or achieve a return on your investment.
But before you even consider drafting another infographic, be sure to ask yourself the following questions.
- Who is my target audience?
- What is the purpose of the content?
- Which social media outlets does your audience use most often?
- How can I segment my audience as they make their way through the customer journey?
If you can’t answer all of these questions with a piece of content you are thinking about publishing, you shouldn’t be writing the content. Once you have answers to these questions, you are ready to start using marketing automation platforms which will help put your content to work for you.
But what exactly is marketing automation?
Many marketing departments have to turn to automation to automate repetitive, daily tasks like email sends, social media updates, and several other website actions. Marketing automation software makes all of these tasks easier and more efficient.
Marketing automation tools are essentially used to segment, schedule, and distribute your content to the right people on the right platform at the right time so that you have the chance to focus on your overall strategy and reaching out to clients. Most importantly, it automatically collects information on and sorts the people looking at your content so you have a better idea of what is working. It saves you time on the repetitive parts of marketing and gives you more time to analyze your data so you can adjust and re-adjust your strategy as needed.
How does marketing automation help businesses in the cannabis industry?
By combining your marketing tools with the perfect content, marketing automation can be worth more than the sum of its parts. When you automate properly, marketing automation can help you do so much, including:
- Generating and optimizing new leads: You’ve probably noticed that a lot of businesses online ask for your name and email address in exchange for a newsletter subscription, content tips, ebooks, etc. It’s a popular strategy in content marketing because it works. Offering quality content in exchange for their email address is typically seen as a fair trade. Aside from expanding your list of prospects and your email marketing list, the people that give you this information are more likely to be warm leads since they have already established an interest in your content. Marketing automation tools can help you divide and segment these new leads drawn in through your content. You’ll be able you track them all the way through the customer journey.
- Maximize engagement on social media: Let’s get real: social media is exhausting. Writing, designing and planning the content you put on social media is very time-consuming. Constantly queuing up posts and keeping a watchful eye on the results is just way too much of a hassle with no guarantee on your return. Marketing automation platforms make it simple to schedule your content and monitor its performance along meaningful key performance indicators (KPIs). This allows you to make adjustments quickly. You can also use it to monitor industry thought leaders, hashtag trends, and groups that could be useful for building your cannabis brand’s presence on social media.
- Strengthening your sales team: at it’s most basic level, marketing automation helps you by getting rid of the cold calling and guesswork for your sales team. By streamlining content distribution and lead collection, your team can figure out which leads are warm and ready to purchase. It helps your sales team to save time by not trying to sell to people who simply aren’t ready to buy. Automation platforms can also help you figure out when a prospect is engaging with your content, making it much easier to pick a good time to follow up with them.
- Getting ahead of your competitors: Not only will you be able to monitor your social media and schedule your content, you will also be able to look at detailed reports on your competitor’s pages and how you’re doing compared to them. Hubspot and RivallQ both offer this in their automation packages. This kind of information can make it easy to quantify how well your social media efforts are working and how you can continue to improve to get where you want to be.
Automate, but don’t be automatic.
Automation can definitely make things easier, but you shouldn’t automate every single aspect of your marketing. People don’t want to engage with a brand if it appears to be run by robots. You still have to have that human aspect, especially on social media. In order for you to get the most out of automation platforms, you’re still going to need a ton of strategic, quality content and a team of humans with marketing knowledge behind the wheel.
At Team Maryjane, we use a variety of different automation platforms to help our clients achieve their business goals. Our content team is always researching new ways to maximize your reach so that you and your sales team can focus on what you do best. Want to start saving time? Your marketing experts are just a phone call away.