Online Marketing in the Age of A New Kind of Green
In 2015, legal marijuana sales in the United States hit a whopping $5.4 billion.
With legalization rapidly growing in states all over the country, you might be wondering how you’re supposed to get your business to rise above the rest.
It’s a competitive market, and green business owners all over are thinking the same thing, too.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can market your green biz to make it noticeably stand out among your competitors.
Sound like something you might be interested in?
Here are some smart strategies to marketing your marijuana business:
1. Pick Your Target Market
There are two markets in the marijuana industry: recreational and medicinal cannabis users. However, you cannot market to both groups.
When it comes to marketing, splitting one huge market into multiple markets is the process known as market segmenting. This strategy can differentiate you from businesses that are making the mistake of not splitting up their market appropriately.
Why should you pick one or the other? Because in this situation, one size doesn’t fit all; the two groups have different characteristics, and target markets want to feel like their being catered to.
For example, recreational cannabis users are more likely to be interested in the affects different strains of marijuana have on their reactions and are more sensitive to price changes. On the other hand, medicinal cannabis users search for consistent results and are less likely to switch up their purchases.
Seeing as the two market segments have quite opposite characteristics, picking one to focus on in your marketing efforts can lead you in the right direction of the type of content to put out there.
If you chose recreational users as your audience, it would make sense for you to write a blog post on the many different strains you are selling, whereas medicinal cannabis users would be less interested in that content.
2. Build a Top Notch Website
More than three billion people use the internet each day. Even though all three billion of those folks may not be potential customers, it’s still smart to build a top notch website for your business.
Web sites have low barriers of entry, meaning they are cheap or nearly free to create. With a low initial investment, the potential profit you may make off the website will be huge.
Potential benefits of having a website include increased brand awareness and informing potential and current customers of who you are and what you do. They also give you the opportunity to communicate with your target market on a more personal level.
Aside from these obvious benefits, it’s safe to say that web traffic is huge in the world of marketing. There are smart strategies you can implement on a website that will increase your visibility and generate traffic. Such strategies include blogging, which can return huge results.
While building a blog for your website, focus on implementing smart search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Since the marijuana business is still fairly new and is continuing to rapidly grow, implementing marijuana SEO from the start can put you in an incredible position.
By ranking for keywords that people are searching for the most, your business will be on the first page of Google search results in no time — making your business not only recognizable but trustworthy as well.
3. Consider a Customer Loyalty Rewards Program
Customer loyalty rewards programs are programs that give consumers a reason to buy from a particular store. For every dollar they spend, they are usually rewarded with a point, with the intent to build up enough points to receive something big, such as a discount or free product.
Customer loyalty is an important aspect of marketing. Customers who repeatedly return are a major win for any business — it shows that you’ve built a relationship with that specific consumer and that they’re happy with your product. So happy, in fact, that they’re willing to continue giving your their business!
Grocery stores and clothing retailers are known to offer these programs. By implementing one into your business, you could give consumers a reason to head to your shop over someone else’s.
4. Embrace Social Media
Social media is a tool you shouldn’t ignore. In 2015, 80% of marketers who implement social media into their marketing strategy stated that their social media efforts increased traffic to their websites.
Who are marketers reaching? In 2017, 81% of the U.S. population had one or more social media profiles. That’s a lot of people!
Doing things such as linking to blog posts or sharing photos of your product will increase brand awareness. It also helps with SEO rankings and customer experiences.
Doing things such as interacting with your customers via social media can make them feel like they’re connecting with you on a personal level, which will put you ahead of your competition!
5. Focus On The Health Benefits — Not Just Getting High
There is currently an upswing in the cannabis industry to replace stoner slang with more positive communication. These messages that suppliers are sending to consumers are focusing more on the health benefits of cannabis rather than how high it can get you.
Aside from other dispensaries being your competition, you also have to compete with businesses that have been around much longer than yours. That’s where the family-friendly messaging comes into play.
Health benefits to focus on can include improved sleep patterns and stress management. The switch to focus on health-centric messaging is an effort to compete with products already sold in liquor stores, markets and pharmacies.
The cannabis industry in the U.S. is expected to reach $75 million by 2021. That being said, the competition between businesses will only continue to increase with the increase of dispensaries around the country.
By using some top marketing strategies to get your name and product out there, you have the opportunity to differentiate your business from the rest.