Going from the elephant in the room nobody wanted to talk about, to making headlines across mainstream media and search engines, the marijuana industry has propelled to new heights since the start of the 21st century. 

With more people talking about marijuana came more states legalizing access to the substance for recreational or medicinal use. This resulted in companies sprouting out of the ground looking to carve out a space in the industry. In the currently saturated marijuana market that has no plans of slowing down, businesses can no longer rely on their storefront and traditional marketing tactics to gain the upper hand against competitors. 

Businesses need to create, implement, and diversify their digital assets to reach local customers and convert them into sales. That’s where we come in to help. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the level of competition in the current marijuana marketplace, where it’s poised to go, and how a variety of strategies for marketing marijuana can put you ahead of the pack.

Marketing Marijuana in a Competitive Climate 

Pew Research graph of consumer marijuana approval
Graph provided by Pew Research Center

Public perception of marijuana has been a leading factor in the nation’s increased acceptance and ultimate removal of the substance’s illegality in several states. It’s also what’s led many to start their own marijuana-related business. 

A 2019 Pew Research Center study shows two-thirds of Americans believe marijuana should be legal in the United States. Presently, 36 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, and 18 of those states plus the District of Columbia and Guam have legalized the substance recreationally for adults 21 and older. 

While marijuana is still illegal federally and products can’t be shipped across state borders, cannabis companies are still facing a field full of competitors vying for the same consumers and their attention. 

With new product offerings on the consumable and technology side of the industry digging their roots deeper into a larger share of the market, it’s become even more imperative businesses market their products or services online as much as they are in the store. 

While flower was once the main consumable of choice, according to the 2020 State of the Cannabis Industry report conducted by Vangst, Leaflink, and Flowhub, vaping with cartridges grew to become consumers’ preferred method of consuming marijuana last year, with edibles close behind. Home-growing equipment, like lighting, odor control devices, soils, and other chemicals made to help grow marijuana, have grown into their own niche markets.

Don’t Get Left Behind With Marijuana Marketing 

The success the marijuana industry has seen as of late has only poised the industry to expand even further. Data collected by Flowhub forecasts the marijuana industry, which is currently worth $61 billion, will be worth $100 billion by 2030. Research conducted by New Frontier Data predicts the legal marijuana market will increase to be worth $43 billion by 2025. 

Not only are more businesses trying to etch out their spot in the industry, but more consumers are joining the market every day for the first time. New Frontier Data anticipates by 2025 nearly 5.4 million Americans will be registered medicinal marijuana patients opting to use marijuana to cure their ailments over prescription drugs. 

Marketing your marijuana business online will help you develop multiple avenues to invite new and returning customers to interact with your business for the first time, learn more about marijuana products, and begin to look to you for industry expertise. Together, digital marketing will elevate and strengthen your brand so it sticks out from the weeds and stays there. 

The Benefits of Marketing Marijuana Online

We’ll be the first to admit, marketing marijuana online isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible and we’re up for the challenge.

Marketing Marijuana may lead to detours
Image provided by David Hilowitz

Some of the world’s largest tech companies — Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter —  have placed strict restrictions on marijuana companies using paid digital advertising to promote illicit substances. The restrictions are even placed on companies selling CBD products, which are federally legal and regulated. 

Despite the hurdles many marijuana businesses have to face to get in front of consumers’ faces online, there are plenty of marketing tactics that act as detours to get around the aforementioned restrictions and still find success in operating a digital marketing strategy. 

An important first step in this process is for businesses to understand the local and state regulations they’ll have to work within to ensure nothing they post online ends up taken down. 

Marketing your marijuana business can start at any point and include any one or number of these assets: 

Website Development 

If your marijuana business doesn’t already have one, the first digital asset you’ll want to create is a website. Websites are going to the digital home base for your business, where consumers can check out product offerings, read up on the latest industry news, subscribe to an email campaign, learn more about the business and its mission, and contact the company with any questions.

Think of a website like a home that houses all the content your customers might be interested in. The more interactive they can be inside your website, and the more value they feel they’re receiving from it will only increase their chances of coming back, or better yet, becoming a repeat customer. 

Search Engine Optimization

If a website is like a company’s digital home, search engine optimization (SEO) is like the process of picking out the right landscaping outside and decor inside so visitors will want to stop by and stay awhile. 

SEO is how new customers are going to find out about your business through search engines, where you’re located, and what products or services you offer. SEO works on the backend of marketing your online content to make sure that content is being seen by the largest number of internet users possible. And just as the competition in the industry itself, online search result placements are just as cutthroat. 

Social Media 

Despite some of the restrictions placed on marketing marijuana and related products on some platforms, creating and operating social media accounts for your business can be the more direct way to reach out and interact with consumers. 

On your business’ social media accounts you can share new product offerings, special promotions, and more information that your target audience is interested to learn more about. Social media also lends you a wide supply of user-generated content to re-share on your accounts. 

Did a customer leave a good review of your business on their profile? Repost it. Has a customer been taking some visually appealing pictures of your products? Share them and tag the customer. Interacting with your customers online creates relationships with them. 

Marketing Marijuana-infused Products
Image provided by Elsa Olofsson

Content Marketing 

Content marketing will be the fuel that continues to keep your customers warm and happy while visiting inside your digital home. It can include posting regularly on a blog or automating an email/text subscription campaign to keep your customers in the know about your business or the industry at large. 

Content marketing can be educational (like a blog post on why a certain pesticide is best for growing), informative (like emailing your subscribers a special promotion), or entertaining (like a fun infographic describing your different products)

Digital Advertising 

Google, Facebook, and the like won’t allow companies to explicitly advertise the sale of marijuana or marijuana-related substances, but there are no barriers to entry for other, more technical businesses in the cannabis industry. 

Businesses like lighting companies or those that sell pesticides for marijuana can craft a good digital advertising campaign and let potential customers know what you have in store. Digital advertising can help businesses show up at the top of search engine results and gain the consumer’s attention first. 

In an industry that continues to bloom, marketing your marijuana business will only grow more important in your company’s effort to attract customers and convert them into sales. Are you ready to start marketing your marijuana business and take your business to higher levels than before? Contact the Trademark Productions team today. Weed be happy to help you.

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