Marketing A Cannabis Business: 5 Secrets to Success
If you are a cannabis business owner, you may already have some understanding of the tricky nature of marketing a cannabis-infused business. If you are new to cannabis marketing — and there are many, many new folks in the industry — it can be confusing, but there are simple and easy tools available to both guide you and help you in marketing a cannabis business. In fact, there are even cannabis industry specific marketers out there ready to take the problem off your hands completely!
In the United States, each cannabis-friendly state expects cannabusinesses to adhere to a strict and rigid set of regulations relating to the marketing and advertising of cannabis. These vary widely from state to state. They are to prevent the marketing of adult substances to children. In other cases, the restrictions are extreme and seem archaic; for example, the enforcement of metal bars on blacked-out shop windows. These assorted restrictions apply to growers, producers and processors, and retail and medical facilities. Finding your way through the mire of laws, ‘dos and don’ts’ and restrictions is something a cannabis marketing professional can help you with, but for those small cannabusiness owners just getting started, there are ways to get your name out there and build your brand without breaking any laws.
Social Media Power and How to Market A Cannabis Business
Facebook is strict these days so research and utilize social media tools out there that can help you to build your brand rather than sticking with what you know! MassRoots is a social media network created specifically for cannabis enthusiasts, and is a great place to start. It is filled with cannabis users, enthusiasts and cannabis industry experts. Instagram and Snapchat are also a great way to create a following before you even launch a cannabis product! If you are prepared to commit and put in regular work over a period of time, building your social media presence is not hard work, per se. It is also a wonderful way to get feedback from like-minded people on what you are creating or building.
Educate, Share, Learn and Create a Cannabis Story
Educating people about cannabis is the only way that change will happen permanently around the world. The cannabis industry in the United States is still small, but it is growing, and those invested in cannabis for life want to share their marijuana-related experiences with others. If cannabis had changed you, or if that is part of your business’s philosophy, share that information in your marketing material, social media or through other avenues like blogs, news outlets and general conversation. Tell your family and friends about your new venture and explain to people why cannabis is something you believe in. Education is key; both sharing information and appearing educated will give your brand integrity and value.
Find Local Places to Market Your Cannabis Business Ventures
If you live in a cannabis-friendly state and you are starting a cannabis venture, consider looking to old school methods of advertising. Although social media has been mentioned and is certainly a helpful tool, do not overlook the power of paper, even in the digital age. When a previously ‘illicit’ industry becomes mainstream, opportunities to advertise within your local community are abundant. If you live in a city, look at music publications, local gig guides and other entertainment-based magazines that might allow cannabis advertisements. Cannabis magazines exist across the United States and the rest of the world too, and some are even region specific. Do some research, even places like BC, Canada have cannabis magazines, and cannabis is not recreationally legal there at all!
Consider Your Cannabis Business Approach
The stoner stereotype just does not apply to cannabis enthusiasts anymore, so be careful about sending the wrong message to those same enthusiasts whose attention you want to capture. Cannabis is a medical aid to many people, and has been proven to have a stack of health and wellness benefits. Cannabis is serious, and it is serious business too. No joke! Treat your marketing and the branding of your business or product the same way: seriously. Additionally, respect that although the cannabis industry is a new industry, there are players who have been in the game for decades cultivating or fighting for the cause. Be prepared to listen and learn.
Be Professional and Have a Plan
Always be professional; it is great business advice and seems obvious, but in the cannabis industry, people can get relaxed with their professional attitude. Do not be one of those people. Those people are the ones that will take the cannabis industry down. Be professional, be a perfectionist and have pride in what you do. The most important way to be professional is to plan ahead. Have a plan! Do not leave things to chance; always have a back up. Treat your cannabusiness like you would any other business. Create a cannabis business marketing plan based on your business philosophy, and have a clear vision and goals in mind. Write them down and refer to them often.
Quick Essential Tips to Ensure Cannabusiness Marketing Success:
- Check out competitors on Etsy, social media, locally or online. Google what you do and see what others are doing!
- Do not advertise your products to kids, or anywhere near kids. That is NOT responsible business ownership.
- Cannabis is not a joke. If you want to be taken seriously, take your product seriously. Cannabis is not for stoners, it is a medication and a cutting edge one at that!
- Be creative. Use short videos, photography, drawing. Can your other skills set you apart from the cannabis crowd?
- Networking is number one. Go to events, give out your card. Talk to people. Meet others that do what you do and talk to them. Form or find a community. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire!