Cannabis Business Marketing: Why 'Inbound' is the Winning Strain
A Quick Rundown on Inbound Marketing
What is inbound marketing?
At its core, inbound marketing is a technique designed to create valuable experiences for customers. When properly implemented, an inbound marketing campaign will have a positive value on both your business and your audience.
You might find yourself wondering just how you're supposed to use advertising to create positive and valuable experiences for an audience. Don't most people hate ads?
It's true that many of us get bogged down with constant advertisements; as such, a lot of the public today tends to respond poorly to traditional advertising. Fortunately, inbound marketing offers something that those other forms of advertising don't. The inbound process relies on creating relevant, helpful content for your audience.
“…with a little creative thinking and a push for marketing innovation, you can bypass these hurdles and start creating a fulfilling campaign that adds value to both your brand and your customers.”
This content can be worked into websites, blogs, and other platforms to drive potential customers to your website (or wherever you're selling your products). It removes the sales-y feeling from marketing and turns it into a value-added process that entices and delights audiences.
How does inbound marketing work?
Inbound marketing relies on superb content creation and a skill for drawing people towards your brand or products. A successful inbound marketing campaign is reliant on three key factors:
Attracting potential customers
Engaging potential customers
Delighting the audience
You'll attract an audience through videos, blogging, social media, and a solid content strategy. You can build authority and start forming a brand identity through these means. Future customers will be able to stumble upon your content and be lead to learn more about what you have to offer.
Then, you can use tools like email marketing, conversational bots, and marketing automation to keep those readers engaged. This is critical-- you'll want to create lasting relationships with your audience. Use whatever channels they prefer and mold your methodologies to meet their preferences. This is where brand loyalty is built; it's an essential step that can't be missed.
You'll need to delight your audience if you want them to stick around and remain profitable. Leveraging smart content and automation, you can make sure that people get the right information and see the right content at the right time.
Why Inbound is Best for Cannabis Marketers
Unique challenges within the industry
The cannabis industry is amongst the fastest-growing sectors in the US. With countless advancements and innovations being made every day, an exciting and volatile startup landscape, and numerous passionate individuals leading the push to normalize cannabis products, it's difficult to believe that marketing those products is next to impossible.
Cultural stigmatism and industry regulations put advertisers in a tough spot. Marketing to a crowd who doesn't know much about cannabis or who may have preconceived notions about it can prove difficult.
There are also stringent regulations on who can see cannabis advertisements and where, when, and why they can see them. Those trying to market cannabis products have to grapple with problems that those in more traditional industries don't. You can't set up paid search benefits for cannabis products; in most cities, you also can't utilize classic marketing tools like TV and radio.
Whether it's recreational or medicinal, THC- or CBD-focused, or plant-touching or not, marketing cannabis products presents a host of unique challenges. Both pay-per-click (PPC) and more traditional advertising methods aren't even options for cannabis marketers-- so what's the answer?
Fortunately, inbound marketing can help circumvent some of these roadblocks. You may not be able to get your name out into the public like other companies, but you can work on leading the public to you.
Adopting and embracing the "Attract, Engage, Delight" framework in cannabis advertising
The framework behind every successful inbound marketing campaign seeks to do three things. Because inbound marketing is geared around getting customers to come to you, you'll need to attract them to your brand and products first.
This is especially true for cannabis products. Plenty of people use and enjoy these products on a regular basis-- whether it's for relief from a medical condition or for recreational purposes-- but even more have never touched cannabis before. You'll have to work against stigma and arm them with knowledge in order to attract them to trying something new.
Once you've successfully leveraged marketing to get some interest in your cannabis products, it's time to engage those future customers. People want to learn and experience new things, so give them what they want. Provide useful, informative, and educational content surrounding your products-- where they come from, who and what they're for, and other information can all help your audience better engage with your brand.
If your audience has been attracted and engaged, there's only one thing left to do: delight them. Show customers how purchasing and using cannabis products can change their lives for the better. Offer hard evidence of the ways that cannabis can help those suffering from chronic illness; prove to them that taking the plunge and trying a cannabis product will add positive value to their lives.
There are clear benefits to adopting an inbound marketing strategy if you're promoting, selling, or otherwise trying to advertise cannabis products. The industry presents a host of unique (and especially frustrating) challenges that not many other sectors find themselves facing.
As a marketing professional, it can be incredibly frustrating to try to raise awareness around and advertise a product that few people speak about and few areas allow to be marketed. Fortunately, with a little creative thinking and a push for marketing innovation, you can bypass these hurdles and start creating a fulfilling campaign that adds value to both your brand and your customers.
If you're interested in learning more about how an inbound marketing campaign can help propel your cannabis brand, spark up a conversation with us today. Our friendly and knowledgeable team of marketing and creative ninjas is eager to speak with you about your individual goals and problems in order to create a one-of-a-kind roadmap to success. Whether you're brand new to marketing or a seasoned pro, you'll always stand to benefit from an experienced team standing behind you.