At the end of the day, everything you share with your audience is content of one kind or another. Whether it’s an email newsletter or a tweet or the copy on your dispensary mailer—yes, they really do work!—it’s all content.
That’s why in today’s article, we’re going to zoom out and take a global perspective. We’ll examine a handful of top-level cannabis dispensary content marketing mistakes that can throw a wrench in your best-laid content plans, including:
- Voice Vs. Audience
- The Trust Factor: Sourcing Authoritative Information
- Content Is a Two-Way Street: Protecting Your Readers’ Data
Cannabis Dispensary Content Marketing Mistakes: Voice Vs. Audience
Once upon a time, content marketers had it easy. Back when newspapers and magazines were the dominant advertising platforms, marketers created essentially one kind of content: A print-based appeal that, depending on the specific media outlet and ad buy, might incorporate images or different fonts and copy styles to deliver their message.
These days, it seems, there’s no end of platforms on which to share your content. From the articles and blogs you post on your own website to tweets, Instagram posts, TikToks and Snapchat videos, and more, it can feel like there’s no limit to the length, type, and format of content you’re expected to create.
But here’s the thing: No matter what you’re sharing—and where you’re sharing it—your brand’s voice has to remain strong, consistent, and recognizable.
Especially in an environment in which connecting with customers is essential to a brand’s success, it’s up to content marketers to strengthen and maintain the brand voice. And no matter the platform or the purpose, that voice shouldn’t change.
Put another way, ask yourself how it would feel to interact with a friend whose voice—by which we mean their personality, their worldview, their identity—changed each time you saw them. It’d probably be a little unsettling at best, and downright worrisome at worst.
Voice is a vital aspect of dispensary branding, something we write about a lot before here at Foottraffik. Along with the visual and design elements of your branding, your voice is the most important signal you send to potential customers. It tells them your brand is consistent, relatable, and appealing. Every time you sit down to write, it’s the persona that should be at the top of your mind.
But for today’s content marketers—working in the modern multi-platform marketing environment—there’s a potential pitfall. Believing they should alter their tone for each audience, all too many of them adopt a different voice for different platforms. They’re confusing voice and audience, and that’s one mistake you can’t afford to make.
Here’s the thing: Whether you’re composing a tweet or scripting a five-minute promotional video, writing product descriptions for your dispensary menu or the “Welcome aboard!” emails you send new loyalty program members, that voice shouldn’t change.
What are some examples of “voice” when it comes to a cannabis brand? Check out our recent article on creating a flexible dispensary content plan. You’ll see a bulleted list with adjectives like “Playful,” “Quirky,” “Authoritative” and so on. What are the words you turn to to define your brand voice? If you don’t know the answer yet, then it may be time for, well…a flexible dispensary content plan!
Again: Each of the content types we named earlier—tweets, social posts, blogs—needs to be tailored to the platform and its audience. Sharing tweets on Facebook doesn’t work very well; neither does pasting a blog into Instagram. Whatever you share and wherever you share it, make sure that your voice is a reflection your brand: Consistent, rock-solid, and trustworthy.
Need a refresher? Take a moment to read our earlier post on how to create killer content that delights and engages your audience every time.
The Trust Factor: Sourcing Authoritative Information
Those of us in the cannabis industry often find ourselves in a strange predicament. A growing number of studies and reports underscores our understanding of cannabis as a safe, effective, and sustainable remedy for a growing list of symptoms and conditions. But decades of legal prohibition—and outright scaremongering—have skewed many consumers’ perceptions of what cannabis can and can’t do for the human body. In other words, cannabis has a trust problem with some readers.
How does this impact dispensary content? It means we have to be extra careful to link to valid and authoritative sources for any and all claims about the medical efficacy of cannabis. Quotes from other articles or blogs? Nuh-uh; not good enough. Instead, link to the actual study—posted on a trustworthy site such as PubMed or the National Center for Biotechnology Information—and get in the habit of citing each study’s date of publication as well. Because the field of cannabis research is changing so rapidly, it’s important to let readers know when and where the sources you reference were published.
Beyond that, it’s good practice to remember that as sources of information ourselves, it’s dependent upon us to only share content we know:
- Is accurate and useful
- Is demonstrated to be true (by clinical studies, as explained above)
- Is up to date
- Doesn’t come from questionable sources (for instance, those with a financial interest in sharing this information)
- Isn’t controversial
If you’re looking for more tools on how to speak more effectively to an audience oriented around medical cannabis, read our recent article on targeting (and speaking to) this vital segment of the cannabis world.
Content Is a Two-Way Street: Protecting Your Readers’ Data
We’re going to end with a potential content mistake of a very different kind: Not doing enough to protect your customers’ content: Their names, contact information, and medical and financial information.
Some of the ways you can protect your customers’ valuable information mesh perfectly with the overarching topic of “content.”
Begin by signaling to potential customers that your website—and brand—are safe and secure and that you’ll go above and beyond to protect their data. If you haven’t yet, read our article on protecting your dispensary website with an SSL certificate.
On a similar note, we recommend you take a moment to learn why Foottraffik uses WordPress to build our stunning dispensary websites, including the many built-in safeguards to ensure your customers’ data stays secure. And if you’re already using WordPress, that’s great! But take a moment to ensure that you’re using the latest database plugins (and security features such as CAPTCHAs) to stay on top of the issue.
Finally, be sure that your employees understand the importance of maintaining data safety. If you haven’t yet, take a moment to read our article on finding and hiring the best possible budtenders. We don’t want you to lose sleep worrying about your customers’ data, because then you won’t be focused on your own.