learn cannabis content marketing

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to entice and engage a defined audience — and drive profitable customer actions. As opposed to selling your product or service, content marketing allows you to educate your prospects with relevant and useful content to provide value.

Why Content Marketing?

According to a report by Nielsen’s Global Trust In Advertising, medium people trust editorial content over ads on television, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines. The term content marketing may have gained popularity with the rise of the Internet, but B2B marketers have been employing it for years through white papers and reports to pull in a target audience. Content marketing in an inbound tactic by raising customer awareness, nurturing their engagement, and funneling them through an honest and meaningful conversation. To determine why content marketing is important to your business, let’s explore the four steps of the buying cycle:

  • Awareness: Customer identifies a problem, but is unaware there is a solution.
  • Research: Customer will perform research to educate them.
  • Consideration: Customer begins comparing products or services from different vendors to ensure they’re getting a high-quality product at a fair price.
  • Buy: Customer decides on a solution, and moves forward with the transaction.

Content marketing focuses on the first two steps of the buying cycle by raising awareness and educating consumers about a product or service. Traditional marketing focuses on the second two steps.

Types of Content Marketing

Articles or Blog Posts

Every dispensary should be creating fresh content for their corporate site. Company updates and tips can be short and sweet at 400-600 words, while in-depth, informative pieces can be lengthy at 1000-2000 words. Creativity and diversity are key when writing articles for your blog, let’s take a look at different post styles you can use to keep your audience engaged:

  • How-to: Write an instructional article that provides a simple fix to a problem your customers have with actionable deliverables to engage your customer.
  • Lists: Write an article that breaks down a topic into a more digestible form, a list. Whether it’s a list of brands, products, or strains or something else entirely, this is a fun article style.
  • Interviews: Strike up a conversation that your audience would like to listen in on and transcribe an interview. You could interview a colleague on the current legal landscape for consumers or interview a brand whose products you carry in your shop.
  • Reviews: Guide your customers in choosing products that would benefit them by writing product or strain reviews. These are invaluable educational pieces to build trust with your customers.
  • Tips: In a community that’s so new, there are a variety of tips and tricks we can share with new and long-time consumers to inspire and engage them in your products and community.

Case Studies or Brand Profiles

We spoke above about possibly interviewing the brands you carry to further educate and gain trust from your customers, but this could also live on your website as a brand profile. Write in-depth content on the products, brands, and their manufacturing, sourcing, etc. This content will provide more context to the products on your shelves and shows the consumers you care and have done your homework.

Ebooks

Why not take all that content you’re producing on a regular basis, and merge that into a white paper or ebook? Ebooks make perfect lead magnets for harvesting new leads and reinforce the authority of the author and brand. For example, we use our “Beginner’s Guide to SEO for your Cannabis Dispensary” as a way to spark interest with dispensary owners.

Email Newsletters

When building out your content marketing plan, it’s important to distribute this content into different channels. Email marketing is one of these channels. Have you written a few new blog posts? Send snippets of this content out to your email list to entice them click through to read more. Use email newsletters to write a letter from the founder, talk about the local community, educate your followers, or inspire them with valuable, engaging content.

Infographics and Images

We said it before; creativity is key to content marketing. Why not use visually interpret data to appeal to visual learners? Turn that boring data into a beautiful piece of artwork, and integrate these infographics into your in-store marketing materials, flyers, and billboards. Consumers may find it easier to digest your content in picture format, as opposed to reading.

Memes

Memes are a popular and fun way to create captioned images that humorous in nature. This content is highly shareable and does well on social media.

Podcasts

Your audience is diverse and how they choose to digest content varies. Offering audible content, like podcasts is yet another great form of communicating with your customers.

Social Media Posts

Every social channel is different and what content you choose to post should be catered to each accordingly. Social media posts can be pictures, quotes, videos, long-form copy, etc.

Testimonials

People love hearing about what others have to say about your dispensary, your customer service and really about the experience you offer. Testimonials are shared across multiple user-generated networks. Repurpose this content and distribute it through your channels to build credibility among your customer base.

Videos

Keep your content fresh by using video. With the rise of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube, rich media dominates the news feeds. Create a video and spread your message through your blog, email, and social media accounts. Live video has also taken the world by storm. Leveraging live video on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook is a great way to engage with our audience on the fly. Web Pages

Web Pages

Whether it’s a product page or a product category – Make sure you also recognize this as a content marketing opportunity. You can add a great deal of relevant content for customers perusing through your website.

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Content Distribution Channels

So, now that you’ve created your content… how and where do you distribute it? To better understand how to implement this strategy, let’s divide your channels into 3 main categories:

Earned

Capture the attention of your local media or industry-related publications to earn coverage about what you are doing or offering. This is where being active in the community and giving back can benefit your greatly.

Owned

These channels are any platforms that you own such as your website, email list, or any brand pages you have on social media websites. Share your content here and work to get is shared (see below) in other networks.

Shared

Networking, collaborations, and aligning yourself with other cannabis-related influencers, publications, and organizations will help you do well in building your shared channels. Sharing your content on your own platforms is great, but being able to distribute that out to other relevant networks will extend its reach.

What Makes a Piece of Content Effective?

Every day, your consumer is more than likely being bombarded with numerous pieces of content across their social platforms and mobile devices. So, how do you differentiate yourself from the ‘noise’? How do you ensure that your content is effective and engaging? Make sure that your content fulfills at least one of the following:

It’s Social Currency

As humans, we are always looking for something new, shocking, or cool to share with those around us. It could be educational or inspiring, but where the value really lies is in its currency. If you are creating content that your reader can share with their friends, it’s a success.

It’s an Emotional Connection

This is content that initiates that knee-jerk reaction for your reader to act and act now! Create content that strikes a chord with your audience in a powerful, profound way and give them a way to get involved.

It Adds Practical Value

Create value and add context where it’s needed to your brand and the products you offer. It may not be inspiring, but adding practical value builds a solid relationship with your followers.

It’s Telling a Story No One Else Can

This is content that is unique to your dispensary – It’s a story that no one else can tell. It’s not a news article, it’s content comprised of your unique perspective and insight.

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