As a cannabis business owner, you know that marketing is important. But you also need to be able to focus on the operations of your business.
No single person can be expected to know the ins and outs of digital marketing, keep up with industry trends, improve upon marketing metrics, and avoid tactics that harm your brand’s visibility all at the same time.
Here are five reasons you should consider partnering with a cannabis marketing agency.
1. You Can Focus More on Your Customers While an Agency Helps Get Them in the Door
It takes years to master digital marketing. Working to elevate your cannabis brand online is not a one-time investment either – it’s an ongoing effort that no single person can handle themselves.
As our industry continues to evolve, branding will be a vital strategy for companies vying for market share. To connect with your target customers, you need to build an identity that resonates and meets customer needs.
Cannabis branding takes time and money, but making the investment can lead to incredible success. Take the beverage company CANN Social Tonics, for instance. Introduced in 2019 as a marijuana-infused drink, CANN entered the California market with less than 0.1% of beverage category sales. But by the end of 2020, it had attained more than 20% of the market!
Marketing in the cannabis industry involves many (and often all) of the following:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Web design and development
All this will undoubtedly divert your attention from your area of expertise – running your business. In this case, turning to a cannabis marketing service might be the right solution for you. If you hire an agency, you can focus on the operations of your business while the agency works to give you the digital edge over your competition.
2. A Cannabis Marketing Agency Knows the Ins and Outs of Digital Marketing
Are you confident that you’re adhering to cannabis marketing best practices and regulations? This is an industry where you can’t just throw things against the wall and see what sticks. You need to be deliberate with your strategy while being careful to follow the rules.
In Massachusetts, for example, the Cannabis Control Commission has implemented a set of marketing and advertising regulations that surround three main concerns: age restrictions, exhaustive warnings, and discretion of advertising. A marketing agency knows how to stay out of “Facebook jail” and avoid being suspended by Google or Instagram, which is known to happen with businesses in the cannabis industry.
Let’s assume you run a dispensary. To gauge if you’re even doing the basics of marketing, have you followed any of these simple digital marketing tips?
- Optimize the Google My Business profile for your dispensary’s location
- Update third-party directories (such as Leafly and Weedmaps) with your dispensary’s info
- Display your dispensary’s products on your website
- Encourage online customer reviews of your dispensary
- Promote repeat purchases from existing customers through email offers
Haven’t done any of those? This is only the tip of the iceberg, and your competition is likely one step ahead of you.
An experienced cannabis marketing company will help you strategize, implement, monitor, and track all your digital campaigns. To grow your business, you need strategies that boost awareness and drive acquisition.
3. You Need to Keep Up with Cannabis Industry and Marketing Trends So You Can Pivot When Necessary
Digital marketing may seem straightforward – maintain a website, share things on social, create some ads. Growing your business online, however, is not nearly as simple as it sounds.
Search engines, for instance, are constantly changing their algorithms to improve their search results to help people find what they’re looking for. Did you know there were three major Google algorithm updates in 2020?
- January 2020: The Core Update negatively impacted websites that didn’t have a trustworthy, credible backlink profile. Are reputable websites linking to yours or are they mostly junk?
- May 2020: The Core Update readdressed ranking factors, placing more weight on content, brand factors, and user data. How great is your content and branding? Do you have a blog?
- December 2020: The Core Update focused on content interpretation and SERP features.
With changes happening so frequently across search and social, it can’t be someone’s part-time job to handle all of it. A full-time commitment is needed to understand these changes and act accordingly.
This is where a cannabis digital marketing agency or strategic partner can save you time and money. These professionals make a living by staying informed and getting in front of changes that could negatively impact your brand’s visibility.
4. An Agency Measures and Improves Upon the Cannabis Marketing Metrics That Matter
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Without metrics to track and report on, there’s no way to determine if your cannabis brand is successfully attracting new customers.
Fixing or improving requires metrics. And not just one. Here are some of the most important digital marketing metrics that give you the insights you need to make informed decisions:
SEM/PPC Metrics That Matter
- Quality score
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Impression share
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per action (CPA)
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
SEO Metrics That Matter
- Organic visits to your website
- SERP click-through rate
- Keyword rankings
- Page speed
Social Metrics That Matter
- Likes, comments, shares
- Engagement rate
- Brand mentions
- Reach and impressions
- Referrals to your website
If you hire a cannabis marketing agency, they’ll collect data about your visitors and followers to better determine what’s successful for your brand and what isn’t.
5. An Experienced Agency Knows Which Cannabis Marketing Tactics to Avoid
As you’re now aware, there are many techniques and tactics for growing your brand via digital marketing.
Some should be avoided, like these common cannabis marketing mistakes:
- Making assumptions about your audience
- Not differentiating yourself from the competition
- Failing to keep up with cannabis marketing regulations
- Making misleading claims about cannabis products
- Not making education a priority
What’s more, not all techniques are deemed “by the book” by search engines and social platforms. Choosing to ignore the guidelines can be disastrous. In a worst-case scenario, your accounts could be suspended, or your website could be removed from search engine indexes, making your brand effectively invisible to customers. It can be a deep, expensive hole to climb out of.
Cannabis marketing agencies know which tactics are safe and which should be avoided to ensure your brand is marketing itself ethically.