Although the cannabis industry has made tremendous strides in terms of legalization, challenges still remain. The lack of education, compliance woes, social media censorship, and antiquated stigmas provide obstacles for conventional marketing methods. However, due to the strides that the industry has made, there are many opportunities for marketing in this increasingly competitive market. With creativity and a deep understanding and willingness to stay up to date on censorship policies, strategic marketing for the cannabis industry is essential.
Below are five challenges the cannabis industry faces today.
A lack of consumer education in the industry remains. As we all know, misinformation and misconceptions are dangerous when it comes to social media and the internet. Expert information is not always left to the experts of that industry. Using social media as a way to educate consumers is imperative for experts in the cannabis industry for this reason.
Overcoming the stigma of cannabis can also be challenging due largely to misinformation. As just mentioned, social media can both help and hurt the industry. The way to overcome these falsehoods when marketing is by continuing to break the stigma by providing expert, factual knowledge devoid of opinions.
Other challenges that this industry faces when marketing are compliance woes and packaging. Not only are advertising laws constantly changing, making them difficult to keep up with, they also create a hindrance to marketing efforts. It is important to note that these regulations are different in every state, so it is important to become familiar with the particular regulations in your state. Regardless, some examples across multiple states include the banning of cartoons, celebrity and athlete endorsements, and animals when selling their product. For this reason, a high level of creativity and a dedication to keeping up with changing regulations is crucial when marketing.
Differentiating your business in a crowd of industry rules can be difficult to achieve. However, in this market, it is also imperative. The importance of branding, public image, and smart and consistent content marketing cannot be overlooked in the cannabis industry. There is a necessity to have cohesive branding and creative content in order to stand out to consumers. Blending in can damage your business when the fast-growing market is only becoming more competitive.
Social media marketing has grown exponentially in the past couple of years. Unfortunately for the cannabis industry, that does not mean that opportunities are endless. In fact, and although there are many opportunities when it comes to social media (which we will discuss), censorship remains a large hurdle. For example, what has become a traditional marketing method on social media, paid advertising, must be avoided in the cannabis industry as it can get you banned.
Although there are clear challenges to marketing in the cannabis industry, it is not all bad. In fact, there are many opportunities. As a strategic marketing agency, we must point out that in order to effectively expand on these opportunities, it is beneficial to have a creative and strategic marketing plan.
One of the first and most important aspects that we focus on at JumpStartNOW, and something that the cannabis industry must pay attention to, is building a cohesive brand. Making sure that all visuals are alike and having a brand voice that is consistent throughout all platforms is essential. This will help to make your business recognizable and allow your audience to remember you.
If you can effectively learn the policies and stay up to date on them, social media is the playground for consumers and will also help to build your brand awareness. From a strategic marketing perspective, it is important to note the different methods that should be implemented for each platform. Instagram is a prominent way to boost awareness, properly educate, and build a targeted audience. Twitter can be used to exchange ideas with leaders in the cannabis industry and promote informative conversations. Facebook is a fantastic platform to build a community in. Along with that, LinkedIn is another platform that can be utilized to build a community and also educate those who are currently reluctant.
Although celebrities and professional athlete endorsements are not allowed, social media influencers have taken over social media and provide an opportunity to reach your targeted audience as well as a new, uninformed or hesitant group of consumers. The importance of social influencers is that their followers trust them, listen to them, and pay attention to the brands they are working with. Finding influencers that match your brand is an opportunity that should be taken seriously.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that can assist in reaching your target audience. Build an audience through authentically engaging consumers through other content marketing efforts. At JumpStartNOW, we focus on strategically boosting brand awareness while also keeping audiences up-to-date on your business through emails. Crafting your email marketing strategy is an important aspect in the success of your business.
Finally, cultivating media coverage is a cost-effective way to build credibility. This is a major priority when marketing for cannabis. Receiving a spotlight through news outlets will help break the stigma, gain trust in the industry, and boost your company’s reputation.
Want to learn more about how you can get the most out of your marketing? Connect with our CEO, Veronika, here.