Over the years, the cannabis industry has gone through a dramatic evolution. What was once an evasive substance hiding behind the shadows of the underground has now emerged to become a billion-dollar industry. Cannabis marketing has become a challenging task in areas where the legality of this plant has not been decided yet. Sure, while its legal status remains to be as shaky as ever, it’s undeniable that the legal marijuana field now enjoys a budding status, thanks to the substance’s tons of medical promises.
In fact, it can be safely said that marijuana is now on its way to conquering the mainstream. As more research comes out about the benefits of the plant, more and more entrepreneurs are now turning their focus towards this booming industry. As a result, competition between businesses is also starting to intensify and become more aggressive.
If you’re one among the hundreds of entrepreneurs wanting to take their share in the flourishing cannabis industry, knowing how to build your brand and market your product are key steps to ensuring you won’t be trailing behind your competitors. Below, we have prepared a guide that will let you take advantage of the digital era in achieving your commercial goals.
A Brief Background: What Awaits You in the African Cannabis Market
The rise in the number of marijuana legalization efforts all over the globe has brought forth a number of emerging players in the global legal cannabis market. Africa, in particular, is often seen to be one of the major names that display the biggest potentials in leading the industry.
Interestingly, the production and use of cannabis is not a newcomer to the continent. In fact, for years, the substance has long been part of the African’s list of traditional herbal medicine. With this, even though the status of the drug remains illegal in most African countries, approximate 38,000 tonnes of the plant is said to be had been already grown across the continent.
However, since the majority of the population remains to be burdened by poverty, illegal cultivation holds the most portion in the nation’s cannabis growth and production. To date, while different African countries have already legalized the cultivation and/or consumption of the plant, such as Lesotho and Zimbabwe, the legal cannabis industry across the continent is still described to be largely in its early stages.
Despite this, the potential of Africa to become a leader in the global cannabis market remains. In fact, Prohibition Partners, a European-based cannabis market consultancy, estimated that the market has the potential to generate $7.1bn annually by 2023, as long as favorable laws and policies will be implemented in the nation.
Now, as the industry continues to mature and pro-business policies are making their way in the court, businesses are now maximizing all the available tools and platforms to grow their own cannabis brands and lead the way towards a more promising legal cannabis market ahead.
What Should You Do? 6 Areas to Invest in for Improved Cannabis Sales
Given the vague and changing status of cannabis in the legal scene, marketing the substance is relatively more challenging compared when endorsing other products. However, thanks to the digitalization of commerce, cannabis businesses are given a range of ways to connect with their potential clients in a much easier, faster, and more effective fashion.
Below, we have rounded up the key areas any cannabis entrepreneurs must focus and invest in in order to maximize expand their reach, build their brands, market their products, and secure better market sales.
Check them out.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While it’s easy to post something online, making sure that the post will reach your target audience is a different case. After all, with the thousands of websites and online businesses flocking the online space, securing that your site will easily appear on the top-results of major search engines, like Google and Yahoo, might seem almost impossible.
Thankfully, with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, you can now increase your visibility and make the above situation possible.
Specifically, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a web page to make it easier to find, crawl, and categorize. Essentially, its goal is to drive seeking customers into your business by boosting the quantity and quality of traffic to your website via organic search engine results. In other words, it aims to make your website rank higher in the SERP (search engine result page) of major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If interested to try, avail specialized SEO for cannabis and CBD companies.
Quality and Attractive Web Design
Of course, although SEO helps direct customers into your site, it still doesn’t mean that these people will automatically purchase your cannabis products. Since competition in the legal marijuana market remains to move aggressively, you must ensure that you will be able to catch the attention of your site visitors instantly.
Unlike physical stores, which enables customers to see the products directly and assess them thoroughly, online businesses only rely on good design and execution in order to push their visitors into purchasing their products. With this, investing in quality and effective web design comes as a crucial part of digital marketing. Think of it as a way to secure a good impression to your potential customers. Since aesthetic appeal plays a big role in shaping the decisions of consumers, granting your site with a nice and attractive design will give you an advantage from your competitors.
Moreover, since operations of online cannabis stores are still burdened by public doubts and risks, especially in time when scammers and fraudsters flood the online space, ensuring that your business comes in a well-built site can help you extend a sense of honesty and professionalism to your visitors.
Social Media Management
Certainly, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of social media platforms as indispensable part of nearly everyone’s day-to-day life. From the moment a person opens his eyes to the few remaining minutes before he goes back into the dreamland, there’s a high chance that social media sites are among the first things that he’ll look up to on the internet.
Given this trend, businesses have been provided with yet another space for them to compete and operate. From Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, to YouTube, maximizing every social platform to increase the visibility of your business and build brand recognition is essential to ensure a good place in any industry.
In the case of cannabis, especially, although the legal status of the substance moves in constant flux, the growing demand for the plant has been every apparent in social media sites. As a business who engages in the legal marijuana industry, taking advantage of the plant’s popularity is a wise move to gain more customers and make your brand even more resonating in the public consciousness.
This is the main reason why many entrepreneurs invest in social media management. As the name suggests, this refers to the process of managing your online interactions to increase your brand reach and visibility. However, this process isn’t just limited to posting contents on your accounts regularly but also covers developing a social media strategy that will drive you towards your commercial goals, engaging with potential customers, and creating opportunities that can generate more engagements and increase brand awareness.
Of course, business marketing finds its soul in collaboration. Sure, while it’s good to always promote your products, letting other parties endorse your brand as well can drive consumers into your business faster.
Through affiliate marketing, especially, you can easily broaden your audience, boost your presence, scale your traffic, and double your sales without the need to double your effort. Specifically, this strategy works by letting other parties promote your products in exchange for a financial incentive through an affiliate program.
To date, with the spread of low-quality cannabis products in the market, many customers rely on recommendations and popularity in determining whether a product is, indeed, worthy to be purchased or not. Since affiliate marketing relies on the promotion of others, investing in this digital marketing strategy can help make your products look more genuine, reliable, and enthralling.
Secure and Reliable Payment Processing Services
Perhaps, one of the major challenges for cannabis businesses lies in the task of setting out a convenient and reliable payment processing service for their customers. Unlike in the case of other products, purchasing cannabis can end up to be a really frustrating experience for customers. Mainly, this is because most banks are scared to be associated with any business engaging in the cannabis market due to the substance’s shaky legal status. As a result, this makes payment via credit card nearly impossible for customers.
Fortunately, despite the odds, there are still some cannabis-friendly payment processors that help suppliers and consumers experience hassle-free transactions. Perhaps, among the most popular ones on the list include the EMB, Sky High Moly, Vantage Payments, and SMB Global.
By investing in or partnering with a cannabis-friendly payment processing company, you can provide your customers the convenience of being able to pay their transactions digitally and enjoy a faster and easier shopping experience.
The Bottom Line
With the obvious boom of the legal marijuana industry, it’s important to make sure that you’ll never fall behind your competitors. From increasing your presence, boosting your engagements, to improving your services, there comes a ton of ways to make your way on top of the market.
Be sure to make your brand a familiar name in the public consciousness. Reach out to the best cannabis marketing agency today!