While it’s true that public support for marijuana has grown over the past decades, it cannot be denied that its tumultuous past remains to have a say in shaping the drug’s future.
In fact, although cannabis has now risen to become one of the fastest-growing industries in the modern market, the stigma attached to it has kept public doubts and misconceptions alive up to the present day. On top of that, the legal status of the drug remains to be as shaky as ever, thereby restraining the rising industry from unleashing its full potential in the market.
Given these conditions, entrepreneurs who are engaging in the sector are challenged to come up with creative ideas on how they can combat the misconceptions and doubts surrounding marijuana. From website development, SEO, to reputation management, cannabis businesses are investing in smart and innovative cannabis marketing to demystify marijuana and properly connect with their audiences.
Marijuana in the Time of Digitalization – How to Take Advantage of the Time
Similar to alcohol and tobacco, the industry of cannabis also has its fair share in myths and misconceptions. The only difference, however, is while the two have been in the legal market for decades now, it is safe to say that the latter is only just at the beginning of its career. Therefore, while the industries of alcohol and tobacco have already laid down formidable foundations of their own, marijuana is yet to solidify its groundings.
However, on the good side, unlike the other two, which bore the weight of traditional marketing in order to build their brands, cannabis has woken up to a world where everything can be handed out in just a single click. As a result, the industry enjoys faster, easier, and more efficient techniques in breaking down stigmas and marketing their products to their target audiences.
This process, which utilizes digital media to introduce and promote products, is what we call digital marketing.
As the name suggests, this refers to any form of marketing done via digital means. Unlike the traditional type, which makes use of offline platforms, such as newspapers and billboards, to build brands and engage with audiences, digital marketing utilizes electronic devices to tailor a campaign and reach specific audience demographics.
With the continuous rise in the popularity of smartphones and the use of the internet becoming an integral part of man’s day-to-day life, digital marketing has risen to become a vital part of any industry – even in the cannabis scene. Thanks to its utilization of digital media, businesses, especially those who partake in the cannabis market, can now deliver favorable content to the public wherever, whenever.
Top 3 Digital Marketing Techniques
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Ever heard of the phrase, “the first page is the last page”?
If you’ve ever tried browsing using Google or Yahoo, you’ll probably agree that the first “Results” page is the only relevant page for you.
Whether you admit it or not, it’s a common practice for people to limit their searchers on the first page provided by online answer machines, such as Google. In fact, when all the results do not respond to their needs, they are more likely to change the keywords they have provided in the Search bar instead of clicking the next page of their search results.
Knowing this, businesses are challenged to come up with ideas on how they can ensure that their posts will appear on top results in major search engines, such as Google and Yahoo.
For cannabis businesses, especially, this feat comes as a vital task to combat stigmas and promote the potentials of marijuana. Since stereotypes and misconceptions about the drug are still widespread even on the online scene, marijuana entrepreneurs must keep up and challenge these notions by providing contents that share favorable facts about marijuana and what modern science has uncovered from it.
However, with thousands of organizations flocking on the internet, one question emerges: How will one be able to ensure that his post will come out on the first page of Google?
This is where the importance of SEO stems from.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, works by optimizing one’s website to become more attractive to the search engines. Normally, answer machines such as Google operates by scouring the internet for contents, storing and organizing them depending on the codes/texts available, and ranking them based on which among them are most relevant to answer a searcher’s query.
SEO helps by ensuring that your website will be properly optimized using the appropriate texts that meet the demands of searchers. By investing in marijuana SEO businesses are likely to appear in the top results of answer machines. As a result, they can secure more interactions and engagements with readers and potential customers that will benefit their businesses.
Of course, given cannabis’ shaky legal status, entrepreneurs, especially those who are still new to the sector, must know how to build a brand and gain the public’s trust. Similar to other types of business, this involves magnifying positive comments from previous customers and highlighting achievements (if there’s any) as much as possible.
However, since the cannabis industry is still subject to stricter regulations, keeping up a good reputation requires considerable time, investment, and effort. In some cases, due to the limited marketing tools and strategies accessible to cannabis businesses, some dispensaries may even leave other customers unsatisfied if they fail to meet the urgent demands of these consumers.
When such an occurrence happens, good reputation management will help you deal with it and preserve your favorable image despite some mishaps. Of course, this does not involve covering up your lapses. Instead, this includes addressing bad reviews as quickly as possible and offering alternatives to help the unsatisfied customers (providing contact information, giving helpful instructions, etc.)
Typically, you can find examples of this on online selling sites. Notice how those who respond to bad comments with humble and accommodating replies project better and more dependable appeal than those who don’t? That’s what cannabis businesses should aim for.
By demonstrating an eagerness to improve and sincerity to customers, dispensaries is more likely to build a brand image that is founded on honesty and dependability.
Ever had those situations where you’ll come across a seemingly promising site, but when you clicked on its link, the site just seems … dubious?
Believe it or not, aesthetics play a role in building trust between consumers and producers. In the case of dispensaries, especially, their websites serve as their official gates that will welcome their customers. Depending on what they will project there, people are likely to build a favorable or unsatisfactory impression, not just on the products but on the business as a whole.
Just like how restaurants and cafes put so much effort into making their interiors enthralling, cannabis businesses must also strive to look endearing – and genuine!
By ensuring quality and well-designed website, you are taking part in the re-shaping of the cannabis market into a sector that values professionalism and satisfaction from customers. Moreover, it helps in reframing marijuana products as goods that are targeted for anyone and not just for the typical “stoners,” which were one-sidedly portrayed by the traditional media.
The Bottom Line
Sure, while marijuana has now emerged to become a promising industry, it cannot be denied that businesses engaging in the sector are still burdened by the misconceptions and stigmas that surround the drug. Fortunately, although they’re still comes a long way before marijuana’s dark past can be totally eradicated, there now comes a few of available methods that can help dispensaries demystify the substance and re-introduce it in a much more promising light.