3 States Just Got Legal Cannabis, AND Businesses Need to Be Ready With Mature Digital Marketing Strategies
Election day was a huge moment not just for political candidates but also for the marijuana industry as a whole. Ballot measures passings and other successful efforts to expand the legal marijuana market show how legalization has a bright future — tinged with plenty of green.
There could be $24.5 billion at stake annually by 2021. Marijuana businesses that want to be taken seriously by customers — and investors — owe it to themselves to have a mature, viable digital marketing strategy in preparation for this growth. Otherwise, they could be left behind while cannabusinesses grow nationally and marijuana stocks shoot through the roof.
If you own or operate a legal marijuana business, this is your watershed moment to set your operation up for true profitability and growth. Online research has become one of the primary avenues for consumers and investors to discover brands. You literally have thousands of opportunities a day to capture search traffic or convert interested leads into paying customers.
The road forward won’t be easy for businesses as competition sparks up, but those who put care and effort into their content marketing strategy and digital marketing strategy as a whole will be best positioned to seize profitable opportunities.
Learn more about just how big legal marijuana will soon get as well as how your business can be poised to capture much of that swelling value in the coming years using 6 digital marketing best practices for cannabis businesses below.
Passage of Legal Marijuana Ballot Initiatives in 3 States Just Latest Sign of Skyrocketing LEGAL CANNABIS Industry
Much of America voted this past Tuesday, and while not everyone was happy with the political results, millions were ecstatic to see that three more states passed ballot initiatives legalizing use of cannabis.
Two states legalized the sale of medical marijuana for select patients: Missouri and Utah (yes, Utah!). A third state, Michigan, passed a proposal to allow the sale of recreational marijuana. All told, around 15 million adults across the three states will now be eligible to buy legal cannabis for the first time since 1937.
Looking at the tally across the country, there are now 33 states out of 50 (two thirds of the country) that have some form of legalized marijuana, which includes 10 states with legal recreational use.
Americans in general have also adopted a rosier view of the once stigmatized drug. 64% of Americans support cannabis legalization, according to a Gallup poll. That’s more than double the percentage in 2000.
Even Americans who don’t like the idea of legal weed can’t help but notice the amount of green it brings to their states. California, the most populous state to legalize recreational use, raked in nearly $75 million in tax revenues in the second quarter of 2018 alone. Even the District of Columbia, with its less than 700,000 residents, manages to pull over $17 million in legal pot sales per year.
The industry is already huge, and it’s only getting bigger. Analysts predict that legal marijuana sales will top $20 billion in the U.S. by the year 2021. Marijuana stocks have also surged in light of recent news, setting the stage for a potential green wave and a financial windfall for those in a strong enough position to seize opportunities.
The stakes couldn’t be higher (if you’ll forgive the slight pun), and businesses intending to sit at the table during this runaway growth will want a detailed, documented strategy for their marketing activities online. From branding to capturing search engine traffic to converting interested parties into investors, your success can depend very much on how professional your presence looks online.
6 Things Marijuana Businesses Need to Achieve Digital Marketing Success
Marijuana businesses cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to their digital content and their general branding presence online. Just like a dispensary knows it could lose customers by selling an inferior product at a higher price than their competitors, they should know that digital marketing best practices are the key to getting new customers through your door.
The need for a cannabis digital marketing strategy touches every part of the industry, too. It’s not just dispensaries but also growers, concentrate labs, distributors, device makers, and a host of secondary service providers.
In fact, as the marijuana economy develops and matures further, we can expect to see a sharp rise in secondary service providers that specialize in serving the marijuana industry. Payment systems, accountants, security, real estate, commercial grower suppliers, transport, delivery, and yes even marketers like us can capitalize on the idea that the legal cannabis industry needs to be in good hands in order to succeed.
Put simply, it’s a whole new world swimming in a sea of green, and businesses able to use the following 6 digital marketing best practices for cannabis businesses.
1. Claim Your Google My Business and Other Free Online Listing Services
Joining Google My Business allows your business to ensure that the search engine giant displays accurate information in results. You can receive reviews, edit information like business hours, and keep tabs on your Google maps appearances with a user friendly interface.
2. Take an Inventory of Your Online Presence
You should know exactly where you appear online and how it looks to the average consumer. Take a moment to list every possible mention of your business online, especially accounts you can manage like Facebook or Yelp. Then, audit these appearances and determine action items to improve in order to make your presence both consistent and impressive.
3. Develop a User-Friendly Website with Complete Information
Your website deserves more than the bare bones. People who intend to visit you or procure your services will want complete information. That includes both hard facts like your location and hours, but also more conceptual factors, like what separates your dispensary from the one across the road.
4. Make Your Website Logical to Navigate
User-friendly also means that your website is intuitive to navigate. You want to separate your content into logical sections so that someone in a hurry can find what they’re looking for.
Many heavily branded websites will use obscure rather than obvious names for their pages, such as “WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR” instead of “Available Products”. Consider listing the more-explicit title of the section on the main navigation buttons of your site, and using the more clever titles as an alternate headline.
5. Offer Rich Content for Your Site Readers (And for Search Engines)
The more content you have on your website, the better. While having an informational resource like a blog on your site may seem like overkill, the truth is that both people and search engines keep an eye out for this type of content. People like to learn, and if you can educate them not just on your products but on the best ways to use them for a fulfilling life, then they’ll have more of a reason to stay on your site once they arrive.
Search engines also use content to index your website and draw relevance to keyword terms, like “dispensary in [your city]”. Deeper, more robust sites with more information therefore will win out on paper thin ones.
6. Create A Content Marketing-Based Lead-Gen Strategy
Marijuana businesses face a lot of constraints given the fact that they’re still technically illegal under U.S. federal law. As a result, online advertising avenues available to other industries may be closed off. Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is one such avenue, and it means businesses like dispensaries and concentrate labs won’t be able to compete for search engine traffic with paid ads. Instead, they’ll have to rely on the strength of their content.
As mentioned in the bullet above, search engines tend to rank websites higher when they offer up plenty of fresh, informative, and up-to-date content for them to index. A content marketing strategy will therefore help replace the advertising opportunities you’ll miss.
Social media postings, blog posts, landing pages, email marketing, and similar content-based digital channels can all help you pull in new customer leads. You can then encourage them to convert to a visit by booking an appointment — or at the very least convert to an email subscriber so you can put them in your marketing list.
Get Started Maturing Your Marijuana Business’s Digital Marketing Strategy, Work with a Talented Content Marketing Agency today
All of the strategies above can help you position your business for success as the cannabis market grows, matures, and begins to split off into specialized verticals. Your business has the opportunity to be a part of this transformation, provided you can master your online marketing strategy.
Remember that you don’t have to go it alone! You can rely on experienced writers and digital marketers to help carry your vision onto the online world in a way that both impresses and convinces.
Let Antarsia Marketing help you usher in a new age of green businesses, which will bring prosperity, happiness, and inner peace to millions across the country. We’re ready to help you get your digital strategy in order and give shape to your brand voice online.
Ready to make the leap to a more mature digital marketing strategy? Take a look at the digital marketing services Antarsia Marketing can offer you, and then contact us today!