Thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in over ten states, the cannabis industry has seen booming success within the last decade. Everyone from investors to horticultural enthusiasts are cashing in on the monetary and medicinal benefits of this plant, but “making it” in the space certainly isn’t an easy gig. Because cannabis is still considered illegal on a federal level, there are seemingly endless restrictions on how cannabis vendors and producers can market and sell their products.
Digital marketing is especially challenging, which poses a huge sales problem because it’s so essential to the success of any other type of business. Here’s the good news: it’s still possible to curate a compelling online image while still abiding by the restrictions within the digital sphere.
Let’s take a look at these three online marketing tips.
We don’t need to reiterate the importance of maintaining a solid online presence, but what’s worth noting is that it all starts with your website. From your e-commerce platform to website design, every component of your website is a chance to draw in potential customers, brand representatives, and even investors.
But in addition to choosing the right product images to feature and copy to explain your merchandise, many brands let one important facet slip: site structure. Not only does site structure improve the user experience of your website but it also has an impact on how you rank among your competitors on search engines.
There are a few key elements to creating a website that’s appealing to users and search engines:
- Site navigation should be intuitive and unintimidating. If a user has trouble finding a product or essential information, they probably won’t stay on your site for very long.
- URL structure should be relevant to the page, short and sweet, and include the keyword you’re trying to rank for. Here’s a real-life good example and a made-up bad one.
- Good URL Structure: https://cbdfx.com/collections/cbd-hemp-capsules/
- Poor URL Structure: https://getbuds.com/cannabis/apparel-and-vape-pens-and-cbd-gummies
Let’s break down these examples a little further. The reason we like the good example is because it’s simple, accurately categorizes the product among a larger inventory, and they’re only trying to rank for one keyword (CBD hemp capsules). The bad example, on the other hand, categorizes apparel, vapes, and CBD products all in the same section which is confusing to users and search engines. Additionally, they’ve included far too many keywords to attempt to rank for on one page.
- Create useful content to help customers and rank for your desired keywords. By allowing editorial and commercial content to live on your website, you’re not only signaling to SERPs that you’re an authoritative site, but you’re also getting the chance to answer important questions for your customers.
Here’s a tip: when creating written content, start with a focus on FAQs you get about your product or company. Naturally incorporate keywords into your content and link out to other authoritative resources such as white papers, educational websites, and thought leaders in your industry.
Affiliate marketing has become an indispensable tool in the digital marketing world since the rise of social media has taken over the industry. By hiring influencers, your brand can reach a new audience who are likely already interested in cannabis or health and wellness in general.
When choosing an influencer to partner with, be sure that they match your brand image, have a substantial following, and are aware of the regulations on marketing cannabis products. While you want to set out some expectations and strategies for your influencer marketing campaign, you’ll want to leave some space for influencers to inject their personality, too. This will make the campaign feel much more authentic which means followers will be more likely to convert.
In addition to the “big” social media sites, there are several cannabis-friendly platforms you can use to reach a more defined and relevant audience.
Some popular platforms include:
To succeed in the digital sphere of cannabis, you’ll need to get creative. Use these tips as a roadmap to help you bolster your website, use emerging tactics, and expand your reach. Have some marketing tips of your own? Share them in the comment section below!