How To Effectively Promote A Cannabis Brand In 2020

In recent years we’ve seen the legalization of cannabis products and a boom in cannabis related businesses. And with that came a need to figure out how to promote a cannabis brand. In 2020, this industry is facing the challenges of growing and expanding, while adapting to a whole new world of marketing.

Specifically, cannabis has been legalized in several states in the US and in Canada and this has bestowed a lot of opportunity to the industry. In the wake of these new developments, new businesses have grown, existing businesses have converted from being illegal to legal and investors have expressed their enthusiasm to enter this industry on the ground floor level. Even as we welcome this new world of opportunity, as a business, we need to keep in mind that companies are dealing with a market that is more pragmatic. 

What can we look forward to in 2020? 

The fastest growing markets globally for the cannabis market happens to be the US and Canada. They account for the vast majority of the industry in the year 2018 and they are both expected to continue growing over the next few years to come. As such, they’ll continue to be sources of inspiration for new businesses trying to figure out how to promote a cannabis brand.

It is expected that the global market for cannabis will see an incremental growth that surpasses $33 million between the years of 2019 and 2023 and that North American may well be the pioneer for the most of it. 

  • Canada – the legalized cannabis industry had been massively restricted to cannabis plants, oils and flowers. That said, by the end of last year, businesses have been successful in selling a much diverse range of products such as beverages, vapes, edibles and even topicals that are cannabis based and infused. This option opens up a world of possibilities and sales accentuated by product differentiation. Some companies such as AB InBev, Molson Coors Canada and Constellation Brands have begun partnering up with Canadian cannabis in order to introduce new beverages to the market. 
  • The US – the laws are a tad bit more complicated here with every state declaring its own laws and with the federal government still considering cannabis as illegal. Acts like SAFE and MORE target decriminalizing marijuna and offering companies better access to finances.

How can you promote a cannabis brand via social media? 

High demand does not always mean that there would be equally high profits. Before you take a full-on plunge, you should be able to create informed strategies that will help you market your cannabis products. And of course you’ll want to take the time to develop engaging branding.

As it is, social media happens to be one of the best mediums on which you can market your products. Here are some effective ways in which you can do this.

Targeting medicinal users 

Selecting the correct audience for your product is vital because it will influence your marketing strategy. You can broadly classify your target audience as recreational and medicinal users. If you are just getting started consider targeting medicinal users. There are way less logistical and legal restrictions. Make sure that you focus, in this case, on how your audience can benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis. 

Choose the correct platform 

There are many different social media platforms available today, and they all differ when it comes to their demographics. By far, Facebook happens to be the biggest of them all, and that could logically be your starting point. First create your Facebook page and Facebook Shop that resembles the homepage of your company website. You must make sure that you mention aspects such as details about your business, location, hours of operation and contact information. 

Apart from Facebook, you can also try out other mediums:

  • Twitter – where you can make use of real-time messaging, images and videos.
  •  Instagram – you will be able to promote your business through creative and unique images of your brand. 
  • YouTube – here you will be able to post videos that will gain interaction from your customers. 
  • LinkedIn – yes, this is a professional network and that is exactly why, you can leverage this to land partnerships and venture capitalist deals. 
  • Pinterest – if your target audience is one that is DIY and project minded, this is the best place to be. 
Make sure you stay professional 

Whether it is medical or recreational cannabis that you want to put your foot out in, you should always make sure that you keep things professional. There is good value for the right kind of humor in your posts but make sure that you do not become unprofessional. A good example is Lowell Farms.
Try and partner up with other brands 

There are many companies out there that are already making the most of social media to promote their brands. Do not be afraid to approach them and ask for partnerships. Just make sure that there is no conflict of interest getting in the way. To give you an example, it would not be in your best interests if you had to also promote another cannabis business, but you could easily promote an alcoholic beverage – beer for example – that can go well with cannabis. The deal that you make should be in your favor always. 

Use the right hashtags 

Did you know that hashtags increase your chances of reach and searchability? The rule of thumb here, is that you should use hashtags that are popular but also not too widely used. Make sure that you also do not use too many of them. 

Have a cannabis shop? Here’s how you can maximize on profits

Social media or online promotions are not the only way that you can get your cannabis business growing (pun intended). In fact, there are quite a few ways in which you can get your physical cannabis shop to flourish too. Here are a few easy ways to tackle this. 

Reduce costs 

As a retailer you need to always be monitoring and regulating your overhead costs. Ifor this, you should ideally invest in a POS system and understand how you can pull the sales data as well as how you can track your product sale patterns, so that you know what your expenses and profits are. You could also stay updated on your inventory to know which products are moving slowly and how you can perhaps free up some funds so that you can invest in products that would move faster. 

Try and avoid your inventory stock outs 

If you do happen to have a POS system, make sure that you stay informed about how and when your stock outs will happen. If you are out of stock and your customers come to you, you will have to tell them that you cannot help them. This directly means that they will be buying from your competitor. However, when you are ahead of your inventory, you can always take steps in foresight like placing orders for your stock and also limiting purchases that will help you keep going until fresh inventory is in. 

You are offline, but you can get creative 

Just because you are offline, that does not mean that you need to stay away from print designs and marketing your products. Make the most of your creative capacities (and that of your teams’) to make sure that you are advertising your products as much as possible in the best way. 

What else can you give your customer?

Customers like to know more about what they are buying. Be available to discuss your products with them and give them as much value as you can for their money. Not only will this help them build long term relationships with your business, but it will also help you make more out of each sale. Have accessories like pipes, bongs, rolling papers and grinders which will increase your chance of upselling. Cater to a range of budgets and not just one. 

Strategies to promote a cannabis brand in 2020

You can successfully promote your cannabis brand across social media and traditional methods. Here are some marketing strategies that will help you out. 

  • A strong SEO game – your digital presence, if you are online, needs to be easily found by your customers. A lot of your consumers however, will use Google to find a seller. So, it is important that you rank high when it comes to relevant search results. Focus on creating a website that will help you build authority via driving traffic from other credible sites. Look at offering FAQs that will answer the questions that your audience has. Keyword mapping can become challenging for cannabis because in some cases it is considered to be ‘prohibited content’. However, if you search your Google keyword planner you will be able to find the right keywords. 
  • If you are brick-and-mortar, consider using billboards

Billboards are never too old. When you pick a billboard make sure that the location is just right. Your customers should be passing this on a daily basis and be thinking that they need to buy from you. Clear font, minimal but impactful design and the right content is all you need. 

Cross-promotion with your vendors and brands 

One of the best ways you can grow your reach is to team up with other brands for cross-promotions. This allows you to split your marketing costs while you maximize your reach. Onegrown and Vape Powerhouse teamed up, for example, to create customized pens and cartridges. This helped them create awareness of both brands.

Cannabis industry statistics that you need to know in 2020 

Cannabis has come a long way from being a banned substance to developing into a billion dollar industry. So here are some statistics that will help you take a look at what the industry looks like in 2020. 

It has also been noted that every time an individual spends on cannabis, their average spend ranges between $25 – $50. 

The cannabis industry is facing unique challenges in 2020, however, the market is starting to settle. And there are some new opportunities that are beginning to open up. The demand for marijuana is rather high and that facilitates companies to continue legalizing recreational use. What you should keep in mind though is that, your customers are now informed and educated than before. So, if you’re going to promote a cannabis brand, you should be prepared to take the competition head on.