Cannabis advertising is hard. From coming up with compelling creative to navigating the maze of each state’s continually shifting rules and regulations to attempting to stay within budget, it’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel altogether.
Amber Raspberry Mayo and Kari Brua are the founders of WYD Agency, a marketing accelerator for trailblazers. A play on (“What You Doing”) and an abbreviated acronym for "weed", WYD provides a comprehensive marketing approach for cannabis companies. Amber brings over 15+ years in client and agency experience while Kari brings nearly 20 years of B2B and B2C marketing expertise. Together, their powerhouse team is dedicated to helping cannabis businesses make their mark in one of the fastest growing industries worldwide.
Building a great website for any industry is tricky. Creating an excellent website for a cannabis store is even trickier. On top of all of the traditional pages retail sites possess (such as a catchy homepage, store hours, links to social media accounts, and a contact page), a cannabis dispensary or store website needs to go the extra mile and help new customers over any perceived barriers to entry.
“We need a press release!” I’ve heard this from countless clients. I heard it recently from a nonprofit who asked for a press release to share the organization’s position on an issue. My response to this request is always, “What do you want to accomplish?”
It’s a brave new cannabis world, and while many advertising and marketing standbys still hold true, when you’re diving into a new market there are a few key elements you need to consider. Here are three things to keep in mind, especially if you want to expand into other states one day.
Modern marketing comes with an astonishing number of bells and whistles. Given that marketing for cannabis and hemp companies is, shall we say, somewhat limited in terms of where and how you can advertise, it’s critical that all the little things you can do are done with excellence.
For most cannabis brands, retail marketing is focused on branding, menus, packaging and placement in stores. While those are important elements in an overall marketing plan, there is a key group that has direct impact on brand sales or lack of sales: Budtenders.
With the ever-changing rules and inconsistencies by the leading social media platforms, managing social media for a cannabis brand may seem like it’s not worth the trouble. But, there are a handful of important reasons to stick with it, keep social media in the marketing plan and stay where consumers are engaging and interacting.
Instagram is a great platform. Advertisers (including myself) have embraced and loved the platform for years. We’ve spent millions of dollars on it in one year alone. As the former head of Samsung media, I can easily attest to that. We’ve spent even more on influencers, leaning into creative content and partnerships. We all love it – pictures really are worth more than a thousand words.
June is LGBTQ pride month and with it my thoughts go to the similarity between the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality and the cannabis industry’s fight for legalization. It doesn’t take a Sociologist to see a connection between the cultural shift happening around each of these social issues. Both cannabis users and LGBTQ people share a common history of social injustice and having to live and work in the shadows. Today cannabis businesses and LGBTQ businesses share another challenge they are not seeing the growth one would expect with the cultural and legal acceptance happening across the United States.
Are you Starbucks, Nordstrom, Target, Best Buy, The Dollar Store or the local mom & pop down the street? It may seem like these stores are really different, but that’s actually not the case. These stores (or chains) have done well with their target audiences because they know who they are as a brand and they’re clear on the type of shopping experience they want to deliver.
SEM (search engine marketing, aka paid search) can be a struggle bus for the cannabis industry. See our thoughts on it here.
While it can be difficult, there are a lot of great opportunities to helping your site rise to the top. Is there a surefire way to ensure you crush SEO 100% of the time? No. But you can follow some basic optimizations to ensure your search engine results are firing in your direction. SEO is a bit of a long topic, so we’re going to offer a few tips and tricks in different posts.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the stalwart of the retail and brand world. It doesn’t matter what current phase you are in the lifecycle of your brand - new, starting to get traction or well established, SEM complements your business. But what if you are in the gray area of Cannabis? In search, it’s more like a black area.
What’s up with all the blogging going on? You’ve seen your competitors doing it, you may be doing it, but do you know why? We’ve talked to quite a few people who are doing it, but even though they know they like blogs, they aren’t sure what it does for their business.