The path to a successful cannabis business or as they say ‘canabusiness’ is not a smooth and easy one to navigate. It’s full of confusing laws and regulations, steep taxes, and many other unforeseeable roadblocks and hoops to jump through. After nation-wide legalisation in Canada, the cannabis sector has sprung to success with whopping tax revenues of more than 1.6 billion dollars. Growers, harvesters and retailers have been quick to tap into the growing demand for recreational and medicinal cannabis.
Demand for the product isn’t the only driving force behind this success story, though. As more cannabis companies join the market, e-commerce continues to drive innovation throughout this growing industry. A business that is bound to expand hugely in the coming years, let’s see how digital marketing strategies can be put to use by cannabis companies to maximise their business potential:-
- Social media:
Social media is probably the biggest source of marketing and business for cannabis vendors and retailers. Instagram and Facebook is rampant with photos, videos and posts of exotic strains being cultivated, cured and smoked all throughout Canada and The United States of America. Legal weed has not only expanded through flower but latest technical innovations have given rise to newer means of terpene and cannabinoid extraction, from shatter to concentrates, from tinctures to oil and much more. Social media is still unfriendly to cannabis companies. None of the big platforms will support their ads, even when they’re for perfectly legal companies. Nonetheless, Facebook did recently lift its ban on marijuana-related pages. One way of using these social media groups would be to post links to helpful content, providing expert input of one’s own, on behalf of a brand.
The world of influencers is a relatively new one as well. Within a decade, influencers have changed the way digital markets work. While many industries are just starting to realize how powerful an influencer’s endorsement can be, cannabis companies have been quick to adopt this e-commerce marketing practice. AdWeek even went so far as to call influencers “the secret to marketing marijuana”. Cannabis brands looking to work with influencers should find those who can help craft campaigns that are sensitive to current issues and won’t inadvertently get their social or ad account shut down. A quality influencer or a micro-influencer is someone who has grown their audience organically by creating original content and reporting high levels of engagement and social reach with that audience.
No industry can be said to fully embrace the potential of e-commerce until it’s flooded with apps. Popular social media apps in this space include Weed Maps, MassRoots and High There. People can look up on dispensaries, strains and even have their stash delivered home using delivery vendors that bring your herb right to your doorstep. Another popular app, called MyDx, is a diagnostic app that comes with a companion device so users can test cannabis samples before imbibing. To better market a cannabis brand, one can either create a branded app that helps promote push notifications, reminders, sale promos and highly personalised messages. Another clever tactic would be to consider purchasing ads on other popular apps like Leafly to reach potential customers.