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Why Content Marketing Isn’t Working for Your Cannabis Business

“Does content marketing actually work? How long will it take to start seeing real results from content marketing?” 

I’ve received these questions quite a bit over the years. 

Yes, content marketing works. It can take about six to nine months before you will start to see substantial results. 

That being said, the answer for your individual cannabis business could be very different. You may see results a lot faster, depending on how much content strategy, production, and promotion your brand is doing. 

On the other hand, it could also take your cannabis business much longer to see the same results based on your brand’s content output and strategy. 

Your timeline for seeing notable results from cannabis content marketing will depend on these factors: 

Cannabis business model

Cannabis industry market

Business goals and strategies

Your definition of success

Content marketing is a five-course meal, not fast food. It is a long-term strategy that takes time to work. If you are after immediate results, content marketing isn’t the right strategy for your cannabis business. 

If, on the other hand, you want to grow your cannabis business with a firm brand foundation that is prime for steady expansion, then content marketing is one of your best strategy options. 

In fact:

78% of businesses that succeeded in 2021 had a documented content marketing strategy.

9 out of 10 consumers expect businesses to provide content. 

67% of small businesses use blogs for marketing. 

Businesses that have blogs on their websites see 126% higher lead growth than those that don’t.

Determine if Your Cannabis Content Marketing Strategy is Working

In order to know if your cannabis business content marketing strategy is working or not, you must first know what the objectives are and how to measure your results in order to determine strategy effectiveness over time. 

Here is a basic overview: 

1. Define what success is for your business 

You need to define what content marketing success looks like for your cannabis business in order to know if your content marketing strategy is working. 

To be effective (and measurable), content marketing goals should be narrow – specific and correlating to a significant business goal your cannabis company is working toward. This typically narrows down to three categories: 

Product sales

Savings

Smiles (customer loyalty, brand evangelism, cross-sales, etc.)

Choose goals that fall within one of those categories, and create a content marketing strategy that aligns with those business goals. 

2. Measure content marketing success with the right metrics

Before building your cannabis business content marketing strategy, first define your key performance indicators (KPIs), ensuring you choose the most relevant metrics for your specific type of cannabis business. 

For example, your key metrics may include website traffic, email subscribers, and brand awareness if you’re a newer cannabis business. If your brand has been established for over a decade, you may want to focus more on metrics such as revenue and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). 

It’s also a good idea to include the following metrics when building a cannabis content marketing plan, regardless of your business’ size or market niche. 

Subscribers: Measure progress by the number of subscribers to an owned channel (email newsletter, business blog alerts, podcast, etc.) or the subscriber conversion rate in comparison to the general audience conversion rate. 

Leads: These are people who have shown interest in your cannabis products or services. They have given you basic information suggesting potential interest in purchasing from your brand. (Contact information, website interaction, or blog subscription). Measure the lead generation impact of your content with form and landing page conversion rates, and the percentage of qualified leads. 

Website Traffic: There are several key factors to consider when measuring website traffic. Number of visitors, number of page views per visitor, average time spent on a page, most popular view time, average time spent on the website, exit pages, and referrals. 

Engagement: Measure engagement impact by the percentage of existing customers consuming content, number of repeat customers, and content interaction (social shares, comments, etc.)

3. Research your cannabis business target audience

Without knowing who your cannabis business content marketing is targeting, it will be nearly impossible to build effective strategies. 

One of the first steps to creating an effective cannabis content marketing plan is researching your cannabis business target audience. Build buyer personas to ensure your content resonates with your ideal customers. 

Buyer personas should include: 

Demographics (age, gender, income, marital status, geographical location, etc.)

Background (career, position, past purchase history)

Personality/Traits

Pain points and unique challenges

How they find information (where they can look to find your business)

Some of the ways to gain insight into your target audience include: 

Surveys

Social media

Creative narrative

Interview people similar to those created in the creative narrative

Research competition

After researching online, holding interviews, and learning where your target audience tends to hang out online, you can form your buyer personas and use them to determine the type of content your cannabis business should produce. This will directly correlate to your cannabis business goals and content marketing strategies. 

4. Create cannabis content marketing SMART goals 

Without defined parameters for what “success” looks like for your individual cannabis business and set goals that support that definition, you will never be able to determine whether or not your content creation and marketing efforts are making any difference to your brand growth. 

Before you you set to work defining success and implementing your cannabis content marketing strategies, you need to set some SMART goals for your cannabis business. 

Use the metrics mentioned above to build off. 

Here are some examples of SMART goals your cannabis business could set:

Increase cannabis business blog traffic to 4,000 monthly visitors by the end of Q1.

Grow newsletter subscription list by 500 contacts by July 1, 2022.

Generate an average of 100 marketing-qualified leads per month in Q2.

5. Analyze the results on a regular basis 

You’ve begun implementing your cannabis content marketing strategies, developing and publishing content, and actively working toward achieving your set SMART goals. 

Now, you need to track your results to measure your content marketing progress. By doing so, you can determine whether the initial goals you have set for your cannabis business marketing are realistic or if they need to be adjusted for the next period.

Revisit your primary goals every three to six months to ensure your business is on track with its marketing. If you have exceeded your plans, take that opportunity to develop new content marketing plans to generate more significant growth moving forward. 

Determine which content marketing tactics are helping your business achieve its SMART goals and which tactics you should reconsider to continue building momentum.

6. Remain consistent in content marketing 

Content marketing cannot be rushed, nor can results be immediately expected. This will lead to disappointment and make you want to give up on your content marketing efforts. 

It takes time for content to gain search engine traction and for your cannabis business to build brand awareness and authority online. 

You may also see drops in website traffic, which is typical. Focus on consistency. Content marketing results build exponentially, rather than linearly. What may seem like a drought in website traffic may turn into tangible revenue and growth over time. 

Content marketing requires hard work, time, and resources. The best-performing blog posts are long-form (2,100 – 3,000+ words). That may sound daunting, but they receive three times more traffic, four times more shares, and three and a half times more backlinks than blog posts of average length (901-1,200 words). This is why so many cannabis businesses are outsourcing their content marketing – this enables them to focus on running their business and leave the marketing to the individuals passionate about cannabis content creation and SEO. 

Putting in the work, investing in the content marketing resources, and remaining consistent – especially as you begin to implement your cannabis business marketing strategies – will return sustainable and significant results over time. 

Cannabis business content marketing will grow your brand’s online presence, consumer awareness, website traffic, and sales revenue. 

8 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Cannabis Content Marketing

If you’re doing the work, but not seeing the results you want from your cannabis business content marketing, then consider the following list of common mistakes you may be making. You could find one or more of them hit home for you, which means there’s opportunity for turning things around. Making strategic adjustments to your content marketing efforts will improve your results. 

1. Your marketing investment is too low 

You won’t see the results you want if you do not invest enough time and resources into your cannabis business content marketing. A larger marketing budget affords your business higher quality content, which means faster results. Basically, you truly get what you pay for

For Organic Traffic: To raise your organic website traffic, publish as much SEO content as possible. For smaller blogs, this is generally at least 3-4x per week and at least 4-5x a week for larger blogs. 

For Brand Awareness: Diversify your cannabis blog content and provide valuable information to increase your brand awareness and position your cannabis business as an industry resource. For smaller blogs, this typically means posting at least 2-3x per week and at least 3-4x per week for larger blogs. 

Stay consistent with your cannabis business content, regardless of the publishing frequency and the marketing budget. Focus your efforts on more affordable content marketing tactics, such as the blog and social media promotion. Save the more expensive tactics, such as paid advertisements and video marketing for when your budget can better allow them. 

Document which content marketing efforts have the most notable ROI for your cannabis business, and then spend more of your marketing budget in that area. 

While content marketing can be expensive, it can also have a high return on your investment. In fact, even though it’s recommended that you designate 25% to 40% of your marketing budget to content marketing, it still has the highest ROI of any other digital marketing strategy. Generally speaking, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing yet generates three-times the number of leads. It also generates 19.7% more organic traffic than other forms of marketing. 

2. Your cannabis business content is low quality or lacking value

Does the content on your cannabis business blog engage the consumers within your target audience? Does it address that group’s specific needs and provide value?

In order for your cannabis business blog content to considered high quality by search engines, it must be well-written, engaging, and relevant. It should also consistently demonstrate authoritativeness, expertise, and trustworthiness on the topic. Your cannabis content should encourage consumers to take action – such as subscribe to your email newsletter or download a PDF. 

If your business blog content is without value to the right audience, then it’s going to be ineffective. If any of the following statements stand out to you, then your content may be low-quality. 

Your cannabis business blog content is lackluster rather than engaging.

The writer(s) does not understand your cannabis market niche or buyer personas.

The cannabis content does not resonate with or excite or your target audience.

The writer(s) is inexperienced. Poor work yields poor results. 

The cannabis business blog content is highly vague and shallow instead of focused. 

3. Your cannabis business isn’t producing the right content

70% of consumers would prefer to learn about a business through an article, as opposed to an ad. So, while ads will likely always be a utilized method, they are far less important to consumers than content. 

Cannabis consumers want to understand everything they can about the products they are buying, especially considering the market is an unregulated one that relies on the companies to do their own third-party lab testing. Forming a relationship with the brand from which they are buying builds consumer trust, and blog content is one of the best ways to form that relationship and trust. 

82% of customers find reading custom business content makes them feel more positively toward a company, with 90% of consumers finding this type of content to be of value to them. 

If your cannabis business website does not already have a blog, then you should include one. If there already is one, here are some other types of cannabis business content to consider adding to your existing content marketing plan:

Pillar pages

eBooks

Videos

Infographics

White papers

Case studies

Guides

Checklists

Podcasts

Interviews

Courses

Webinars

Galleries and slide decks

Social media posts

Reviews and testimonials

User-generated content

Influencer content

4. Your cannabis business doesn’t consistently publish its content

We’ve already gone over this, but it’s worth expanding on. The more frequently your cannabis business website publishes high-quality content that engages your audience, the better and the faster your results will be. Ensure your content marketing stays consistent in order to build consumer-brand trust among your readers. Commit to a content plan you can realistically adhere to. 

5. SEO is not a priority for your business 

Is keyword research part of your content marketing strategy? Are you optimizing every piece of your cannabis business website content for search engines? Are you regularly updating older content to ensure your cannabis business website stays fresh and current? 

If not, content marketing won’t deliver the results you want for your cannabis business marketing.

If you need help creating content that performs well in search engine results, hire a an experienced cannabis content marketing professional. They can identify SEO gaps or weakness, correct the issues, and create high-quality content for your business.

6. Your cannabis business doesn’t promote enough 

After your cannabis website publishes a piece of content, what do you do with it? Do you promote it or just continue on about your day? 

The promotional step of the content marketing process is just as important as the creation of the content itself. By not promoting, you make it far more difficult to build audience engagement. This engagement is what leads to increased website traffic, higher rankings on search engines, and eventually in-store traffic. 

After each piece of content is published on your cannabis business website, promote it on social media, in email blasts and newsletters, in SMS subscriber updates, and on other websites or industry blogs when applicable. 

Also consider leveraging the social power of influencers. Ask them to share your cannabis business blog content with their audience to expand your brand reach. Just check to make sure you have the same target consumers and brand values. 

7. The cannabis industry is a competitive one you aren’t actively competing in

If you’re in a cannabis market niche with steep competition, such as a dispensary or glass shop, it may take longer to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs)and drive the website traffic you want to see.

Below are a few tips for staying ahead of your competitors in such a full industry: 

Keep producing quality content on a consistent basis.

Conduct content audits and fill in any gaps in your strategy

Go more in-depth with your cannabis business content than your competitors

Target a more narrowed audience and treat them as though they are friends in order to establish a more loyal customer base and brand fanbase. 

Your cannabis business can strongly compete with the larger and more established brands by remaining strategic in your content to build a devoted audience. 

8. You have unrealistic expectations 

If you have set unrealistically high expectations for your cannabis business marketing, then you will never be satisfied with the results – even if they are off-the-charts stellar. 

Avoid comparing your content marketing to that of other cannabis businesses, even your competitors. You will end up discouraged if you are unable to reach your goals before they reach theirs, despite the fact every cannabis business operates differently and toward different objectives. 

Compare, instead, your content performance with that of the same time last year or even just six months prior. If you have not been consistent with your content production for that length of time, give your content marketing efforts more time to perform. 

Cannabis Content Marketing Can Work for Your Business –-

Booklexia Content Marketing Can Help 

Booklexia Content Marketing is a cannabis marketing service run by Alexia P. Bullard. This exists to deliver content strategy, creation, production, promotion, and more for cannabis businesses across the nation. The monthly Booklexia content marketing packages are designed for around the creation of custom content and marketing strategies to help cannabis businesses acquire new customers and grow their brand.

Booklexia Content Marketing does all of the work for you. I’ll create a content marketing plan, implement salient strategies, and help your cannabis business reach its SMART goals. I’ll create, publish, and promote quality content that generates the right website traffic and converts browsers into customers. This leads you to be able to focus on operating and growing your business. 

Learn more about Booklexia Content Marketing cannabis business services.

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Original Article: alexiapbullard.com

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