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Cannabis Marketing: How to Best Educate Consumers

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Industry Posted Nov 16 2020

The marijuana industry keeps rolling along at warp speed and not even a global pandemic can do much to slow it down. The result of all of the success is an increasingly crowded marketplace that demands that cannabis companies have an effective marketing plan and a complete understanding of their customers to thrive. A focus on education can be particularly effective in the world of weed where cheesy sales slogans and antiquated marketing approaches often fall flat in our hyper-digital environment. In this article, we'll highlight the importance of educational marketing and give you tips on how to best use it to your advantage.

Educational Marketing for Cannabis

Unlike traditional marketing techniques that focus on messages designed simply to push sales, education-based marketing provides factsand background information to assist customers in the decision-making process. This distribution of knowledge ideally creates a bond and builds trust between the business and its customers. It can also establish credibility for the business; consumers will look to the cannabis company for guidance and to learn about the products that they can confidently purchase based on the business's educational messaging. That messaging also serves as an indicator of how much the company cares for its customers. If a cannabis business is taking the time to educate its audience, the customer will feel like it is working on their behalf and has their best interests in mind. A cannabis site like Where's Weed that drives sales with a robust educational component also exudes a sense of authority that increases trust and sets itself apart from other marketing sites. Customers are much more likely to make a purchase from a company that demonstrates an impressive depth of knowledge than one that offers little in the way of education.

Varieties of Educational Cannabis Marketing

The key to effective educational marketing in the cannabis industry is to always provide basic information that can be easily digested by the consumer. A growing number of individuals are engaging with cannabis across the country and there will always be a demand for general information for new consumers taking advantage of increasing societal acceptance, decriminalization and legalization. Industry insiders and cannabis enthusiasts might have a grasp of the scientific nuances and confusing regulation surrounding the cannabis plant, but businesses like Where's Weed and its partners need to provide the average consumer with primary information like consumption methods, CBD vs. THC, Sativa vs. Indica, cannabis laws and hemp vs. marijuana prior to tackling more in-depth education that tackles topics like the endocannabinoid system, terpenes, landrace strains and the entourage effect. There are several different types of educational marketing that can be effective in the world of weed.

Videos

A well-researched video can be an effective cannabis educational tool - just be certain that it does not violate any local marijuana advertising laws. Keep videos to subjects like the different effects of different strains, ways to consume weed, the benefits of CBD, what to do when visiting a dispensary for the first time, etc. Videos should be brief: between 30 seconds and two minutes is considered to be the marketing industry standard for holding the attention of potential consumers. 

Interviews

Interviews with knowledgeable staff or industry experts are great ways to build trust with consumers while providing unique content. Interviews don't need to be restricted to topics directly related to any particular business aspect. Subjects beyond the scope of the particular business but still relevant to the industry as a whole will only strengthen your brand in the eyes of potential customers.

Infographics

Images that explain or highlight messages that might otherwise be outlined via text make complex data easier to digest. Well-constructed infographics also quickly grab attention and allow key facts to be remembered more readily by consumers. Graphs, tables and charts are a great way to draw consumers to your content and keep them interested.

Social Media

Your company's social media platforms do not necessarily have to be used for outright self-promotion. Educational content on social media (whether self-composed or a link to a trusted and respected source) shows followers that your brand is concerned about more than just driving sales with awkwardly overt and non-engaging messaging. Take a look at the Where's Weed Instagram feed for an example.

Understanding the Cannabis Consumer

Is it essential for cannabis businesses to understand consumer motivations. Those motivations determine how and why people make purchases. Effective marketing communication - especially in the educational realm - should be targeted based on an understanding of the decision-making and purchasing process in which consumers engage. This understanding will allow your company to focus on what your customers want to see, hear and understand.

In order to accomplish this, substantial research is an important part of the process that allows companies to gain an understanding of what your customers want and why. In-depth interviews with valued customers or industry experts can provide a path to how your business can strategically produce and distribute marketing communications, develop and launch new products and generally operate in a manner that is geared toward meeting the needs of your customers. Surveys are another option for gathering information that can be critical to understanding what customers or potential customers want. A small reward for completing a brief questionnaire can go a long way toward boosting your company's awareness of consumer needs. Once data is acquired, taking the time to properly analyze the information obtained is crucial in order to truly understand the consumer.

Do you own or operate a business in the cannabis industry? What is it? Have you utilized educational marketing to increase sales? What types of techniques do you use? Take a moment and share your story in the comments section below.

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