By Veronica Castill0 As of November 2023, cannabis is legal in 24 states, 3 U.S territories, and decriminalized in 7 states. There are almost 50,000 active cannabis licenses in the United States and the industry is positioned to be one of the largest and strongest in 2024. Cannabis is an industry and business owners […]
By Veronica Castill0
As of November 2023, cannabis is legal in 24 states, 3 U.S territories, and decriminalized in 7 states. There are almost 50,000 active cannabis licenses in the United States and the industry is positioned to be one of the largest and strongest in 2024. Cannabis is an industry and business owners in this space must consider predictions and trends as the new year approaches.
The world continues to operate mainly online and in the metaverse so, predictions and trends in business as they relate to marketing, branding, and customer loyalty aren’t hard to identify. We know, see, and function in the world of digital and so it’s no surprise that an online presence is predicted as being a crucial necessity to businesses everywhere and in all industries.
To be successful in this, cannabis companies will need to consider the following tools/techniques/strategies going into 2024.
Establishing an Online Presence for Your Business
In cannabis, the techniques used vary due to legality, but even with only state by state legality, the presence of a cannabis business online is essential. Not being active online can cost a business potential customers, leaving them to competitors. Not only that but, having no online presence means that a business won’t be seen by the over 80% of consumers who go online to find information about the company, product, or service before making a purchase decision.
Earlier this year, Forbes reported that only 71% of businesses have websites in 2023. Search engine optimization is essential for businesses to survive online, so not having a website makes businesses non-existent to much of the world. Social media is part of having an online presence, not the entire existence of a business online.
Small business expert Dennis Consorte says that building a sustainable brand in the 21st century is almost impossible without a website. He goes on to say:
“E-commerce has been increasing year-over-year for decades. Online shopping is more convenient than in-store shopping, and the old ways of doing business are declining. People are accustomed to researching businesses and services on the internet. The question isn’t whether you need a website. It’s whether you will survive without one and for how long,”
Marketing and Brand Awareness Through Specialized/Niche Marketing and Media
Specialized/niche marketing refers to marketing strategies that channel all marketing efforts towards one segment of the population; a very specific segment of customers. For example, a cannabis business selling smokeables may opt to place an ad in a mainstream publication; however, the better method if using specialized/niche marketing, would be to place the ad in a cannabis publication.
Firepol Marketing explains: “Your market is who can buy your product. Your niche is who will buy it.”
Radio and TV personality Bobby Bones said: “I believe now we’re in such a niche-land in media that you have to super-serve your niche rather than try to be everything to everyone, because if you do that, instead of making your group care, nobody cares”.
Seth Godin said: “Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t”.
Creating a Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Cannabis businesses of all kinds, including cannabis dispensaries must focus and create a website with marketing strategies that include search engine optimization. SEO is the process of increasing visibility through search engines, via search results, when people search for things like products and services.
Predictions show that online marketing/digital marketing will be going to the websites. Marketing trends are showing that customers are seeking to learn and find answers they need when visiting websites. Search engine optimization by way of a company blog is overlooked by so many businesses in the cannabis industry but is one of the best ways to increase visibility because blogs increase a company’s presence online.
Cannabis businesses must have a SEO strategy that includes a blog so that search engines like Google, can include their websites in the results produced. Google loves websites offering insightful information; blogs can do this. They are one of the best places for customers to find information about the company, the people, the products, and the services.
Websites without a blog are missing out on web traffic increase of up to 55%. Blogging is a powerful SEO tool, and SEO is a powerful marketing tool. Google says:
“In a nutshell: SEO is an important tool for successful online marketing because it gives your business the best chance of being found, even if the optimization process takes awhile to get right.”
Experts predict that search engine optimized content like blogging will be even more important in 2024 due to Google’s algorithms. Here’s what Beth Nunnington, VP of Digital PR and Content at Journey Further says about creating an online presence with a SEO strategy:
“‘Helpful content’ will continue to have a big impact as brands will really need to take a ‘human-first’ approach in order to grow organically. More investment will be made into creating guide and advice content that not only can be used to improve rankings and capture search demand, but also be utilized across paid and owned channels too.”
Building Customer Loyalty Through Brand Message and Blogging
Cannabis dispensaries can benefit greatly from having a marketing strategy that focuses on building customer loyalty through blogging. Cannabis industry companies/dispensaries will need a strong brand message; brand messaging builds loyalty and keeps loyalty. Key brand messages help define, differentiate, and address the benefits of the company’s products and services.
A company blog utilizing a solid SEO strategy is a great place to deliver these messages which will enhance a companies online presence. Intentional spending with companies that align with the same values as the customer is going to continue to gain traction in 2024. People want to spend their dollars with companies that let them in, tell their story, and operate with transparency. Senior Brand Journalist, Joe Gillespie points out:
“Amid great strategies, blogging can become an afterthought, which is too bad, because creating this sort of content with the goal to delight is a powerful opportunity to turn customers into lifelong customers and advocates.”
So much of the information we receive back from a Google search is located within blogs. The numbers show that blogs are deeply embedded in the day-to-day routines of internet users; 77% of them read blogs daily. Blogs are where people get information on topics they are interested in and in many cases, they serve as platforms where like-minded people can engage in discussion.
In a recent post discussing SEO for Cannabis Dispensaries on LinkedIn, Business Development Manager Jeremny Johnson, shared:
“Here are some recently updated stats to underscore the importance of SEO for your dispensary business:
– 13.3 million “dispensary” searches EVERY month on Google
– 12 million “strain” searches EVERY month on Google
– Over 30% of ALL U.S. retail cannabis sales are done online
– That’s $9 BILLION in online retail sales in 2023.”
If you’ve read this and are a business owner in need of any of the above, let’s connect and discuss!
Veronica Castillo is the Traveling Cannabis Writer from Miami, with a pre-cannabis and psychedelics background in insurance and human resources. Currently, she is a resident of the road covering cannabis, psychedelics, and plant-based lifestyles all over the U.S and soon abroad. Follow her journey on IG at @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vee-traveling-veg-canna-writer/