Organic Efforts to Expand Marketing

5 Ways to Improve Your Hemp or Cannabis Business Online

With Canada legalizing cannabis as a country and Mexico looking to decriminalize all drugs, US states are pushing to legalize cannabis recreationally and with the passage of the US 2018 Farm Bill; the cannabis and hemp industries are growing at an impressive record setting pace. In order to stay competitive in a marketplace where advertising is still under strict scrutiny, cannabis businesses are focusing more organic efforts to expand their marketing, especially online. If your cannabis business isn’t capitalizing on these 5 factors, you are letting your competitors edge you out!

1) Get a Professional to Audit Your Website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has a ton of different moving parts. From content creation to analytics to ad buying – it can be a handful, but all that effort can be for nothing if you’re funneling it to a bad web platform. A poorly coded website, poorly organized content, or even total lack of SEO can make the money and effort you’ve placed into your cannabis or hemp-based content lose out in key search results. Even if you handle your content creation by yourself, get an expert developer to assess your website to make sure you’re maximizing your content efforts. If necessary, consider upgrading your website to a higher grade package that gives you more control over content and SEO.

2) Expand and Improve Your Social Media Channels

Today’s cannabis consumers are bombarded with a plethora of different channels for content and media. While we advise our cannabis clients to focus on their website and their original content, social media is still one of your best allies for getting in front of your audience. We think of social channels as a funnel that brings customers to your website. Make sure you have an active social media presence.

Get your cannabis or hemp brand on as many relevant social media services as you can handle and try to update your content frequently. We advise daily posting, but do it as often as you can – the point is to be seen AND heard. Make sure your brand is consistent across platforms and if necessary, hire a professional graphic designer with cannabis and hemp experience to hand-craft a marketing design that is specifically made to make your brand shine on each platform.

3) Reach Out to Social Media Influencers

Cannabis content growth often comes down to who you know and who endorses you. Reach out to like-minded members of the industry who have already built a following. Start by following their channels and engaging with their content. If your brand and messaging make a good match – contact them! A properly formed and shared widely cannabis or hemp channel can kickstart your social media. Many influencers are willing to endorse products for a commission or flat advertising rates. But be careful! This kind of advertising comes with its own risks and rewards, research your partners and form a clear working agreement.

4) Buy Advertising on Like Minded Cannabis & Hemp Channels

When you’re a new cannabis or hemp company advertising costs can grow quickly and resources can be tight. Make sure you’re putting your advertising budget to work for you. Do your research on like-minded channels before buying ad-space. If you’re a grower, research grow forums and agriculture-heavy online publications; many of them sell pay-per-click space at reasonable budgets. If you’re a dispensary, be sure to list your hours, contact information, and if possible, your menu on several mainstream cannabis listing services. If you’re an ancillary business, find cannabis business service friendly publications and get listed like Sensi Magazine, Ganjapreneur or MJBizDaily.

5) Boots on the Ground – Networking & Direct Traffic

Growing your cannabis or hemp business from the ground up, even online, is always a hustle. Don’t expect your website to behave like a grand opening, where as soon as you cut the red ribbon and launch your site, the fans come flooding in. In the beginning, it will take effort to build your audience. Jump on opportunities to share your website and social media channels with friends and family. We’ve found tremendous return in old school face-to-face networking too. Use your website as your ultimate marketing tool and always remember to tell new acquaintances,  “look me up”. When your brand is strong across a variety of channels, they’ll know you mean serious business! And remember in order to stay competitive in a marketplace where advertising is still under strict scrutiny, cannabis businesses should be focusing more organic efforts to expand their marketing, especially online.


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