Despite the growth of the cannabis industry in recent years and the public’s growing acceptance of it, cannabis businesses are still significantly limited in how they can market their products, services, and brands.
Ask most marketers and business owners how they invest their marketing budgets today, and Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, and Instagram ads are just three of the most common responses you’ll hear. Social media marketing through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat will be included in the responses as well. However, cannabis businesses are not allowed to use many of those effective marketing tactics and others they can only use in a very limited capacity.
While the laws restricting cannabis business marketing vary from state to state, digital advertising rules developed by Facebook, Google, and other popular social media and search engine companies typically apply to the entire industry – regardless of whether or not the business even touches the plant.
That leaves cannabis companies in a bind. How do you spread the word about your brand, products, and services if the most popular advertising and marketing tactics aren’t available to you?
The answer is content marketing, and blogging is the cornerstone of an effective content marketing strategy.
Blogging Generates Website Traffic
Without traffic to your cannabis business website, your company will have trouble growing. The reality is that the first place people go to find new products and businesses today is their preferred search engine, which is Google for the vast majority of Americans. Your website needs to show up in search engine results or prospective customers will have a hard time finding you.
Blogging is a critical component of search engine optimization (SEO) and driving search traffic to your blog because it ticks many of Google’s boxes in terms of content that ranks high in its algorithm. For one, blog content is fresh and Google ranks fresh content higher than old content.
But that’s not all. Blog posts also create a lot of entry points to your website, which gives Google (and everyone else) more ways to find it. In fact, research shows that websites that have a blog have an average of 434% more pages indexed by Google.
If you put some time into keyword research and optimizing your blog posts for search engines, your website traffic will increase. That’s a fact backed by data. HubSpot’s research found companies that publish more than 16 blog posts per month get nearly 3.5 times more traffic to their websites than companies that publish four or fewer posts. They also get 4.5 times more leads.
More website traffic generates more leads and ultimately, more sales. Bottom-line, blogging is an excellent way to boost your cannabis business website’s traffic for years to come.
Blogging Increases Social Media Sharing and Linking
When you publish useful and interesting content on your blog that resonates with your cannabis business’ target audience, there is a very good chance that they’ll share it with other people through their social media profiles. Every share gives your business two things: increased brand awareness and incoming links to your website.
These two benefits can help your cannabis business in multiple ways. First, it puts your brand name in front of broader audiences who could become customers over time. Second, Google’s algorithm ranks pages higher in search engine results when they have a lot of incoming links, particularly from authoritative sites. That means more shares and links can bring more website traffic. The proof is in the data. Research shows brands that publish blog posts get 97% more links to their websites.
Brand exposure is so important for businesses. That’s why companies spend millions of dollars to advertise during the Super Bowl (unfortunately, the Super Bowl doesn’t accept cannabis-related ads). They want their brands to get in front of a lot of people knowing that some of those people will become customers. You can achieve the same thing through blogging for a lot less money.
Blogging Increases Brand Trust
Every time you publish a blog post, it gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, commitment to quality, service mindset, and so on. The words and messages that you include in your blog posts provide proof that you really can deliver what you claim across your website messaging and in your ads and marketing materials.
With that said, avoid being overly self-promotional in your blog posts. No one wants to read blog content that is just a long ad. Instead, make sure your posts are useful and meaningful to your audience, so they gain trust in your content and your brand that leads to purchases and word-of-mouth marketing.
Focus on creating blog posts that educate, engage, or entertain your target audience. While SEO should be on your mind and you should create some pillar posts for SEO purposes, your main goal should always be to deliver value to your target audience and consistently meet their expectations for your brand through every blog post.
Finally, understand that quality content is essential to gain brand trust, so if you’re not a polished writer and don’t have someone on your team who writes well, invest in working with a talented blogger who can work for you either as an employee or freelancer.
Cheap content can do more harm than good to your website and your brand, so don’t publish low quality blog posts. Remember, the goal is to add value to your target audience, and low quality blog posts won’t help you achieve that goal.
The Key Takeaway
The most important thing to understand is that blogging helps generate website traffic, brand awareness, and brand trust that lead to sales. Research has shown that marketers who make blogging a priority are 13 times more likely to generate a positive ROI from their efforts.
While it’s unlikely that you would achieve that type of lift overnight, growth will happen in time. Blogging is a highly effective strategy for achieving long-term, sustainable, organic growth to your website and your cannabis business. Be patient and persistent, and growth will come.
MJShareholders.com is the largest dedicated financial network and leading corporate communications firm serving the legal cannabis industry. Our network aims to connect public marijuana companies with these focused cannabis audiences across the US and Canada that are critical for growth: Short and long term cannabis investors Active funding sources Mainstream media Business leaders Cannabis consumers