Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy. Small businesses owners know this all too well, and in the cannabis industry – they wrote the book. When it comes to marketing, your brand should employ the type of scalable solutions that come easily. Naturally even. You don’t have the time or budget for anything else!
Scalable digital marketing is a practice that allows for inbound sales, and when combined with outbound sales efforts it is the recipe long-term brands use for success. Here are a few ways you can start to grow your brand through digital marketing.
Social Media Scheduler & Brand Mention Monitoring
Writing your posts in advance, uploading them and scheduling them at designated times is not only efficient it’s extremely scalable. Tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite have a small monthly fee (and free trials too!), but what you gain for in time savings and efficiency is far worth the price tag. These tools can also include brand mention and competitor tracking, with summary reports sent right to your inbox.
Don’t forget about B2C niche cannabis social networking sites such as Weed LIfe, Leaf Wire, Mass Roots or Get Duby. Sign up for a profile on these niche sites and at the very least maintain a presence to keep your brand top of mind for cannabis consumers. Although these sites don’t have millions of users yet, they are extremely topical and still worthy of a look.
Media Opportunities in Your Inbox
If a journalist sent you an email for comment in their next article, would you take the time to respond? If the answer is yes, then HARO is for you.
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out, an email digest that many journalists use to find experts and brands who can comment on topical news stories. Sign up and every day a message in your inbox will share ‘asks’ from journalists around the globe. Fair warning, most of the topics are outside of cannabis but occasionally a cannabis journalist will show up on a HARO email.
Media opportunities and public relations is a long game, not a short game. While HARO will help in the interim, really consider diving into PR to help tell your brand story. Dedicate a role at your organization to PR or hire an agency to take it on fully – it’s worth it.
Marketing Automation to Save Time
Hubspot is a leading CRM and CMS platform offering easy-to-setup and use systems for brand owners and marketing teams. Its low price point matched with its advanced toolsets allow for customization ripe for large and small cannabis businesses alike. Send out emails to your prospects and customers, find out how many times your emails are opened and forwarded, figure out which of your email contacts navigate to your website and which pages they go, build landing pages to capture leads, set up automated emails based on the actions your prospects take, and so much more. Hubspot is a must have for any new or established cannabis brand interested in scalable digital marketing automation.
Hubspot also offers free training through their Academy. Sign up for free courses to learn how to use their software for success.
Website Optimization for Search Marketing with Search Console & Google Analytics
Sign up for Google Analytics and Google Search Console, two free tools that help you monitor traffic on your website and searches on Google.com. Not sure how to use Google Analytics? Analytics Academy is a free service offered by Google, which teaches you how to use measurement tools in the Google suite. You can even receive Google Analytics certification, great to add to your resume!
Once you understand how your site stands in Google you can better optimize your site for search traffic. Moz’s SEO Learning Center will help you dive deeply into a variety of search engine optimization (SEO) topics. They have “New to SEO” topics all the way to advanced resources for those in the know. Dive in and start learning today!
Podcasts to Expand Your Brand’s Reach
Advancing your brand’s reputation doesn’t require hosting your own podcast. That can take up resources and budget to produce. Instead, try your hand at interviewing & being a guest.
So many of today’s popular podcasts are just itching to talk with dynamic professionals with time to provide value to their programs. Try reaching out to your favorite industry podcasts and pitch them on a segment or topic idea for your brand. You’d be surprised how many will take you up on it. Check out these helpful podcast pitching tips from Sumo.com.
Digital Ads on Industry Publications
Cannabis companies are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to paid advertising. Traditional paid advertising channels such as Google Adwords are forbidden. What’s not prohibited, however, are ads on industry publications. From sites that cater to businesses, like MJBizDaily.com, to sites that focus on consumers, like HighTimes.com, each offer online advertising opportunities for brands. With a CPM (cost-per-impression) or CPC (cost-per-click) model, each site can offer a low budget way to drive traffic.
Whether your budget is limited or expansive, these tips will help you uncover ways to scale your business online. What scalable digital marketing activities are your favorite? Add your tips to the comments below.