A Guide to Marketing in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis became legal in Canada in late 2018 and has since grown to become a 6 billion dollar industry. Since its legality, the market has been flooded with a large number of retailers, growers, and most importantly, consumers. Like any other industry, in order to succeed in the cannabis industry, a company must plan, create, and execute on a cannabis-specific digital strategy. Before we dive into strategy, it is important to note the guidelines for digital marketing as set forth by the government. Companies operating in the cannabis industry should not engage in the following marketing endeavors:

  • Marketing materials cannot promote people or events
  • Marketing materials cannot contain celebrity endorsements
  • Marketing materials cannot contain promotions of glamour, recreation, risk, excitement, or daring behaviour
  • Marketing materials cannot promote positive or negative emotion associated with cannabis use
  • Marketing materials cannot show cannabis plants
  • Marketing materials cannot show people smoking cannabis

With legislation out of the way we can focus on what works and what doesn’t in terms of cannabis marketing.

1. Organic, organic, organic

No, not the buds, the marketing strategy! Pushing your company via organic mechanisms should always be the first item on the marketing checklist. Ensure your website is optimized for SEO, and backlinks are plentiful. This will help organically boost your site to the top of the SERP without the need for any paid advertising or black hat methods.

2. Use your platform to educate

Good content is the be-all and end-all of digital marketing. With an industry as contemporary as the cannabis industry, you should absolutely use education as a means of content marketing. The demographics of Canada are scattered between age, ethnicity, and gender. This means that certain stigma’s around cannabis may still exist. It is your job as a company in the cannabis industry to use your platform to educate current and potential consumers on all things cannabis.

3. Creative campaigns

As stated before, the cannabis industry is in its infancy. Use creativity as leverage to build and mantain a customer base. Through mediums like graphic design, webinars, rich media and so on, consumers can become more informed, aware, and interested in the cannabis industry.

4. Comply with regulations

Businesses need to be careful when developing and executing on a marketing strategy. Follow all regulations whether they be municipal, provincial, or federal. Undertake legal consultation if you are unsure or have a tough time understanding the rules in place. Failure to comply with regulations could have devastating effects on any business operating in the cannabis industry.

5. Proper agency

If you do indeed plan to outsource some or all of your digital marketing, ensure you are hiring a company who has knowledge and or previous experience in the cannabis industry. This can help save headaches along the way as these companies will have a better understanding of what works, what doesn’t, regulations, and restrictions.

The Importance of Digital Marketing in Financial Services

“Siri Where is The Closest ATM?”

Digital marketing has an immense role in the financial sector, a sector that contributes significantly to the country’s economy. Unfortunately, the financial services sector is quite slow when it comes to modernizing their marketing. The financial services sector encompasses numerous institutions such as: banks, creditors, private lenders, investment banks and insurance companies. Financial marketing acts as the link between financial service providers and both business organizations and consumers in need of those services. Digital marketing strategies open the gates to more exposure, visibility and improved customer engagement- all vital components in the financial sector. In order to compete with tech-savvy startups, it is imperative to implement the perfect digital marketing strategy to grasp a wider market. Here are some tips on how to use digital marketing to your advantage in financial services !

Increase Social Presence

Financial service providers need to take advantage of the fact that everyone is on social media. According to the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, 94 per cent of Canadian adults have at least one social media account. What does this mean for your financial service company? Easy accessibility to your customers and the opportunity to increase brand awareness. For example, as a credit provider, this promotion can help your customers pick you for their next credit loan instead of your competition. Since financial services are widely used around the country, the competition is strong and full of other providers, an online presence helps mitigate this problem. Because finances are considered a high-risk activity, a great deal of trust must be established between financial service brands and target consumers. Social media is an effective and pragmatic way to promote interactions with a customer and create a more trusting relationship.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is important for financial services since it strengthens the appearance of your brand.Your brand should depict a thought leader, a brand that educates the consumer, which thus leads to you gaining more trust. It permits you to have consistent and constant communication with current customers and attract potential ones as well. Financial blog posts are a perfect strategy to target a larger audience. Since the financial services sector is heavily reliant on personal relationships, content marketing is necessary to strengthen that relationship and establish trust. This bond will thus result in customers picking your company or financial organization over your competitors. Next time someone googles information on obtaining stocks, credit, financial managers or private lenders, your blog post can be the first thing they see. Financial blog posts help attract a wider market and can be transmitted on numerous platforms online.

Online Reputation Management

For the financial services sector, one of the strongest benefits that appears from digital marketing is the ability to engage with your customers and react to their reviews. Numerous financial planners have reputations that are often tainted with a bad image. Being aware of your online reputation and responding to negative reviews is imperative in order to proceed in this field. Reviews can be written anywhere online, but can luckily be responded to in a professional and prompt manner. It is important not to respond in a confrontational way, so your future potential leads can be assured in your professionalism. Customer loyalty is yielded by customer satisfaction. In order for your customers to stay loyal they must build a relationship with their provider. In financial services, the customer must feel that their services are being customized for their specific needs, and that if their needs are not met, the provider will always be willing and able to help them. The financial services sector is shifting to allocate more attention towards client care and the overall customer experience which can be managed better through digital marketing.

Use SEO to Your Advantage

Search Engine Optimization, or in other words SEO is a pivoting discovery in digital marketing. SEO helps financial companies be aware of their marketing and their competition. The majority of people are always searching for things on the go from their tablets or smartphones. For financial institutions, especially those with multiple locations, it is vital that this information is consistent for every location. Quite often, people use the aid of the cell phone software like Siri in order to find what they’re looking for. Thanks to SEO, you can make sure that siri suggests your bank the next time someone says “ Hey Siri, where’s the closest bank?”. A specific study on data analysis conducted by Deloitte found that millennials prefer doing their own research on google when it comes to their wealth management. This depicts how financial sector service companies should be relying on SEO to be on the top of search results.

Video Marketing

VIdeo blogging is one of the most popular ways to interact with your customers, especially with the younger demographic. Various financial institutions are utilizing this tool in order to gain more attention. Video marketing has endless amount of promotional possibilities, such as: sponsorships, partnerships and public campaigns. Videos help tell a story and express emotion and are much easier to relate to than a simple newspaper advertisement.

Press Releases

Various industries in the financial services sector use press releases to transmit messages. Before digital marketing, these press releases were hard to circulate. Now, whether you’re sharing information on the latest stock developments or accounting and compliance, your information is accessed much faster. Through the help of social media, these press releases can be shared with anyone anywhere. Whether it is on Linkedin for stockholders or on facebook for the everyday crowd, your press releases will be read faster and by a larger market which helps push volume for your stock.

The financial service sector is in dire need of a marketing makeover. Luckily, digital marketing offers so many tools to boost traffic, increase brand awareness and engage in customer interactions. There is a shift from just selling a product/service to selling and focusing on the customer experience. The financial services sector is a competitive industry, and what makes one provider stand out above the others to a client is the client’s assurance that they can trust their provider, and the perception that their provider is willing to support their specific needs and expectations. If you’re a financial organization, embrace the advantages of digital marketing in order to stay ahead of your competition.

How Digital Marketing Helps Franchises

As marketing shifts to the online world, competition amongst companies becomes fierce. In order to tackle this rivalry and become successful, it is vital to utilize digital marketing strategies. Fortunately, there are so many tools and strategies available to overcome these obstacles. As the franchising landscape is getting more competitive, businesses need to develop tactics to help attract potential franchisees. Luckily there is a vast array of digital marketing strategies created to help businesses attract new franchisees.

It is vital to be aware of and understand the various digital marketing platforms available for your business. These channels promote better communication, more localized ads, brand awareness and an improved relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. Digital marketing has a wide spectrum of opportunities and tools. Whether it is a reply to a tweet or a new website, digital marketing directly impacts and promotes franchising. Here is a list of just some of the awesome ways digital marketing can be used to your advantage when it comes to franchising!

1) Digital Marketing Helps Increase Franchise Leads

Digital marketing has expanded for both franchisees and franchisors. New digital marketing now focuses around search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), search engine marketing (SEM) and various social media networks. In order to capture the attention of potential franchisees it is important to have an online presence. This online presence will help gain company exposure. SEM and SEO is used to grow the amount of visitors and keeping your site high up on the search list. Search Engine Optimization is crucial considering that the top 5 results on search engine results page (SERP) receive 75% of user clicks (Hubspot). Moreover, the various channels of digital marketing promote better communication between franchisors and franchisees which increases the amount of leads coming in. Have the ability to get in front of more eyeballs to get your brands value and message across.

2) Analytics and Reporting

When it comes to franchising, being aware of your business progress is crucial. Many tools are available in order to remain on top of your progress, your leads, strengths and weaknesses. Analytics and reporting help answer some of the pertinent questions related to franchising: how many of my clicks are transferring to leads? How are these franchisees reaching my website? Where in the marketing funnel do I need to improve? Analytics and reporting provide the necessary data that is vital to franchise growth. These tools also permit you to stay aware of your competition and their strategies.

3) Attracting Franchisees Through Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that helps promote brand awareness. Digital marketing includes various social media outlets that help create an online presence. This online presence increases brand awareness for franchisors, increasing the value of their company. Social media helps gain control in the marketing and makes your brand appear valuable. Moreover, social media formulates a platform for communication amongst visitors and franchisees. Utilizing specific targeting methods, helps localize the right franchisees and make your ads more relevant.

4) Franchise Marketing Through Emails

Email marketing is a fantastic way to attract potential franchisees. It is an extremely effective method of communicating with numerous customers, partners, vendors and leads simultaneously. Opt-in emails allow you to engage with the clients while strengthening the image of your brand. The versatility of email marketing is a huge advantage as it permits you to send newsletters, blogs or quick updates. With email marketing it is important to remain communicative, consistent and professional.

As digital marketing becomes the primary form of obtaining new franchisees, companies need to be aware of the strategies and tools accessible to them. Being aware of these strategies provides numerous benefits to your business. Each company needs a unique and strategic marketing approach which will help conduct consistent communication between both the franchisor and the franchisee. Digital marketing is vital to franchise growth and if done properly, can be fun and simple!