Digital marketing isn’t some mystery – it’s been in use since the start of the Web.
Sure, it’s evolved and now there’s hundreds of platforms to explore and dozens of marketing types but at its core remains the same principle of getting a product in front of people that want it.
But what about products that are difficult?
The Challenges of a Difficult Product
It’s not only the challenge of projecting the need but also overcoming a person’s willingness to change.
People become conservative as they age meaning they’re less likely to change. A hot, new item is a hard sell because it doesn’t fit within their worldly view. Sometimes you’ll find people adamant about never purchasing said product out of principle.
Where am I going with this? Let me take you through…
I’ve Got a Toughie for You
I want you to think of how you’d go about marketing a product that falls into a few of these: cannabis.
· It’s legal to use in some states but not in others
· 12% are still resistant to the use of medical marijuana
· There are cultural divides in the topic of drug use
You also have the challenge of selling large quantities and educating the user (because there are many that have not tried it).
But here’s the real challenge: most ad/marketing platforms won’t allow you to run cannabis campaigns!
Now, what are you going to do?
Cannabis Marketing: A Real Difficult One
Cannabis marketing differs from your average approach because of the above reasons and that not many want to be associated with the industry.
Yet, there are those doing it… and they’re making bank.
Here you have an industry making billions of dollars but having trouble partnering with marketers, banks, and authorities. Since it’s easily grown within the legal states, it’s also hard to differentiate.
Here’s how it plays out differently:
The website keeps similar strategies in design:
· Great layout
· Strong branding
· Easy-to-use functions
Where it differs is in the branding.
Cannabis (outside of the strains and names) is still a generic product. The site takes on similarities in what you’d find with supplement and vitamin websites. These are products often with the same ingredients but with a different branding.
Meaning: fine details of branding need to be worked in throughout the entirety of the site.
The challenge of cannabis marketing on the SEO side is that it doesn’t have much value when you’re unable to ship the product across state lines (from legal to illegal).
This means a site needs a greater focus on local search engine optimization.
Local SEO is a smaller pool but with cannabis marketing that’s mostly what you must go on:
· A reliance on reviews
· Photo and video tours
· Video and streaming video engagement
· Social media interaction
· Fresh, local-friendly content
This needs to be laser focused and highly adaptable to remain completive.
So, you can’t advertise on most networks.
That shouldn’t slow you down because there are plenty of ways to use paid:
· Funneling with complementary products
· Conversion optimization
· Sponsored and native content
· Retargeting and shopping feeds
Now isn’t the time to “bend the rules” because of the challenge. Those in the cannabis marketing industry must tread lightly. But, where there are restrictions there are opportunities for platforms and avenues that are rarely tapped (and full of interested parties).
The principles remain the same but the challenges are new.
Applying this to Others
I think the cannabis industry is a great exercise in testing your abilities. It’s prime with opportunity but so are many others that fall into this difficulty range.
I say this: start a side business and get it online to tackle the taboo.
This is a prime opportunity that doesn’t have many competitors. Plus, you’re forced to market it in ways you’ve yet to explore. This exercise (and potentially profitable venture) doubles down on your abilities which will make you a greater marketer.