The tremendous growth that the cannabis/CBD industry has experienced over the last few years has created a real dilemma for marketers in this multi-billion dollar industry. The potential to add new customers and gain market share is great, while many challenges to traditional marketing exist.
How do you market products that are approved on multiple state levels but not at the federal level? How can you stay ahead of the dynamic landscape of new legislation to assure that you’re not operating outside of the terms of service for many of the largest advertising platforms online?
The marketing strategy that many marketers are choosing to focus on is organic traffic. By organic traffic, I mean companies generate interest in potential new customers that come to learn of their brand via unpaid channels. Some examples of these unpaid channels include producing unique content to optimize your company website or blog, partnering with existing publications as a guest writer, utilizing influencer marketing, and experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing activities enable a brand to reach groups of potential new customers while avoiding a lot of the pitfalls that are found when running paid advertising on search engines and social media networks. Here are some aspects to consider when building an experiential campaign for your cannabis/CBD brand.
Location - Choose your events and location wisely to operate within all local laws. To many consumers, barriers such as a lack of understanding of the benefits of cannabis/CBD products remain, as does the general impression of the industry as un-conventional. Look for opportunities to plan events at industry tradeshows, festivals, or pop-up events where your costs can be low, but your brand building opportunity is high. Consider employing brand ambassadors that can help to bring your event to life and educate your customers on how your products can make a difference in their lives tangibly.
Engagement - Unlike traditional marketing such as billboards, direct mail, or radio, TV, and print advertising, experiential marketing is direct to consumer. It is based on the concept of building a robust engagement with your customers. This type of marketing is becoming very popular because it is very effective at making personal connections between your customers and your products. Customers can immerse themselves in your products using their senses, such as sight, smell, and feel, to build brand loyalty based on a positive first-hand experience.
Education - Incorporate sampling into your event in creative ways and have fun with your event. Consumers are seeking out information on cannabis/CBD products but may be reluctant to enter a dispensary to learn the answers that they seek. Your event can provide that educational opportunity for them. Companies are finding that happy customers are sharing news of their experiences via social media, which helps them to reach a new audience at little to no cost.
So get creative and grab market share! Build a memorable experiential marketing event that differentiates your brand and let organic traffic drive your growth.
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