On Cannabis PR: Leveraging Earned Media and Owned Media to Grow a Brand’s Digital Presence

Surging web traffic means digital strategy and brand awareness are central to mining new opportunities in earned media and owned media.

Digital Strategy and Brand Awareness

Author: Trevor Maniscalo

Because of the pandemic, Americans are spending more time than they ever have online. It also appears changes in consumer shopping habits, such as researching products online and relying on e-commerce are here to stay, putting digital strategy and brand awareness in the spotlight. 

Cannabis brands have a unique opportunity right now to not only grow their digital presence, but also to solidify messaging and gain name recognition through strategic impressions

Building brand awareness starts with getting in front of consumers. A digital strategy that leverages the spike in online traffic to meet targeted consumers where they are can be the foundation to becoming a household name. This is accomplished by taking a new approach on earned media and doubling down on owned media to keep brand messaging consistent and fresh.

For those who aren’t familiar with the difference between earned media and owned media, here’s a quick breakdown: 

Earned media is “the buzz.” It’s coverage that cannabis PR agencies secure for your brand in media outlets, along with consumers posting about your brand on social media (influencers too). Owned media is you telling your brand’s story and sharing product information your way, on your company website, social media, vendor sites and other digital platforms. 

Controlling the Local Market

While the national media landscape is rightfully pretty busy these days, local media outlets are in need of content. 

Early on in the pandemic, cannabis was deemed an essential industry in many states, and that means your brand will continue to play an important role in the local community. 

Companies can win positive attention by being vocal and supportive of local media and events happening in their corner of the world. 

Smaller, overlooked outlets can be valuable targets. When establishing brand awareness, niche media such as community news sites and podcasts are essential building blocks for establishing your influence. 

Assessing Your Cannabis Brand’s Owned Media Presence

With an uptick in web traffic, it’s also a good idea to regularly evaluate your cannabis brand messaging on owned media channels. 

This is a direct way you are communicating with potential and returning customers. In an industry that changes on a dime, a stale website with outdated messaging can steer consumers away, so it’s wise to keep up with the times.

With dispensaries now operating with extra focus on e-commerce platforms and pre-ordering, providing vendors product descriptions with consistent messaging are key to differentiating your brand from the competition, informing potential consumers, and helping loyal consumers find your products and new releases with ease. 

Making Impressions that Last 

Capitalizing on the online shopping trend requires a multifaceted approach to help consumers learn about your brand. 

By focusing on local outreach while keeping your owned media fresh, you’re increasing the chance that someone will come across your website or social media channels. Brand messaging needs to be consistent, with up-to-date blog content, social posts and product descriptions that draw in consumers and have lasting impact. 

With more eyes online than ever, your brand has many more opportunities to make a positive impression. 

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