In a world without traditional advertising, content marketing services are invaluable
Table of Contents
- What Are Content Marketing Services?
- Why Should I Consider Content Services?
- How Will Content Marketing Help My Cannabis Business?
- Cannabis Content Marketing Services 101
- What is Pillar-Cluster Blog Content?
- What Makes for Good Cannabis Social Media?
- How to Write a Must-Read Cannabis Email Newsletter
- What’s the Secret Behind Writing a Stellar Cannabis Press Release?
- What is Automation and Drip Campaigns?
- What’s the Value of Custom Web Pages?
- What is Paid Media Advertising and How Do You Use It?
- Kickstart Your Cannabis Content Marketing Strategy Today
Content marketing services are the best way to grow your business online and become a contender in the cannabis marketplace. The services use a variety of different tools to draw in search users and make them customers. From clickable blogs and email newsletters, to engaging social media and web pages, multichannel content marketing helps you grow your business strategically. Let’s dive in.
The point of content marketing is to build your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) power and meet the high standards of search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. These search engines will rank websites higher based on how well the site is built (technical SEO) and how informative and well-optimized its content is (on-page SEO).
When search-engine users enter a keyword or keyword phrase (e.g. “best Colorado dispensaries” or “sativa vape cartridges”), the engine crawls endless sites and pages for trustworthy, smartly sourced, relevant and authoritative content that meets the needs of searchers by being hyper-focused on specific topics and answering their burning questions.
The more quality content your site has, the higher your website’s Domain Authority will go, meaning the higher it will rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This allows your site to be seen more readily, thus generating more brand awareness while drawing in new audiences that are more likely to engage and convert based on all that informative content.
The hard truth of trying to be a viable cannabis brand isn’t just that the marketplace is saturated, it’s also because cannabis is illegal at the federal level. This means the likes of Facebook, Google and other national advertisers don’t want to promote this special plant for legal reasons.
Without typical advertising avenues, cannabis businesses must use content to have a fighting chance of selling products or services.
An effective content marketing strategy involves reaching general and specific audiences and meeting consumers where they are. Here are some of the main ways to connect:
- Pillar-Cluster Blogs
- Social Media Posts
- Press Releases
- Automated Drip Campaigns
- Custom Web Pages
- Paid Media Ads
Let’s take a deeper look at these content tools.
Pillar-Cluster Blogs are the very foundation of SEO best practices and quality inbound marketing leads. Inbound marketing is all about attracting, engaging and delighting audiences to draw in those who are completely unaware about your brand, right from a random Google search.
As for the crucial information that’s showing up high in searches, it’s the Pillar-Cluster Blog Strategy unfolding. Here’s how it works:
It’s as simple as creating a comprehensive “pillar page” that covers a broad swath of information about a subject—think of a “how-to” guide or a top-level breakdown of a wide topic (check out this pillar page about Cannabis Marketing). Then, a number of shorter, more focused “cluster” pages revolve around the pillar page, answering questions related to the broader topic.
These pages are all buttoned up with domain-boosting SEO gold such as keywords and long-tail keyword phrases, optimized headers, backlinks, internal links and compelling images, which sends signals to Google and other engines that this is a page to trust and put in front of searchers. Win-win!
Social media seems like a simple-enough thing: Complement the overall marketing strategy with a regular cadence of posts that are fun and engaging.
It starts with knowing your audience and giving them something that’s relevant, relatable, poignant, topical, visually engaging … OK, maybe it’s not that simple. But by using a dedicated social media calendar and carving out time for content ideation, creating imagery and writing the posts, you’ll have the advantage of working smarter, not harder.
Start by coming up with a handful of broad category “buckets” related to your business, such as “product spotlight,” “insider info” and “brand philosophy.” From there, you can start lining up your social media calendar and work up ideas for posts that cover an entire month’s worth of content. Then you can ideate posts around specific brand information, fun facts, important events, holidays, anniversaries and business insights. Posts should strike a balance between covering your business and meeting your audiences where they’re at, with topics they actually care about.
You can apply these same principles for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms to click-worthy newsletters that reach niche audiences directly in their inboxes.
Think about the newsletters you look forward to seeing in your inbox and how they compel you to read and engage: What was the subject line? Did you have an incentive to click?
At their best, newsletters should spark curiosity, offer hints at valuable information, plus instant gratification and memorable incentives.
First, define a goal for your newsletter. Will it just be for information? Will it be your main lead generator? Now, think about hooking people in based on this intention and by being more personal.
Personalized subject lines will stand out in a row of emails and so will having a real human name in the “from” section (like firstname.lastname@example.org). Quick bites of information, interesting statistics, eye-grabbing visuals and consistency in distribution are all very important, as well.
A similar approach can be taken to writing a great cannabis press release that stands out in wire services brimming with brand announcements.
What’s the Secret Behind Writing a Stellar Cannabis Press Release?
Awesome press releases, aka news releases, do one thing and do it well: Generate a news hook that cannabis journalists want to grab onto.
Press releases need to cover the basic who-what-where-when-why-how of a company news event, whether it’s a product launch, an acquisition, expansion into a new market, a series fund raise or a new executive hire. Just putting the news out there can build a brand’s online presence when the release is reshared by news outlets and potentially aggregated in original reporting.
But beyond the basics is the hook: To get the attention of a reporter or editor, it’s key to spotlight a differentiator, whether it’s a company first, a milestone or a trend, to name a few angles.
Press releases should also feature a quality “pitch” when being sent out to hungry reporters who are looking to write a story that will result in clicks and shares. To this end, effective cannabis press releases can get more results with a personalized subject line and introduction, some sleek images and a super-brief summary of the big news and why readers will care (known in journalism circles as the all-important “nut graph”).
With PR professionals at the helm, crafting the ultimate pitch is second nature. But what can help with distribution? The powerful-but-underutilized tool that is automation.
What is Automation and Drip Campaigns?
Email automation software and tools allow templates of customized emails to be sent to list after list of highly targeted audiences. This means everyone within your company’s sales cycle—the unaware, the prospective buyer, the die-hard advocate, the former user—can be sent a different set of messages crafted just for them.
Again, this adds personality to your inbound marketing strategy that leaves it feeling anything but cold, hollow and faceless. From newsletters to press releases, you can elevate the human touch of your content tenfold with the right automated system.
Still, automation has to exist within the framework of a properly built website that’s easy to navigate for any user.
What’s the Value of Custom Web Pages?
Online content gets more mileage when it’s housed in a well-built website that’s easy to explore. This relates directly to crafting a great user interface (UI) for a better user experience (UX). With this in mind, you can create customized landing pages that help drive your goals as a company.
With a custom web page, you can directly promote a product, event or an engaging call-to-action (CTA) that not only draws users further into your site, but into your brand. So let’s say you want to offer an enticing sales discount on a brand-new product. You can create a custom web page that highlights this product and offers a snazzy discount-driven CTA button that just begs search users to click it.
The best part? These webpages can be linked out from social media posts and paid ads to take people directly to your site and convert them!
What is Paid Media Advertising and How Do You Use It?
Even though cannabis companies can run into trouble by trying to advertise with big, national media outlets, there are some paid media advertising options available. Of course, the main rules to remember when trying to advertise cannabis or cannabinoid products is to never make false claims or medical claims, don’t solicit sales, and don’t advertise to anyone under 21 years of age.
These options include:
- Direct Media: Buying ad space on cannabis-related sites and publications
- Sponsored Content: Adding paid content to sites, publications and email lists
- Display Ads: Using banner ads or ad-based messages on search and social platforms such as LinkedIn
Kickstart Your Cannabis Content Marketing Strategy Today
Now that you understand the value of content marketing services, you might be wondering: Where do I start? Connecting with an agency that’s not only fluent in cannabis but also content is your first step. Grasslands specializes in crafting cannabis-focused content for top brands in the industry.