What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand?

Ricardo Baca in office

Learn about the key elements of developing stand-out cannabis branding for your business

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As consumers, we all view brands through a lens. 

Whether we’re thinking of logical reasons to support them, their credibility within the given industry, or how much we love the charity work they do, we stand with certain brands because our values and beliefs align with theirs.

Anything from having the lowest prices, all the way to donating a pair of shoes for each pair they sell can be a deciding factor on why a consumer chooses one brand over another.

But what do these concepts have to do with your cannabis brand? A lot, actually.

Although medical and recreational cannabis are still relatively new, that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from quickly planting brand seeds and taking root. What started with just a few brands has quickly evolved into crowds of cultivators, bakers and concentrate-makers (among many others), all vying to be the breakout cannabis brand that OGs and newcomers consistently choose over the competition. 

So how do players in the ever-changing cannabis industry ensure their products and overall brand messaging are top-of-mind?

Authenticity: What’s Your “Why”?

When considering what your brand stands for and the true reasons for its existence, take into consideration who the founder is as an individual. 

Think about the “why” behind their business, or the problem they’re trying to solve through the company’s work. When you’re able to answer these questions on a deep and honest level, you are one step closer to making real connections with consumers who share your brand’s values.

Visual Cannabis Branding and Storytelling

In any industry, you want to stand out from the crowd. You want to be the eye-catching poster, the logo that someone glimpses and immediately thinks of you. This is one of the main things people think about when asked about branding. 

Consistent imagery, colors, fonts and so on are incredibly valuable pieces of the branding puzzle. Once those aspects are identified, it’s time to nail down your brand voice and tone guidelines. This framework will serve as a critical base for the development of cohesive, compelling brand messaging across all of your platforms.

A good example of this practice is how 710 Labs has combined confident copywriting with stunning visual branding: a narrow, black font over a brilliant white background, paired with sketchbook graphics featuring figurative puffs of technicolor. Together, the storytelling and bold presentation detail their commitment to rich flavor, being pesticide-free, organically grown and more.

Visuals and copywriting are powerful devices that can convey what people should expect from your brand in a holistic way. You want people to experience your brand art in a way that’s similar to how they experience your product. This cannot be emphasized enough for cannabis branding, specifically. 

Thought Leadership and Credibility

Once you’ve articulated your brand’s why, it’s time to focus on communicating it. How is what you’re doing different or disrupting the current state of the industry? You might consider this a “wow” factor for your brand. 

Think of when Southwest Airlines decided to let people choose their own seats, for example. How is your method different, unique and improving upon what’s already out there?

When it comes to setting up your cannabis brand for success, it’s vital to understand why it exists in the first place. This is a time for creative collaboration. Involve your whole team and take time to think and brainstorm on what it is about your brand that makes it unique and innovative, and why audiences should listen to and do business with you.

So, What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand? 

Start with what you and your team stand for. Why are you passionate about cannabis? How is your business unique and fresh? What do you want to leave behind that makes this world a better place? Then identify your visual brand, articulate your tone and voice, and start amplifying your key messaging to targeted audiences. Grow with us! Learn how Grasslands can help your business flourish—drop us a line anytime.

Reflecting On a Summer of Brand Strategy: Q&A With Grasslands’ Marketing Intern Erick Rivera

Marketing intern in office.

“I was supported by a team that gave me the space to be creative and take risks”

In June 2021, Grasslands launched our new Diversity-in-Marketing internship program. Now, at the conclusion of a 12-week run, we’re happy to report that this year’s internships were a tremendous success for both our interns and our entire team. 

This paid internship program is part of our Indigenous-owned agency’s commitment to attract, develop and retain diverse, high-potential early-career marcom talent. 

Our Founder and CEO, Ricardo Baca, started his 20-year career in journalism with an internship that offered valuable opportunities for professional development, and this is our agency’s way of paying it forward. He recognizes the challenges of forging a career path out of school and the value of having a head start in developing a professional network and learning exactly what it’s like to work at a fast-paced agency. 

Here, Grasslands Marketing Intern Erick Rivera tells us about his experience and how it will help him going forward into his senior year at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business

Visit our Careers page to learn more about open positions at Grasslands and the Diversity-in-Marketing internship program

What’s your biggest takeaway from your internship?

This experience was immersive—I learned so much about myself and the industry. I gained knowledge about the functions of an agency operating in regulated markets as well as the dynamics of making and maintaining relationships in this space. I worked with an amazing team that gave me the resources and space to be creative and expand my responsibilities. I learned about the growing importance of integrated marketing communications and how Grasslands is preparing itself to own that space in cannabis and beyond. I was given the opportunity to network and meet other professionals in various industries, which gave me more insight into the careers that are available—but more importantly, the careers that are needed. 

What was the most meaningful work you did over the summer?

I think every project was extremely meaningful in my development as a professional, but if I had to choose the most meaningful I would say it was the brand evaluation for Grasslands. It forced me to take an external perspective to an agency that I was working to become a part of. It taught me the importance of understanding what it means to be a strategic thinker and how difficult it can be to embody the voice and tone of a client. It challenged me to network with leadership to better understand their goals and visions of the agency and to build recommendations to align that vision. It taught me the important lesson of balancing client work while continuously marketing yourself for future growth.

What did you gain from this internship?

The top three gains from this internship: Knowledge, power and adaptability. Knowledge about the industry and available career opportunities. Power in owning my work and choosing my direction. 

Adaptability, a crucial skill to have in communications and at agencies in general, and the ability to shift priorities and work around the schedules of other people was so fundamental to my experience as an agency professional.

What did you contribute during this internship?

In the most humble way, a lot! And it is something that the team has praised me for, and I appreciate it. I contributed to the development of the Grasslands brand, and I offered strategy and perspective when appropriate. I supported important projects relating to improving the efficiencies of the agency, and I conducted research that will contribute to future marketing strategies.

Is there anything you would change about the internship?

No, and in the best way possible, I had the privilege of expanding this internship to be more than the original job description. Not only because I am learning to understand the depths of my capabilities but because I was supported by a team that gave me the space to be creative and take risks. Everyone that I interacted with was eager to talk to me and was extremely helpful. I never felt underprepared or lost, which speaks to the collaborative nature of the Grasslands culture.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Geographically? No idea. Mentally? I see myself thriving, taking risks and changing lives. While this internship has answered many questions about the marcom industry, it has also created many more. What does it take to start my own brand from scratch? What other industries are emerging and how are they going to change the world? How can I make the world a better place through marketing and communications? I see myself leaning into my curiosity and letting it guide me.

How has this internship helped shape your professional goals and plans?

It has allowed me to gain meaningful hands-on experience in an agency culture, a unique one at that. It has reshaped my ambitions. Seeing the pride that fellow colleagues and clients take in their work has me wanting more ownership of my work. The idea of creating and maintaining a brand from the ground up is so invigorating. It has also left me craving so much more experience. 

What’s next for you?

Finishing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is priority No. 1. I am also working on finalizing plans for a semester abroad, possibly in Argentina.

Why Are Cannabis Influencers Important?

Here’s why social media influencers are a tremendous tool for reaching niche audiences

What Is a Social Media Influencer?

As the name implies, influencers use social media platforms to influence and interact with established networks of followers that can range from the thousands to the high millions. These influencers can include celebrities, gurus, experts, commentators and, of course, those who have devoted themselves to building a social media presence and personality. 

How Can Social Media Influencers Help You?

When it comes to promoting cannabis, using influencers should be a key component of any social media strategy. Why? Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. 

This means national advertisers, including Google, and major social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have strict rules regarding cannabis that include not being able to show ads to anyone under 21 years of age, a huge percentage of social users.

However, it’s a lot more challenging for advertisers to stop people from listening to word-of-mouth recommendations from admired influencers. That’s why between 2019 and 2021, the influencer advertising market exploded from $6.5 million in value to more than $13.5 billion.

And the power of influencers doesn’t just benefit cannabis. Almost all current markets are using influencers to act as brand ambassadors and to promote their companies for compensation through what is called “affiliate marketing.” 

Affiliate Marketing 101: A Win-Win for Influencers and Brands

As consumers, the associations we have with brands help us better decide which products to spend our hard-earned money on. Still, would you rather invest in a brand based on name recognition or the recommendation of someone you know, trust or admire? 

The truth is: Even if you are a die-hard Coca-Cola fan, you might seriously consider trying a new soda if your favorite musician said it was his favorite drink. Now, imagine that this musician has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram and is being paid to promote this soda he loves so much. This is called “affiliate marketing,” which is one of the most powerful tools in the marketing arsenal of any brand. 

With affiliate marketing, a company can pay willing influencers to advertise products to their followers and, in turn, become steadfast brand ambassadors for a whole range of products. As for cannabis, these outspoken advocates of a company can help broadcast the best new business and products and easily monetize the process. To this end, influencers are the best at selling themselves and their uniquely influential personalities. 

Who Are Some Notable Cannabis Influencers on Social Media?

Some of the most notable influencers include ones who are trying to change the cannabis industry for the better—from business moguls and plant experts to growers and cannabis journalists.

These influencers promote an entire lifestyle around cannabis that resonates with lovers of the plant. Some notable influencers include: 

  • Rapper, cannabis advocate and venture investor Snoop Dogg;
  • Actor, comedian and Houseplant founder Seth Rogen;
  • Actor, comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan;
  • Singer-songwriter, cannabis advocate and Willie’s Reserve founder Willie Nelson;
  • Rapper, cannabis mogul and Cookies founder and CEO Berner;
  • Cannabis industry consultant and Allay Cannabis Consulting co-founder and CEO Kim Stuck;
  • Cannabis reviewer and YouTube personality Haley420;
  • RAW rolling paper and smoking accessories owner and CEO Josh Kesselman;
  • Female entrepreneur and Black cannabis advocate Lizzy Jeff;
  • Cannabis journalist and Marijuana Moment editor-in-chief Tom Angell;
  • Drug researcher, advocate and TV host Hamilton Morris; and
  • Grasslands founder and CEO Ricardo Baca.
What Are Viable Social Media Platforms for Cannabis? 

Cannabis influencers use many different platforms to make a mark, but some of the most important are Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. In fact, Instagram is home to more than a half-million active and current influencers who have built a viable audience and who are promoting products. 

This may sound like a lot, but it makes sense considering that the use of Instagram’s image-based grid to promote a curated lifestyle and all the branding within it leaves a lasting impression. With that, more and more companies are ensuring that influencers are part of their broader marketing strategy. But what’s the best way to hire these influencers? 

Here’s How to Connect With Social Influencers

Many of these now-essential influencers have become so popular that their time is actually money. Most influencers have agents or representatives and work through professional channels to sell their influence, so if you want help promoting your product, you need to know the right people instead of just, say, sliding into the DMs.

Finding the right marketing team, with publicists who work with these influencers on a first-name basis, is the first step to fostering lasting relationships that will not only help sell more of your products or services, but help you elevate your brand to the upper echelons of cannaculture. 

Do You Need Help Finding Influencers?

Grasslands is a bespoke marketing and public-relations agency that deals specifically with cannabis influencers ranging from rappers-turned-entrepreneurs to political changemakers. As a Journalism-Minded Agency™, Grasslands grew out of a long history of reporting on cannabis and, in turn, helped spotlight some of the most influential people in the business. We know our influencers, and we’re ready to help you make a connection. Let’s talk. 

Why Is the Right Cannabis Social Media So Necessary?

Getting around advertising limitations and reaching specific audiences start with social media

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What Is Cannabis Social Media?

Good cannabis social media starts with creating specialized content that fits a variety of platforms and reaches niche audiences, all while meeting community guidelines and cannabis advertising rules. 

How Can Social Media Help Your Cannabis Business?

Get this: In 2020 alone, the average daily social media use by people around the world was upward of three to four hours per day. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, you must really like social media. But just think about that number in terms of ad time—just think about how many moments you have to get your messages, products, services, solutions and brand identity in front of specific audiences.

This is why social media content is one of the first steps toward successfully marketing cannabis businesses. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, it is mired in strict advertising rules. This means using direct social channels and engaging posts is the best way to reach specific audiences and develop what is called an outbound marketing model.

Outbound marketing relates to using frequent messages to draw users to your brand, site, product and / or service. And by using social media to promote your differentiators to niche audiences that range from completely curious to savvy, well-informed and knowledgeable, you can generate lasting brand awareness that means tons of leads and real conversions. 

What Is the Best Cannabis Social Media Strategy?

An actionable social media strategy starts with knowing your audience and delivering them something so relevant, relatable, poignant and topical—OK, maybe it’s not that simple. But by using a dedicated social media content calendar and area for content ideation and copy, you’ll have a place to start. 

Each post should strike the right balance between covering your business and meeting your audiences where they are and with things they actually care about. Because when a user cares, they are more likely to engage and share. 

What Is the Right Time to Post on Social Media Platforms?

When creating spreadable content that engages, you must consider the logistics of social media. Despite what you might think, people are not on the platforms at all times of the day. Posting when the potential for engagement is at its highest will result in more impressions, likes, clicks, shares and, in the long run, sweet conversions.

Here’s a general quick rundown of the best times to post:

  • Facebook: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
  • Instagram: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;
  • Twitter: Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, Tuesday-Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m.;
  • Linkedin: Tuesday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
How Should You Create Cannabis Social Content?

Drumming up engaging, spreadable content that is worth sharing is no easy task, but start by coming up with good ideas for posts that relate to an entire month’s worth of content, then ideate posts around specific information, fun facts, important events, holidays, anniversaries and business insights. 

At the same time, you can create posts that are specific to the social platform you want to use. Logically, a post on Instagram could revolve around a striking image. A tweet on Twitter should be short, sweet and eye-catching, if not funny. And a post on LinkedIn should be much more professional and focused on providing useful business information.

By understanding our target audiences then going down the line of target platforms ranging from giants such as Facebook all the way to cannabis-specific spaces such as Vangst, you will develop a well-rounded series of posts that launch your brand, your voice and your content in every corner of the marketplace. The best part? It can all be free of cost, unless you’re not careful.

Does Your Cannabis Social Media Post Meet Community Standards? 

Because cannabis is still illegal, businesses are not able to use social media platforms to solicit products, in words or in pictures. Other advertising approaches, such as gearing ads toward those under age 21 or making medical claims, are also not allowed.

These limitations fall into more-specific community guidelines and standards that all platforms have established in some regard to attempt to control the behavior of social users. While many of these restrictions are perfectly reasonable, if not wholly necessary, many of them can unfairly target legitimate cannabis businesses. Being flagged under these standards can result in shadowbans, blocked posts and deleted pages. 

By carefully understanding the guidelines of the social overlords, cannabis brands can still use these channels to grow a massive following and buzz. Or they can get someone to do that for them. Enter the canna-influencers.

Why Are Cannabis Social Media Influencers So Valuable?

For brands that are trying to garner interest among everyone from cannacurious, first-time consumers to seasoned aficionados, social media is a key component. Of course, in trying to avoid gatekeepers from flagging and killing off cannabis-related posts and pages, influencers are another powerful ally.

Cannabis influencers use social media to build up their own brand and use it to become an affiliate ambassador of other social media users, new products and up-and-coming companies. With the ability to influence a swath of like-minded consumers, these social stars are able to promote cannabis alongside an army of faithful followers. 

Why? Because word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source—whether it’s a friend or a cool influencer with a lifestyle that consumers desire—are one of the best forms of marketing. This same approach applies to reaching people via traditional media or even in person. 

Have You Found the Right Cannabis Social Media Partners?

Now that you understand the value of social media marketing for cannabis, you need to get started. Finding an agency that has fluency in not only the ever-changing cannabis marketplace, but also the ever-evolving nature of social media will give you a tremendous advantage over the competition.

Grasslands is driven to develop powerful cannabis content, including for top brands such as Cookies, Willie’s Reserve, Cheeba Chews and others. Let’s talk about helping your business next. 

What is the Power Behind Cannabis PR and Event Marketing?

With the right PR and cannabis event marketing strategy, you can build your network, gain exposure and make invaluable connections

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What Is Cannabis Public Relations and Event Marketing All About?

Cannabis Public Relations and Event Marketing are two powerful tools that can be used together to grow your media presence and connections within the cannabis industry to create an invaluable network of colleagues, collaborators and partners. 

A holistic PR strategy can generate immediate business-boosting results when the multifaceted approach includes virtual and in-person events.

How Can a Good Cannabis PR Strategy Help Your Business?

You know that old saying any press is good press? Well, that’s not entirely true, especially for emerging brands and businesses. So the main reason strategic PR is so useful to any business is the power it has to control the narrative about your brand. And this process alone is especially crucial given the current state of the cannabis industry. 

Strict cannabis advertising rules from national advertisers, Google and Facebook keep businesses from being able to market and sell products in a direct way. Meanwhile, the marketplace is saturated with competitors that may have more presence, budget and connections than other contenders within the space.

To counter these advertising limitations and fierce competitors, it’s crucial to use PR tactics to get your business into the media cycle and spotlight its main differentiators through the lens of journalists and media influencers to gain earned-media relevance. In fact, good PR is so important to growing businesses, the current value of the PR market is estimated to surpass $93 billion by 2022. That’s a lot of story pitches! 

How Does Event Marketing Fit Into PR Strategy?

Like PR, there’s an old saying that applies to the power of event marketing: It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Because when it comes down to growing your business, you’ll need the right connections. A business without a network is one without support. So imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have anyone to call on for advice, guidance or even supplies when a little help could mean more leads and sales. 

Through events, you have a prime opportunity to make your brand seen, heard and remembered while also developing a business network of industry peers and partners. It all starts with hosting a must-attend event that brings together business leaders, industry insiders, media and more. 

Before the pandemic, the private event planning market had generated nearly $5 billion dollars in value according to Statista. Now, the very nature of in-person events has changed, but they’re not extinct—far from it.  

At the same time, virtual events have really taken off. From webinars and online speaking engagements to even casual happy hour hangs, the virtual space is a great way to continue making connections and spotlighting your brand, even when hosting an in-person event isn’t possible. 

How Can You Host the Ultimate Cannabis Event?

Coordinating interviews and media outreach are part of the cannabis PR game, sure, but so are must-attend events. Curated, exclusive event marketing can turn a company from nothing into something based on the fact that an event brings together influential people. You can sell your brand in real time to fellow humans.

With Event Marketing, you get to demo the wares, show your expertise and cement interest with a memorable good time. From this, you can generate useful connections and potential business leads, just from one night of having fun and chatting cannabis. 

Here are a few tips to throw the ultimate in-person cannabis event:

  • Devote part of your marketing budget toward an annual event
  • Book your venue at least one year out from the event 
  • Create a social media and content campaign around your party
  • Make your event invite-only to curate the guest list, theme and vibe
  • Compile a dedicated guest list and send personal invitations and RSVPs to each guest
  • Get extra funding for your event by finding sponsors
  • Give sponsors the opportunity to promote their own brand while supporting yours
  • Create fun, branded activations that sponsors and attendees can engage in (e.g. photo booths and interactive exhibits)
  • Create specific and informative speaking engagements to add value
  • Bring on the food and entertainment by budgeting for catering and a DJ or band 
  • Spotlight and celebrate your guests with an opening or closing toast
  • Partner with Lyft, Uber or invest in ride-share coupons to ensure safe travel
  • If you’re planning a destination event, partner with a nearby hotel to offer guests discounted lodging 
Have You Found the Right PR and Event Professionals?

At Grasslands, we have a unique perspective on cannabis PR because we are a Journalism-Minded Agency™ that grew out of our Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca’s years at The Cannabist as America’s first-ever Marijuana Editor for a major mainstream news organization (The Denver Post)

Our team of PR and Content Marketing specialists have built targeted media networks that can help you establish a solid strategy to illuminate your brand on the national level. 

We also love creating high-level networking events like The Grasslands Party. Our events bring together top minds in cannabis and we’ve been all over: Boston, New Orleans, Oakland, Toronto, Denver, Austin and Las Vegas so far. By hosting this exclusive bash and helping entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the country expand their networks and elevate countless brands, we know what it takes to run a successful event.

Let’s chat about how to incorporate PR and cannabis event marketing into your business plan and amp up your brand. 

What Are Essential Content Marketing Services?

In a world without traditional advertising, content marketing services are invaluable

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What Are Content Marketing Services?

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.  

Why Should I Consider Content Services?

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.

How Will Content Marketing Help My Cannabis Business?

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. 

Cannabis Content Marketing Services 101

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
  • Newsletters
  • Press Releases
  • Automated Drip Campaigns
  • Custom Web Pages
  • Paid Media Ads

Let’s take a deeper look at these content tools.

What is Pillar-Cluster Blog Content?

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. 

Those who were unaware of your company are now on your site, gaining an answer to their particular query thanks to the information you have helpfully provided. Now they know you can help them and can see what else your business is all about. They’ll consider your site as a knowledgeable source, remember you for the future and perhaps even mention your brand to a friend. This means relationships, prospects and buzz. 

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! 

What Makes for Good Cannabis Social Media? 

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. 

How to Write a Must-Read Cannabis Email Newsletter

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 ricardo@mygrasslands.com). 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.

What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?

Learn how to get your brand in front of the right audiences, despite challenging advertising rules

Table of Contents

• What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?
How Do Cannabis Advertising Rules Affect My Business?
Why is Brand Identity So Important?
How Can Marketing Cannabis Content Help My Business? 
Powerful Advertising Starts with These Content Services
• How Can Social Media and Influencers Help?
Don’t Forget the Underrated Power of Cannabis PR and Events
Here’s Why Being Fluent in Cannabis is So Important
Cannabis Marketing Experts Know How to Win Without Ads
Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules? 

What is one thing that two-thirds of Americans support and/or consume, but have never seen traditionally advertised via TV, radio or most print outlets? If you guessed cannabis, you couldn’t be more right. And while there might be a day when a cannabis ad could be wedged in between cereal commercials and Saturday morning cartoons, it’s inconceivable right now. 

Despite the winds of legalization blowing across the country, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. This means many advertisers are fearful of government backlash for promoting THC-based products. 

How Do Cannabis Advertising Rules Affect My Business? 

These types of regulations mean that trying to market and sell cannabis is, well, tough. Many cannabis businesses can’t let products be displayed, shown or really talked about on some of the most viable marketing and advertising channels out there, including traditional media, all the way up to digital giants such as Google and Facebook. 

With limited options, many businesses are forced to market products via grassroots methods, without any guarantee of success. Instead of passed-by print ads, tattered fliers or overpriced billboards, the better way for burgeoning businesses to boom in growth is through thoughtful, strategy-oriented marketing—which all starts telling a great story. 

Why is Brand Identity So Important?

Brands may be everywhere, but that’s because they’re everything when it comes to standing out as a company. From the Wal-Marts of the world, down to the local grocer, every business must attempt to only reach consumers, but resonate with them on a deeper, more personal and wholly memorable level. To do this, companies must develop a stand-out brand that involves much more than just a logo or a name. 

Good brand is all about having an identity and differentiators that are defined by real values and a distinct personality. In our industry, this might involve growing premium, top-tier, super fresh flower while dispelling all snooty notions by making the product extremely affordable and conveniently accessible. 

If this story of this brand can be messaged the right way, through the correct channels, audiences will not only be engaged and enthused, but fall in love and become heartfelt advocates, which helps your business stand out in a sea of sameness. Of course, with a set brand identity, creating and marketing eye-grabbing content to continue elevating your brand comes naturally. 

How Can Marketing Cannabis Content Help My Business? 

To understand the importance of content marketing, let’s first touch on Search engine optimization (SEO). This is the continual process of meeting the standards and demands search engines like Google rank as highly as possible in relevant searches by the audiences you’re trying to reach.

Appeasing Google and hitting the top of search pages starts with stellar content marketing that uses relevant search topics (e.g. cannabis business), search keywords (e.g. cannabis business marketing), and engaging stories that draw in search users (e.g. What is the importance of cannabis business marketing?)

But meeting search users where they’re at and engaging them is just part of the SEO riddle. In the eyes of Google, content must not only be relevant and useful, but create a level of trust and credibility. See, it didn’t take long for the internet to turn into an ocean of spam, false information and, well, junk. To be a better search engine, Google wants to ensure its users are getting the most quality content possible. 

Powerful Advertising Starts with These Content Services

At a glance, cannabis marketing uses a number of components to reach both broad and niche audiences, including: 


• Content Marketing

• Inbound Marketing

• Branding

• Curated Events

• Cannabis PR

• UX/UI Design

How Can Social Media and Influencers Help?

Currents of content marketing also trickle over to social media. In fact, in the world of big canna, social media has become one of the most fluid and essential ways to promote cannabis business—mostly because limits on advertising mean that reaching niche audiences directly is more important than ever before.

While selling cannabis on social media isn’t allowed, brands can use platforms like Facebook or Instagram to get hundreds to thousands to millions of followers, let alone views, shares, likes and other invaluable interactions, all of which grow brand awareness by the second.
In this social space, countless cannabis connoisseurs have begun developing social clout to become affiliate marketers for a plethora of brands who can alter the performance of a business or product with just one post. These, of course, are the coveted influencers of cannabis. 

Because awareness in your company or brand can’t be built through traditional marketing, like hearing a radio ad or seeing a TV spot, building trust in your products or services is even more challenging. That’s where influencers come in. With a self-grown audience of like minded followers, their word is bond. So let them build trust for you. A similar concept applies to using trusted media outlets and face-to-face, real-life communication.

Don’t Forget the Underrated Power of Cannabis PR and Events

Because cannabis advertising is hindered at every turn, public relations is a tool within marketing that is key to getting in front of the world. And having an agency that understands and can harness complex relationship-building mojo is crucial. 

With creative publicists connected to hundreds of journalists looking for specific stories, a brand can wrangle its narrative and begin telling a unique, captivating story through cannabis journalists

Pitches, emails and phone interviews are part of this game, but so are must-attend events. Curated, exclusive event marketing can turn a company from nothing into something based on the fact that an event lets you meet and mingle with real people. Instead of getting stuck across digital barriers, you can sell yourself in real-time to fellow humans.

With great Event Marketing, you get to demo the wares, flaunt the expertise and cement interest with grand gestures of breaking new ground. From this, you can generate hundreds of useful connections and potential business leads, just from one night of having fun and chatting cannabis. 

Here’s Why Being Fluent in Cannabis is So Important

Cannabis has developed its own unique language. And being fluent in it says wonders to your intimate knowledge of this magical plant and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it. And a deep and thorough understanding of everything that goes into what you’re selling means nothing will get lost in translation. 

That helps when you’re jumping headfirst into this booming marketplace. Those who can speak canna can instantly create a bond with fellow insiders, enthusiastic audiences and the supposed experts. 

Cannabis Marketing Experts Know How to Win Without Ads

With no standard pillar of advertising to lean on, every cannabis business needs to connect with the media. It’s really that simple. Through media placements come that first hint of credibility, which snowballs into the first round of stories, then a ton of shares across social media, then clicks on your website and, before you know it, sales.

Grasslands founder Ricardo Baca knows this media connection well and how it has helped transform the cannabis industry. After 20 years of journalism experience and working as the world’s first-ever marijuana editor-in-chief, Ricardo has dedicated himself to becoming fluent in cannabis and tying together our nascent industry to hungry writers who want a great story that audiences can’t stop reading. 

It’s this cycle that inspired Ricardo to use his unique expertise in both cannabis and journalism to start Grasslands. He knew well that, without a marketing agency out there understanding the finer points of both cannabis and the media cycle, brands would simply have nowhere to turn. The door to advertising is shut. The grassroots options don’t see results. Social media is just a start. 

To Ricardo, the only true path to success has to come from using a team of strategic marketers and PR experts to make your brand seen and heard. 

Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

Beyond utilizing the right strategies to amplify your brand, finding a cannabis-fluent agency that can enact the complex tools and methods detailed here is essential to standing out and growing into a national household brand. Are you ready to market your business for the better? At Grasslands, we love to talk shop. Reach out anytime.

What is Cannabis SEO and Why is it So Important?

In a world without traditional advertising or media channels, SEO is the best way to stand out

Table of Contents

What Is Good SEO Marketing?
How Does SEO Work?
How Can SEO Help Your Cannabis Business? 
Using SEO and Content to Overcome Harsh Advertising Rules
Why Is Content Marketing So Important to Quality SEO? 
What Is the Difference Between Technical SEO and On-Page SEO?
What Are Cannabis Keywords and How Can You Research Them?
How Does SEO Value Help Cannabis Branding? 
How Does Understanding Cannabis Play into Great SEO?
Are You Ready to Harness Cannabis SEO?

What is Good SEO Marketing? 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may sound complicated, but mastering it really comes down to these essential elements: 

Thinking like a search engine user
• Surpassing search engine standards
• Creating a website strategically
• Meeting technical and on-page optimizations
• Publishing authoritative, informative content
• Utilizing keywords, links and a meta description 
• Boosting domain authority

How Does SEO Work?

SEO got its start in the Wild West—of the early internet, that is. Back in the days of dial-up and pop-up ads, the ’net was an unruly place filled with countless bad websites that were only out to get clicks, and in the process ended up spreading viruses, disinformation, spam and other junk. Meanwhile, a lot of great websites ended up lost to time, simply because people couldn’t find them.

Then, the bright idea of creating a way to index and search the entire internet for relevant, trustworthy and essential information came along, finally giving everyday folks a way to answer their inquiries quickly and efficiently with the best possible content.

When you utilize a search engine such as Google, Bing, Baidu or Yahoo, among others, it takes the word or phrase you entered (e.g. “cannabis marketing”) and crawls an index of billions of sites, pages and pieces of content to help this quest for information along. But in the interest of satisfying its customers, the search engine only wants to deliver the best, most relevant, trustworthy and authoritative content possible. This is where SEO comes into play. 

How Can SEO Help Your Cannabis Business? 

Discovery is the main reason for using SEO in the first place. As a fledgling cannabis company or brand, your ability to stand out among competitors is invaluable. Because for cannabis companies, standing out isn’t just about products, services or even social media presence, it’s about owning space on the internet. 

Using SEO best practices gives your site the edge it needs to beat out competitors and win big in search rankings, where securing a place on the first page of results is critical. Research by SEO development authority Moz has noted that well over two-thirds of users never look beyond the first page of results.

Through SEO, you can build the worth of your site, answer more search inquiries and further push your ability to rank highly for related search terms, increasing brand presence and awareness. Of course, in a world without traditional advertising channels, climbing to the top of search results is very important.

Using SEO and Content to Overcome Harsh Advertising Rules

Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, it means advertising cannabis products and related services remains very precarious. That’s why most traditional advertisers, web rulers like Google and social giants like Facebook have a real aversion to advertising cannabis. 

Even state-based advertisers want to avoid the heavy hand of the government by ruling out the possibility of mainstream advertising, even where cannabis is now legal. In Colorado, which was one of the first states to allow recreational cannabis sales, regulations were put in place to limit cannabis ads from being presented to audiences under the age of 21, which basically shut out opportunities such as daytime radio, TV and online news sites. 

In trying to navigate these challenging regulations, companies have been relegated to using billboards, printed fliers and backpage ads in alt-weeklies that simply aren’t effective enough. But good SEO marketing can help.

Why is Content Marketing So Important to Quality SEO? 

Earning the trust of search engines and gaining SEO cred doesn’t just happen. It all starts with content. Using blogs, how-to guides and thought leadership columns is one of the first steps an emerging cannabis brand can take to carve out a presence on the internet, while engaging all possible target audiences. 

Creating content geared toward specific searchers, prospective clients and fellow marketers is key to elevating your brand, while keeping the gatekeepers of Google and other search engines happy. 

Speaking of that, this type of content falls into what Google has defined as having the quality of EAT: “expertise,” “authoritativeness” and “trustworthiness.” This type of content isn’t spam or a collection of links, it’s the kind of useful material that can inform and give answers. 

What is the Difference Between Technical SEO and On-Page SEO?

In optimizing your website, there are two types of SEO best practices to consider: Technical SEO and On-Page SEO. Here’s an analogy to remember when it comes to the differences between these two types of SEO: You wouldn’t buy a car without all the wiring that makes it work, right? And you wouldn’t buy a car without a speedometer, climate controls or other dashboard data that informs the driving experience, correct? 

Now if this car were your website, Technical SEO would be the wiring that makes it worth buying to search engines. On-Page SEO are all those necessary data points that help identify whether or not your content is worth offering up to search users. The better your site’s User Experience (UX), content relevance, crawlability, shareability and otherwise, the more authority it will have.

This means it can answer more search inquiries and is more likely to rise in rank. 

As Moz notes, good Technical SEO includes having: 

Indexed content
• An XML sitemap
• Correct URLs
• Internal backlinks
• Outbound links
• Proper images
• Google Analytics capability
• Structured data
• Correct title tags
• Correct meta tags
• Favicon
• Easily rendered coding
• Intuitive design and organization
• Schema markup

Good On-Page SEO includes having:

Relevance to a specific topic
• Featured snippet intro
• Answers to burning questions
• UX for desktop and mobile devices
• Table of contents (if applicable)
• Proper title tags
• Easily shareable URL
• Image alt text
• Keyword optimization
• Proper word and character count
• Meta description
• Author or publisher attributions

Now that you know the difference between technical and on-page requirements, it’s important to point out that content marketing, good technical SEO and on-page power couldn’t exist without the right keywords, so let’s break that down.

What Are Cannabis Keywords and How Can You Research Them?

On the surface, keywords are the inquiries that a person enters into search engines to find results. Digging deeper, keywords act as the building blocks of great content, as well as the most valuable currency your site has to be relevant and rank higher and higher. That’s because keywords are signals to search engines’ webcrawlers, aka crawl bots, that your website has the right content to meet the needs of specific searchers. 

Keywords can also help your site own authority and relevance within a specific space of the search-driven internet. In the case of cannabis, the legal market is relatively new, and there is a smaller amount of keyword information on the internet at this time—think of a trendy new form of cannabis concentrate, for example. This means certain sites can begin to own specific cannabis-related keywords to help boost their rank. 

Researching the best keywords to insert into your site content and copy starts with using everything from free tools like Google Trends—which looks at Google’s top trending keywords—to paid, powerful platforms like Semrush, which can collect in-depth results of keywords that are the most easy to rank for.

By building out a content marketing program that is built around the best keywords and keeps evolving with the cannabis industry, your site has the power to make your brand known across the web.

How Does SEO Value Help Cannabis Branding? 

To be found, generate an audience, then sell services or products, cannabis companies will need more than a great, optimized website. Exceptional branding is also crucial (so much so that it can make or break a company). 

Stellar cannabis branding comes down to being distinct, creating an identity and having strong messages that will engage and resonate with target consumers, keeping your brand on their mind. But generating lasting brand awareness—and advocates for your brand that stay loyal purchase after purchase—doesn’t happen without visibility. 

By devising and implementing an SEO strategy that is unique to your brand, you can translate your brand differentiators and messaging to the right keywords, hyper-relevant content and SEO best practices to rank for specific audiences. From here, branding for specific audiences gets far easier. 

How Does Understanding Cannabis Play into Great SEO?

Your journey toward getting great results from SEO starts with having a marketing partner that is not only fluent in cannabis, but also optimization. With the right team of content marketing specialists and public-relations strategists at hand, you can begin to impart the essence of your brand into an actionable content strategy that’s built for results. 

When it comes to cannabis, fluency isn’t just about knowing strains or products, but understanding the complex nuances of marketing niche companies and brands with only SEO ingenuity. 

Are You Ready to Harness Cannabis SEO?

Do you want to harness the power of SEO to grow your website’s rank and authority? Are you ready to create content that engages audiences and grows your brand awareness? It all starts by using a marketing and PR agency with extensive experience applying in-depth industry knowledge to content-driven SEO marketing. Let’s get started.

Why is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

Three marketers sit working

Strict advertising makes marketing the best way to stand out as a cannabis business

Table of Contents
What is the Real Power of Cannabis Marketing?

Effective cannabis marketing comes down to using messaging, branding, content, search engine optimization (SEO), analytical data and a variety of other strategic tools to build up businesses within a fast-paced industry—one that is booming with savvy competitors and huge profits.

Why is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

In any business, trying to sell a product or service without the right approach is close to impossible. Have you ever tried to convince your friends to help you move without an added incentive, like pizza or cash money? What about trying to offload an old couch at a yard sale without a little sales jargon, like barely used or this gem just needs a little dusting?

In the overly competitive world of cannabis, emerging companies must use all the right methods to reach the right audiences and stand out. This is why marketing cannabis is so crucial to achieving real success in the ever-growing green marketplace.

Navigating the Current Cannabis Industry

By 2026, it’s estimated that the recreational marijuana industry within the United States will be worth more than $40 billion dollars, while medical sales are projected to zoom right past $11 billion, as projected by Brightfield Group (via Statista). This makes sense considering that state legalization momentum hasn’t slowed, and 9 out of 10 Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis nationwide. But while these numbers indicate that the end of prohibition may be right around the corner, cannabis companies are still facing challenges when it comes to reaching consumers.

Understanding Cannabis Advertising Rules

Despite being of the people, by the people and for the people, the federal government has thus far ignored popular opinion to keep cannabis on its list of illegal controlled substances.

As a Schedule I narcotic, marijuana is considered to have no accepted medical use (despite a growing body of scientific evidence to the contrary) and sits right alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Because of this, advertisers across the nation refuse to promote cannabis out of fear of governmental backlash. This includes search-engine leaders like Google, social media giants like Facebook and many mainstream media outlets.

State regulators are taking a similar hard line, including in Colorado, which developed regulations with the goals of ensuring cannabis adverts won’t be seen by anyone under the age of 21 (putting major limitations on ad exposure for anyone watching a TV channel, listening to the radio or scrolling online at any given time).

Good Marketing Starts With the Right Cannabis Branding

With no traditional advertising options and countless competitors vying for recognition, fledgling cannabis companies must work harder to break out. Instead of using expensive but rather ineffective grassroots tactics, like print ads or a billboard, marketing cannabis is the real key. And everything starts with exceptional branding.

The most effective cannabis brand marketing comes down to having strong messages that will resonate with target consumers, then keeping them engaged and coming back for more. This process of generating brand awareness and advocacy is made easier through marketing strategy.

In researching the market and analyzing competitors, it becomes easier to understand what makes your brand different, plus the types of messaging that best define these differentiators. From this, branding for a specific audience becomes a lot easier to accomplish.

From Branding Comes Cannabis Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best ways a brand can start owning space on the internet by grabbing the attention of search-engine users with engaging blogs and how-to articles.

This type of content not only focuses on providing specific and useful information, but hits on trending search terms and therefore meets the objective of search engines. In the case of Google, it wants to send its users to content that displays good EAT (“expertise,” “authority” and “trustworthiness”).

This EAT content must answer questions using real (yes, real) facts and legitimate sources, which plays right into good SEO.

What Is Good SEO Marketing and How Can It Help?

To break out as a cannabis brand, you don’t just need awesome products or services, you need to be discovered. Because almost all discovery happens on the internet these days, especially via search engines like Google, a company that isn’t being found online can’t compete.

Search engines index the internet to help this act of discovery along. When search users enter search terms (e.g. best Colorado cannabis dispensary), engines like Google comb through billions of sites, pages and content to find the most relevant results.

Applying SEO best practices ensures your site can meet the sky-high, constantly changing standards of search engines. This includes both the backend Technical SEO aspects of your site, like creating a sitemap and backlinks, as well as On-Page SEO like content that contains the right search keywords and relevant information.

What Does Content Marketing Involve?

At a glance, cannabis content marketing uses a number of components to reach both broad and niche audiences, including:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Branding
  • Events and Expos
  • Public Relations
  • UX/UI Design
What Makes Cannabis Social Media and Influencers So Useful?

Social media content is also crucial for successfully marketing a cannabis business. Because of strict advertising restrictions, using direct social channels and engaging posts is the best way to reach specific audiences.

And while cannabis businesses are not legally able to use social media platforms to solicit products, brands are able to use these channels to grow a massive following and interest in what they’re selling—and direct the audience to their comprehensive website, creating a positive cycle of engagement.

For brands that are trying to garner interest among everyone from cannacurious, first-time consumers to seasoned aficionados, social media is a key component. Of course, in trying to avoid gatekeepers from flagging and killing off cannabis-related posts and pages, influencers are another powerful ally.

Cannabis influencers use social media to build up their own brand and use it to become an affiliate ambassador of other social media users, new products and up-and-coming companies. With the ability to influence a swath of like-minded consumers, these social stars are able to promote cannabis alongside an army of faithful followers.

Why? Because word-of-mouth recommendations from a trusted source—whether it’s a friend or a cool influencer with the lifestyle consumers desire—are one of the best forms of marketing. This same approach applies to reaching people via traditional media or even in person.

Using Public Relations and Event Marketing to Grow Your Brand

Solid public relations and event marketing are two more standout ways to counter limited advertising. With publicists working hard to pitch intriguing stories to a network of publications, cannabis journalists and mainstream news reporters can find a new story idea or source, and burgeoning brands can get in front of readers in the markets they’re targeting. Everybody wins.

Another win is hosting or sponsoring a must-attend event that brings together industry insiders, top media representatives, business leaders and influencers to rub elbows with your brand. The right event helps build great brand awareness and associations among all the right people.

Consider that events can serve multiple purposes. They can kickstart new company goals and initiatives, for one. And in promoting an event, there are opportunities to grow a network: Creating impressions via social posts, a dedicated email list and other tracking methods are crucial steps to expanding brand presence.

Here’s Why Every Marketing Agency Should be Fluent in Cannabis

With a PR and marketing agency that is fluent in cannabis on your side, you will find a partner that understands your needs. Whether it’s connecting you with the right media, facilitating networks, preparing for an unforeseen crisis or coming up with a tailored marketing strategy to meet your goals, it’s all about speaking your language—the language of cannabis and highly regulated industries.

Grasslands Founder and CEO Ricardo Baca comes from a long history of cannabis fluency. In a journalism career spanning two decades, he became the first-ever marijuana editor for a major mainstream media outlet, The Denver Post. There, he launched and ran the award-winning online vertical The Cannabist, a pioneering publication that covered the news of the industry and culture of legalization in Colorado and across the country.

Ricardo knows that expertise is fleeting in this ever-evolving industry, and partnering up with an agency that isn’t well-versed in changing policies, product trends and B2B services doesn’t result in success. Fluency in cannabis is the only way to know what a brand needs to build on its growth trajectory.

How Can You Start Marketing Cannabis?

If you’re still wondering how cannabis marketing can impact your brand, just think about the products you shop for and the brands you care about. How do you find them? What makes them your ideal brand? It’s a sure thing that good marketing played a role in your decision-making.

Marketing cannabis starts with strategy and employs tools like media outreach, events, optimized content and influencer-driven social to sway people to your business, products and brands, the right way. It all starts by using an agency with extensive industry experience and smart, goal-forward marketing services. Are you ready to harness cannabis marketing and PR to your advantage? Let’s chat.

What is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry?

An Estimated $41B in Sales by 2026 Means Navigating This Booming Marketplace Takes Strategy

Table of Contents

From therapeutic medicine, to recreational enjoyment, to self-care and wellness, cannabis has become a hot commodity that is part of a fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry. With millions of American adults supporting legalization and state after state enacting cannabis reforms, the demand for this special plant is exploding.

Cannabis Industry Data: Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers

Recent reporting from cannabis consumer data firm Brightfield Group (via Statista) shows that recreational sales in the United States are projected to surpass $23 billion next year, and reach more than $41 billion by 2026. Meanwhile, the medical cannabis market is projected to double from its 2019 size and be worth more than $11 billion by 2024. 

These huge numbers mean that, in less than five years, America’s cannabis industry could grow exponentially into an economic powerhouse that shows no sign of slowing down. 

The times are a-changing—quickly. Growing social acceptance of cannabis, coupled with sweeping state-level reforms to laws and regulations, are fueling the booming marketplace. This includes decriminalization and new medical cannabis programs in states that were once staunchly opposed to legalization in any form. Throughout the South and Midwest, new markets are opening to meet the demand of outspoken consumers seeking access to safe, regulated products.

What Makes the Cannabis Marketplace So Different?

Like almost any other American industry, the growth of cannabis is being driven by competition. Countless new companies and brands are hustling to gain a first-mover advantage in this rapidly expanding marketplace by diving in with fresh innovations, products and services. The flood of new entrants into this still-evolving business landscape means companies and brands need a north star for navigating a path to success in a crowded field and earning consumer loyalty. That’s where branding strategy comes in.

What Makes for Powerful Cannabis Branding?

If developing a new product or service is the first step in a company’s growth, branding is the long walk toward understanding what will make consumers really invest in it. Creating meaningful messaging around the personality and values that make a company tick is one of the main ways to earn invaluable brand awareness, engagement and advocacy. This process starts with doing in-depth research into target markets, direct competitors, and, of course, how to get those brand messages in front of the right audiences, without the use of traditional advertising channels.

How Are Cannabis Advertising Rules Shaping Brand Awareness?

Despite winds of change blowing across the nation, cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. This means many national and state-level advertisers, both digital and traditional, do not want to risk drawing attention from the government by promoting cannabis-related products. Without typical advertising channels, marketing and selling cannabis is a real challenge.

Why Is It Important to Stand Out Through Marketing Cannabis?

Due to strict advertising constraints, legitimate cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and retailers are forced to sell their products and services through grassroots methods, including out-of-home displays like cryptic billboards, backpage ads and even hand fliers. The way to supplement these outdated tools and connect with target customers is with agile marketing, rooted in strategy, that can intersect fledgling ventures and hungry consumers.

What Are Cannabis Marketing Services?

The power and reach of exceptional cannabis marketing involves combining individual aspects to inform an overarching strategy, starting with:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Searching Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Branding and Messaging
  • Events and Expos
  • Public Relations
  • Web Design
How Do You Find the Right Cannabis Marketing Team?

If getting your cannabis company to the top of search pages, inboxes, social media feeds and, generally, the eyes of potential customers sounds a bit daunting, it’s time to push forward. By using an agency that is fluent in cannabis, you can gain a crucial advantage in this challenging industry, as well as a reliable compass to give you the right direction in becoming a household name. Are you ready? Reach out today.