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: 

• SEO

• 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 the Current State of the Cannabis Industry?

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



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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.



What is Cannabis Content Marketing?

cannabis content marketing



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What is Cannabis Content Marketing?

In the ever-growing cannabis industry, dozens of new brands and products come to market every single day, but consumers only have so much attention to give.

So what’s the best way to connect with customers in a meaningful way? Cannabis content marketing uses a combination of gripping articles, SEO best practices and trendsetting to help businesses and brands of all sizes stand out in a saturated, fiercely competitive industry that shows no signs of slowing down for years to come.

The Booming Cannabis Marketplace

By now, you’re familiar with the numbers and market forecasts. Big dollar signs with zeros trailing after that continue to show the meteoric rise of cannabis as an in-demand commodity. Because what started out on a shaky path in the United States a decade ago is now projected to become a nationwide $41.5 billion industry by 2025, leaving craft beer and other product categories in the dust.

Of course, all this sounds really good for cannabusiness. But with this boom comes some very stiff competition in an all-too aggressive market. With so many new states launching legal marketplaces, businesses are popping up like dandelions without much direction. 

For eager entrepreneurs who are leaping in, to longtime veterans expanding their operations, the possibilities for reaching consumers seem endless. But success comes when standing out among the weeds as an eye-popping flower—one with the right appeal of mission, messaging, growth plan and products. That’s easier said than done. 

How Do Advertising Rules Affect Cannabis? 

With all this talk about pending legalization and the freedom that’s coming to plant-lovers everywhere, it’s easy to gloss over one very important detail: Cannabis is currently still illegal on the federal level, which means many national advertisers and advertising platforms aren’t willing to promote THC products out of fear of drawing the watchful eye of Uncle Sam. State-level advertisers are about the same. 

What all this means is that trying to market cannabis can be a real headache. Compared to the average American business, with its lightly regulated products and messaging, many cannabis businesses aren’t allowed to have their products shown or openly talked about on many of the most viable marketing and advertising channels, including traditional media all the way up to Google and Facebook. 

Many plant-touching businesses (which are defined as cultivating, extracting and dispensing cannabis) and ancillary businesses in the cannabis space have been put under the scrutiny of the federal spyglass and basically have been forced back to the streets to promote products that, as of now, a growing niche of consumers rely on, instead of an audience of millions. 

This clampdown on advertising options means cannabis content marketing is the only real way for budding businesses and new entrants into the industry to draw in not only the right audiences, but to connect with potential customers in a meaningful way. 

The Power of Credible Cannabis Content Marketing

Effective content marketing in the cannabis space starts with capitalizing on useful, compelling content that is not only trending, but meets Google’s main desire to point search users to content that shows “expertise,” “authoritativeness” and “trustworthiness”—otherwise known as EAT. 

Just as this text is being sourced here, SEM Rush defines EAT as content that must be informative and answer questions through authentic, factual information. No more link farms or spammy blog trash reading, just easy-to-comprehend text and knowledgeable videos from experts in the field. This plays right into SEO too. 

Why is SEO so Important? 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the 10,000-foot picture of Content Marketing. By using the right search-term keywords throughout content, from a blog’s meta description to the header titles, to the last paragraph, Google is able to crawl and index the right information from the page to deliver to search users.

Through this, companies have the best chance to own space on the internet while gaining a dedicated following of customers. Using an informative and authentic approach, the best cannabis content marketing clusters together pieces of content using keywords and tidbits of knowledge that guide searchers to the information and quick answers they’re looking for, and appease the Google gods that rank the content on the search-results page. (They EAT it up, so to speak.) 

What Are Essential Content Marketing Services?

However, SEO isn’t the only value-add to good content marketing. There are a variety of mediums and styles that keep audiences engaged and coming back to certain sites for not just information, but entertainment. And those return visits help a business build credibility and better search-result rankings, and the cycle continues. 

Some core Cannabis Content Marketing services include:

  • Long-form blogs
  • How-to guides
  • Feature profiles
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts

Of course, these services can’t thrive without appeal. When things get good, they have the power to draw in audiences with a few words that present a promise of invaluable info-tainment that’s worth taking the time to consume. This means including: 

  • Thumb-stopping headlines
  • Need-to-know facts 
  • Big industry announcements 
  • Bleeding-edge product news
  • Smart thought leadership
  • Influencer input

Connect With the Right Cannabis Marketing Agency

Within the wide world of cannabis and the land of content marketing it encompasses, finding the right agency to build everything from a content strategy to strategic blogs is the next step toward standing out. Are you ready to market your business for the better? 



What is Cannabis Marketing?

cannabis marketing at Grasslands: A Journalism Minded Agency



Here’s How Cannabis Marketing Can Help Your Brand Succeed and Grow in an Oversaturated Industry

Table of Contents

What Is Cannabis Marketing?
What Is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry?
What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules? 
Why Is Marketing Cannabis so Important? 
What Are Essential Content Marketing Services?
What Is the Purpose of Cannabis SEO?
What Is Cannabis Content Marketing, Exactly? 
Why Is Cannabis Social Media so Necessary? 
Why Are Cannabis Influencers Coveted?
How Should Cannabis PR and Event Marketing Be Utilized?
What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand?
What Is the Key to Finding a Cannabis Buyer Persona?
How Can Fluent Marketing Help My Cannabis Brand?
What do Cannabis Marketing Experts Have to Say?
Does Your Marketing Agency Have Cannabis Fluency?

What Is Cannabis Marketing? 

Cannabis marketing uses a variety of strategic tools to grow businesses within a booming industry that isn’t slowing down. An agency that is fluent in cannabis excels in this space by using a combination of public relations, specialized content marketing, events, social media and influencers to generate targeted buzz and amplify brand awareness. 

Working with an agency that has deep industry knowledge and a savvy approach to marketing and digital advertising can help established companies, emerging brands and ancillary businesses flourish in the face of fierce competition. 

What is the Current State of the Cannabis Industry? 

Right now, cannabis is flexing its economic potential as an in-demand commodity—one that is fueling a nationwide industry whose value continues to grow by billions of dollars every year. It appears the end of federal prohibition is drawing near and millions of American adults support the legalization of cannabis in some form to be used for health and wellness, self-care or recreational enjoyment. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of states have enacted cannabis law reforms, from decriminalization and record expungement to creating regulated marketplaces. If it isn’t evident, the demand is real and skyrocketing. 

What Are Cannabis Advertising Rules?

With all the talk about pending legalization on the state and federal level, and new freedoms being granted to plant-lovers everywhere, it’s easy to gloss over one very important detail: Because cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, many national advertisers and advertising platforms aren’t willing to promote THC products out of fear of government intervention. 

Meanwhile, state-level advertisers feel the same way. In Colorado, one of the first states where recreational marijuana was legalized by voters back in 2012, a hard set of rules ensures no marijuana-related advertisements reach audiences under 21 years of age.  

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

Why Is Marketing Cannabis So Important?

Plant-touching companies (which are defined as cultivators, product manufacturers and retailers) remain under the scrutiny of the federal spyglass and basically have to market their products blindly. Many legitimate ventures get stuck promoting premium products via billboards, print ads and fliers. 

To counter such limited advertising channels and taking these shots in the dark, good marketing is crucial. Executing on a comprehensive cannabis marketing strategy is the only real way for budding businesses and new entrants into a market to draw in the right audiences and connect with potential customers in a meaningful way. 

What Are Essential Cannabis Marketing Services?

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

SEO
• Content Marketing
• Inbound Marketing
• Branding
• Curated Events
• Cannabis PR
• UX/UI Design

What Is the Purpose of Cannabis SEO? 

As a cannabis business or brand, breaking through the noise isn’t just about having a special product or service—it’s about being seen! Before something can be tried out, then appreciated or adored, it has to be discovered. While differentiators count in a crowd, if a company isn’t being found on search engines, trying to compete is a moot point. 

That old saying “ask and ye shall receive” has never been more true than with current search engines, including the most-used and ubiquitous of them all, Google. When someone hops online to ask a question or find a piece of information, the engine crawls billions of websites and pages of content to find the most relevant and useful results for that particular search inquiry. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the continual process of ensuring that your site meets the search standards of Google and other engines’ algorithms to rank highly as both relevant and useful content. Beyond ensuring your website meets all the proper technical SEO specifications like having a sitemap, structured data, inbound/outbound links, canonical tags and 404 pages, cannabis content marketing is your best means to breakthrough in search rankings and get discovered by the right audiences.

What Is Cannabis Content Marketing, Exactly?

As the backbone to great SEO, content marketing is one of the best ways a brand can begin to not only own space on the internet, but gain a dedicated following of customers. Using an informative approach, the best cannabis content marketing clusters pieces of content together using relevant search term keywords and tidbits of knowledge that draw searchers in and appease the Google algorithm gods. 

Effective content marketing in the cannabis space starts with capitalizing on useful, compelling content that is not only trending, but meets a search engine’s primary objective to point search users to content that shows “expertise,” “authoritativeness” and “trustworthiness”—otherwise known as EAT. 

Just as this text is being sourced here, SEM Rush defines EAT as content that must be informative and answer questions through authentic, factual information. No more link farms or spammy blog trash reading, just easy-to-comprehend text and knowledgeable videos from experts in the field. This plays right into SEO too.

Why Is Cannabis Social Media so Necessary? 

The content marketing space can’t just exist on websites alone, however. Bustling social media platforms have become one of the most essential ways to market a cannabis business. With advertising restrictions comes a need to reach niche audiences directly and social media meets that, tenfold.

Despite not being able to directly sell or solicit products or services, cannabis brands can use spaces like Instagram to show off the goods and garner interest, to the tune of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of followers. 

This is an exciting prospect for companies trying to get clout among the canna-curious and veteran consumers. However, there’s a delicate balance to maintain when presenting cannabis products on social media to avoid getting an account banned for violating a platform’s community standards.

At the same time, a handful of cannabis connoisseurs have found a way to leverage social media to build a brand around themselves and use it as a springboard for promoting hundreds of products. Enter the cannabis influencers. 

Why Are Cannabis Influencers Coveted?

With the power to gain tons of followers by marketing a certain image or lifestyle to niche audiences, social media influencers have become beyond important to promoting cannabis culture.

This is because some of the best marketing comes from word of mouth, like a recommendation from not only a trusted source, but a respected or admired one. This includes family, friends and most definitely celebrities. And with the very idea of “celebrity” shifting from the silver screen to the Instagram grid or TikTok feed, influencers have become overly valuable, idealized tastemakers who can make or break brands. 

It turns out that trust goes a long way when it comes to selling more. This same rule applies to trusted media outlets and in-person events. 

How Should Cannabis PR and Event Marketing Be Utilized?

Considering that cannabis advertising is so limited, effective public relations can be key for raising brand awareness. And having an agency’s knowledge and support is also critical for handling crisis communications if the need arises. 

By having a team of savvy publicists connected to a network of journalists and publications, a brand can disseminate valuable information to cannabis journalists who are hungry for a story and ready to report it. 

Event marketing is also crucial for elevating brand awareness. Between large-scale expos and conventions down to curated, exclusive events, companies can get in front of niche audiences to demo new products, flex their knowledge and draw people in with fun displays of innovation. Tying events in with future marketing goals and generating lasting connections through social media or newsletter sign-ups makes for unbeatable marketing presence. 

And just like event marketing has been able to reshape the landscape by bringing together some of the most important industry veterans with new entrants, cannabis journalism has brought a standard of legitimacy and accountability to the entire market. Both elements allow brands to be understood in whole new ways. 

What Makes a Powerful Cannabis Brand?

With a booming cannabis market comes some very stiff competition. With so many new states hopping on board with cannabis, new brands are cropping up like dandelions without much direction. 

Knowing the right messages and ways to broadcast them are the first steps in building out a brand that will keep audiences engaged and enthused. By digging into target market research and competitor analysis, this in-depth process defines what types of messages will hook in potential customers, just as much as helping a brand stand out among the many others in the crowd. 

Branding is about defining the “you” within a business right down to its personality and values. Think of scarfing down a McDonald’s hamburger. On one hand, the end product is a quick meal, but it also comes with the underlying values of being inexpensive, convenient, consistent, familiar and even nostalgic for many. 

With the right marketing tools, the art of branding for a specific audience becomes a lot easier to understand. 

What is the Key to Finding a Cannabis Buyer Persona?

From eager entrepreneurs who are ready to enter the market to longtime veterans preparing to open a new venture, the possibilities seem endless, but only when standing out among the weeds as an eye-popping flower—one with the right appeal of mission, messaging, growth plan and products—to really connect with consumers. That’s easier said than done. 

Part of being a successful cannabis brand comes down to knowing your audience like an old friend and being empathetic to their journey. Understanding exactly what experience consumers want to have with a product or service, as well as exactly what pain points they have experienced or want to avoid, are paramount to solving issues before they occur and refining products and services so they will actually sell. This all starts with devising an in-depth marketing persona that defines who your ideal customer is, as well as those you’d like to make aware of your business. 

First, think of the ideal audience for your company, then do some research into who your audience may be based on factors such as needs, wants, demographics, location, price point, previous sales and behavior. From there, painting a descriptive picture of both ideal customers and those who would be great to reach is easy. Of course, tapping into the psyche of your customer is complicated and requires real fluency in cannabis. 

How Can Fluent Marketing Help My Cannabis Brand?

Cannabis has a language all its own. And fluency speaks to understanding the complexity of not only the plant itself, but the entire multibillion dollar industry it has created. Without a real on-the-ground understanding of cannabis and all the processes that go into cultivating it, turning it into a variety of different products and the science behind all of it, everything will get lost in translation. 

The truth is, when it comes to entering or thriving in the fast-paced world of cannabis, one of the most important things any brand or company can have is help pushing forward, and scaling their business with agility. Those who are fluent in cannabis have a distinct advantage over others when it comes to jumping in and lending a hand. 

What Do Cannabis Marketing Experts Have to Say?

It’s critical for a marketing agency to have an established connection to the media industry. And Grasslands founder Ricardo Baca has a connection that’s as deep as it gets, along with a singular perspective on the cannabis industry itself. 

In addition to more than 20 years of journalism experience, he holds the title of the world’s first marijuana editor-in-chief. He oversaw coverage of historic legal cannabis sales and a changing culture for The Cannabist, an award-winning online vertical that he created and ran for The Denver Post, Colorado’s largest news organization. 

This means most of his waking moments in the past decade have been dedicated to becoming ever more fluent in cannabis. Because no matter how much expertise one can gather over days, years or a lifetime, this industry keeps changing and evolving. 

Working with an agency partner that isn’t actively staying up with cannabis—or trying to market it just like any other industry—is a risky challenge. As Ricardo explains, the journey to success starts with speaking the language, knowing what’s next on the itinerary and using a strategic map to reach the next destination. 

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.