If you have been trading Cannabis it is good time to be in this business. Over the last few years legislation at state level has allowed the sale and use of cannabis for medical as well as recreational purposes in many parts of the United States. And like all things in the world, Cannabis businesses have taken the e-commerce route to sell their products. After all who wouldn’t like to sell online when the market is as big as $11 billion annually and if experts are to be believed it will double up in less than five years. Sounds great, right? The only problem is that the sale of cannabis continues to remain illegal under the Federal Law.
There is a universal law that applies to cannabis business like it does for every other business and i.e. when there is demand, businesses would explore every possible means to reach out to their customers. And e-commerce is by far the easiest ways to reach out to the users. But challenges remain as far as legislation is concerned as there is too much of confusion around the trade and use of cannabis. Recreational marijuana is legal in 9 states where as 29 other states allow the use of medical marijuana while it continues to remain illegal in rest of the sates as well as under Federal Law as we have started earlier.
This puts you into a very tricky position when it comes to promoting a cannabis ecommerce business. It isn’t the easiest things to do. Your next door digital marketing company can simply turn down your project or not have the skills to take you to your target audience without inviting the wrath of law enforcement agencies. What you need is an agency that has deep understanding about the law around cannabis along with competence in digital marketing services of the highest order. A smartly run campaign can promote your business and not invite legal trouble for your business. Here we take a look at some of the ways in which you can promote your cannabis ecommerce business legally an effectively –
Search Engine Optimization
A cannabis related ecommerce store would use the same strategies to grow their website organically as any mom and pop ecommerce store would do. Find the most potent keywords and play around them. There is just a small problem – search engines such as Google won’t just rank your landing page using the same metrics that they do for normal websites. Since there are lots of illegal trade that goes on for this substance search engines scrutinize every page even more carefully. Hence you need to play around with your content creatively and make your business look genuine citing your ecommerce store’s NAP (name, address and phone number) details.
There is good news if you wish to promote your business – Facebook has lifted the blanket ban on pages related to cannabis. The ‘C’ word was a curse word for them in the past and there were several instances of companies that were fully legal blocked out of the social media platform. But challenges still remain as you aren’t likely to be able to run an ad saying ‘Buy Cannabis’ on Facebook! The smarter way to use the power and reach of social platform is creating content which is informative and helpful for people and researchers and at the same time promotes your brand in a subtle manner.
Marketing Using Influencers
Marketing through influencers is now the big thing in the world of digital marketing and you’d perhaps want to do the same for your cannabis store too. But finding an influencer for this product isn’t the easiest thing on the planet. You can’t bring in an addict and ask him or her to promote your product! Hence you need to find someone who can create a brilliant campaign on his/her social channels promoting your product in a creative way and suppressing the negativity that surround cannabis business. Be careful while hiring an influencer as working with the wrong people might lead to spending many hours with your attorney.
Using affiliates to market a product has for long been a successful strategy for ecommerce websites. In fact this is one of the first things that a digital marketing company would tell its clients. Among all the other digital marketing options that we have discussed so far this is perhaps the most effective means of increasing your cannabis store’s popularity. You can invite people and agencies to become your affiliates and grow your reach within their network. You can also place your ads on websites and other digital platforms that see lot of traffic from cannabis lovers.
Listing on Local Directories
If you have tried promoting your store earlier you might have come across several directories that are dedicated to this business. These directories provide cannabis lovers the name and contact details of the physical stores that are selling these products. By listing your ecommerce store’s address you’d go a step closer to finding new customers. The fact that these directories are frequented by people who are actually looking for the product you are dealing in increases your odds of generating new business.
If you are interested in growing your ecommerce business you can no longer shy away from creating a mobile app for your store. All the strategies that we have mentioned above are aimed at bringing new people to your store and increasing its growth. But apps are little different as they are meant to hold on to your customers and avoid losing them to competition. Apps have a novelty factor that websites enjoyed perhaps two decades back. They instill trust about your business in the minds of your customers and help you grow.
Promoting your cannabis ecommerce store can be a tricky affair but if you carefully follow the strategies that we have mentioned above you’d be able to reach your near-term goals and set higher goals for the future. It is a tricky business and hence you should measure each step carefully.
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