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Creating a Content Strategy for Cannabis That Works: Tips from an Expert

If you are operating in the cannabis space, you need a content strategy. According to statistics from SEMRush, content marketing can generate 97 percent more backlinks, 55 percent more traffic and costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing. 

But, unlike other marketing strategies, content is a long game. You have to have patience, as it can take six months to 17 months to pay off. But the return on investment is well worth the effort. Organic traffic, driven by content, is stable, builds brand authority, and ultimately is much more affordable than PPC. Plus, it's one of the only compliant channels for cannabis brands.

Let's lay a strong foundation for your cannabis content by defining your business goals and audience and creating a solid value proposition. 

The Foundation of a Cannabis Content Strategy

Does your cannabis dispensary have a defined brand mission, values, and business goals? Take these business fundamentals, then translate them into a well-laid plan for your blogs. Get specific; think S.M.A.R.T goals.

A few examples of goals for your cannabis content strategy could be:

  • Drive more traffic to a specific cannabis product page
  • Increase subscribers to your cannabis newsletter.
  • Increase sales for a specific product niche: cannabis edibles, flower, or CBD.
  • Sell more services, like patient consultations or dispensary insurance.
  • Score more backlinks to your website
  • Increase social shares (while staying compliant)

For example, the content you'll write to sell more products will likely look a lot different from an article designed to increase social shares.

Yes, all content boils down to striving to grow your business, but specific goals are much more measurable. You can implement KPI to help you keep the project on track and pivot when needed.

Brainstorm Topics About-All-Things Cannabis

Where a lot of businesses get stuck is in the brainstorming stage. What cannabis-related topics will generate the most traffic, the most sales, and the most shares? If you've done any preliminary research, you know that there is a lot — and we mean a lot — of cannabis information already circulating on the web.

Don't get hung up trying to develop a single rock star idea that will crush the big players like Leafly or Weedmaps. Instead, focus on understanding what types of content support your foundational business goals and your customer base.

This collaborative step requires the assistance of your SEO strategist. Together, explore the keywords, trends, and SERP data to understand your niche better. Importantly, ensure the SEO strategist understands the cannabis, CBD and/or hemp industry so they can smoothly navigate the various restrictions in place.

Start by figuring out what type of cannabis content is ranking already for targeted keywords. Most searchers are looking for one of three types of content:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional

For example, customers googling "CBD oil" are likely looking for a CBD tincture round-up or store, not an educational piece on making CBD oil. 

We have a set of targeted keywords (ex: Best CBD oil, CBD tinctures) and know our customers are looking for product round-ups — this is all we need to start brainstorming highly targeted topics that our audience is already looking for. A few examples:

The Best CBD Oil for Mothers

The Top CBD Products for Vegans

The Best CBD Tinctures that Taste Good

Are you still stuck for ideas? First, exhaust your area of expertise and try Answer the Public, Reddit, and Google's People Also Ask.

A Few Content Formats that Work

  • In-depth Educational Guides About Hemp, CBD, and Cannabis

Depending on your niche, creating highly educational guides loaded with free tips and tools is an excellent way to increase social shares. In fact, that's how the likes of Leafly have established themselves.

Cannabis and CBD educational pieces are not fluff pieces. These are 4000-word resources that people want to bookmark. Readers leave with actionable advice on how to use cannabis, the science, or other intense subjects. The more cannabis expertise you can provide, the more likely you'll become an authority in your field.

  • Cannabis/Hemp Reviews and Comparisons, Performed by Experts

Get your products in the hands of people familiar with cannabis. That means industry experts, influencers, and bloggers. Ask for honest reviews. They can write these product reviews themselves, or you can help by writing them following an interview. 

Comparisons between two products always rank well in the cannabis sector. Think, "What is the difference between CBD Gummies vs CBD Oil?"

  • Original Research, White Papers, and Interviews

Original research drives traffic. According to BuzzSumo, 74 percent of people who published original data found it increased their traffic. You can use this in the cannabis industry as well.

Why? Because just like we cited BuzzSumo, original data-driven work gets backlinks. And backlinks are critical for better rankings, no matter what industry you operate in. Journalists and bloggers love to cite cannabis statistics, consumer survey results, compelling interviews with cannabis experts, and other original information.

If you don't know how your B2C business can pull in data, try conducting customer surveys via your social channels or email campaigns. You'd be surprised what valuable cannabis consumer insights you can pull out to inspire new blog posts.

Promotion and Repurposing of Cannabis Content

Organic traffic may take time to build, but it's incredibly more valuable than paid clicks. Plus, it's compliant! To strengthen this trajectory, you need to start promoting every piece of content you make. 

How? Send it out your latest "How to Make Edibles" blog to your email list. Then, share it on every social channel. In some cases, even advertising via press releases (think white papers and research) is valuable for B2B companies.

You can also repurpose previous cannabis content you've written. One worthy blog post on "The Science of Hemp" can become several different pieces of content, which all network together for a stronger end product. For example:

  • Pull out useful bits of information from your blog post, and create a series of social posts. 
  • Have a YouTube channel? Transform your content into a video. 
  • Share valuable data or insights by having your graphic designer create an infographic.

Create a Content Strategy That Works in the Cannabis Industry

A successful content marketing strategy starts with specific goals and is always developed with the audience in mind. Highly targeted pieces crafted around SEO intelligence will capture readers and translate into growth with patience and perseverance. 

Interested in Building a Smart Content Strategy?

Amplify believes in a more human approach to advertising. Let us demonstrate how you can reduce wasted ad spend and time to conversion by implementing an omnichannel strategy that amplifies your SEO, paid search, content, and programmatic strategies.

It's not just about blasting your message and branding across every platform within your reach. Instead, you need intelligent targeting focused on your specific clientele.

If you would like to learn more about shifting your marketing strategies to grow your market share and bottom line, let's have a conversation.  

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