Nothing signifies a proper industry like business-to-business (B2B) marketing. And for the cannabis industry, there are tons of businesses clamoring to get attention and clientele. Competition is fierce, but this may be the normalization signifier cannabis needs. Not to mention that a Pew Research Center poll in November 2019 indicated that a solid two-thirds of Americans support legalization.
So, where’s the industry heading? Let’s cut through the tedious, time-consuming stuff. You’ll be spared from advice that doesn’t pay off and go straight to what works. So, listen up. I’m talking to the outliers of the cannabis industry, peeps in the manufacturing, professional and tech services side of things. Here are four hot strategies for the cannabis business outliers looking to partner with the most prominent industry players. The industry is still young, and there’s still time to dominate the B2B landscape.
1. King Content (Marketing)
The opportunities in this area are too numerous to count. Content marketing can connect audiences to products and services through creatively and thoughtfully created stories and education. Counteract some of the lack of information or blatant misinformation out there with blogging, whitepapers, case studies and video content. Not only can content marketing boost website traffic and SEO, but it can also persuade potential customers to make the purchase. Content marketing is one of the very best tools in the B2B toolbox. Build trust, promote your business and improve your bottom line with content marketing.
2. Network Connection
Sometimes just interacting with someone face-to-face makes all the difference. With a ton of businesses trying to navigate the quickly developing industry, you can’t beat the opportunities to connect and learn at local and national conferences and events. On a smaller, more personal scale, in states where cannabis is legal, there are always events where you can meet other local industry leaders. If you have a compelling story or enjoy public speaking, there might be a chance to deliver your message to a group. If you like to volunteer, ask about opportunities and, in the meantime, connect with the event organizers. Nationally, there are substantial B2B conferences like MJBizcon and events coordinated by the National Cannabis Industry Association. Remember, having a presence is better than having none at all.
3. Powerful PR
When done right, public relations can create awareness and credibility for your business to the people you want to partner with — but you have to be savvy. Focus on the winning formula for your company’s goals and resources, and take into account what kind of money you have to spend. Time effectively spent can be worth a ton, and up-and-coming B2B opportunists should take advantage. Contact cannabis-focused media outlets. Discover professional and advocacy associations related to the industry. Go to tradeshows.
4. Social Media Curation
Everyone and their cousin is on social media. Ignoring that avenue for promotion and connection means leaving a vast population segment behind. So post cautiously — curate the message and branding specific to your business and keep it professional. Many companies in the cannabis industry have created a name for themselves using social media, but remember: cannabis is still federally illegal and strictly regulated. That means that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines have teeth.
For example, did you know that Instagram — one of the primo platforms for weed companies — deactivated accounts that didn’t advertise and disclose cannabis-containing products with required disclaimers? It’s true, but that shouldn’t scare away B2B companies. Just be thoughtful. You can still unleash your creativity, but be conscious of what you post. If you’re not sure about how to promote your message and brand and stay within legal regs? Talk to a cannabis marketing team experienced with working within the regulatory parameters, and you might find yourself on top. Heck, your online marketing and branding prowess might be your ticket to a successful B2B partnership.