Where cannabis brands should invest their social media marketing budgets
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Social media marketing should be part of the marketing strategy of any cannabis and cannabis-related business in 2021 for two main reasons. First, your target audience is likely active on social media, and your brand should be there too.
Second, your brand’s social media activity is an important part of your company’s online presence. Consumers usually do online research on every brand they consider, and having an active social footprint that establishes your brand as trustworthy, reliable and authentic is critical to ensuring that your brand is included in the final buying decision.
Below are the top social media platforms that you should consider adding to your social media marketing budget in 2021.
Instagram is a must have on most companies’ social media marketing plans as research shows it is the most popular social media platform for people to follow brands on.
Hence, you should assign some of your social media marketing to Instagram and prioritize the following tactics in your Instagram marketing plan:
- Post original content (images and videos) to your feed and story.
- Focus on creating useful, educational, entertaining, and / or engaging content rather than selling it.
- Create Instagram guides to turn your previously published evergreen content into useful new content.
- Use Instagram carousels, roles, and IGTV to share stories and relevant content.
- Actively engage with other users by following them, liking their content, and commenting on their content.
- Use hashtags in your posts to make them easier to find.
For most cannabis and side businesses, Facebook is important because so many people are actively using it.
Depending on the type of product or service you’re selling and who your target audience is, your investment in Facebook content creation and interaction with the Facebook community may be more or less than your investment in Instagram. Think about where your audience spends most of their time and allocate your budget accordingly.
The following are tactics to include in your Facebook marketing plan:
- Post original content (images, text, and videos) on your brand’s Facebook page.
- Include links to your website in your posts to read your blog posts, watch your videos, and more.
- Share content from other sources that is relevant to your business and useful to your target audience (e.g. news articles, third-party research reports, blog posts from your customers or business partners, etc.).
- Actively respond to comments, questions, and messages that other users send to your page.
- Connect with others by following and liking other sites, as well as liking, commenting on, and sharing content from other sites on your branded site.
For B2B brands, LinkedIn should be a top priority. Your company’s LinkedIn profile should be complete and active.
It is important that your employees have updated their LinkedIn profiles and identify themselves as employees of your company. This is how they will be listed when visitors click the “Employees” link on your company page. This is just another way to add legitimacy to your business and help people trust your brand.
Other tactics for prioritization in your LinkedIn marketing plan include:
- Share content published on your website with your company’s profile on LinkedIn and link it to the source (e.g. blog posts, reports, videos, etc.).
- Encourage employees to comment on the posts you post on your company’s LinkedIn profile and share those posts on their personal profiles.
- Share content posted by others on your company’s LinkedIn profile that is useful to your brand’s audience.
- Actively collaborate with others on LinkedIn to further build brand trust.
A lot of people think that Twitter isn’t a major social media platform today, but that’s not true. While your Twitter marketing budget may not be as large as your Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube budget, it is still an important part of your overall social media marketing plan.
There are two main reasons for its lingering importance: 1) People are looking for your brand’s Twitter profile when researching your business, and 2) Twitter is a great way to grow your social footprint with a relatively small investment.
So, consider adding the following tactics to your Twitter marketing plan:
- Share any content you post on your website with links to the original sources (e.g. blog posts, videos, infographics, reports, press releases, resources, etc.).
- Share content from other third-party sources that is relevant and interesting to your target audience with links to the sources.
- Include an @mention for all sources in your messages.
- Ask questions and get others involved in your Twitter conversations by adding an @mention for each user. This is an excellent tactic to use as part of your online influencer marketing strategy.
- Share other people’s Twitter posts that your audience would be interested in.
- Like and comment on other people’s posts.
- Use hashtags to make it easier for users to find your posts.
- Follow other people to grow your audience.
The single most important social media marketing tactic B2B cannabis brands should adopt this year is video content. As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube is the first logical place to publish this content.
Creating online video content doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, but creating, uploading, and publishing videos typically takes longer than publishing text or image content. As a result, your YouTube budget will likely be high, but it is extremely important given the current trends in the way people consume and interact with content online.
Here are some tactics you can include in your YouTube marketing plan to capitalize on the rapid growth of online video content:
- Focus more on the quality of the video content for your audience than the production quality. Videos don’t have to be professionally created as long as they educate, entertain, and / or engage your audience. In fact, a YouTube channel filled with professional videos can seem spurious.
- Create a variety of video content in terms of subject matter covered, length, production (professional or amateur), purpose (entertaining, educational or promotional), etc.
- Create playlists of your related videos.
- Create playlists of videos created by other users that are related to your brand or business.
- Focus on writing video titles and descriptions that include relevant keywords to make it easier for people to find your videos when they search.
The popularity of TikTok and its short video format has skyrocketed. Depending on your brand and target audience, investing a portion of your social media marketing budget can be an important platform for you.
The TikTok audience is younger. So, consider your audience demographics and prioritize the platform accordingly in your social media marketing plan. It may or may not be important to your business. Only you can make this decision based on your target audience.
Here are some TikTok publishing tips to help you with your online video marketing plan:
- Keep videos short (that’s the purpose of TikTok).
- Post relevant videos that are fun, educational, and engaging.
- Do not promote your product, service, or business.
- Jump on trends that are relevant to your audience and brand.
- Use hashtags to make your content easier to find.
Key insights into social media marketing budgets for cannabis brands
With so many restrictions on cannabis and cannabis-related companies on social media platforms, social media marketing is unlikely to be as high on your marketing priority list as it is for brands in other industries. However, social media marketing must still be included in your marketing budget in order to build your online presence and understand your brand’s social footprint.
The bottom line is that both B2C and B2B consumers look for brands and companies before buying them. Your brand and business need to be there when they look, and social media will help you do that.
Social proof is very important in terms of telling your story and the credibility of your brand and business so that consumers trust you enough to include your brand in their research and purchase decision processes.