Guide to Data-Driven Content Marketing for Cannabis Brands

The United States is in an odd-state in terms of advertising regulations regarding the cannabis industry. It is currently illegal under federal law to advertise cannabis brands through "newspapers, magazines, handbills, or any other publications." On top of advertising through these tangible publications, it is also illegal for newspapers to mail publications that contain ads for cannabis products, even to states that have legalized marijuana. 

What is ironic about this is that it is even harder to advertise in states that have legalized marijuana. For example, Colorado does not allow for outdoor advertising and requires that any spots that advertise marijuana are shown only to a demographic where 70 percent of viewers are 21 years of age or older. Because of all these limitations and restrictions, the cannabis industry needs to be able to delve into other options of advertising. We will explore three steps to help cannabis brands claim their territory of the market space. 

1. Understand Data

Data is your friend and it will always tell you the truth. Being able to understand data will give you the ability to understand your audience and what they are looking for. For example, the top searched cannabis-related terms have been "marijuana" and "weed". Using these terms, you can delve a little bit deeper by connecting these terms with other related search term data such as "420" or "the munchies". But there's more you can do, you are able to congregate data in regards to the users who are searching for these terms, including demographic, location, age, and gender. Using these various traits, you will be able to see who is searching for what, and how you can get to know your customer to get them more engaged with your product and brand. 

These are some great things to find out, but you have got to be able to put this data into use. 

2. Use Data to Create Results

So you have all these keywords, and related search term data. How can you implement these keywords to give you results? Since every avenue of advertising is closed off, you must take these keywords and create content. Meaning that it is perfectly legal for bloggers to write about marijuana content, and since you have all these keywords, all you need to do is create content that features these keywords. Since Google loves content, marijuana brands need to create content in order to be searchable. By using these keywords, you will be able to direct users attention to your site. For example, during the month of April, the term "history of 420" spikes in searches under marijuana related searches. This would mean that you would need to write an article detailing the history of 420 and how it has become such a renowned term in the cannabis community. By implementing this action, you are using your data to create strategy and in turn drive results.

3. Don't Give Up on Data! 

As you continue strategically creating content, you will have a much more extensive amount of data to work with. From here, you will need evaluate which content is producing the results you want. For example, some articles won't be performing well and some will. You will need to pull aside the content that is performing well, and ask "why?". What is the time you published the article? Is it because of where it ranks in Google? Or when you shared it on Facebook? Using these questions to evaluate your content, will allow for even better strategy.

Using these three steps, the future of marijuana advertising is bright. Although, there are so many roadblocks, there is always a way around them. The marijuana industry is facing one of the greatest measures to change the way the cannabis industry advertises.