In just seven years, Fortune Business Insights reports that the cannabis industry is expected to grow by more than $150 billion (from $28.266 billion in 2021 to $197.74 billion in 2028) at a CAGR of 32.04% between 2021 and 2028. Meanwhile, up to 28,000 (and counting) cannabis companies across the U.S. are eager to benefit from the increased interest in cannabis products.
The solution to cutting through the saturation and clutter? A cannabis marketing strategy is imperative!
A cannabis B2B marketing strategy can help you navigate the stricter guidelines and regulations your business endures with advertising and reaching the right target audience. Here are our top B2B marketing tactics for your cannabis brand.
B2B Marketing Tactics for Cannabis Brands That Work
The best way to get ahead in any saturated industry is to leverage the power of the top B2B marketing tactics, particularly in an industry where your sales are through other businesses. The key is to meet them where they're at and communicate the value of your cannabis product over the competition.
Use Social Media – Carefully
There are currently more than $4.26 billion users on social media (foreseen to reach about $6 billion in 2027), equaling more than half of the global population. This makes it crucial to have a cannabis social media marketing strategy. The challenge is that platforms largely prohibit cannabis.
Although the good news is that social media marketing is still very doable, it is a task that must be done correctly. No matter which tactic you leverage — paid social or organic social — be careful about images and posts until platforms rearrange their policies. For instance, Facebook prohibits advertisers from promoting "the sale or use of illicit or recreational drugs," and Twitter "prohibits the promotion of drugs and drug paraphernalia."
Despite the challenges, you must use social media to your advantage because cannabis brands can have high engagement and connect with other brands. You need an expert media partner with knowledge of cannabis marketing and social media limitations to help you navigate each platform and optimize your performance.
Embrace Public Relations Opportunities
PR campaigns drive awareness and credibility. According to recent statistics on PR tactics, press releases, in particular, are cited as the most trustworthy type of content. This can be an excellent opportunity to spread the word about a strong value proposition, differentiate your brand, and identify your strengths.
Also, due to the regulations, PR opportunities can help your reputation, brand promotion, etc., when you connect with media outlets, associations, and industry leaders. Public relations can also help develop strategic plans for all the possible situations you may find your company in now and in the future.
Network, Network, Network
Another crucial B2B marketing tactic includes connecting with cannabis business leaders at conferences and cannabis networking events. Being present at industry events is essential to building relationships with other professionals in the industry. Why does networking matter?
A few of the most notable reasons include the following:
- Better brand reputation
- Business growth
- Support and advice
- Impactful business connections
- Shared knowledge
- Meet potential business partners
There may also be sponsorship opportunities — national or even at the smaller state-level engagements. Take, for instance, Marijuana Business' MJBizCon series and the National Cannabis Industry Association. They're both very influential national opportunities.
B2B Content is King
Business leaders value industry insight and knowledge. Research shows that nearly half (47%) of B2B buyers read through three to five pieces of content before giving a company a chance. The same report also noted that 84% expect brands to produce content in today's market.
- Spread information (and dispel misinformation)
- Become a thought leader
This can be via blogs, white papers, case studies, videos, etc. Some marketers in the cannabis industry have also had success with native advertising, which refers to publishing your content and ads on a publisher's site that is relevant to your topic. This way, your content doesn't look like an ad or out of place.
Partner with McClatchy
Cannabis B2B marketing is challenging because your business is restricted by significantly more rules and regulations than most other industries.
A media partner like McClatchy can make a big difference because our experts have vast experience and knowledge in marketing for cannabis businesses. Not only are we industry-specific experts, but our partners gain access to both national and local market audiences comprised of millions.
We understand the importance of B2B marketing tactics, and our team can help your cannabis business overcome the many hurdles in the industry.