Cannabis business license holders need a wide variety of products, and services to operate, and there are a growing number of companies that meet those needs either by selling exclusively to cannabis businesses or by expanding into the cannabis industry.
The reason so many companies are jumping into the cannabis industry is because it holds massive opportunities for growth. There are nearly 22,000 active cannabis licenses in the United States as of March 31, 2019 according to the Cannabis Media License Database, which are spread between cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, retailers, distributors, delivery companies, microbusinesses, and testing labs.
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to market products and services to companies in most industries today, including the cannabis industry. However, publishing and sharing low quality content that doesn’t educate, inform, or entertain your target audience won’t help boost sales. In fact, poor quality content could have a far-reaching negative effect on your brand and business.
According to research from PathFactory and Heinz Research, the top seven issues B2B marketing buyers have with the content they receive, which directly affects their willingness to purchase from the company that created the content are:
- The content is too fluffy or jargony
- The content isn’t relevant to the recipient’s pain points, challenges, or responsibilities
- The content isn’t relevant to the recipient’s company
- The content isn’t personalized to where the recipient is in the buying process
- The content is misleading or doesn’t make sense
- The content requires the recipient to fill out a form
- The content is hard to find when the recipient needs it (i.e., buried in a blog, resource center, etc.)
Let’s take a closer look at each of these B2B content marketing mistakes that you should avoid, so you get better results from your efforts to connect with cannabis businesses.
1. Publishing Content Filled with Jargon but Offering Little Value
The number one issue B2B buyers have with the content they receive from other businesses is that the content is neither authentic nor substantive. A blog post, ebook, email message, or any other type of content is useless to recipients if it’s filled with jargon that makes it sound completely inauthentic.
Quality content is meaningful to recipients and delivers value in the form of education or entertainment. If your content isn’t useful to the people who will receive and consume it, don’t bother sending it.
2. Publishing Irrelevant Content that Recipients Don’t Care About
If you publish, share, or send content to your target audience of cannabis business consumers, but the content isn’t relevant to them, then it won’t deliver adequate ROI for you. Every piece of content that you create to directly or indirectly promote your company, products, and services should be relevant to your target audience’s pain points, problems, and challenges.
The only way to get potential buyers to read your content is to make sure you give them content that they’re interested in and directly impacts them by focusing on their needs.
3. Publishing Content that Doesn’t Match Recipients’ Businesses
Imagine this scenario. You’re a cannabis cultivator, and a business sends you an email message that talks about cannabis dispensary interior design. What would you do with that message? Chances are, you’d delete the message without opening it.
In this scenario, it’s obvious that the sender didn’t consider recipients’ businesses before sending the message. A better strategy would be to send a message about cannabis dispensary interior design only to cannabis dispensary license holders.
Don’t make the same mistake. Instead, send the right messages to the right people and your ROI will climb.
4. Delivering Content to the Wrong Businesses at the Wrong Time
Before you create a piece of content, you need to determine who you’re creating it for and what stage in the consumer buying cycle they’re in.
For example, if they’re not in the market for your product or service yet, then they haven’t realized yet that they have a problem your product or service can solve. They should receive very different content from you than businesses that are in the final decision stage of the consumer buying cycle.
One size does not fit all in content marketing, so segment your audience and send the right messages to the right people at the right time.
5. Creating Misleading or Confusing Content
While you might not want to be clear and include disclaimers to clarify specific messages in your content because you’re afraid doing so will scare customers away, the reality is that transparency matters. Consumer trust is at an all-time low, and both B2B and B2C consumers want to work with brands that are honest and transparent.
With that in mind, be as clear as you can in your content – from your email subject lines and ad copy to your blogs posts and white papers. Integrity and authenticity matter in your content and your business practices.
6. Gating Your Content
Every company wants to grow their email marketing lists today, but requiring your audience to fill out a form and provide their email addresses, phones numbers, and more information in order to get your content is the sixth most often cited issue that B2B buyers have with content.
Therefore, balance your gated and ungated content. It’s important that your audience can easily access a wide variety of content from you, so they gain trust in your brand. However, you can gate some of your premium content to build your email list.
7. Hiding Your Content (Intentionally or Unintentionally)
Make it easy for people to find your content when they want it. Add the link to your blog in your website’s top navigation bar so it’s always just a click away, and make sure your site has a great search feature.
If you offer a resources section on your website with a variety of content, provide easy navigation, sorting, and filtering, so people can quickly find the information they want.
Bottom-line, there is no reason to invest time and money into creating high quality content if no one can find it.
Key Takeaways for B2B Content Marketing to Cannabis Businesses
If your customers are cannabis business license holders, content marketing is an effective way to connect with them at all stages of the consumer buying cycle. However, you need to give them high quality, relevant content that is personalized to their needs, honest, clear, and easy to access and find.
Create a checklist with the seven issues described above, and use it every time you create a new piece of content for B2B marketing to cannabis license holders. If you can check off each item on the list after creating the content, then you can feel confident publishing it, sharing it, and promoting it because you’ll know it has a good chance of helping you reach your goals.