Editors Note: Welcome to our newest bi-weekly column, Classing Up Cannabis. Consider this your go-to spot for fluid, applicable advice regarding the image, design, marketing, and branding of your cannabis business. Right now, most of the content in the cannabis zeitgeist neglects to highlight or speak to the minds behind businesses—you know, those fueling the industry. Whether you’re just launching a brand or your long-time business has weathered the transitional storm of complex regulation, we dedicate this column to you.
Anyone who has ever dated in the digital-era has likely, at one time or another, searched their potential partner online. Why wouldn’t you? Safety is the most important aspect to dating. But this puts us in a position of constantly being judged (and judging others) for our online content. We live in a time when our digital lives are becoming a bigger part of our offline existence. Trolls can’t hide, avatars give way to real people, and embarrassing tweets resurface decades later.
How we present ourselves online is no longer separate from our daily lives. The same goes for a company and its online presence. With so much information being disseminated online, sometimes the best place to start reaching new customers is with a website. It gives your company an online home and a place to share news, events, and products.
Here are four important roles your website should fulfill in order to be an effective tool in your marketing toolbox:
Locate your Product
With myriad restrictions on selling cannabis products, the information and merchandise available on a canna-business site differs from what’s allowed on non-cannabis related pages. Potential customers need to know where to find your product, whether it’s physical locations, online only, or a mix of the two. Do you have a brick and mortar store? How about a pop-up that only appears at certain times? If you have an impressive list of retailers selling your products, show off your stockist list.
Provide Contact Info
Provide your customers with a way to find you. If you’re a startup working out of a home office, you shouldn’t give out your mailing address. But give any contact information you feel comfortable providing online, including a phone number and all social media platforms where customers can connect with you. At the very least, provide a contact form or an email address so people have some way of reaching you. This isn’t a time to play hard to get.
Give Interested Parties An Opportunity To Explore Your Brand Persona
This is where you show off your personality, tell your story, and highlight what your company is doing (and who is already covering your company in the media). Through design, logos, and copy, you have the opportunity to stay in control of your brand’s narrative. If you want to go the extra mile consider adding a blog that allows you to expand outward from your products and look at the industry as a whole. Don’t forget to add a space where you can mention press coverage so you can show your customers that people are talking about you.
Sell, Sell, Sell!
Don’t let Amazon have all the fun. Sales opportunities are one of the main reasons to have a website. More and more companies start every day that have no physical store. If you sell cannabis accessories, hemp products, or an ancillary cannabis product that you can legally sell online, don’t pass up the opportunity. Take advantage of interweb sales!
Think about the three main types of website viewers—the skimmers, swimmers, and divers—and what each wants to know about you. Maybe the skimmers only want to see where you’re located; swimmers want that along with knowing whether they can purchase products online; and the divers want it all. Create a balanced website and you’ll have the opportunity to reach all of them.
A well-made website helps you reach more customers and introduce yourself to them. They may not find you in a store, and without that discoverability, you could miss out on a lot of potential new customers. Where people once browsed the aisles of stores for hours at a time, people are now listlessly strolling online. A clean, well-designed website that balances pertinent information with personality will help you cut through the noise and attract new customers or clients.
But we can’t make any promises for your dating life.