You’re sitting at home on your day off, but instead of watching t.v., you smoke a bowl and read a blog post offered by your local Tacoma dispensary.
The content marketer who created the post hopes that, when you’re finished reading the blog post (and smoking that bowl), you will be more likely to purchase the product highlighted in the dispensary’s blog post.
Did they succeed? Or would they have had better luck if they sent you an email invite to a Vendor Day they have going on?
The blog post is probably going to be the winner here.
Branded content has been proven to be an invaluable tool that generates far more leads and, ultimately, far more sales than any other type of marketing.
Follow these seven steps to learn how you can generate leads with content marketing, helping your dispensary get more sales and gain new customers.
1. Create Content Helps Your Brand Stand Out
It’s become exceedingly clear that traditional marketing just isn’t the magic potion they thought it was. On the other hand, content marketing continues to resonate with today’s consumers. In fact, it resonates now more than ever.
Consumers are being hit with ads left and right, and they are all so cookie-cutter that it can be hard for them to stand out.
Content marketing is what gives brands the edge they need for consumers to differentiate them from the competition. This could be everything from from in-depth blog posts to sponsored quizzes on popular entertainment sites like Buzzfeed.
High-quality, value-driven content that resonates with your audience is going to separate you from the rest of the dispensaries out there. Content marketing offers numerous opportunities to show what makes your brand different.
2. Target the Whole Demographic Ladder
Another key takeaway marketers have gained out of all the research and studies done on the impact of content marketing is one that may surprise you.
It is critical to target lower and mid-level customers who can’t afford the higher prices, not just the high-level customers who can buy your top-shelf products every single time.
Even though the high-level customers tend to contribute the most in sales, customers at all levels help boost leads when they are actively engaged with your content marketing strategy.
Not only will engagement from high-level customers bring about increased opportunities you’ve won, those aren’t your only customers. Be careful to not ignore those who can only afford the lowest-priced products, as dispensary customers are likely sharing with friends and taking recommendations from them. And then, when their financial situation shifts, you want them to have a positive relationship with your store and its brand.
Fortunately, content marketing helps you reach all of your target audience - not just the higher income demographic.
3. Create Content Consistently & Create Consistent Content
First, you’re going to want to have a primary website that you’re devoting the majority of your top content creation to. This should be your branded domain, or at least one of them. It may seem expensive, but it’s worth it in the long-run to invest in a domain that truly reflects your entire brand. Yes, even if it costs thousands of dollars.
Next, create consistent content, and do it consistently. Think about a schedule you know you can commit to each week (or hire someone to do it for you). Keep in mind, businesses with blogs that have 16+ posts per month tend to receive an average of 3.5x more traffic than businesses with only 0-4 blog posts per month.
Keep in mind, you’re not writing whatever sounds fun. Inbound content needs to be targeted specifically to your customer. So, ask yourself: What does your target audience want from you?
Creating a buyer persona (or a couple) helps with this part of content creation. Keep this persona in mind whenever you sit down to create content on a specific topic. Writing specifically for this hypothetical targeted customer will help you have a better understanding of what your real targeted customers are looking for.
That being said, it’s important for ALL content to remain consistent with your brand. From tone of voice to logo placement, everything needs to be completely consistent. This is what will help you position your brand the way you want your targeted audience to view it.
4. Research Low-Competition Keywords
It’s so important to not publish content without first checking out low-competition keywords to use.
Getting your dispensary to rank organically in search engine results can mean the world to your brand. In fact, doing so can help your dispensary generate a significantly larger number of sales.
Here’s what you do:
- Qualify content topics by using customer persona(s)
- Use an SEO tool to find low-competition keywords to use in your content. I use Buzzsumo.
- Create a value-driven, in-depth, long-form blog posts on the topic and keyword(s) you’ve chosen. You want to shoot for 1,800+ words. Take a look at the first page of Google for your keyword. Find the top result, and then write something even better. If you can’t, that’s not the right keyword for that blog post.
5. End the Sales-Marketing Tension
Content marketing can help bridge the gap between sales and marketing that is so common at many dispensaries.
It is far too widespread that the budtenders don’t know anything about what’s going on with marketing. The marketers, on the other side of the coin, feel frustrated that sales people aren’t pushing or using their content in any way.
Content marketing helps dissolve this tension by generating leads. This is a vital role that complements what the sales your budtenders are taking care of.
The thing about content is customers what high-value content. A product brochure or information sheet just isn’t going to cut with your customers anymore. With the products for sale in the store winning the customers’ attention, they’re just not going to think to read over something that was handed to them as an afterthought.
Or, just as bad, your in-store branding doesn’t match the brand personality you have been portraying with your online presence.
If you don’t have a content marketer at the helm, then you’re going to need to focus on building a strong collection of digital content offerings. This is a major part of content marketing that can’t be overlooked or skimped on.
When carried out effectively, content marketing provides a chance to integrate sales and marketing.
6. Remember Content Marketing is a Long-Term Solution
Just as with many things in life, you only get out of content marketing what you put in. You’re not going to see content marketing success by just publishing blog posts for a couple of weeks, or a few months, and then stopping. Or cutting back to even fewer posts.
This just won’t work. It takes about 12 to 24 months to see the full results of your content marketing efforts. That’s why consistent publishing and commitment is so essential. It’s a critical component in building your brand, expanding your audience, and gaining more customers.
However, when you do start seeing returns on your investments, they're going to be huge. Take a look at some of these content marketing statistics:
7. Include Content Freebies
One of the best ways to generate more leads is to include valuable content freebies in your blog posts.
You can either just insert the content directly into your post:
Or make your freebie a content upgrade that you can use as a subtle lead magnet to grow your email subscriber list. They’ve been proven to be more effective, and they’re smaller and easier to manage than other email opt-in options.
They’ll click on that box for the download, and then be taken to pop-up that asks for their first name and email. Some of them also just ask for their email, making it even more convenient for your readers to subscribe to your email list.
Your content marketer should be putting in all their effort, which can certainly be tremendous if your blog is publishing 4+ posts per week. Just remember the timeline of 12 to 24 months for obvious ROI on blogging. Sometimes, though, you get to see it much sooner.
Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: The more high-quality, value-driven content your website publishes, the better your chances of seeing even more results within a year. Publish consistently, and stick with it, and the return on investment will be crystal clear.
Take your digital marketing one step further. Read my recent blog post to discover 9 affordable marketing strategies for dispensaries struggling with their budget.