The benefits of community marketing for CBD | cannabis brands
In our previous article, we discussed the basics of community marketing; what it is, the psychology behind it and dispelling some myths around it. In this article we’re going to explore the benefits of community marketing for CBD | cannabis businesses. If you haven’t read that article yet, I urge you to do so as it gives you the background you need for what we’re going to discuss in this, as well as future articles.
An Example of a CBD | Cannabis Brand Community
Building a community around your CBD | cannabis brand is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow your business and solidify customer loyalty and encourage long-term engagement and social exchanges. But before going into the benefits of community marketing, let’s take a step back and look at an example of a CBD | cannabis community. This will give us something concrete to refer to.
CBD | Cannabis Company A is an online retailer of cannabinoid based product aimed at the health and wellness community. They have a website with an online store that has photos and descriptions of their products.
CBD | Cannabis Company B is an online retailer of cannabinoid based product aimed at the health and wellness community. They have a website with an online store that has photos and descriptions of their products. But they are also establishing a community around their brand by also creating:
- A website that speaks directly to, and servers their buyer personas
- An online social community for their audience where they can discuss common topics, issues and solutions
- A blog that provides them with relevant information and answers their questions
- Social hubs where they publish messages, updates for events, venues, contests, rewards and promotions for their CBD | cannabis products
Looking at the two examples above, it is obvious which one is going to be more successful. Company A built a site with the sole purpose of selling their products. Company B is building a community for their customers – both future, but just as importantly, also their current customers.
Benefits of Community Marketing
From just the example above, you can start seeing some of the benefits of community marketing. But there are also some not so obvious advantages of building a community. Let’s take a look.
1. Removes dependency on ads, promotions + social media
This is probably THE BIGGEST benefit community marketing has for CBD | cannabis brands. When you have a strong brand community, it pulls people to you because it taps into what really motivates them – their emotions. By connecting your brand to your community through shared causes, motivators and goals, you have no need for waving ads and discounts in their faces, or endlessly posting on social media platforms that just shut your CBD | cannabis profile down.
2. Increases customer retention
No matter what you sell or how much you sell it for, if you make emotional connections the bedrock of your community, your one-time shoppers will become dedicated repeat purchasers as devoted members of that community. This is because, when someone feels connected to your brand and the community around it, it creates what is called a switch barrier. This basically means that their dedication and investment in your community will make them less likely to shop around in addition to being less price-sensitive.
3. Creates brand advocates
If nobody knows about your CBD | cannabis business, it can’t grow. But, when you start building a community around your brand, you will inspire your community members to transform into customers, and then loyal brand advocates. This makes them an invaluable marketing channel, acting as a mouthpiece that brings others to you. In other words, good old word-of-mouth. Plus, they also spend twice as much as an average shopper.
4. Helps you understand your customers
The only way to make your customer experience better is if you know what your customers are experiencing and creating a community allows your to learn what makes them tick. Because your community members have invested time, effort, and money in your brand, they are a great resource to really help you understand what your customers really value about your brand.
5. It also helps them understand you
Through your posts and interactions, you show your community who you are; your ethics, your values, mission and vision as well as what you have in common with them. In other words, your brand will start getting a personality and people like brands they feel they can get to know and understand. It will also cause your community members to start identify with you, again encouraging engagement, building brand loyalty and all the other good things that come along with it.
6. Creates value adds for your shoppers
People who come across your online community are not always customers yet. Before they buy anything, you will need to show them the value your brand can provide. By creating value for your community members, shoppers, and even casual website visitors, you will help your brand stand out and cut through the marketing noise.
7. You will gain brand visibility
As your community grows, your brand will become more visible. More people will talk about it, and even more people will be interested in what you do out of curiosity. This increased visibility gives you an opportunity to connect with new people and by default, also new customers.
8. And brand reputation
When your brand community is strong, there will always be somebody supporting and endorsing your business, products and initiatives. And along with all this social proof, you will automatically build and grow your brand’s reputation, helping pave the way for launching new products, expanding to new markets or even creating new offers.
9. Other brands will want to do business with you
And with brand reputation, you will find that other businesses will want to collaborate with your. Whether it’s a brand that want to guest pots on your blog or a celebrity who wants to promote your product, you now have the opportunity to share your what you have to offer with other’s communities too.
10. Your new products will take off faster
Although we’ve touched on this in benefit eight, another huge benefit of community marketing is that your products – whether old or new – will be received better by your community members than they will be strangers. For example, if you offer them a sample of a new product you’re launching along with a purchase, because you already have a group of people behind you that love you and what you do, chances are your new products will also have their support.
11. Improves your web traffic
Your community will most likely visit your blog and social platforms more often than your website. But this gives you the opportunity to create compelling call-to-actions on your blog posts, funneling them trough to your shop page that will boost sales.
12. It improves SEO in a natural way
And then, along with the additional web traffic, you will also improve your SEO organically. In addition, the more they share your posts and the more it moves around the network, you SEO will be boosted even further. But bear in mind that this is not something that happens overnight and the whole process can take time. But it has great advantages so hang in there.
13. You can extract and analyse data
You can also extract and analyse the data you obtain from increased web traffic that will give you valuable insights into things like the keywords the members of your community are looking for, which topics and type of information performs better as well as which cities and countries give you more traffic.
14. It will help streamline your content strategy
Armed with this information, you can make fact based decisions concerning your content creation and marketing strategies. The data can help you guide, generate and define things like content topics, newsletters, social media posts and email campaigns.
15. User-generated content.
And speaking of content, all those communities will also generate their own content that can be invaluable for your content marketing, SEO, and overall inbound marketing strategies. New articles will be indexed by Google. New threads will serve as flagships for users who might be experiencing the same problems, asking the same questions, or are interested in the same ideas. And any new content can serve as a point of discussion in your email and social media campaigns.
take home message
Building a brand community will not happen overnight. Creating a strong, active community is hard work and takes time to get right. But if you are willing to make the investment, as the above examples have shown, getting your community marketing right can have tremendous advantages for your business. If you are interested in building a brand community of your own, don’t forget to come back next week for finding out what the essential component of community marketing are. You can also get in touch with us if you want some help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lieze Boshoff (B.Psych, M.Sc (HCN)) is the founder of LBC3 Marketing + LBC3 Academy a leading Cannabis Marketing agency + training academy for the CBD | Cannabis Industry. Additional work experience includes working as an account manager and then a corporate training and development manager in London, and a university lecturer + researcher in Germany and The Netherlands.
Her areas of expertise encompass all aspects of Cannabis Marketing, including Content Creation, Copywriting, Email Marketing, and Lead Generation. As a specialist in her field, she helps small to medium sized CBD | Cannabis businesses with her work as Cannabis Marketing professional, educator and mentor.