How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 2020 for Your Cannabis or CBD Brand
It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting your business or if you’ve been going for a while, it’s never a bad idea to go over your content marketing strategy and evaluate whether it is still effective, up-to-date and strong. And as we’re now in the beginning of a brand new year, now is the perfect time to do so.
But, if you’re having trouble planning your content marketing strategy for the upcoming year or need some fresh ideas to include in your plan, you’ve come to the right place. In this post I’ll be diving into the following:
- A quick recap as to what a content marketing strategy is
- The difference between a content marketing plan and strategy
- Why you need a content marketing strategy
- Things to consider when creating a content marketing strategy
- How to create a content marketing strategy
So without further ado, let’s start.
What is a content marketing strategy and why you need one?
Content marketing helps cannabis and CBD businesses get the word out about their brand without having to resort to many of the traditional advertising and marketing methods that often times, are simply not available to them (read more about how content marketing can help you legally and effectively market your cannabis or CBD brand).
But to use your content effectively, you need to have a content marketing plan as well as a content marketing strategy in place. The reason for this is that creating a content marketing strategy is slightly different to a content marketing plan. Where a content marketing plan will help you… well “plan” your content, a content marketing strategy will not only help you get smart about your content, but it will also help you leverage and optimize all the website traffic and new leads your content is going to create.
For instance, part of your content marketing plan is to create blog posts to drive traffic to your website. In contrast, a content marketing strategy will go one step further and will include embedding a link to an ebook for instance, that will help you create leads from the traffic on those blog post that gets a steady amount of organic traffic.
So as this example illustrates, a content marketing strategy basically encompasses a blueprint that ties together, leverages and optimizes any content that you create and own.
This is also the reason why you need to create a content marketing strategy along with your content marketing plan. Simply put, it will create a reliable source of leads from traffic to your evergreen content that will also educate your prospective customers, create brand awareness and build trust. And when done correctly, a content marketing strategy will play a vital role in stimulating the growth of your cannabis or CBD business.
Things you need to consider when creating a content marketing strategy
So you get it. You understand how important content creation is to the growth of your business and that it is just as important, if not even more so, to be strategy about it. But to do create a content marketing strategy that is effective, there are a few things that you need to consider before you get going with it.
1. Who are you creating content for?
As always, you need to know who your target audiences are before you do anything. Creating buyer personas for you different audiences are a great way to help you create and plan targeted content. One way to do this is though buyer personas which will help you get clear on the different content types and channels you need to create to engage directly and effectively specifically with each of them. Similarly, your lead generating content strategy should also cater to each of your buyer personas.
2. What problem is it going to solve for that audience?
Ideally what you want to do is convey the benefit your product of services has for your audience. In other words, how do you help solve their problem(s) for them? And you content marketing strategy should coach and educate those members of your audience that are still figuring out what their challenges are as well as those already using your product or service to overcome these challenges.
3. Why you?
Chances are that, even though certain aspects of your products are services are unique, you do have competitors that are selling a product or service that is very similar to yours. That is why it is important for you to highlight and focus on those differences and how that makes you better suited to helping them overcome their problems. In order to prove to them that you are worth buying from, you first need to prove why they should bother listening to you in the first place.
4. Which content formats will you focus on?
Again, this is where your buyer personas will help you get strategic. Is your audience more likely to an in-depth blog post, or do they prefer a quick overview of the main points in the form of an infographic? Knowing which formats you want to create your content for, will not only help you figure out the best channels, but also help you budget properly.
5. Which channels are you going to publish on?
Speaking of channels, it is also important to figure out which channels you need to post on to get the most from your content. Where does your audience hang out most? Are you going to focus on your website and blog, or are you going to also publish content on YouTube? And, which social media channels are you going to use to promote your content?
6. How are you going to manage content creation and publishing?
Figuring out who is going to create and publish your content as well as how this will be done is vital because it needs to be done consistently in order to be effective (here you can read why this is the case).
This means that if you decide to do it all yourself, you need to create and publish your content at a pace and frequency that you can sustain. Alternatively, if you decide additional help from a professional, both of you need to know who is responsible for creating and publishing what, where it is going to be published and when it’s going to go live.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what a content marketing strategy is, why you should have one and the things you need to consider when creating one, let’s take a look at how to create a content marketing strategy.
1. Define your goals.
When creating a content marketing strategy, as with anything you want to get strategic about anything, the first thing you need to do is define your goals, i.e., what do you want to achieve with your content marketing plan?
2. Define Your Buyer Personas
Once you figured your goals, the next step is to clearly define your content's target audience aka buyer personas. If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, I’ve created this article to help you get started. If you have, it might be a good idea to revisit them and see if you want to keep them or want a new audience.
3. Define Your Content Themes, Topics & Types
Brainstorm some ideas for themes and topics based on your buyer personas and the type of information and content you know they will love. You also need to decide the type of content you want to create. Think blog posts, ebooks, case studies, infographics and videos. Also decide on which social media platforms you want to publish and promote your content on.
4. Run a content audit
If you've been creating content for a while, now is a good time to review it and see if they still align with your goals and the themes and topics you defined for your content marketing plan. If it does, then great. If not, figure out what you need to do differently in the upcoming year and adjust accordingly.
5. Create & Publish your content.
Now that you know who you want to write for, what to write and where you want to publish it, it’s time to do the actual content creation and publishing. Creating a content calendar can help you with this - here’s how.
6. Optimize your Content for lead generation
The final step is to think of ways in which you can optimize your cornerstone and evergreen content for lead generation. The easiest way to do this is to create a downloadable file that captures email addresses. This can be an ebook, a template or some other form of content that your audience will find useful enough to want to give you their email address.
To get the most out of your content marketing efforts, your planning should go beyond the types of content you'll create. Instead you should also get strategic about your content marketing and use that content to its full advantage by leveraging the organic traffic it generates to generate leads for you as well.
Your evergreen content will be just as relevant months from now as it is today that will continue to generate leads for you as time goes on. Similarly, even current “hot topic” blog posts can generate spikes of traffic so you shouldn’t ignore optimizing timely topics either.
With a bit of brainstorming and some work, you can create a well-balanced and effective content marketing strategy that will help connect with your audience and grow your cannabis or CBD business.
INTERESTED IN SOME MORE AWESOME IDEAS ON HOW TO GET YOUR CANNABIS BRAND AHEAD OF THE CROWD? CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES TO GET YOU STARTED
- How To Create A Buyer Persona for Your Cannabis or CBD Business
- How to Market Your Cannabis Business Effectively & Legally with Content Marketing
- How To Create A Sales Funnel for Your Cannabis or CBD Business
- What is a Sales Funnel & How Does It Work for Cannabis & CBD Businesses
- Branding Your Cannabis or CBD Business On A Budget
ABOUT LIEZE BOSHOFF
Lieze, is the founder of LBC3 Marketing, a leading content marketing and copywriting consultancy, working exclusively in the cannabis industry.
Lieze is a passionate and data-driven content marketing consultant with over 3 years of medical cannabis and CBD industry experience. Working with a wide range of brands and businesses globally, Lieze specializes in helping her clients get clear on their content strategy, creating educational and engaging content, and crafting conversion-focussed copy that resonates with their ideal customers.
If you're ready to see the impact a strategic Content Marketing plan and well-crafted Copywriting can do for you and your cannabis business, take that first step, contact her here for a free consultation.
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