The Value of informative content for CBD | Cannabis Brands
It’s no secret that, as a CBD | cannabis brand, you need to create valuable, sharable and informative content. There’s been plenty of research indicate that people value informative content, with a report from Meyocks finding that nine out of ten consumers surveyed agree that brands should provide value-added information to not only their future and new customers, but also their current ones.
Of those surveyed, the strong majority said that the kind of informative content they consider value-added, include things like how to get the most out of the product (77.3%) and information on different ways to use the product (73.4%). In addition, 58% of them also said that that brands should provide education around topics related to the product.
What is informative content
This begs the question, what is informative content? And more importantly, what is informative content in the context of the CBD and cannabis industry? Well, informative content need to be three things; informative (obviously), interesting, and relevant.
For content to be informative, it should provide your readers with valuable and useful information. It should answer at least one question they may have, or teach them at least one to two things they didn’t know before.
Which of these formats you choose will depend on, and can be adjusted according to, why you are creating it, and where you will be publishing it. The information can range from general to highly in-depth information like what you’ll create for a blog post, to strategic information like you might find in a white paper, landing page or case study.
While information is obviously super important for delivering great content, information alone is not enough. A ton of statistics and facts are informative, but it’s not interesting or engaging.
That’s why you should always remember that real people will be reading the content you are creating. And also remember that your average consumer is probably not as clued up about CBD, cannabis and your products as you are. So make sure you don’t lose them half-way through. Don’t be afraid of including some analogies and funny anecdotes to keep them interested and engaged, and avoid being too technical and nerdy (I know, I know. It’s difficult sometimes!). Stay away from the jargon, and keep your tone conversational, using the same words and phrases your audience does.
Finally, informative content also needs to be relevant. That is essentially why it “informs” your readers and customers. But, relevance covers a couple of different things, some obvious, some less so.
To determine if a topic you’re covering is relevant, make sure it’s a good fit for your business and your industry niche. It must also be relevant to the people you are writing for, aka, the people you want to target, as well as your existing customers. That is why it’s important to know your customers as this will ensure that the content you’re creating for them is important to them. That means that writing relevant content comes from doing research, and knowing not only what is relevant to your business, but also to your readers.
Examples of Informative Content
In the world of CBD and cannabis, your most valuable and cornerstone informative content will revolve around those CBD | Cannabis 101 type articles. You know the ones that tell your customers…
…what the difference is between CBD and THC, what the potential benefits are of each and how other cannabinoids and terpenes affect the way they work.
… what the different ways are in which they can consume CBD and cannabis, which methods are best for what purpose, and how to decide which consumption method is best for them.
…what they should look for when buying a CBD or cannabis product, how to read and interpret a lab report and how to choose a high quality product.
The value of informative content
The most obvious value that informative content provides, is that it’s a great way to educate your potential, new and existing customers on a variety topics, from the basics of CBD and cannabis consumption, usage and benefit, to the ins-and-outs of using your products | services, your business, and how you can help them.
But there are a bunch of other things that informative content can do for you, including:
1. Improves Discoverability + SEO
As this case study shows, informational content pages do indeed help your home page and category pages rank better for search queries that have a commercial intent. In other words, your website is more likely to pop up for, and be discovered by people who want to buy stuff as opposed to those that are doing general searches. The most likely explanation for this lies in a complex inter-relationship between backlinks pointing and contextual internal links to and from these informational pages.
2. Customers Come To You
Which brings us to the second point. Because informative content improves your search engine appearance and ranking, making you more discoverable, it’s also a great way to get customers to come to you. And if you follow the guidelines of what makes informative content, it will also engage your readers to the extent that they share it on social media, and with their friends, again, bringing more customers to you.
3. Lead Nurturing
Now that you have all these potential customers coming to you, you will find that not everyone is ready to buy your products from the get go. This is where you can also use informative content to guide them through your sales funnel. When you create informative content for a specific type of customer at a specific stage in the sales cycle, it will help to address the customer’s needs, moving them through the point of purchase and beyond.
4.Build Trust With Your Customers
Similar to lead nurturing, informative content will also help build trust with your customers. Most people don’t buy from a brand of company that they don’t know to some extent, and definitely not from those they don’t trust. Publishing regular, informative content will position your CBD | cannabis brand as an industry authority, building trust with your potential and current customers alike.
5. Keeps Your Brand Top of Mind
Although it would be nice, your brand and what you have to offer is not the only thing on your customers’ mind. And even within the realm of buying products like yours, chances are that they are constantly being distracted by marketing messages from other brands like yours. But, consistently providing them with in-depth, relevant and informative content gives you the opportunity to do just that because it gives them a touchpoint that engages and informs them without asking anything in return. Think of it this way. Who are you going to remember most? Someone asking for stuff the whole time, or someone that is doing something for you?
How to make your content informative
1. Be authoritative
Being authoritative sounds a bit scary – a bit like a principle or headmaster admonishing a bunch of teenagers. But in the world of Content Marketing, it basically means that you know what you’re talking about. It also means authority in terms of Google’s EAT standards, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Most people are very aware of Google’s AI and algorithms for rankings. But what is not that well known is that Google also uses actual humans to test the quality and accuracy of search results. They use guidelines set by Google about how Google evaluates search rankings. And a main factor that sets apart a high-quality search result from a low-quality one is the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness present in the content. To prove your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you should:
- Use what you know and draw on the industry experience you have by creating examples (think case studies and white papers) that illustrate points and concepts you’re trying to explain
- Don’t forget to mention other relevant content pieces you’ve published on similar topics that expand on the subject you’re writing about in this piece of content
- Do your research and include statistics and data from reputable sources and make sure the information is recent and links to the native source (if you truly are an industry authority, you keep up with this type of stuff.!)
- Maintain up-to-date author bios on your site that include experience, how they earned it, and their credentials.
2. Be informative + comprehensive
Chances are your readers are landing on your website and reading your content because they have questions. Make sure you give them the answers. This means:
- You should research the questions your readers are asking. Topic, audience, and keyword research will help you understand what your readers are looking for along with their biggest queries. Once you have this information, you can focus on creating content pieces that answer those questions.
- Narrow your content focus, exploring a few key areas of one overarching topic or theme. That way you can take a deep dive and provide useful information as opposed to just skimming the surface, telling your readers what they already know.
- Outline a purpose for every piece of content you create and what that content piece will do for your audience. What question are you answering? In what way will it help them? Then make sure that your content fulfills that purpose, making sure that the reader walks away having learned something or solved a problem.
- Shorter content pieces naturally won’t be as informative as long-form content with anything over 2,000 words is usually considered long form. Studies support this including one from Backlinko that shows long-form content generates more backlinks.
3. Be readable
This one might seem so obvious that it’s easily forgotten, but many content creators still get it wrong. In the end, it’s all about readability. After all, if people can’t or won’t read what you’re writing, even your best efforts will amount to nothing. Readers will simply leave before even reaching the end of the first paragraph, because they’ll be too put off and annoyed, and never getting a chance to digest your awesome content. This means that you must:
- Write at a level that your audience will understand
- Write for the medium on which your content will appear
- Write for clarity and meaning
- Format the text clearly and logically
- Use readability principles like consistency, hierarchy, contrast, and white space.
4. Have a point of view
An invaluable way of making your content informative is to express your point of view. If you’re just regurgitating what everyone else is saying, then its nothing new, and thus not informative, engaging or valuable. Instead, it’s just going to add to the online noise. What you want to do is:
- Give your audience a fresh point of view on a tired topic. Take a look at what’s already out there and then give it a different spin. Or at very least be better (i.e., more informative, more in-depth, more recent, etc.)
- Infuse your content with your personality. Find a medium that works for you – some people do well with writing, others with video, and yet others prefer the interactive nature of podcasts.
5. Give satisfaction
Finally, you want your content to be satisfying. You want your information to replace confusion or provide hope. You want to leaver your readers feeling fulfilled, having provided them with insights and solutions. But satisfaction also draws on a couple of other things, including:
- Not leaving out essential facts. Put yourself in the shoes of the people you are writing for, filling in knowledge gaps you can imagine they may have. In Psychology we call this Theory of Mind
- Providing closure. There is nothing worse for the satisfaction factor than not wrapping up content with a tidy conclusion that reiterates the main points of your argument. So don’t forget to provide a parting thought that reminds your readers about what they have learned.
Take Home Message
To create informative content, the golden rule is to write about what you know and love. Then move on to what helps or worsens the issues your customers’ may have. A great starting point when trying to figure out what this may be, start thinking of creating content from questions you receive. You can then elaborate on these topics, creating a series of articles that are informative, interesting and relevant to them. What’s more, chances are that this approach will widen also widen your audience as chances are that the information will also be useful to many more people.
You’ll find that it is much easier to speak to, and create interesting, relevant and helpful content for, say, Serious Susan or Go-get-them George, than it is for a vague idea of who you think your customers are. It also forces you to get much more up close and personal and address their priorities instead of your own. This will help you build a bond, create brand loyalty and instill a sense of trust with the real customers that your buyer personas represents.
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.