Content marketing is how we think about marketing. Back in the day it was hit them over the head over and over until they buy from you. It’s different today. The cannabis industry is new and it’s getting smarter. Content has to have value, period. It has to provide engaging and entertaining information, which is totally different than the hit them over the head strategy.
Think of it like this: a fish is not aware of the water. This is how content must be… like air. You just have to be there, surrounding who wants to engage.
Originally, people thought that content marketing was taking a brochure and putting it on the web; pure marketing copy. Nowadays, it’s more like what challenges are you experiencing, what needs do you have and how can we meet those needs with our content? Years ago it looked like pages of a book had been placed online, but for content to be readable online it needs to look different than something in a book or brochure. Space on your site doesn’t cost more like print… spread it all out. Break it up and make it easier to read. Search engines like it that way, too.
Switch off everything you learned in school. Not all paragraphs need at least five sentences. It’s a different world, folks. People have an attention span of seconds, especially in the cannabis industry. They also have a back button, and they’ll use it.
It’s much easier to create a piece of content if you look at it in a component way. There are two angles to this. One is that a piece of content has seven main components. It’s very important to get each of the seven right. Let’s break this down…
The headline is super important. People don’t spend enough time on the headline. Some times, the headline is the only chance you have to get a reader or not. Put major energy here. If it’s boring, go home because all your readers will check out. I’m telling you, this industry moves fast.
The First Sentence:
The first sentence is very important. It’s the first place where you are trying to get someone to move from the headline into the story.
The Introductory Paragraph:
This is the copy that goes into tags. It sets the story up and gets people interested into reading more. Create curiosity.
Add sub heads that make your piece skim-able.
This is everything else…the meat of the story.
Sometimes the summary is only a sentence or two but reminds people of what they just learned. Spend time thinking about how to wrap things up.
Call to Action:
Even if you are just asking for a comment on your article, that’s a call to action. Content marketing wants something. Ask for it.
If you think you can’t write, you can; and our burgeoning industry needs it. Spread the content creation process out over several days. The first day, write a headline and then write out your sub heads, then put it aside. The next day, start filling under the subheads in draft form. On day three, edit it, polish it up and get it ready to promote. The next day publish it…. everywhere.
Look, no one has “time” to write, none of us. BUT, I’ve seen it, over and over. It’s so important to produce some good content, for credibility, for SEO, for our industry, to attract your ideal client or customer. If you even have five readers for your first article, great, it will grow.
So many people in the cannabis industry are beginners in this now, business world. Beginners need content. I can’t stress it enough. Even for the seasoned businessperson in this industry, the industry ITSELF is so new, they need content too. Yes, the point of content is to provide a solution, but sometimes, you have to step back to clarify what the question even is.
Intermediate readers want to interact, they want to become more proficient.
Advanced stage readers think about getting really good at something. Expert status. Write content for them too.
So do cannabis companies need content writers? Well, any cannabis company needs it. Question is, do you want to do it as an owner? At some point, you may realize that it exceeds the manpower or time you have. Aim for one piece per week; a solid piece. That will get you to where you want to go to begin with. I KNOW it doesn’t always seem like there would be benefit in it, but believe me, there is. Most important, have fun doing it!