On January 1, 2020, the state of Illinois passed a bill in its General Assembly known as HB 1438. The bill officially made cannabis legal in Illinois. It’s just the latest in a long line of states that are legalizing marijuana both for recreational and medicinal use.
While new developments hit the cannabis industry every day, it’s fairly clear that sales — and the number of cannabis-based dispensaries and other businesses — will only continue to skyrocket.
As the market gets more saturated, it’s becoming more important than ever for businesses in this industry to stand out. It’s never been harder to differentiate yourself.
One way to do that? Educating your consumers — not just on your specific product or service, but regarding the cannabis industry as a whole.
A look at the current landscape for cannabis use
If you’re in the cannabis industry, you understand what a quickly growing field it truly is. But take a look at some figures that put just how fast the market is growing into context:
- There are currently 11 states (and the District of Columbia) in which cannabis is legal to use for adults over 21.
- It’s legal for medicinal purposes in 33 states.
- Canada made cannabis federally legal in their country in 2018.
- Cannabis has grown into a $52 billion industry that saw an increase of over 76% in jobs in a year’s time. Some forecasts call for the industry to become worth $77 billion as early as 2022.
All this points to cannabis being made more readily available. More jobs in the sector mean there’s more demand from the consumer. As laws and regulations relax in more areas, more opportunity for new businesses becomes available. That almost certainly means there will be more competition. This makes it important for businesses already within the industry to separate themselves from their competitors however they can.
Education is one significantly effective way to do that. By educating your consumers through actionable, non-promotional material intended strictly to inform, you can grow your customer base. Here’s why — and how.
The psychology behind why you should become an educator
Social scientist Dr. Robert Cialdini wrote the seminal book on persuasive behavior and mindsets, titled Influence. In the book, Cialdini discusses the different psychological tactics people use (generally in sales) to persuade other people to take the desired action. He identified six principles of persuasion that essentially all consumers respond favorably to, providing examples of each one.
One of those was the principle of authority. This is where potential customers are more likely to trust (and, in turn, buy from) someone they consider a credible expert on a subject. Think about your own experience of purchasing a product. Aren’t you more likely to buy from a company that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their field? If they know the most about their product, wouldn’t it stand to reason that what they offer is the best option?
Developing videos that showcase your expertise on cannabis can help create an aura of authority around not just your company, but your larger brand. Your customers will associate you with having a comprehensive background on the subject and therefore deem you more trustworthy. You may also be quoted by other experts in your industry if your work is strong enough.
You enhance your standing from being just another cannabis business to being a subject matter expert.
How you can differentiate yourself from the market through education
As availability, opportunity, and interest in cannabis grows, you’ll want to position yourself as a thought leader within the industry. Your customers may find themselves confused by the ever-changing legal landscape around cannabis. This provides industry participants with a unique and exciting opportunity to inform and educate their customers.
Developing digital content for educational purposes is a great way to establish authority. Educating your customers will help build a feeling of trust between you and them. Whenever they have a question or concern within the industry, they’ll come to you. All you have to do is produce informative content they find relevant. Once they look to you for content once, they’ll keep coming back. That’s how you become a trusted source.
Understanding the importance of educating your customers isn’t enough, however. You also need to think strategically about the type of information you share as well as the format of the content you produce.
What type of educational content should you produce?
The type of content you provide may vary depending on your specific role within the industry, but it should all be well-researched and fact-based. Don’t make wild claims that can’t be backed up with verifiable data and sources.
Regarding the format of content that you should produce: video is one of the most popular content formats online. It’s also more versatile than other content formats. There are a number of different video styles you can employ to provide information, including:
- Interviews – both with members of your team’s staff and other experts within the industry. Even if the interview subject isn’t a part of your company, the interview itself will lend an air of credibility to your brand.
- An expert testimonial, where a member of your team provides a breakdown of changes to cannabis laws and regulations in your state or region. With the lightning-quick fashion in which cannabis legislation currently moves, your customers will appreciate having someone they can trust to make sense of it all for them.
- You can discuss the benefits of cannabis use as well as dispelling common misconceptions surrounding its use.
- A video explaining the various types of cannabis and how they differ.
One important distinction to make: be careful to make these videos educational and not advertisements. Laws regarding advertising cannabis vary by state and get a little tricky to navigate. By focusing on putting out relevant, informative content that doesn’t look to sell your product, you confirm the customer’s belief that you’re a trusted source. They’ll still come to the conclusion that you’re a company worth handing their money over to if you can continually educate them.
When you’re looking to create educational videos to help inform your customers, it helps to partner with an expert provider who understands exactly what goes into making a successful video that leads to sales. Let Digivid360 guide you through that journey. We allow you to easily produce videos without sacrificing quality. For more on how we can help, contact us today!