If you’re here reading this, you’re likely either a retailer, wholesaler, manufacturer, or even farmer in the hemp industry. Perhaps you are having difficulty marketing your product, or interested in learning how to do it yourself?
Chances are you’ve also encountered the big hurdles that have been put in front of almost every business in the Hemp Industry – not just the Australian Industry, but all across the world.
BIG Barriers in Marketing, Social Media, & Advertising Hinders Growth for the Hemp Industry….
Hemp presents many highly versatile applications as we know well. From building supplies, PPE, consumer products like food, clothing, health, or nutrition, it’s sustainable farming and many applications makes it ideal over cotton… but when it comes to digital marketing, Social Media giants have been heavily restrictive of the reach that hemp businesses can achieve.
Whether it’s throttling organic reach, ‘shadowing’ pages, or not allowing paid ads for fully legal hemp products, the bottom line is that if you’re not fighting this uphill battle you’re almost certainly losing customers – or at least not getting many new ones.
Sound familiar? Some of the major barriers to marketing in the hemp industry include:
- Hemp being grouped with Cannabis – battling against the public opinion due to lack of education and propaganda/smear campaigns
- The discrepancy between federal, state, local, & international regulation
- Social Media platforms & other platforms block/limit advertising campaigns including “hemp” or associated words
- COVID Impacts on all industries, retail, networking events, etc.
Current major marketing campaigns in the Australian Hemp and CBD industry are focused on education and advocacy. The ultimate message behind these efforts is to emphasize that hemp is not the same as cannabis – a distinction that once recognized will pave the way for the Australian hemp industry, given the tougher government (federal, state, local, and international) regulations for medical and recreational cannabis and the disparity between laws between each.
We love hemp, and we want to spread the wonder of hemp around every corner of Australia by providing digital marketing services for the Australian Hemp Industry.
Our Vision is:
We help Australian Hemp businesses navigate the complex world of digital marketing and ensure that your persistent efforts are going to the right places.
Growing Through the Times….
In the USA last year (2019), Hemp and its extracts (such as CBD) were reclassified as ‘an ordinary agricultural commodity’. This has seen investment and revenue projections skyrocket for the industry with forecasts now being valued in 2025 at $US20-25 billion. Australia is currently also considering reclassifying hemp and it’s extracts from schedule 4 to schedule 3, which would make hemp products sellable over-the-counter at the pharmacy without a prescription.
COVID has amplified the already growing trend of consumers shifting from purchasing in-person to covid-safe online shopping. Lockdowns have also meant more screen time, with online retail in Australia alone showing growth in 6-months that was projected to take 5 years.
We LOVE Hemp…. And want to use our Marketing, Strategy & Sales Expertise to Help the Hemp Industry Grow!
We’ve had our heads down developing a comprehensive understanding of audiences and segments in the Hemp industry, along with the challenges that business owners face.
Unlike a strict marketing plan, we create a tailored roadmap that’s specific to each client – their products, location, resources, budget, and aspirations. Together, we focus on barriers and opportunities first, to determine where marketing, strategy, systems, and technology can be used to help our clients spend more time working on their business – rather than buried in it.
Serving the Hemp Industry GROW – E-Commerce and Digital Marketing
Our experiences this year and our past client work across many industries, has enabled our team at HempU to create a comprehensive marketing plan scalable and flexible, to meet the exact needs for each client. Co-creating solutions tailored specifically for hemp companies of all sizes, growing 2021 and beyond requires home grown solutions for Australian companies that take global from best marketing and technology practices, the latest apps, tools or techniques.
Whether you’re upskilling yourself/existing staff or you’re taking the leap by bringing on an agency to boost your business, it’s important to understand what’s trending in the space. Here’s what we’ve found working in 2020!
FUNdamentals – Fundations of a Hemp Marketing Plan
Strategy Breakdown Workshop
To start crafting your marketing plan, we usually start with a breakthrough strategy workshop that analyses the key components for a successful digital marketing plan:
- Your Product
- Your Brand
- Your Audience
- Your Growth and Management Plan
A marketing plan starts with painting a picture of how your product can fit their needs and enrich the lives of your customer. This then offers enough insight to break down the customer purchase journey – their experience with your brand – step-by-step, from the moment they first see your name.
Optional: We Offer Our “E-Commerce Workshop” and “GoDigital” to better define what is required to set up your online store, launch a product/brand, or make your plan integrate fluidly with your workload – instead of taking you away from running your business!
GROW Your Team
When expanding your business and trying to still manage operations, personal, and professional obligations it becomes clear managing your workload and calendar becomes difficult. This is where
- Delegating workload is a smart way to save time, mistakes, money and headaches
- More available time means more customers and deals, you or your team can bring in more revenue to offset the additional costs
- Mantra: ‘Walk before you run’.
→ Protip: Creating a structured, organised system for management and assigning roles/responsibilities and expectations at the start is crucial.
Consistent Content Schedule
2020 wasn’t easy, but 2021 will be a lot harder if you’re not doubling or tripling down on your grassroots content strategy. By harnessing a deeper understanding of your brand voice, product, and audience, you can create an airtight content strategy tailored perfectly to your audience. You can then research, write, design, schedule, and essentially drip-feed your audience the social media and blog content that you created in bulk.
- Focus on the more important things in your business in between creative periods.
- Good questions to Ask?
- If our content doesn’t match the quality of content getting the engagement we want, how can our content level-up? Is it the type of content, quality, post time?
- How regularly do I want to create bulk amounts of content?
- How far ahead is it optimal to plan and schedule content?
- How much time is wasted if we are fishing for content?
→ Protip: Allocate time to respond to comments, messages, and engagement during peak times during a certain window daily. Make it a window you or your team block out on their calendars.
Speaking of more important things in your business… One of the biggest complaints we hear from small business owners about social media is that they are often overwhelmed trying to keep up with the endless waves of comments, tags, and inboxes/DMs.
- Hiring and training a community manager to respond to the simple messages first (tags, common questions, people just saying hello, etc…)
- Set parameters so they know what to prioritize and who to forward what to when more complex or important messages are inbound.
- This process of delegation ensures two main things:
- You don’t miss anything important
- Time isn’t wasted on things that aren’t as productive (some content is replying to the social media equivalent of ‘junk mail’)
→ Protip: To really reduce your manual input, you can also hire a Virtual Assistant to delegate incoming emails and enquiries based on who is the most capable of responding to them.
We believe in a hemp-powered, sustainable, and co-operative future for Australia and the world.
GET Leads & Sales
The lifeblood for many businesses is the success of their sales team, distribution network, product quality, reputation, or brand recognition. Generating leads and sales for the Hemp industry in Australia can be confusing with the types or rules and regulations for each state – and each social media or advertising platform.
Generating sales starts with leads, and we generate leads for your clients by:
- Email – Newsletters, Automation & Nurturing, Promotional emails: There are two types of emails that you should be focusing on for your email marketing strategy in 2021:
- Email Automations & Nurture sequences
- Automated emails such as cart abandons, re-order and dynamic promotions that run on autopilot and make you money while you sleep
- Welcome new subscribers to your mailing list, they’re essentially joining your digital brand family
- Upon the confirmation of their email, wouldn’t it be nice to have 5-7 emails that introduce your brand, mission, vision, and product automatically send out over a 10-14 day period?
- This is a critical part of your customer journey, where the possible customer is first intrigued enough to give you their email.
- Make it worth their while!
“Companies using email marketing to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost” – Hubspot
- Weekly Newsletters: Relevant to your audience and meets professional and ethical standards (no slander, racism, sexism, or vulgar language)
- News in your industry?
- Updates on your business, products, promotions, or features?
- New blog this week?
- Perhaps a customer review, award, Instagram or Facebook competition?
- Maybe an exceptional employee, sales person, provider, or client shoutout?
- Influencer Campaigns: Influencer marketing isn’t dead! It’s still very effective but has just changed its form a little bit.
- Most cost-effective influencer: usually one 50,000 or fewer followers
- Under 10,000 → check engagement metrics to ensure your investment won’t be falling on deaf ears.
→ Protip: For maximum effectiveness, consider offering influencers discount codes to their audience.
- SEO – Always be building on your SEO ranking.
- Make sure that either you or somebody that you can manage is chipping away at Search Engine Optimization for your blogs, business listings, and eCommerce listings.
- In 2021, we foresee PR/Earned Media (news reports, press articles) offering strong boostings to a businesses website visibility.
Social Authority Building
Gain authority in your industry and wider community, and become the ‘go-to’ in Hemp news for your audience by sharing trending hemp news through the relevant channels (social media, video, email, and/or your website)
- Social CIA(c) (Creditability & Influence Amplifier) – Strategic social media plan for both pre & post networking events, conferences, or conventions.
- Utilising a LinkedIn engagement plan tailored toward key strategic partners, potential customers, distributors, whole-sellers or retailers.
- Look for conferences and events for key members of the clients company to attend (specific to their marketing and growth plan)
- Conduct research and nurture relationships with individuals in relevant companies on social media leading up to the event
- Provide all necessary information and material for our delegate for their chat
- Follow-up after the event to set a meeting or keep the lead warm
We can all agree, this year has altered the way we conduct business forever… whether it is:
- COVID putting the world on lockdown
- Government regulations closing industries and physical locations (stores, malls, events, etc.)
- Huge consumer shift from physical to online
- Consumer interest in health and well-being products
- Interest and demand for renewable/sustainable products/packaging over disposable
The digital e-commerce marketing and the hemp industry, in Australia and globally, is without a doubt, a key driver (and solution) to many of the growing problems and opportunities for our modern and future world… The approach we recommend is to be agile and nimble with all the changes. To test and optimize all activities, and have what we call a “holistic, Omni-Channel Approach” to how you conduct and grow your business.
We believe in a hemp-powered, sustainable, and co-operative future for Australia and the world.
Let’s Help Grow the Hemp Industry Together – GoGreen Digital!
Our aim is novelty theory – leverage the digital revolution, sustainably bring in the green, while beating the rush, to grow and thrive through the Australian Hemp & CBD Green Rush!
Sign up for one of our upcoming online or in-person workshops