Attention, marketing-minded CBD/hemp/cannabis companies: there’s gonna be some big changes coming this year.
Changing laws, evolulving public opinion, and the rising tide of new platforms are all contributing to this flux. Want to stay ahead of the curve? Here’s what your company needs to know about 2021 marketing trends.
- Legalization will make marketing easier
- CBD infusions will get even more creative
- Customer diversity will increase
- Research will push forward
- Little cannabinoids will become big news
- MD-backed CBD products will shine
- Brands will develop inner circles
- Links, links, and more links
- Influencer marketing
- Micro influencer marketing
1. Legalization will make marketing easier
We’ll start off our list of marketing trends with some good news: America supports cannabis legalization now more than ever. Over 60% of the country supports legalization at the federal level! Surveys are showing that support rates are continuing to grow. Not surprising, when you look at where cannabis has been: in just a few short years it’s gone from being an illegal, highly controlled substance to being deemed “essential business.”
2. CBD/THC infusions will get even more creative
While CBD oil is still an amazing product, it’s just not quite as exciting as it was back in 2015 or 2016.
In 2021, expect marketing-savvy companies to wow customers with new cannabinoid-infused products! Whether these will take the shape of new types of products, new types of strains, or both is anyone’s guess.
Let’s just say that Molson-Coors is looking at producing a cannabis-infused beverage and Coca-Cola may pioneer carbonated drinks + CBD.
3. Customer diversity will increase
2018’s Federal farm bill declared CBD legal for all…right?
Yes, but cannabis culture is still catching up. People of color and women are still vastly under-represented as company founders and owners. Why not feature these demographics on your company’s board? At Leaf Connect, we’ve made diversity a priority.
This concept is also important for the industry’s B2C side. Retailers who want to maximize their marketing should make an effort to welcome all demographics and make everyone feel included in their brand. Low diversity is so 1921.
4. Cannabis industry research will push forward
By this point in time, cannabis’ medical properties are pretty well known. It’s 2021, after all!
But look for this trend to accelerate even more. The epilepsy-specific research that started it all should branch off into other areas in 2021. Can cannabis help with IBS? What about mitochondrial disease? Expect some more specific answers this year — and hone your marketing plan accordingly.
Some research will even be carried forward by big cannabis companies like Canopy Growth. Look for researchers, suppliers, and cultivators to join forces in the development of new cannabis products.
5. Little cannabinoids will become big news
The cannabis plant contains more than just THC and CBD. It contains, in fact, over 100 wellness-boosting cannabinoids! Look for many of these “trace cannabinoids” to explode in popularity this year.
CBC, CBG, and CBN are already getting more popular, sure…but this is just the start. Look for Delta-8 THC, THCv, and other THC isomers to come into public focus as people search for products with a more balanced high.
Dispensaries that make an effort to feature these types of products will find themselves on the cutting edge.
6. MD-backed CBD products will shine
Cannabidiol products of all sorts are in their heyday right now — tinctures, topicals, vapes, and CBD oils included.
And yet many of these products are still poorly regulated. The average new consumer may not know which brands to trust. How could they?
By looking for brands that are backed by medical professionals, that’s how! There are already several prominent MD-backed CBD companies on the market right now.
Do you have a medical marijuana business? Featuring an MD on your team is a great idea for you, too. Many MD’s are even using CBD and THC in their clinical practices to help patients break free from opioid addiction. Now THAT is a trend worth supporting.
Another thing to keep in mind: this pandemic has made people especially sensitive to companies that make sketchy medical claims…and rightfully so. The FDA has also been cracking down on this sort of thing. Having an MD or other medical professional onboard your team can lend some authority to your products. Bonus points for brands that boost their SEO by having all their written content medically reviewed.
7. Brands will develop inner circles
Moving to a big city can be daunting, and finding a sense of community within the CBD market can often feel much the same way for new customers.
Look for brands to respond to this issue in 2021. How? By creating inner circles through platforms like Slack or Patreon, of course! These platforms, while already popular, haven’t really been leveraged by the cannabis market yet. Brands that take the initiative here can expect unusually loyal customers. CBD just got way more personal.
8. Links, links, and more links
Google’s ever-evolving SEO practices seem to have shifted into a new phase last year. High quality backlinks are now more important than ever before. That means cannabis companies who want to stand out need to create webs of content with other high-ranking sites. They need to get backlinks!
Location matters, too. Local brands should focus on providing content to local news sites — and getting quality backlinks in return. Is your brand located in New York? You might want to shoot for a feature in the New York Times!
Long story short, intelligent digital marketing is more important than ever. Don’t discount this trend if you want your brand to be seen by the right people at the right time.
9. Influencer marketing
Let’s face it: the CBD industry is crowded.
And so are social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. How can CBD startups facing two levels of saturation get noticed…without breaking the bank?
At Leaf Contact we think we’ve found an answer: incentivized influencer marketing. We’ve developed a unique model where that rewards influencers that promote our products (and your products). Get in touch with us to learn more about this…for now, let’s just say that getting your slice of the CBD industry’s market share may be more affordable than you think.
10. Micro influencer marketing
And social media marketing isn’t just for the rich and famous. Micro-influencers deserve some love, too!
Their fans and followers are often most loyal, after all. Getting your products reviewed by influencers with niche followings may actually be one of the best ways to get your brand to stand out.
Do your products pride themselves on their terpene content? Chances are there’s a cannabis influencer out there whose followers would love to buy such products. Our social media team can help your brand find and connect with influencers that matter most.
To learn more about Leaf Contact’s services, click here.