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5 Ways Marketers Can Thrive In Highly Regulated Industries

The evolving legalization of marijuana is creating a market projected to reach $146.4 billion by the end of 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. In this new market, there are laws in place that strictly limit the marketing of this substance, including advertising restrictions and a multitude of state rules and regulations.

Say you’re a marketer who’s following these rules to the letter, while your black-market competitors are not. So, how can you use digital marketing to lure customers away from the firmly established illegal vendors? By building a robust digital marketing campaign.

Keep in mind that the pharmaceutical, alcohol, nicotine, finance, insurance, and gambling industries also follow tightly regulated marketing restrictions, so these industries must create compelling content that informs a specific targeted market. Here's a look at five best practices for marketers to thrive in highly regulated industries:

Website design. As the primary location to engage your market, your website needs a clean, visually appealing design that guides visitors to information quickly. Just as alcohol and tobacco sites block underage visitors, cannabis sites must also have built-in safeguards. Ensure your site responsively adjusts whether the visitor is using a phone, tablet or desktop.

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Thought leadership builds a strong SEO strategy. While advertising products in a highly regulated industry is prohibited, developing a strategy to arrive on page one of Google search results is not. Businesses who appear within the first five results receive 67.6% of clicks, according to Moz research. The strategy for moving up in search begins by understanding the law and carefully creating content that is not promotional, but provides trustworthy, reliable information that educates, not sells.

Get creative with content formats. Highly regulated industries are clouded with complex, confusing and ambiguous misinformation. Use blog posts, scientifically cited white papers, expert interviews, brochures and guides to clarify the truth. Create fact-based infographics and don’t forget video content.

Influencer marketing: find and engage with your audience. When your ability to promote your own content is restricted by federal and state laws, have someone else do it for you.  Influencers are social media users who have their finger on the digital pulse of a high number of loyal and highly engaged followers. They have the power to personally drive conversations and engagement around regulated products to a lifestyle group that is likely to be your customer.

Cultivate a targeted email list. An email address gives you the power to communicate with customers directly about your promotions, events, and news. Collect these email addresses intentionally by creating a valuable piece of content that your targeted customers would likely want. Offer the content as a free download in exchange for providing their email address, with the ability to opt in and receive regular email updates.

Establishing a digital presence for cannabis or other companies in a highly regulated industry is an opportunity to educate and connect with potential customers and influencers. The best communities are built organically by providing the best content possible and encouraging others to promote your content for you.

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