In 2021, social media marketing continues to be challenging for companies working in and with the cannabis industry. However, there are some growing social media marketing trends happening this year that are perfect for B2B cannabis brands – specifically, the ancillary companies marketing their products and services to cannabis business license holders.
1. Video Content Gets Noticed and Shared
Online video content has been popular in social media marketing for years, and that trend shows no signs of stopping in the near or distant future. In fact, video content reigns supreme across more social media platforms than ever – from TikTok, YouTube and Instagram to Twitter and Facebook and everything in between.
Remember, video content doesn’t have to be professionally created with expensive lighting, sound, and production to be popular on social media. In fact, it could be argued that professionally created video content is inauthentic and actually turns people away from your brand.
If you do create professionally produced videos, make sure your social media feed includes a mix of video content – both professionally produced videos and real-world, non-professionally produced videos. Grab your phone and take a video of behind-the-scenes at your company. That type of content can be just as popular – even more popular – than expensive professional videos.
A big video content trend happening in 2021 that your business could leverage is Instagram Reels, which are pushed to all users, not just your existing followers. That’s a big deal because it gives you an opportunity to grow your audience with short (3-15 seconds) video content.
2. Stories Gain Popularity on a Growing Number of Social Media Platforms
Following the popularity of Snapchat, Instagram launched Stories in 2016. Since that time, the short lifespan Stories concept has spread to other social media platforms like Facebook in 2017 and YouTube in 2018. But that’s not all.
Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest have all jumped on the Stories bandwagon with features that have been in testing for some time now. Keep in mind, different platforms have different lifespans for Stories-type content, but one thing is consistent no matter where you publish this type of content – it’s extremely popular.
3. Live Content Draws Audiences
Live video content was once the purview of big brands with big marketing budgets, but that is no longer the case. Live streaming video content was gaining popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and now, live video content is the norm on social media. The growth of virtual events brought live content to people who may never have considered watching it before quarantines began.
Instagram Live and Facebook Live are two of the most popular options for sharing your live video content with social media audiences. Just be very careful to follow the rules. Even if yours is not a cannabis plant-touching business, it’s in your best interest to err on the side of caution. You definitely don’t want to risk having your social media profiles, pages, and channels shut down!
4. Educational Content Drives Engagement
Educational content is key to B2B marketing for most industries, and the cannabis industry is among them. That’s because educational content is useful and meaningful rather than self-promotional, and no one wants to spend time on social media watching (or reading) ads.
Start by publishing an educational blog post and then repurposing it into educational social media content. This could include images, videos, infographics, quotes, tips, expert hints, and so much more.
For example, Instagram Guides provide a great way for users to create single resources that are more in-depth than just one image or video. Instagram rolled Guides out to all users in November 2020, and since then, people have used them to bundle posts and create how-to guides, tutorials, product guides, and more.
5. Content with Purpose Matters More Than Ever
The world changed during 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everyone in one or more ways. Today, consumers are actively looking for brands with purpose that are offered by businesses with missions to do good and change the world for the better. All of this aligns perfectly with the long-established cannabis culture.
Therefore, both cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses must prioritize their brand values and truly live by them in 2021. Social media provides a perfect platform to prove your brand and business are walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Start integrating your brand and business purpose into your social media content and conversations. Many brands have found great success doing this on Instagram and Facebook, but for B2B brands, the practice is gaining significant traction on LinkedIn.
Key Takeaways about Social Media Marketing Tactics B2B Cannabis Brands Should Use This Year
To be successful with social media marketing, B2B cannabis brands need to take three initial steps. First, you need to understand the rules of each social media platform you use. Second, you need to understand where your audience is active, and focus your efforts on the platforms where they spend the most time. Third, you need to understand what kinds of content work well with your audience on the platforms you choose to use, which takes research and testing.
Start your 2021 social media marketing investments with the five tactics discussed above, and you’ll be on your way to gaining traction for your brand across the social web.