5 Content New Year's Resolutions for a Thriving Cannabis Business in 2018

2017 was a year of tremendous growth, and change in the cannabis industry. Not only did new markets emerge across the globe, but the industry’s level of sophistication skyrocketed to reveal a highly professional industry.

2018 will be the year that the cannabis industry stands taller, as more markets emerge (I’m looking at you, Canada), and more canna-preneurs will be flocking to the industry, attracted by its lucrativeness.

This year, it’ll be important to weed out the serious players from the casual dabblers, as we seek to strengthen the industry as a whole. As a result, knowledge, content, and cannabis businesses put into the public space will be required to meet, and exceed, the level of sophistication the industry has put forth so far.

Here are 5 Content New Years Resolutions for your cannabis business that will ensure you not only stick out, but contribute to the global cannabis industry in a meaningful way:

1.    High Quality Photography

Cannabis photography is all the rage right now, with many artists emerging to exclusively capture the beauty of the mighty plant for their high-end cannabrand clients. Brands are developing their social media accounts with style, with cannabis photoshoots, thoughtfully displayed cannabis accessories, and photoshoots that shine cannabis use in a bright and positive light. Cannabis has never looked so sexy.

Look to commission a professional photographer, one who specializes in cannabis, to stage and shoot your products, store, or what makes you stand out as a brand. Thoughtfully strategize your visual identity.

Invest in a stock photography account that has a well-curated catalogue of cannabis-specific stock photography. This may take some time to do your research to find the right fit – stock photo acquisition can be expensive – but it’s well worth the investment when your stakeholders can see care you take to represent your brand through stunning, high-quality visuals.

2.    Original & Organic Content

It’s a popular practice for many cannabis brands to syndicate posts from other sites to gain traffic – I do this with CannaWrite a lot when there is a relevant post that fits well with CannaWrite’s message.

Why not author your own content rather than standing on the shoulders of others? More and more cannabis businesses are hiring content writers who specialize in cannabis to create engaging blog posts, social media posts, and web content that not only informs and educates, but engages people. It’s not enough either to just trick the search engines with SEO and keyword research – cannabis users, patients, legislators, educators, doctors, and businesses all rely on well-written, accurate content to advance in the cannabis industry – why not be that expert voice?

If you are a cannabis business that hasn’t set aside significant budget towards marketing and content development, you are missing a huge piece of the cannabis success puzzle.

3.    Knowledge Translation (KT)

One of the foundations of the cannabis movement is the understanding of the existing research on cannabis, however scarce – the research is what is critical to present to the “powers that be” in order to legitimize and provide evidence-based (yes, I said it) proof for why cannabis is so integral to health and lifestyle.

Knowledge Translation (KT) is the practice of taking complex research, data and statistics and making them digestible by general audiences. It’s taking data and putting stories to it; explaining methodology in a way that’s not full of scientific jargon; and breaking down research conclusions to their most palpable form.

As certain countries emerge with peer-reviewed published studies about cannabis, it will be necessary for Knowledge Translation Specialists (like CannaWrite) to come forward to help bridge the gap between scientific conclusions and societal understanding about cannabis.

4.   Responsible Cannabis Representation

This past year, the FDA slapped the wrists of many companies who were using language to make some pretty strong claims about cannabis as a “cure” or a “treatment”, and thus, were ordered to cease using language that had no science-based (oops!) backing.

CannaWrite is founded on the belief of the effectiveness of cannabis on health – we all know miracle stories about cannabis that is changing lives. I believe that the research will eventually catch up to what we all know. Until then, the regular joe does not have the authority to make claims about cannabis in a way that looks like medical advice.

Cannabis SHOULD be talked about. We need to keep sharing and spreading stories about how cannabis has affected people, but we have to also be responsible and realistic about the ways we view cannabis.

Professional cannabis writers, like the team at CannaWrite, have thoughtfully tackled the issue of language with our clients. We have struck a balance where we are able to meaningfully share the efficacy of cannabis, but are careful in how we construct our language to ensure we’re not posing cannabis as a replacement to other medical and lifestyle approaches.

5.    Storytelling

With the lack of science-based, and evidence-based research on cannabis due to the federal illegality of it in many countries, we are starving for the research we want and need. There is research out there, but it’s hard to find, and often difficult to correlate to real-world settings. I do have every faith that it WILL get to where we need it to be, but until then, all we have is stories.

Cannabis journalists look for stories to tell that highlight the experiences of people with cannabis so that it signals that we need research to bring a concrete understanding to the phenomena people are experiencing every day. CannaWrite remains open to hearing people’s stories and finding cannabis publications to tell the stories that mean something for cannabis.

Dr. Danielle Piomelli, a leading endocannabinoid researcher at the University of California-Irvine says it perfectly: “An anecdote is a pointer. It’s something that suggests something needs to be either proven or disproven.”

Start 2018 Off Right with Content

Are you ready to stand above the rest to position yourself as an expert within your field through the content your cannabis business produces? It’s not an easy job – sometimes it can really suck and be very difficult to dedicate time to.

That’s why CannaWrite is here.

We are currently managing a full roster of clients for whom we are providing advanced cannabis content, but we’re open to new collaborations with cannabis brands who meet our vision for the sophistication and professionalism of cannabis through content. Consider how we can collaborate today.