The Coronavirus Pandemic Makes Cannabis Online Marketing More Important Than Ever
David Ruhm
March 18, 2020

By now you have undoubtedly heard about the coronavirus and its effects on the cannabis industry

The tough reality is that we will likely be in this situation for some time and that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. 

At the time of writing, over 200,000 had been confirmed infected globally, while over 8,000 people have succumbed to the virus. Millions more are quarantined as entire regions are under lockdown.

Almost no part of everyday life has remained unaffected, and the cannabis industry is no exception. 

So far we have witnessed dozens of cannabis conventions and 4/20 events being canceled or postponed. As stricter measures to prevent the spread of the virus will likely be implemented in the coming days and weeks, the cannabis industry, just as the market as a whole, will see a reduction in activity.

So what does this mean for you?

Businesses are going to struggle for a while

For the foreseeable future, businesses are going to struggle. Even if we manage to slow the spread of the virus, the effects of the market slowdown will be felt for well over a year as businesses make up for losses.

This is not only true for the cannabis industry. In China, for example, the virus caused retail sales to drop by 20.5% while the unemployment rate jumped to a record 6.2% in February from 3.62% the month before.

When big companies like Apple have to shut their stores to help reduce the virus spread, it means less income and less profit. For a unicorn like Apple that won’t be a long-term problem, but cannabis companies across the board can hardly afford to halt their operations for a prolonged period of time. 

Tilray, one of the largest players in the cannabis industry, sold $90 million worth of shares on Friday, causing the stock price to dive 32%.

Similarly, Curaleaf’s stock took a big hit this month, slipping 49%. But the company has taken an important precaution against the virus and stocked up on roughly $2 million worth of vapes from a US supplier, which should last the company for the next five months.

Organic traffic is down in most industries

According to client data released by Neil Patel, global organic traffic across almost all industries is also taking a hit. 
Apart from finance, food, healthcare, and media, all major industries are seeing huge declines in organic traffic. Just look at the chart below which compares last week to the previous week).

(Credit: Neil Patel)

Conversions are also down

But it is not just organic traffic that’s taking a hit. Any industry dealing in non-essential items, which in this case means all but the food industry, are seeing big drops in conversion rates. 

The chart below again compares last week’s conversions to that of the week before.

(Credit: Neil Patel)

Cannabis is an essential good

The data above is vitally important. Just like the food industry, the cannabis industry is an essential service for its customers

Cannabis is much more than just a way to pass the time for most users. For countless medicinal marijuana patients cannabis, as well as CBD, is a life-changing drug that allows people to live normal, healthy lives. 

For millions of recreational cannabis users, the situation is similar. Cannabis gives them the anchor they need to get through stressful situations, deal with anxiety, and switch off after a long day.

In fact, cannabis delivery services are reporting huge upticks in orders as people are fearful over their long-term supply over the coming weeks and months. 

Smart online marketing is your ticket out of the slump

That means your clients are still out there, waiting for the cannabis and CBD products they want and need. Instead of looking at the current situation fearfully, take it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for growth and customer acquisition. 

Millions of Americans now spend the majority of their day glued to their screens, giving you a better-than-ever chance of reaching them

During this economic downturn, you’ll find that you will have less competition. That means it will be easier and faster to get results from your campaigns. 

Remember the words of Warren Buffet. “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” 

When others cut back on their marketing, you’ll want to reach out and meet people where they’re at — on social media and browsing the web.

Any good marketing campaign will include those two elements right now. Reach out to potential clients, show them that you are still here and you have the products that can get them through these trying and anxiety-filled times. 

The more eyeballs you control, the more power over the market you will hold in the future. People will remember you as the brand that stood by their side when things got tough. 

Act now - reap the rewards for years to come

The coronavirus will affect all of our lives and nobody knows how long we will have to deal with the current situation.

As for your marketing, this is the time for you to double down. Don’t be fearful when others are afraid. Be the one that sees the opportunity and cement your spot on the market with a powerful online marketing campaign.

Get in touch with a CannBe representative now to discuss how you can take advantage of its unrivaled social media presence with over 40 million engaged cannabis users.

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