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Cannabis PR

Why Your B2C Cannabis PR and Marketing Strategy Needs to Include Consumer and Vendor Education

March 18, 2024

Amid the current cannabis product landscape of flower, concentrates, carts and so much more, something important is missing: consumer education.

For first-time, entry-level tokers and flower traditionalists alike, there’s a lot of terminology, science and marketing messaging to digest—not to mention building up the personal experience to know how different consumption formats and products feel in the body. 

Many once and future cannabis consumers only know what they’ve picked up from their DARE officer’s anti-drug presentations, cult classics like Dazed and Confused and Pineapple Express, or stopping by the weed room at their college party house. 

Even committed stoners with a consistent plug might be surprised by the array of options available in legal markets, from brand-new genetics to new consumption tools like the O.PEN Sesh

Whatever your connection to the plant, a trip to the dispensary can be quite the education. Even budtenders can’t keep up these days.

Consumer Education for B2C Cannabis Brands

Indeed, vendor education has become a hot topic in the cannabis space as more and more plant-touching businesses recognize this sector’s information vacuum.

But budtender training is just one piece of the consumer education puzzle. Cannabis marketing collateral, including blogs, web copy, white papers, social media content and even brand guidelines, serve as powerful tools for expanding cannabis knowledge.

Cannabis public relations is equally valuable for shifting public perception of the plant and educating the journalists and members of the media who also play a huge role in shaping new cannabis narratives. That’s one reason we at Grasslands always say that PR for cannabis brands is PR for the cannabis industry

Incorporating Cannabis Consumer Education Into Your Owned and Earned Media Strategy

So how can cannabis brands effectively incorporate consumer education into their annual marketing plan or integrated PR strategy? Here’s some food for thought:

  • Target long-tail SEO keywords with an educational intent. For example: “Do cannabis topicals get you high?” or “difference between dabbing and vaping cannabis”
  • In emerging markets, include consumer education information in mainstream media outreach. Journalists will appreciate having a starting point for their research, and take note of your brand as a helpful and reliable resource.
  • Challenge entrenched paradigms with the latest science. For example, present studies on terpenes as an alternative to the indica / sativa binary. After all, everyone ultimately wants to level up.
  • Study up on cannabis advertising restrictions so you can walk the line between helpful wellness messaging and making health claims that could rile regulators.
  • Segment your target audiences—consumer education for hardcore hash heads will look a lot different than consumer education designed to convert wine moms to weed moms.
  • Clarity is inclusive: Break down technical concepts in simple terms. That’s not because your total addressable market needs the dumbed-down version. The best way to show that you really know your stuff is to be able to explain it in an accessible way.
  • At Grasslands, we take a Journalism-Minded approach. That means using the essential principles and ethics of journalism to convey the message clearly. Consumer education (whether for B2C markets or B2B consumer education) typically hinges on the same basic questions journalists ask as they research and write their stories—who, what, when, where, why and how? 

Whatever your B2C consumer education strategy, remember that educating is as much about fostering an ongoing sense of curiosity as it is about answering the immediate question at hand. One of the greatest benefits of this approach is that when you answer the right questions the right way, you can lead your audience down a rabbit hole to keeps them on your website longer—and engaged with your brand for the long haul.

Want to push consumer cannabis education further? The movement starts with vendor and budtender training like that provided by our friends at Learn Brands.

Ready to build your marketing and PR strategy around consumer education? We’re always ready to talk through your brand’s unique needs and pain points to find a custom solution. But if you aren’t ready to start that conversation yet, check out our cannabis public relations services and cannabis marketing services to learn more about how we transform brands like yours with our proven process.