5 Cannabis Content Writing Tips for 2023

by | Apr 20, 2023 | writing

As the cannabis industry continues its explosive growth across the United States, so grows the need for great cannabis-related content to help build your brand and make your operation stand out.

In today’s fast-paced medical and adult-use cannabis markets, it’s not uncommon for retailers in legalized states to have one or more competitors across town or even right down the street. In these crowded and competitive conditions, having a great website with high-quality cannabis content writing can become the difference between a trusted neighborhood dispensary and an operation that fails to develop a customer base.

Whether you’re trying to learn to write better cannabis content on your own or intending to hire cannabis writers to give your posting a glow-up, the five tips below can help. Note that great content isn’t just about writing a snappy post. A well-crafted, comprehensive cannabis content strategy is a cost-effective way to funnel more traffic to your website. It also helps ensure that your content serves the community you’re developing around your store and brand. When considering these tips, remember to think about your content on both a micro and macro level. This means you must learn to write a good post but also keep in mind things like your long-term content deployment strategy, logistical aspects like post-scheduling, and using content to build a consistent and memorable brand.

1. Use Long-Form Cannabis Content as the Foundation of Your Strategy

When you dive into the world of researching the best practices for content creation, you’ll quickly run into the idea of short-form versus long-form content. A massive amount of today’s short-form content comes in the form of social media posting. While the socials will definitely be an important piece of your content and branding strategy, you must not overlook the power and effectiveness of long-form content.

Ways Long Form Content Can Work for Your Business

Exact definitions vary, but long-form content is most easily remembered as anything over 1,000 words.

  • Long-form content will typically be found as an informative web page, such as a detailed tutorial or an “about us” section of your company website.
  • Blog posts are another ubiquitous example of long-form content.
  • Long-form content can also come in the form of a longer post on social media sites that allow for it. Longer text posts are occasionally effective on Facebook when paired with compelling images, for example.
  • If you want to build your personal brand and position yourself as an industry expert, e-books and whitepapers are extremely beneficial. They offer other opportunities for creating long-form content that will be relevant to professional or scholarly audiences.

Within the retail cannabis industry, great long-form content is crucial because good content builds trust and visibility for your brand within both the local community and the industry. It can be very difficult to build that sort of trust and display your expertise in an 80-word social media blurb. Well-crafted web pages that compete for high rankings on search engine results are also a cost-effective way to funnel new potential customers to your retail website.

You obviously need longer-form content to cover any topic with depth, but this isn’t just a matter of helping out your audience and making yourself look like an expert. There is also a direct correlation between the length of content and good SEO (search engine optimization, or “getting your website to show up on Google”). A study by Backlinko analyzing almost a billion blog posts concluded that “long-form content significantly outperforms short blog posts.” A 2019 State of Content Marketing Report revealed that web pages of 3,000 or more words could receive three and a half times more backlinks than content around the 1,000-word mark.

One obstacle smaller operations encounter when implementing a long-form content strategy is that this content can be extremely time-consuming to research and produce. This only becomes more true as the quality and usefulness of the content rise. Working with a third-party content creation or digital marketing firm with a good reputation in the cannabis industry is one method of enhancing your strategy. This ensures that you’re consistently producing great content for your brand without giving yourself an additional full-time job as a writer.

2. Employ Consistent Tone and Style to Define Your Brand

Your content isn’t just a way to let customers know about current deals or get them to your website with informative articles. Your written content can also play a key role in defining and promoting your brand.

Be sure to remember the following elements when creating content:

  • Establish your voice – The “tone” of your posts and web pages can be difficult to master, but it is a key part of how people will think of your brand. It can be challenging to find a balance between a professional tone and an authentic voice that is more relatable. Getting this right means writing with a consistent style, vocabulary, and level of formality. Know your target audience, and then write for them. There is some room for breadth and subtlety here, of course. It is perfectly natural for an Instagram post showing off a new strain to be more lighthearted in tone than a blog post about changes in local cannabis laws. Still, you should not wildly swing between uploading scholarly articles and posting memes with Gen Z slang.

  • Use consistent colors and fonts – Fonts, colors, and other style and formatting elements shouldn’t be chosen on a whim. Your company should have a style guide that should be followed for all blogs and web pages. Your customers (and potential customers) are engaging with your brand through the written word, so put some thought into how those words look. Being consistent with these small details makes your brand more memorable. Having inconsistent content in different areas of your website is also jarring for visitors and can make you seem less professional.

  • Develop branding and style guidelines – Making branding guidelines available to employees and contractors will help maintain consistency across all of your web content and internal company communications. This will help everyone on your team know which colors and fonts to use where, what terms should be avoided, how your company logo is to be used, and any other limitations or expectations you deem important to your content and branding strategy.

3. Become an Industry Authority

As mentioned earlier, when talking about focusing on long-form content, writing e-books, whitepapers, and informative articles can be a great way to establish yourself as an authority in the industry. You can’t just write a great paper, however. You need to post your work in the right place so that the right people see it and begin to connect your name with cannabis expertise.

When crafting content designed to make your name as a cannabis expert, consider the following:

  • Use data, statistics, and peer-reviewed research in your writing, and properly link the sources.

  • Don’t let pride prevent you from building on the work of other experts—just make sure you properly credit and link them. When it comes to an intangible like “expertise,” there is plenty to go around. Building collaborative connections with other industry figures can be more valuable than trying to compete with everyone.

  • This sort of content will end up being much more formal than your Twitter posts and may get somewhat dry from time to time when it digs into the details, but that’s no excuse for writing poorly. No matter how technical or heady, you must make sure your paper tells a unique story that will compel other busy professionals to take the time to look at it.

  • Think about whom you would like to read your content and how you can reach them. Where do they spend their time online, and how can you access those spaces?

4. Focus on Education

High-quality, well-researched educational content should be a key aspect of any content strategy for the emergent retail cannabis market. This will become especially important to both your retail operation and the welfare of your customers as legalization and normalization continue their spread, with more people become interested in using cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.

You can provide your audience with top-notch educational content on various cannabis topics. Here are some examples:

  • The therapeutic effects of different cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Comparisons of different cannabis strains or edible products
  • Quality information about getting into newer consumption methods like vapes and dab rigs
  • Relaying news about breakthroughs in cannabis science in a readable and engaging way

Getting positioned as a go-to online source for cannabis education and cannabis news is a great look for any brand.

5. Avoid AI Content for the Foreseeable Future

Natural language AI (artificial intelligence) has been in the news a lot lately with the rise of ChatGPT and Bing’s new machine learning overhaul. AI language models are becoming more and more impressive, and the idea that you can have a robot generate thousands of words for free in a matter of seconds may seem like obvious savings in time and cost. However, the platforms available today lack the human touch that makes written content compelling and relatable. An AI bot such as ChatGPT can give you properly-written content free of grammatical or spelling mistakes with reasonable organization. Still, it could never understand all the subtleties of storytelling and human connection.

Worse yet, AI content generators are prone to “hallucinating” or confidently writing factually inaccurate information. Posting this sort of content puts your brand at risk rather than positioning you as an industry expert.

Better Content Matters – Your Source for High-End Cannabis Writers

If you’re a cannabis company needing help implementing an effective content strategy, Better Content Matters can help. We work with professional writers and editors from eclectic backgrounds and have an extensive track record of generating high-performing content for clients in the retail cannabis space. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo Siren

Leo Siren

Leo Siren is a freelance content creator from Michigan's Upper Peninsula drawing on his multifaceted experience as a public librarian, assistant harbormaster, financial software systems analyst, and forklift operator to deliver innovative, high performing content in a range of text and audio formats. His personal interests include the electric banjo, referencing Elder Scrolls lore in everyday conversations, attempting to identify wild mushrooms, and various other things that upset the people around him.