Sensing that in-person interaction may not return any time soon, cannabis brands are turning to video to market their wares.
Jay Frentsos of California-based branding company Petalfast says in the last few months, a significant shift in the work they do for their clients involves educational videos.
“It started with brands,” Frentsos says. “Then, shops started requiring digital assets for trainings and demos of products, how to use them, et cetera,” he says.
“It’s saving both the brands and shops so much time. Some shops literally will say to us, ‘I’ll bring in this brand if you have the right digital assets for me to use as tools to educate my team and consumers,’” Frentsos says. His client roster includes brands Moxie, Big Pete’s, and Space Coyote, who have all used Petalfast’s videos.
A Petalfast promotional video for Big Pete’s
A Petalfast promotional video for Space Coyote
Pot shops want videos too
Petalfast has also produced a boilerplate dispensary-friendly training video that they can send to individual shops as well as customized videos tailored to a specific shops’ needs. California dispensaries that currently use Petalfast’s videos include The Sanctuary and Humble Root in Sacramento; The Green Easy, The Pottery, and The Artist Tree in Los Angeles; and Mankind in San Diego.
Covid has made maintaining staff more of a challenge for pot shops. And with fewer customers shopping in person, Frentsos said dispensaries are leaning on their stocked brands both for added marketing and for onboarding new employees, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Video helps to alleviate both of those concerns.
“We try to make them interesting–they’re funny, engaging, and educational. I’ve done some that are interview-style with the owners of certain brands, for example,” Frentsos says. A bonus for the dispensaries, in particular, is that not only do they save time training people, but they have a dialed-in consumer education strategy that they can employ at the drop of the hat. “I’ve noticed that sometimes, our videos will be used in the shops’ waiting rooms.”
Brand videos vs. dispensary videos
While video marketing has picked up for some companies, others that have existed in the video space for awhile are backing away from working with dispensaries, in particular. Instead, they prefer to work with brands directly.
“Working with dispensaries for photo and video became the most difficult part of being in marketing,” says Baylee Chapo of W0lfpack, a San Diego-based cannabis influencer and social media marketing company. She and her business partner, Zach Pugmire, have shut down that aspect of video-making and instead work directly with brands to produce content.
While dispensaries may be increasingly leaning on video, deep down she distrusts that they see the value in the medium, expecting “top-shelf results while offering mid-shelf compensation.”
“Shifting away from dispensaries, I feel brands with products to be much easier to talk creatively with,” says Chapo. “They almost always already know who their audience is and understand what they’re attracted to,” she says. The clarity helps her produce videos that satisfy her clients.
Both she and Pugmire say they’ve also been significantly happier with what brands pay, relative to dispensaries. “They willing to pay because they know the value we bring to the industry,” Pugmire says.
Ultimately, Chapo believes in the power of video marketing, as does Frentsos and the Petalfast team. “Think of how much time people are now spending on their phones and online in general. We know that the increase in short videos has rapidly gained popularity, so why not put your shop out there?” she says.
“Consumers have so many options on where to shop in my area, yet no one stands out online for being educational or even approachable,” Chapo adds. “Video can change all of that.”
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