Grow cyber roots and improve cash yields.
As technology advances, cannabis brands will have to grow with it. Like it or not, NFTs and blockchain are here to stay. Web3 is a seedling that has just started to sprout cotyledon, but the fruit that it yields will be worth trillions. If your goal is to grow your business online, then let’s take it to the next level. Here are six Meta-Marketing strategies your cannabis company should focus on.
What is the Metaverse?
A metaverse is a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment, and other users. Wikipedia says, “A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection.” In layman’s terms, it means “blockchain video game” – where users can build, interact, trade, and live in a digital world that is interconnected with real life. Maybe it shouldn’t be compared to a video game because games are used as “escape worlds”, but the metaverse is an extension to the human experience. The metaverse world is growing daily and rapidly, as developers continue to improve their virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) realities while integrating them with our physical world.
Most of the current virtual worlds are built on the ethereum blockchain, with many more in development. Three of the most popular worlds we will discuss are The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Cryptovoxels – real platforms that can grow your community and your business.
Digital Real Estate
NFT virtual land is an ownable area in the metaverse.
The Sandbox is a play to earn (P2E) virtual world where users develop games, build, own and monetize their digital assets. Let’s dispel the myths of infinite digital land devaluing the asset of the investment. All of the digital worlds mentioned in this article, including The Sandbox, have a limit to the total amount of land available for purchase. The players buy land from the developers of the game, but players then have the ability to sell or rent the land out. What’s dope about The Sandbox is it’s funded by huge companies like Samsung, Softbank, and even the weed king himself, Snoop Dogg. The Sandbox team raised $93 million on their first round of funding.
Snoop Dogg himself has a huge mansion that takes up a significant amount of digital land in The Sandbox, and he has already begun hosting virtual events. The property value around his virtual mansion has a crazy market cap. His neighbors have spent upwards of $400,000 on a plot in the same vicinity as Snoop’s house. Tell me that’s not real value. Digital real estate may one day soon become a business necessity, so it’s best to do your due diligence now .
Why Metaverse Marketing?
Digital marketers are aware of the shift in customer behavior due to digital dependency. The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the use of the Internet. As a result, people are learning, working, playing, shopping, and creating online more than ever. From Gen X to Gen Z, people are longing to engage the Internet in a more intimate way. Businesses must focus on relationships and creating a community in the metaverse. Of course, since this is the cannabis industry, we should be striving for this anyway. We can reach the people in ways we were unable to before, which will connect us to those who need our help and to each other.
In the physical world companies value building a strong presence in the local community. Participating in community activities and events is the key to building a relationship with people and establishing your brand’s presence in the digital world. Connecting with others digitally is no different than doing so in real life. Social media and the gaming community has proved that being a part of a community online is linked to a brand’s identity. Cannabis is the ultimate glue that brings people from all backgrounds together – when you have people forming meaningful relationships, they spend more time with those people, they spend more of their energy, they spend more dollars. Donating time and energy to the space will build trust with your fans in the metaverse:
● Consider the right platform
Before you invest in digital land, consider what platform your target audience will reside. The Sandbox shares a connection with the cannabis industry. Snoop Dogg himself owns a nice chunk of land in this digital world. Come on…Snoop Dogg and cannabis? It’s a no brainer!
● Consider your target audience
Interact with people/communities on social media to discover where your audience hangs out, and what activities they participate in on the platform. What events are important to your fans?
● Evaluate potential partners
Who is working on what? How can you collaborate on a project or event? Sponsorship deals to promote an event could never hurt. Hypothetical example – Your digital neighbor informs you that he or she is hosting a digital cannabis conference on their vertical plot. You could offer to speak at this event which would benefit both parties.
● Become a sponsor for an event
Being a sponsor for a metaverse event can provide massive brand exposure if the event is a success.
• Expand your reach, and increase brand awareness
• Unlock new revenue streams with partnerships
• Establish a metaverse fanbase
• Lack of performance data
• Few reputable metaverse worlds
Transitioning to Web3 does not mean that our old strategies get tossed out the window. As the old saying goes, “What is old may never die.” However, seasoned companies can build upon the old and incorporate it with the new. A good starting place would be display advertising.
Display advertising is a proven marketing strategy that can be applied to the digital realm. Land owners can build billboards and signage areas on their property, and rent that space out to other users. Companies can utilize engaging visual messages in the same way we do on social media platforms and search engines now:
● Elements of your advertisement
Consider colors, fonts, logos, negative space, and call to action when building an advertising campaign.
● Location of the ad
Space is limited, so you will have to do some research on what plots are going to produce the best results. Spending time in the metaverse will allow you to gain insight on where to place the advertisement:
• Increase brand awareness and presence
• Display marketing is proven to produce results
• This strategy is only going to work in the early stages of Web3
• Limited space will drive initial cost up
Offer digital merch and virtual collectables
Organizations that invest in the metaverse expect younger generations to spend a lot of time in the digital world because it parallels the physical world. The ability to customize digital characters with digital merch via in-game transactions is a cliche business model. The players in a metaverse are the stakeholders – the community drives the overall success of the platform. A study found 81% of those aware of in-game cosmetics want to trade skins for real-world money. And 75% of players who are interested in skin trading say they would spend more on them if they had a monetary value outside of the game. Create and sell digital items to your fanbase within the community. Remember you must first establish your presence within the community.
Lava coin is a real example of digital cannabis that can be exchanged for real cannabis flower at legal dispensaries in California and Oregon. Offer digital flower, digital concentrates, and virtual accessories as NFTs. Allow the NFTs to be redeemed as coupons for their physical counterparts. You can also sell rare collectibles that are meaningful to your brand and your fans. You will create micro economies that can increase the value of your digital assets:
● Collaborate with creators
The best way to insure your digital merch is top notch would be to partner with a 3D design specialist with a game design background if you don’t have in-house artists.
● Publish all items as NFTs
Verify the authenticity and origin of your items. Sell them on NFT marketplaces like Opensea and Rarible.
● Consider experimenting with augmented reality(AR) and virtual reality (VR)
Other industries are taking advantage of AR and VR technology to enhance the customers shopping experience. These technologies could be great at impacting customer decisions as the technology improves. Marketing digital items with AR and VR could prove to be a powerful strategy:
• Powerful marketing strategy
• Sustainable in the long run
• Faster supply chain
• Additional revenue streams
• Expensive development
• Hard to conclude ROI
Develop a branded venue
Many dispensaries have moved to online markets allowing customers to order online for delivery or curbside pickup depending on the state that the business resides in. Create a 3D storefront that allows customers to purchase items in the physical world. One of the first digital CBD dispensaries exists in the Cryptovoxels world:
● Build models first
Plot. Plan. Execute. Make sure you choose the right platform and location for your digital store. Come up with a design and consider the size before you acquire the digital land. In the brainstorming stage, outline how you will make your store interactive.
● Team up with 2D and 3D graphic designers
You want your design to look visually pleasing to your customers. You also need to express your brand within the space. There is a need for advanced creativity to build a digital venue, but the tool set is vastly different from what is needed to build a physical storefront.
● AR and VR integration
Improve the shopping experience even more with newer technologies like AR and VR. The capabilities of these technologies are only going to improve over time. It will be in your best interest to incorporate the technology as you’re constructing the venue:
• Immersive customer experience
• Expand reach and brand awareness
• Increase sales
• very costly investment
• Inability to track ROI
Immersive customer experience
Justin Beiber proved that live metaverse concerts can be pulled off; likewise, Snoop Dogg has also performed at his digital mansion. Arguably the most impactful metaverse marketing strategy is providing interactive customer experience. Live concerts, comedy shows, industry conferences, competitions, and advergames will be the glue that brings your community together:
● Leverage influencer marketing
Working with influencers to host main events is a great way to promote a function. Influencers allow you to build trust and credibility as you expand your reach:
In the real world sponsors donate cash in exchange for brand exposure, VIP opportunities, and attendee data. Connect with sponsors to generate hype for your event. The digital world works the same way. Reach out to influencers and organizations that have status in the cannabis industry.
●Use multi channel marketing to promote
Inform your established audience on other platforms about your event. Make use of your social media followers, email list, and youtube subscribers. Use your physical locations to advertise your digital show:
• Increased reach and engagement
• Suitability for all types of business
• Improved customer loyalty and referral
• Generate more revenue streams
• High costs
• Promotional campaign requirement
• Higher creative demand
Exclusive NFT clubs
Personal status is valuable – exclusive NFT clubs are becoming the new flex. Offer exclusive content to owners of your NFTs. Owners of The Crypto Cannabis Club participate in growing competitions and other activities. Promote your digital items to your club members or allow them VIP access to one of your branded venues:
● Increase the value of you NFTs
You could increase the value of a NFT 70-90% if your exclusive club can offer tremendous value to the members.
• More revenue streams
• Create inclusive scarcity
• Micro economies and scalpers
We must consider the regulations that will come our way due to the illegal federal classification of cannabis. Each state has its own rules for marketing and advertising as well, so read the fine print and make a decision you’re willing to live with. Each platform for example has its own rules and regulations as well. Though there are no clear anti-legal cannabis rules, we have to tread lightly, understanding that the cannabis industry is breaking federal law. It’s also strange in the case of The Sandbox that the biggest land owner is also a stoner king:
- Promote any illegal activity or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act.
- Transmit any material or content that is illegal.
- Use the site to collect, upload, transmit, display or distribute any user content that is harmful to minors in any way.
Decentraland’s term of use stipulates that:
- In the event that fraud, illegality… is connected with your account, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) may suspend or block your account.
- You agree to use the site and the tools only for the purposes that are legal, proper and in accordance with these terms and any applicable laws or regulations. By way of example… you may not – or allow any third party to engage in, promote or encourage illegal activity.
- You may not use Cryptovoxels’ products for any illegal or unauthorized purpose nor may you, in the use of service, violate any laws in your jurisdiction.
Honestly we recommended discussing this topic with your cannabis lawyer. It seems to be a gray area due to the lack of explicit ban of cannabis on the platforms. In the United States most jurisdictions have some form of legal cannabis whether it’s for medical or adult use. In Canada, Georgia, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, and Uruguay cannabis is completely legal, so can entities in these countries market cannabis in the metaverse? If you own a cannabis company, you realize that it’s only a matter of time before cannabis prohibition is over. That’s why you took the risk in the first place; however, we urge you to exercise caution when dipping your toes into the young digital world.
Utilizing these six strategies will start to grow your business in the ways of the future. Always prioritize relationships and community within your fan base. Remember these campaigns will likely require millions of dollars, so do the proper research before you invest in the metaverse. The value of this improving technology is worth the research time.
Cryptogods, creators, developers, and influencers have planted the seeds for us. They are starting to grow cyber roots that feature unity and community. The transition from Web2 – the internet of today, that is focused on exchanging personal data for a service is evolving into a decentralized approach that gives power to the people rather than a central authority. The cannabis industry needs to start creating those digital roots as well. Dagga Digital Marketing is growing the cannabis industry online at this very moment. We solve the problems of cannabis marketers to improve and scale business all over the country. We are jumping into Web3 with both feet, your brand should come too. Let’s reap the benefits of technical innovation together.