Developing Cannabis Content and Advertising Opportunities for the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires Market [Case Study]
How do you grow good content? Like most anything you cultivate, if you nestle it in fertile soil and regularly shower it with the resources it needs, chances are you’ll enjoy the bounty of your efforts soon enough. This is especially true when it comes to growing great cannabis content at Chronogram Media. (Thanks for bearing with me on the plant metaphor, folks.)
It all started with that fertile ground: our readers.
Driven by the needs and desires of our readers who are interested in cannabis, over the last year, we’ve grown our cannabis content vertical from the occasional article into a full-blown dedicated email newsletter and monthly print section in Chronogram magazine. All the while, we’ve been developing complementary advertising and marketing opportunities for our clients who are already in the cannabis world, or who are looking to break into the market soon.
To learn more about how we developed content for this reader segment and the marketing and advertising opportunities we curated to match, read on.
What Readers Want
“Chronogram readers are generally curious folks who are interested in the story of our ever-evolving region. Legal marijuana is now a part of our regional narrative,” says our Editorial Director Brian K. Mahoney.
At Chronogram, we’ve been following the national conversation about marijuana legalization for the past decade. From the regulatory rollout to entrepreneurship to social justice to the consumer product side, the rapidly changing landscape of cannabis legalization in the Northeast proliferates with interesting journalistic angles.
“With New York legalizing recreational marijuana in March and Massachusetts already a few years into adult-use consumption, it made sense to amp up our coverage this year,” Mahoney says. “In New York, we’re getting to witness an industry that’s starting from scratch; that’s genuinely exciting. Some municipalities, like Middletown, have already opted out of having dispensaries or public consumption lounges. Others are very excited to be home to retail cannabis once the regulations are ironed out.”
Developing Content for Canna-Curious Readers
This summer, we launched High Society, a bi-weekly newsletter that serves as a dedicated channel for more in-depth cannabis coverage. The newsletter keeps readers up to date with cannabis news from across the country and around the region, as well as dispensary profiles, recipes, and product reviews and hot deals. “It’s just like our general cannabis content, only more so,” says Mahoney. “For those who want an extra helping of cannabis content, High Society is for them.”
The articles that appeal most to our general audience of readers in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires also appear in print in the “High Society” section of Chronogram magazine each month.
Developing Marketing and Advertising Products for Our Cannabis Content
From the $1 billion-a-year Massachusetts cannabis industry to the projected $2 billion-a-year for New York’s emerging legal market, marijuana is big business. As happened with the blossoming of the craft beverage industry, the Hudson Valley and Catskills are poised to become an epicenter of thoughtful cannabis entrepreneurship. Not to mention the Berkshires, where a booming cannabis growing, manufacturing, and retail industry already exists.
As a publishing company providing marketing and advertising services for small regional businesses, we specialize in matching our clients’ needs with our readers’ interests.
Over the last year, we’ve developed the following marketing and advertising opportunities to reach our audience of readers interested in cannabis:
- High Society Premier Promotional Offer: Showcases your Cannabis or CBD products with a special discount for readers
- High Society Newsletter Sponsorship: Three banner spots perfect for branding or promotional marketing
- High Society Native Blog Post: A professionally written, search engine-optimized story about your brand published on Chronogram.com
- High Society Sweepstakes: A $500+ value prize to create brand engagement and generate qualified leads
- High Society Email Newsletter Immersive Brand Experience: Complete issue takeover including all of the placements above
- Chronogram Print Display and Native Content: Display advertising and native content opportunities adjacent to the “High Society” print section provide advertisers a chance to reach a more general audience along with those interested in cannabis content
- Chronogram Video: Coming soon!
When Cannabis Reader Interests and Advertising Needs Align
From weddings to education to real estate to cannabis—we strive to create products that generate genuine engagement and results for the people who live, work, and play in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires. Often, our readers and advertisers are one in the same, so it only makes sense to create marketing and advertising opportunities where the needs of our small regional business owners naturally align with the content our readers are interested in.
As a result of careful reader development, our High Society email list currently has the highest engagement of all our newsletters, with an average email open rate of about 43% and a click-through rate of 25.8%. This demonstrates that we’re delivering on the content our readers wanted.
A recent High Society survey also revealed that the majority of readers regularly use cannabis products, but rarely visit dispensaries and are clamoring for more content about dispensaries, regulatory news, and product reviews. Not only will we continue to curate and create more engaging content that they’re interested in, but our cannabis advertisers can rest easy knowing they can invest in the right audience, right when they need them.