The cannabis industry has changed drastically over the years. However, its marketing remains a challenge. Digital marketing has opened up many doors of creative advertising options for marketers, although many advertising restrictions need to be kept in mind while deciding cannabis marketing strategies for your business.
As of April 2022, In the US, 18 states have made cannabis legal for recreational as well as medical use and 19 states allow it only for medical use.
The market researchers expect the cannabis market value to reach 30.52 billion USD by 2026.
Let’s go through a few cannabis marketing strategies that can be used to differentiate your cannabis business from others, in this rapidly growing competitive industry:
↬ Social Media Marketing
Maximum social media platforms restrict the buying, promoting, and selling of illegal or prescription drugs (even if it is legal in your locality). However, if you are aware of the terms and conditions of the platforms you can easily market your business.
Just make sure that you DON’T:
- Mention your prices or about any discounts or offers, etc.
- Mention anything that shows that you intend on selling any type of cannabis product in any way.
- Publish a menu of your products
- Mention any links to your online store or the address of your store.
- Upload images of cannabis or cannabis products.
Source: Instagram profile of Codasignature
As you can see in the above image, Coda Signature, a Cannabis brand that sells edibles, posted about their product on Instagram keeping all the above points in mind and also stating that the information is not for promoting or selling any goods.
↬ SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Your business needs to be easily visible when someone searches for cannabis related content. Optimizing your online content is the best way to boost your SEO rankings.
However, research for the keyword can be a task, as Google has restricted the use of any words relating to recreational or illegal drugs. You can try searching for it in Google keyword planner. No results will be displayed.
Though people do search for it frequently, Google chooses not to publish such keyword data.
Source: Google Support
Still, you can use other tricks to boost your SEO game. E.g.
- Optimize your website and include all the details necessary like products available, contact number, location, timings, etc.
- Educate customers about your industry, your company, products, work, etc. through your content. Spreading awareness will bring in more clients.
- Encourage your existing customers to leave reviews on various platforms.
- Register in Cannabis specific directories like Leafly or Weedmaps.
- Link building
↬ Local SEO
Local SEO is an important marketing technique to bring in online traffic to your website as well as foot traffic to your local store. It spreads awareness among your local target audience about your existence.
Follow the below factors that affect Local SEO ranking:
- Maintain a proper Google My Business account for your business
- Include images and videos
- Choose the appropriate business category
- Use local keywords like city name, state name, etc.
- Request customer for reviews
To save your business from getting suspended, you can make a Google My Business account after going through all the rules and regulations of Google.
Billboards have become a major marketing tool for cannabis marketers in states where it is legalized. It is one of the best ways to reach out to a mass audience within a short period and it works 24/7, totally free for the viewers!
Some states allow billboard advertising for marijuana, but with conditions, e.g. the billboard cannot be within 1000 feet of schools, daycare, youth centers, parks, etc.
When you request a billboard you will most likely be asked for your license and the billboard company may have a say on the design as well as the content of the billboard advertisement.
The image shows a cannabis ad on a billboard on the California highway.
If you are thorough with all the state rules and regulations, you can easily opt for Billboard marketing for your cannabis business and reach out to maximum potential customers.
Another marketing technique that can help you reach a wider audience is collaboration. It happens when you associate or build an alliance with another company or a person for cross-promotional possibilities.
Examples: Conducting a special launch of your product by collaborating with a retail chain, collaborating at an event or trade show, collaborating with an influencer or celebrity, cross-promoting with relative businesses on social media, etc.
Source: Kiva Confections
Recently, Kiva Confections, California’s premium cannabis edibles seller collaborated with musician and songwriter SAINT JHN and launched a limited edition of their Lost Farm Gummies and Chews.
↬ Ad Platforms That Allow Advertising Of Marijuana
Since Marijuana has been legalized, many ad platforms have been launched specially for the advertisement of Cannabis.
It is always difficult to market marijuana on social media platforms because of its restrictive rules and regulations. In such a situation, these ad platforms can be of good use for your cannabis business. They can help you publish cannabis-related ads on many websites.
For eg.: MANTIS Ads
Source: Mantis Ads
Mantis ads is an affordable advertising platform that has geo-targeted campaigns that help you market yourself locally.
↬ Website And Online Store
The online search for marijuana has drastically increased since its legalization.
The e-commerce market has now started allowing the sale of cannabis products. For eg. Shopify Canada allows licensed owners to sell cannabis products online and offline.
In the US though, there are restrictions on delivery, but if you hold a license you can easily sell it online. For e.g, Shop CBD USA sells Cannabidiol Oils, Topicals, and Edibles on their online website. Branding Marketing Agency manage this company branding and online marketing.
Source: Shop CBD USA
Know more: 50 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Website
↬ Guest Post Writing
Guest posting can be said as one of the most effective cannabies marketing strategies to have the attention of your target audience. It can help you gain instant brand visibility, awareness, and exposure, which can ultimately help increase your sales.
Many websites allow posting on topics relating to Cannabis. Look for prominent websites to get exposed to a larger audience and increase your ROI.
Few examples of websites that accept content relating to cannabis are:
- Marijuana Mommy
- Green Rush Daily
- CBD Testers
Before you approach them for guest posting, always go through their requirements and guidelines.
Post-well-researched content on topics that educates your audience on your products and industry.
↬ Educate Customers Through Your Writing
You can give your brand a voice by writing and posting content through blogs and articles that can educate your target audience about your industry, company, product line, etc.
Many people aren’t even aware of the benefits of marijuana. You can write educational content on topics like the benefits of cannabis, how to buy proper marijuana, how to grow marijuana, etc.
Writing such content can build trust and gain credibility from your audience and easily draw them towards your website.
↬ Event Marketing
Event marketing is another fun marketing technique that can help you meet new businesses, vendors, suppliers, collaborators, influencers, etc., and help your business reach.
You can also meet many buyers in one place which ultimately improves your brand visibility and brand awareness.
A business event is a great place to talk to new people, form connections, and build alliances that can ultimately help your business grow.
Creating a unique brand can bring a lot of recognition and it will let you stand out from the competitors.
Following are the steps that you can follow to raise awareness for your brand:
- Study your target audience and competitors.
- Determine your unique selling point, something that will differentiate you from your competitors.
- Decide on your company’s vision, mission, brand values, target audience, competitive advantage, brand proposition, etc.
- Design your company’s name, logo, tag line, packaging, color palette, fonts, etc., to differentiate yourselves from the competitors and create an identity of your brand.
Pure beauty and its unique color palette – They have chosen yellow, pink, black, and white as their color identity. Every product that they sell comes in these 4 colors.
Source: Pure beauty
Leafs by Snoop – The unique Leaf logo and elegant packaging of Leafs by Snoop are very appealing and give it a high-class appearance. It is one of the top marijuana brands with a stunning branding design.
Source: If it’s hip it’s here.
Make sure that you are aware of all the rules and regulations relating to the cannabis business before you start marketing your brand.
As a cannabis business owner, it is difficult to market your products and services due to the State and Federal rules and regulations. However, there are many other creative ways that you can use to advertise your business.
However, after the legalization of Marijuana, this industry has a lot of competition, and therefore it is important to stand out from your competitors. Staying up to date with all the technological innovations, creative ideas, etc. you can make it possible.
Escalate your sales by applying the above strategies and differentiate yourself from others!