With marijuana’s state at the federal level, cannabis companies face tons of marketing and advertising challenges that businesses in other industries do not. For example, marijuana business cannot advertise through Google AdWords and Facebook, among many other ad networks.
Fortunately, these marketing obstacles aren’t insurmountable.
To successfully market your marijuana business, you need first to circumvent the laws preventing you from advertising your products and services. Creativity and understanding what other businesses in the industry are doing will also help you make a noteworthy difference in the returns you get from your marketing efforts.
Here are some marijuana marketing and advertising ideas that have proven to work for industry leaders.
1. Advertise on Native Ad Networks
Although you cannot use two of the biggest ad networks (Google AdWords and Facebook) for marijuana marketing, you can take your business elsewhere.
There are numerous opportunities to display your marijuana ads to your target market by using programmatic ad buying. With programmatic advertising, you use software to place bids, display ads, and optimize their performance on relevant websites.
Some of the marijuana-friendly marketing platforms include Adistry, Mantis, and Traffic Roots.
The beauty of advertising with these marijuana ad networks is that they have collaborative networks of lifestyle sites where marijuana ads perform well. These ad networks are ready for any type of cannabis or dispensary advertising, including CBD, recreational hemp flower, and marijuana advertising.
2. Tweet Useful Content, Don’t Focus on Ads
Did you know that tweets often rank higher than some pages in some Google searches?
Giant social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn do not allow marijuana ads, but you can change your strategy to have them work for you.
Instead of investing in Twitter ads, pay focus on publishing useful content. By publishing useful tweets, you might have one of your tweets rank at the top of a search results page where it could get adequate exposure. This strategy has worked well for some premium cannabis dispensaries.
3. Use Brand Ambassadors to Get User-Generated Content Instead of Investing in Instagram Profiles
Most cannabis-related businesses that invest a lot of money and time into building their social media profiles end up having their pages and profiles deleted.
To avoid this, pull content rather than pushing it.
Advertising on social media is not about publishing your content, pushing it, and hoping that the audience will publish and share the content above your brand. You can instead recruit brand ambassadors among your loyal customers or even hire ambassadors who are already influential with the online audience you are targeting to create user-generated content regarding your brand.
Additionally, make it easy for your customers to publish user-generated content about your business. This could include encouraging people who visit your business to take a photo of themselves and post on social media platforms. You can even create a special photo area inside your premises for this purpose. Make the whole process fun and remind them to mention your business as they post these photos.
4. Use Cannabis Magazines to Promote Your Business
Advertising in cannabis magazines will take your ads to specific consumers of your products. However, remember that your competitors also run ads in the same magazine. With this, your ad should be unique to attract customer attention.
One benefit of advertising in cannabis industry-specific magazines is that a subscriber’s copy pass-through rate is lower for waiting rooms. Hence, people who stay in your business’ waiting room will see your ad for more months than would be the case for the newspaper.
5. Invest in Email Marketing and Text Messaging
Make it a habit to capture the contact details of your customers and those who show interest in your products.
Once you have their cellphone numbers and email addresses, you can invest in email and text message marketing.
However, keep it in mind that email marketing has its own set of challenges as not all providers work with marijuana-related businesses. Do your homework to ensure that you are following the text messaging and email marketing laws, and use the right tools to make sure that your messages are delivered to the intended recipients.
The secret to successful marijuana marketing is investing in shareable experiences, not just transactional. By creating experiences that people remember and went to share with others, your business will enjoy customer loyalty and customer referrals.
Good luck as you promote your cannabis enterprise, and remember to follow all state and federal laws regarding marijuana advertising and marketing.