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Federal cannabis prohibition severely limits a marijuana company's ability to advertise itself online and offline. Most online platforms have a strict policy prohibiting cannabis-related content. While the rules are getting looser, there is still more progress to be made. Here are eight things to know about marijuana marketing.
Top 8 Things to Know When it Comes to Marijuana Marketing
1. Advertising Laws Vary by State
Cannabis businesses must understand state regulations on cannabis advertising. Some states are more relaxed with their advertising restrictions, while others like Maryland, ban all forms of cannabis advertisement. In states where cannabis businesses can advertise with billboards, there are restrictions on where the billboards can be located.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit cannabis companies from advertising on radio and TV. As a result, cannabis companies must look for alternative ways to increase their brand awareness.
Social media, email, and influencer marketing are a few alternative methods to grow a brand’s reach and help their marijuana marketing conversions.
2. Influencers Increase Brand Awareness
No matter how big their following is, social media influencers can spread awareness about your product or service to their followers. Cannabis companies can work one-on-one with influencers or cannabis influencer marketing agencies on paid content and sponsorship campaigns on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Companies can do some research on social media to see which influencers appeal to their target audience. They can research hashtags, set Google alerts of relevant terms for their business, and monitor social mentions to see which users are talking about them.
3. Cannabis-Friendly Advertising Platforms Are Essential
Marijuana-friendly ad networks can help cannabis companies find a home for their advertisements to reach their target audience. Advertising platforms work directly with a network of publishers to find the right ad placement for a business.
Popular 420-friendly advertising platforms include:
- MANTIS Ads
- ALT ADN
- Traffic Roots
- Kush Clicks
4. Search Engine Optimization Matters in Marijuana Marketing
A strong SEO strategy is critical to reaching a target audience. No matter the product or service, it is essential to rank high for relevant keywords that are easy to rank for. Google Keyword Planner won't help companies find cannabis-related keywords due to federal regulations, but there are plenty of other keyword research tools that will.
A solid SEO marketing strategy starts with a mobile-friendly website as a foundation for blog posts and other helpful content to educate consumers about the industry and the business. Blog posts can include company announcements, commentary on industry developments, listicles, how-to articles, and more.
Listing the cannabis company on general directories such as Google My Business and Yelp is a must for local SEO, while cannabis-friendly ones like Leafly and Weedmaps can provide awareness to a target audience.
Because advertising on platforms like google and Facebook are not allowed your SEO campaign is crucial.
5. Most Social Media Platforms Prohibit Cannabis Content
Most social media networks prohibit cannabis-related ads due to federal prohibition laws. However, there are many marketing opportunities on these platforms. It is important to build a brand presence on all major social media sites (TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). Just make sure to follow their terms of service or risk penalties like profile suspension.
With social media marketing, you can more closely connect with your fans and customers. Companies can share user-generated content, perform giveaways, and use other clever engagement tactics to increase brand awareness while complying with their terms of service.
6. Billboards Reach Local Cannabis Customers
While not legal everywhere, cannabis billboards offer an effective advertising placement for targeting local customers. However, companies should look up the billboard regulations in their state to avoid breaking the law.
For example, in California, conflicting state laws and debates over cannabis billboards may lead to cannabis billboards not being allowed on most highways. Lawmakers believe these billboards could expose young people to marijuana advertising.
7. Cross-Promotion Is Affordable and Effective
Cross-promotion between two cannabis brands can significantly expand both companies’ reach. For instance, a dispensary can promote an exclusive product launch or a demo day with another brand. Companies can split the marketing cost and leverage their combined audience.
It is a win win in the marijuana marketing department for both companies.
8. Experiential Marketing Is Key at Industry Events
Cannabis industry events are prime sources for promoting a cannabis company to other businesses and consumers. Here is where cannabis companies can set up a unique and welcoming booth and get to speak one-on-one with other leaders in the industry.
Becoming a speaker at one of these events can propel a brand to new heights. Discussing cutting-edge technology or other industry insights can help brands educate others while establishing the brand as an expert on the subject.
At these industry events, there are plenty of opportunities for advertising a product. From swag to banners to signs, brands can inquire with the organizer about ad placement and prices. Cannabis businesses should keep a running schedule of local, national, and international industry events.
Build Your Cannabis Business with CTU
Knowing how to navigate the evolving state regulations and platform policies can help cannabis businesses spread the word about their product or service. Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online marijuana college to learn how to start a business and everything involved, including financing, creating a business plan and pitch deck, and marketing for success.