This article is about cannabis advertising through many legal and digital marketing demands.
Recreational cannabis became legal for adult use in 2012. Since then, many laws and regulations have changed. Today, the cannabis, hemp, and CBS sectors continue to increase their sales. However, the industry struggled to keep up with its development.
The challenge has been cannabis’ status as a “Schedule I” substance. The “Controlled Substances Act” or CSA classifies various substances into five schedules. ‘Schedule I’ substances are high-risk, addictive, and have a “high potential for abuse”.
Since cannabis is considered addictive, state regulators have treated cannabis advertising laws with extreme caution. Stringent measures are currently in place for the prevention of youth access. This means that all US advertisements cannot be in any form desirable to individuals under 21 years old. This policy is non-negotiable.
Ad policies are so strict that some online retailers fail to comply, and some do not follow these advertising laws at all, making it more difficult for the industry to grow.
As if local policies are not hard enough, common digital marketing platforms also prohibit paid cannabis advertising.
Ad platforms used today are Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms have their own ad policies that also make it difficult for the cannabis industry to advertise. Now, the market is full of companies competing through the few available avenues.
How can I advertise my dispensary?
Cannabis dispensary owners must find ways to market their product or service, however challenging it may seem. Here are our top five recommendations for cannabis advertising.
- Keep up with the Most Recent Local Cannabis Advertising Rules.
- Test and Figure Out Which Marketing Platform Work Best for the Product.
- Concentrate Your Creativity on CBD Rather Than Traditional Cannabis
- Come Up with Strategic Advertising Methods.
- Promote Your Brand, Instead of Your Product
How do cannabis brands advertise?
Cannabis advertising entails approaches in more ways than one. Later in this article, we will show you how cannabis brands can advertise using common digital marketing platforms.
One of the ways cannabis brands advertise their business is through programmatic advertising. This is a strategy that follows fundamental steps to ensure brand safety and compliance. These basic steps help brands position their marketing efforts in a timely manner.
These are the fundamental steps to follow in programmatic advertising.
Determine Your Target Audience.
The first rule of any business is to identify your brand’s target market. Understanding your customer base is essential for your marketing strategy.
For dispensaries, customers can be either for medical or recreational use. Medical cannabis products are available only to customers with a doctor’s prescription.
Research Who Your Competitors Are.
Aside from knowing your customer base, you should also be aware of your competition. Being aware of what your competitors are providing will allow you to check your advantages or disadvantages.
Create a User-Friendly Website
An optimized website is fast, straightforward, and aesthetically pleasing.
It allows you to increase your SEO visibility score, producing more traffic to your website.
It is a big NO for brands to advertise illicit sensations like “getting high” even if you are in a state that has legalized recreational weed.
Launch Branding Production & Publication
A dispensary’s content can be based on its customer base and the number of competitors. Sharing content on dispensary websites, blogs, and social media platforms produces positive results.
Develop a Content Calendar
An effective content strategy can draw potential customers to a website. Content includes all your website’s visual, written, and downloadable assets.
Planning content involves considering the reader and the problems they face. It is also important to consider what platforms to use for your content.
Every platform offers different types of audiences as well. For example, Facebook has the widest age demographic among all social media networks, and thus, it is the most practical platform to use.
Use Social Media to Share Your Content
Using the best social media marketing plan is important for businesses in this day and age. Start by searching for common social media platforms and their features. Today, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the top business channels for advertising.
Content should be released on a regular schedule. Consistency keeps the target audience interested in the business and familiarizes its services.
Start An Email Marketing Campaign
Doing email campaigns is still one of the best digital marketing strategies. Brands find emails as a way to turn one-time customers into loyal ones.
Other marketing methods do not convert as well as emails. Almost everyone checks their email at least once a day, so they will likely read content sent to them.
Can cannabis companies advertise online?
Both Facebook and Google are the most popular ad platforms right now. Google is the world’s largest search engine. Apart from that, Facebook is the largest social media network. Sadly, both Google and Facebook do not advertise cannabis brands. The other marketing platforms also do not allow paid ads for cannabis dispensaries. That does not mean dispensaries must abandon those platforms altogether.
Cannabis advertising uses organic social media posts to promote its brand. They might have to exercise caution while using language and images. Organic posts, however, can’t be arranged to show up only in states where cannabis is legal. To avoid costly mistakes, posts must be somewhat ambiguous about what they’re advertising.
Can cannabis stores advertise on Google?
No. Google won’t allow cannabis advertising for medical or recreational purposes. Google categorizes cannabis as a recreational substance in its Advertising Policy.
Cannabis brands can’t run paid advertisements on Google. Instead, they apply SEO strategies to raise their search engine profile. You will likely notice relevant ads when you type in “marijuana near me” in the Google search bar. These results are found on the search engine results page (SERP).
How does Google evaluate to approve and show an ad?
It is important to understand how brands get their Google Ads approved. This way we can understand how we can manage to run ads despite Google’s policies.
Here are the three requirements you need to submit a Google ad:
- Ad copy.
- A landing page.
- A list of bidding keywords.
The Loophole: Getting your adverts approved is the goal. The trick is not to use cannabis-related keywords in your website copy or advertisement.
The following are terms considered “trigger words” or “bad words” by Google Ads policies. Any of these terms in your ad copy increases the likelihood that it won’t be approved.
- Rolling paper
Reach out to Experienced Dispensary Marketing Agencies
Marijuana advertising can be overwhelming. Your efforts must be both effective and legal. Strict guidelines have to be observed in both online and offline marketing.
Marketing a business takes a lot of time, energy, and resources. Cannabis marketers should be careful, or else the brand will incur costly fines and dents to its reputation. In these cases, it is best to reach out to professional cannabis advertising agencies. Their knowledge and expertise can help you achieve success.
QRx Dispensary Solutions is a cannabis advertising agency that offers website building services and digital solutions to cannabis dispensaries.