Marketing in the Cannabis Industry
The global legal marijuana market is expected to reach $73.6 billion by 2027, and it’s one of the fastest-growing markets in the US. More and more people recognize the power of medical cannabis, and many want to use it for recreational purposes. According to marijuana legalization statistics, medical marijuana is legal in 33 US states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states.
Considering the growing need among the population, you might think that marijuana fans will rush to your store now that it’s legal. You’ll earn millions by selling cannabis products and be the best in the market. That might not be the case. Whenever new opportunities arise, you’re bound to have some competitors. And to beat them, you need to be better at marketing your products and branding your dispensary.
With the continuous growth of the cannabis market, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. Here’s what you need to know about marketing in the cannabis industry.
Legal Obstacles and CBD
When it comes to products containing CBD like tinctures and oils and their advertising on social media, you need to know that there are particular challenges. As with anything else, if you falsely advertise a product, you will be held legally responsible. When it comes to CBD, you need to be aware that only CBD that contains less than 0.3% THC can be legally promoted and sold online, and you are not allowed to advertise its benefits falsely.
Another important thing is that the product that you advertise must contain the ingredients and amounts stated on the label. These are just some of the federal regulations that you’ll need to follow, but you should also look into your state laws to ensure you’re not breaking any. If in doubt, consult with your lawyer. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hacks for Advertising Cannabis Products Online
There’s a positive development in the cannabis market, yet Google and Facebook still treat CBD products as illegal. Google ads, for example, doesn’t allow the promotion of any psychoactive substances nor the tools for consumption, like bongs or pipes. Ads that include instructions on how to make or purchase recreational marijuana are also forbidden. Even though hemp-derived CBD is legal and doesn’t fit the examples of recreational marijuana usage, Google still rejects all CBD-related text search ads.
Setting up an Ad
Another issue that might lead to your ad being banned is a landing page for your products. When you set up an ad, the review process is automatic, meaning that Facebook’s and Google’s crawl bots will “read” your landing page and make a decision whether to run your ad. If your landing page contains the “problematic” keywords, your ad won’t be approved.
Still, there’s a way you can go around these issues and finally have your ad up and running. Remove all CBD and hemp keywords from your ad and replace them with phrases like “natural remedies” or “plant-based medicines.” If the ad is rejected again, update your landing page too, and remove all CBD-related keywords or links. If your ad runs, you hit the jackpot. If not, chances are it never will, and you should consider other platforms.
Connect with Influencers
Influencers are a great way to spread the word about your product. Selecting a proper influencer who’s willing to test your product and present it to their followers is essential. You don’t necessarily have to target influencers with millions of followers—the chances are those followers are paid. Instead, think about approaching those who have your audience as their followers.
Look for engagement on their profile and posts and note what their followers are talking about. If an influencer did a similar campaign in the past, even better. This means their audience is interested in what you have to offer too. The rest depends on your budget and the deal the influencer is willing to accept.
Ways to Market Cannabis Products Offline
Relying on online marketing channels is excellent, but you shouldn’t avoid offline marketing. Billboards, cabs, or other out-of-home advertising methods are a great way of attracting attention to your dispensary. There are many rules to follow, depending on the state, but these are some basics:
- Don’t place your ad near schools;
- Don’t explain how to consume marijuana;
- Never make health claims;
- 70% of people who see your ad must be over 21;
- Add the required disclaimer.
This is a great way to reach consumers outside of the internet world, and if you’re also aiming at some B2B collaboration, promoting offline will complement your brand.
Some other ways of offline promotion include printed materials, radios, or word of mouth. You can also utilize cannabis vending machines. You can place an interactive ad on the touch screen built into the vending machine or even wrap it with your branding, thus displaying your products.
Even though the cannabis market is growing each year, and many countries around the world are looking to make marijuana legal, you may still face difficulties when deciding to promote your cannabis and CBD products. Still, proper marketing is essential if you wish to stand out with your offer and attract customers. If you reside in the US or want to promote cannabis to the US audience, you’ll want to keep track of the latest legal updates, both federal and local, to avoid complications.
Social media is a great way to promote your products and build a brand, but Google and other giants may not approve your ads even if you remove the problematic keywords and replace them with euphemisms. One way to go around it is to reach out to influencers who have a fan base that fits your brand. To complement your social media presence, you’ll want to expand to the out-of-home advertising methods, such as billboards, bench ads, or cannabis vending machines.
As with online marketing, you need to know about your state’s regulations and keep your eyes open for every aspect of your ad—from placement to content. There are many brands out there, and marketing in the cannabis industry might be tough. Still, with careful planning, you’ll be able to attract customers and reap the benefits of a successful business.