Where and How to Advertise Your Cannabis Startup in 2020
Despite the many challenges that the cannabis industry faces at the tail end of 2019, many cannabis businesses across the United States, Canada, and several European countries are growing faster than ever before. This is partially due to a mix of social awareness, increased legislation and general acceptance which is rapidly increasing.
This unprecedented growth in both supply and demand makes the legal cannabis industry especially attractive for cannabis entrepreneurs. That being said, canna-brand owners who are going to succeed in 2020 will need to stay ahead of the competitive curve through targeted advertising channels, tools, and tactics.
One of the elements that make the global legal cannabis industry so unique is the fact that it accelerated in the digital era, and that’s really where the marketing opportunity lies.
The following advertising strategies will help you position your cannabis brand across the entire spectrum of online and offline platforms, build a strong business identity and attract loyal customers. Before diving into any of the cannabis marketing strategies below keep in my that nothing happens overnight. Fiding the right marketing fit for your brand can take time, especially when it comes to organic marketing.
Define your Brand and Keep it Consistent
Whether you are just starting your cannabis business or want to grow an already existing one, it is crucial to have a clear definition of what your brand is, who your audience is, and what makes your products or services unique. This doesn’t mean having a great logo and a well-designed website (which are very important aspects) but also understanding the niche in which you will be working, and more importantly clearly defining your brand story.
As with many emerging industries, specialization is going to be one of the defining characteristics of a cannabis business, so it is important that you choose a target segment and build your brand around it carefully. Also, make sure to have a consistent brand image across all social media platforms, as it is a perfect way to create brand recognition.
Maintain an Active Social Presence
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, these are all social platforms that have delivered immense value for brands in 2019. If you haven’t defined a clear and consistent social content strategy, don’t be surprised about why traffic isn’t reaching your site. Once your social profiles are set, creating quality and consistent. More importantly t regularly and take an active part in relevant conversations.
A perfect example of video content done right is Rowll product teaser video. Rowll is an all-in-1 patent product, providing you a safe way to store your herbs when you’re on the go, grind your herbs to perfection and finally roll it. The Rowll’s storage case is a uniquely designed, slim and dynamic case that can turn into a funnel that will allow you an easy, spill-free rolling experience.
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While YouTube generally calls for new content at least once a week, Instagram requires more time and attention. It is useful to have an archive of quality pictures that show not only your products but anything relevant to the cannabis industry. You should aim at posting on Instagram at least once a day, using relevant keywords and hashtags that help your brand build a strong presence in the platform while generating some traffic for your online shop.
Create Valuable Visual and Textual Content
Anyone who is thinking of buying a cannabis product looks for companies with expertise, knowledge and positive customer reviews. Having an engaging blog and valuable content is a wonderful way to share useful information and build a positive image of your brand at the same time.
For a little inspiration, take note of Jeremy Szafron, a Canadian-based producer and reporter which you can hear via his podcast The Green Scene, considered as the top global cannabis podcast that deals with current issues whether it’d be ethical or legal concerning cannabis, he definitely covered it. He always challenges his audience to make informed decisions towards it since he is providing fact-based journalism approach to promote and educate them about cannabis globally.
Keep in mind that you should avoid writing directly about your products in your blog as much as possible. While you can add a few relevant links, the goal of blog posts is to show your customers that your business is based on knowledge and experience. Write about the developments on the legal standing of cannabis around the world, the latest scientific studies on the benefits of cannabis, or any topic that is directly relevant to the product you are selling.
Create Partnership Opportunities
The major hurdles are limitations with traditional ad platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) rejecting any keywords such as ‘cannabis’ and ‘CBD’, and any ad creative with marijuana leaves.
One key strategy that’s not to be overlooked is creating publisher partnerships within the Cannabis space that we work with to get our brands in front of Cannabis audiences (i.e. High Times, DOPE Magazine, Merry Jane, etc.), which we’ve found is one of the most effective channels. For CBD specifically, we are finding more publisher partners in the health and wellness space willing to run CBD ads, which are proving to be an effective audience.
Additionally, any content strategies do need to focus on organic search traffic through keyword and content campaigns for cannabis-related keywords – either on-page or off-page with content campaigns with selected publishers to drive organic traffic.
Consider Paid Media Coverage
While it might be hard for small or growing cannabis businesses to pay for mentions on the most popular media sites, there are several niche outlets that can bring potential customers who are interested in the product you are selling for an affordable price. Reaching tenths of thousands of readers through a national newspaper might be less effective than attracting a hundred individuals who are genuinely looking forward to buying cannabis products.
In a nutshell, these are the current top cannabis-friendly ad networks.
- TRAFFIC ROOTS
- KUSH CLICKS
- DANK CITY
- BLUNT LIFESTYLE
- WEEDHUMOR NETWORK
- WEEDLIFE NETWORK
Invest Your Time at Offline Events and Meetups
The fact that the cannabis industry is growing online does not mean that the old-school approach of networking events such as local meetups and conferences is less effective. If you think about it, industry events such as these only bring together people who are truly interested in the industry and are willing to spend both time and money to attend. They are a great place to showcase your brand and allow potential customers, investors or distributors to see your products first-hand.