Tag Archives: Cannabis Marketing

Social Advertising of Cannabis

Social advertising is the process of creating clickable ads to reach target audiences via social media platforms. Companies use social advertising campaigns to build brand awareness and generate sales revenue.

It is clear that social media is a critical form of advertising for cannabis companies, however, the reality of running a social media account for a cannabis company is more like living in an alternate reality.

The amount of time and effort dedicated to producing worthy content for these networks is a gamble. Months and years of work can be wiped out with little transparency according to “Community Standards”. Many cannabis businesses find it worth the risk because of the scale of user interaction; so many people rely on social media for their news and information.

Even companies who are listed on the stock exchange had their accounts shut down by mainstream social networks and associated search engines. Many online stakeholders are complicit.  

The vast power technological giants gained under the radar allow them to influence business and politics, effectively providing swiping powers to veto any action they deem inappropriate. While the world largely operates on democratic values, the power obtained by social networks was gained by uniformed users seeking instant gratification provided by these private and publicly traded companies.

These companies act as a cartel to regulate the price of traffic and alter the topic of conversation.

While there are some cannabis large corporations, the majority of cannabis businesses are small to medium in scale. Here are some tips on how to stay relevant and maintain your online presence.   

Stay Diverse 

When you have many channels driving traffic you are less affected by one particular channel. Cannabis Policies vary from platform to platform, while non promote the content some are more forgiving than others.

Customized Uploads

Users on various platforms consume content differently and therefore react differently to content. What may be a success on one platform can have negative consequences and penalties on another. Choose specific content for each platform and hope your exposure is not affected. 

Added Value 

Create content with added value, educate, inform or spread positivity.  Always consider your customer’s perspective and allow it to shape your future posts. Never underestimate the value of free resources or convenience. 

Request Action 

Request positive interactions Like Shares and Signups. These actions will signal the platform that your content is a welcome addition to the network. While these actions indicate interest, the post does not belong to you and can be deleted by platform staff.

Reacting Correctly 

If any violation occurs delete the post and stay off the network for 7-10 days consecutively. Do Not be tempted by messages urging you to login. These platforms rely on constant uploading to provide an environment that lewres users to engage more. On a large scale the Cannabis Industry has the ability to directly and inadvertently affect profitability and user engagement. 

Email List

As a society we are just beginning to understand the value of data. Allowing the platforms to control your company’s data is giving away assets. Be prepared, Collect Data independently so you can communicate with your customers directly.  

Forget about ROI 

There are algorithms that determine the price for every media slot and monitor ad performance, outliers are brought to marketing teams who ensure the advertisement conforms to their standards “improving advertising relevance”. The best any advertiser in the cannabis field can hope for is increased brand awareness without additional penalties.

While the world is becoming dependent on online services, excluding cannabis companies from mainstream communication channels and credit lines is hindering growth and extending the cannabis prohibition into the 22nd century. 

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Cannabis Marketing Explained

The cannabis industry has been expanding, new products, dispensaries, grow supplies and medical research are all gaining interest.

The legal framework is shifting almost daily does not stop investors, researchers, and entrepreneurs from entering the field. Exposure remains a hurdle on the way to Scalability

Advertising platforms are having a hard time keeping up with varying regulations. 

Paid advertising is either tricky or straight up impossible for many cannabis-related products due to the Terms of Service of many advertising platforms.

Top ranked positions now hold valuable growth opportunities as they allow for dedicated user following and monetization.

While the techniques often change, there are some concepts to keep in mind.

Keywords 

Simply think like your users, what would you type to find your content, what will your friends write if they were interested. Now envision your perfect user’s search intent.

Keyword research is not difficult. Just go for the keywords with low SEO difficulty and high search volume. 

User Experience

Load time

Everything is happening quickly, users demand fast load time. 

Interface 

How easy is it to navigate your site?

Does it get stuck?

Are there distracting popups?

Did you guide your user to the correct page?

Do forms require a specific input method?

Does the user gain benefit?

User behavior 

How long were visitors on site?

How often do they return to the site?

How many pages did they visit?

Did they perform a user action?

Added Value 

Knowledge convenience, affordability, quality and comfort are just some benefits that may be provided. Time is important. 

Domain Authority 

Backlinks

The more people mention you the more exposure there is.

Backlink Source : Are they themselves credible or in the same industry?

Backlink Activity: How active and relevant is the link?

A mark of quality is returning visitors, that indicates satisfaction. 

Domain History

The more active a platform the more potential for growth.

Domain age, volatility of ownership and prestigious affiliations to assess apparent prestige.

A business with a long active history is more authoritative.

These advertising principles apply to all online advertising methods. Automated Paid (SEM), Organic Search Optimization (SEO), Media Buying, and Social networks. Web presence is vitally important.

Before building an advertising strategy, check the terms of service of your platform and web hosting.

Every great startup needs people who believe in it.

Cannabis Online

Advertising

It has been surveyed repeatedly, most are in favor of cannabis and a majority of the population has participated in cannabis use.

Governments all over the world are making regulations more tolerable. Many are insisting on legalization.

During the 2020 COVID_19 stay at home orders and self isolation cannabis dispensaries are considered essential. Many cannabis companies are trying to adjust and provide their product or service with minimum contact.

Unfortunately, the big tech companies are not cooperating. 

Google Policy 

Google wants to help keep people safe both online and offline, so they don’t allow the promotion of some products or services that cause damage, harm, or injury.

The following is not allowed:

Ads for substances that alter mental state for the purpose of recreation 

or otherwise induce “highs”

Dangerous products or services

The content can still be shared but organic reach is not guaranteed. 

Facebook Policy 

  Facebook doesn’t allow ads that promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs. 

Example includes ads that contain Cannabis Use.

Content can still be shared to Facebook and other social media because the content is editorial and not strictly promotional.

Taboola Policy 

Prohibited Content, Products, and Services

Offensive, Threatening or Inappropriate Content

You must not promote anything that has a significant risk of being dangerous.

False Promises, Scams or Illegal Activity

Cannabis advertising is strictly forbidden

You must not promote anything that promotes illegal activity or has a significant risk of being illegal.

Ads for recreational drugs such as marijuana and paraphernalia marketed to facilitate use of recreational drugs such as pipes, bongs, and rolling papers

Outbrain Policy

Controlled or Illegal Substances

Ads must not promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs.

Tobacco-related products such as e-cigarettes, cigars, vaporizers, hookahs

  • Promotion of hemp-based CBD (cannabidiol) products with little to no THC is acceptable in countries where CBD is legal
  • Promotion of investments or stocks relating to marijuana is acceptable

Since all industries are required to adapt to new circumstances. Many have to adapt their policies also. The cannabis industry, though deemed essential, seems to be coping with difficulties other industries do not. The main platforms still do not accept cannabis and adjacent ads

Out of date Policies make reaching out to customers an expensive game of cat and mouse. The technological and fiscal disadvantages are vast. Legitimate cannabis companies are driven to less than ideal alternatives. The Media Buying, SEO webs, influencer tactics and alternative platforms. Small platforms are often less efficient competitive advertising trying to capitalize from Big Tech’s gaps. The Platforms that do accept cannabis and adjacent ads are simply not big enough for companies trying to scale.

Finding a bank that’s willing to back your business is even harder. While the US Department of Justice largely stays out of the way of cannabis-focused companies that abide by state laws, few banks and credit unions open accounts for those entrepreneurs.

We have allowed large corporations to control the voice and activity of our society. It seems we have not yet learned from our mistakes. Zoom is the next technology consuming server space online. Overnight everyone seems to conform without fully understanding their privacy rights encryption methods or stance concerning major issues. Even legislators are rushing to use the technology with disregard for their voters and the constitution.

In order to survive in the socially distanced digital world web presence and reach are vital. It is important to avoid antitrust behavior not just for the cannabis industry.