Tag Archives: Digital Cannabis

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 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.

Cannabis and Social-Distancing

It doesn’t seem likely that the quarantine spurred by the Coronavirus outbreak will end for most of us very soon. 

While businesses deemed essential and allowed to stay open getting weed right now might be difficult.

The head of the United Nations narcotics enforcement agency questioned whether international drug control conventions are out of date, stating “We have some fundamental issues around the conventions”. Unfortunately the Covid-19 hit early 2020 before proper correction to legislation had time to penetrate.

Many normative working people have come to rely on a steady supply of cannabis through various channels. 

Many of these individuals are making a forced lifestyle change. Some are afraid of the epidemic,others care for their environment while some are simply scared of law enforcement during these uncertain and unregulated times. 

While working through digital channels is the natural transition, many are afraid for their privacy right. There are many examples of antitrust and anticompetitive practices prior to the Corona Outbreak. These behaviours strengthen with the increased use of digital platforms. In the State of Israel the government announced surveillance of personal online activities and locations. 

If the countries representing the people do not value privacy rights, how can you expect corporations who are often bigger and more influential than the government to comply.

Since cannabis is still not legal internationally many are too afraid to get this essential crop.

Debates are currently being held internationally regarding social distancing steps, steady food supplies and monetary compensations. It is surprising that during such a crucial time, these professionals don’t take mental health into consideration.

Despite claiming to work only through legal channels, many products roll into unofficial channels. Many of the regulated cannabis companies are feeling a slump.

We would like to ask our international audience (Personal and Commercial) how they restock and how long their supply would last.