As a cannabis entrepreneur, you’re going to have to market your cannabis brand despite the growing pains in today’s landscape.
? Growing Pains… ? Before the Gains…
It’s an exciting time to be a cannabis entrepreneur, but it’s going to require you to utilize some creative strategies to grow your brand using Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Unfortunately, cannabis is still for no reason classified as a Schedule 1 “drug” in the USA. It literally makes zero sense. At least from the perspective of a rational mind that is…
The DEA, governments, lobby groups, and big pharma all play a major role in this stifling hypocrisy.
Money talks, unfortunately. ?
So as long as marijuana is listed next to heroin, social media giants are going to be cautious, and that means more work for cannabis businesses.
However, we may soon see a reschedule of this amazing plant. ??
Last May, a federal appeals court in New York told the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to “promptly” reconsider its classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
? My fingers are crossed, are yours?
But until then, we’re just going to have to deal with the caveats of advertising in this “controversial” space. It is what it is. ??♂️
But thankfully, it’s not impossible to advertise your cannabis brand…
Not sure where to start, though?
Here are some effective digital marketing strategies that you can use to easily grow your cannabis brand.
? Digital Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Cannabis Brand
The cannabis industry is still shaded grey in many areas due to legalization hurdles, however, there are still many effective strategies you can utilize to market your brand.
While you can’t skirt around all restrictions set by social media platforms, many cannabis businesses still flourish online.
Here are some of the techniques they use to seed and sprout their business!
? Maximize Your Organic Reach on Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest may have restrictions on cannabis advertising when it comes to ad platform usage, however, organic traffic is still a very viable way to market to your target audience.
Instagram is a favorite among many cannabis businesses thanks to its highly visual nature and user base. The 21 to 40 year old crowd are a hot market and they love Instagram just as much as they love cannabis.
Additionally, some cannabis businesses have even had success advertising their products through promoted posts, etc. The trick is producing the perfect ad copy and creative. It’s not exactly easy but it’s worth dabbling to see if you have any success.
For example, CBD companies will have a greater chance of success since Facebook and Instagram advertising policies don’t directly mention it. Pinterest, on the other hand, is more transparent and open to CBD ads.
Unfortunately, though, the guidelines across social media platforms are still very vague and differ widely. It’s a challenging time for cannabusiness entrepreneurs but not impossible.
? Here are some quick tips to improve your cannabis brand marketing using social media:
- Publish daily posts
- Interact with your audience
- Collaborate with other cannabis brands
- Utilize video posts (user engagement is better)
At the end of the day, it may be hard or even impossible in many cases to utilize advertising features on social media, but optimizing your organic reach is a viable solution to market your brand.
? Maximize Your Organic Reach on Google via a Killer SEO Strategy
Just as organic reach is a viable way to reach an audience on social media, Google organic reach is potentially even more powerful thanks to the total control you have over your own brand.
In fact, this is my preferred way to reach a massive audience. Your search engine optimization strategy can bring you in thousands of organic monthly visitors if you use the ideal strategy.
Though, keep in mind that SEO is a long-term game, so it can take 6-12 months or longer to see results. But due to the fact that it’s a long-term game, you’ll net long-term traffic flow!
My preferred method to success is reverse engineering the competition. Tools like like Ahrefs and SEMrush can help you do so and they will help you find relevant keywords to know what people are searching for.
Your task then is to write epic content that blows away the competition based around said keywords.
But don’t forget your backlinks! Again, tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush will give you insight into your competitors backlink profiles so you know what you’re gunning for.
? Here are some quick tips to improve your cannabis brand marketing using SEO:
- Publish epic content (long-form content is now king)
- Reverse engineer your competition using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush
- Collaborate with other successful brands (guest posts, direct advertising, etc.)
- Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks (building quality backlinks to your site is crucial)
- Build content around targeted keywords (look for weak but ranking competitors)
At the end of the day, your SEO strategy can bring you in a shit ton of visitors if done from the right approach and with unwavering consistency.
Try keeping your site high quality via epic long-form content, and nimble by focusing on content with converting potential.
And don’t forget your backlinks, for while they may still say content is king, without backlinks, forget about it.
? Utilize Alternative (Cannabis Friendly) Advertising Platforms
Google and Facebook aren’t the only advertising kings on the block, especially when it comes to cannabis.
In fact, there are quite a few cannabis friendly advertising platforms that you can utilize to reach new customers.
When I built my first cannabis brand CannaRecruiter.com, the Mantis Ad Network was my go-to platform.
Now, there are quite a few platforms out there. Recently, I came across Traffic Roots, for example.
? Other cannabis friendly advertising networks I recently discovered include:
- Kush Clicks
- Alternative AD Network
- MjLink Cannabis Ad Network
Looks like there are many more cannabis friendly advertising networks and more and more are popping up as the industry further legitimizes.
Because many of these platforms are new, my advice is to try out many different platforms to see which one works best for you.
? Collaborate With Other Cannabis Businesses and Influencers
Collaboration is crucial if you are looking to market and ultimately build your brand.
“Individuals don’t win in business, teams do.” When I was an IT specialist for Walmart.com, this Sam Walton quote stood out to me.
His quote applies one hundred percent here. The online landscape is insanely competitive so flying solo is usually a futile and long endeavor.
Try connecting with influencers who are passionate about cannabis. You can look into paying them for a shoutout, for example, or maybe send them a free product for testing in exchange for promoting it.
You can also look into writing a guest post for their website. This is a great way to tap into their audience and you may even be able to get a backlink to boost your site’s SEO.
? Offer an Affiliate Program if You Sell Cannabis Products or Services
Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way to promote your cannabis products or services. Offering a program to bloggers and influencers is a great way to spread awareness.
If you have product margin to spare, simply offer other bloggers and social media influencers commissions on sales in exchange for promoting your products.
Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world and they utilized affiliate marketing well over a decade ago and still do to this day, despite their multibillion-dollar valuation.
Why? Because it works!
If you have profit margin to spare, this is a no brainer. There will be some set up involved of course, but you can make it happen.
? Bringing it All Together
Cannabis marketing today can be quite the challenge. Unfortunately, pretty much all major social media platforms currently have restrictions on advertising cannabis products.
It gets even more confusing (and frustrating) because each platform differs in their policies and much of their lingo is vague as hell.
It’s can be a bit of a pickle out there! ??
On top of this, you may even see a competitor advertising products successfully but can’t get one of your own ads approved. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Either way, all is not lost. Focus on what you can control! With the right approach to social media and SEO, you can take your brand far with these two strategies alone.
Building connections with other influencers and utilizing cannabis friendly ad networks can also help you put your brand on the map without any corporate fuss. ?
So, do you currently use any of the following cannabis marketing strategies?
✔️ Maximize Your Organic Reach on Social Media
✔️ Maximize Your Organic Reach on Google via a Killer SEO Strategy
✔️ Utilize Alternative (Cannabis Friendly) Advertising Platforms
✔️ Collaborate With Other Cannabis Businesses and Influencers
✔️ Offer an Affiliate Program if You Sell Cannabis Products or Services
Please share your experience with me in the comments below…
I’m curious what worked for you and whether or not you utilize any other strategies not covered here.
Toke on! ??