June 7, 2016 | by Staff
Marijuana may still be illegal according to federal law but in recent times there has been a very strong trend where we see more and more states relaxing their laws as it concerns the controversial plant. This has led to what is being called the current ‘green rush’ as both individuals and businesses aim to capitalize on these newly relaxed laws and set up cannabis-related businesses in the states that allow them to do so legally.
The green rush is undeniable, it is happening right now but it does have very unique challenges for those who want to get into the cannabis industry and marketing is one of the most obvious of these challenges. You can't exactly put up a billboard advertising that you have the best cannabis in town - not yet anyway. So cannabis marketers are faced with the problem of how to get the word out about their cannabis products. Fortunately ,there are solutions that in keeping with the law; let’s have a look at the most effective ones.
When it comes to cannabis, Internet marketing can be very effective. With more than 3 billion people now online, the Internet is the biggest platform for marketing that any business can have access to in today’s high-tech society. It does have its limits as far as advertising and marketing cannabis related products is concerned, but there is still plenty of potential to reach your the cannabis market. It is true that many major websites like Facebook, Google Adwords and Twitter do not allow any cannabis related advertising but there are other online options for cannabis marketing.
Note: * Estimates. Mobile network coverage refers to the population that is covered by a mobile network.
Cannabis marketing online is a large and still-growing industry. There are a lot of people searching online everyday for cannabis-related products and if you know how to reach these people and present them with your products then your business will start bringing in more of that ‘green gold’ so many are seeking. If you are selling cannabis products you should definitely have a website online where people who are searching for these types of products can potentially find you.
Having a strong online presence is one of the most powerful marketing tools that a cannabis business can have in its marketing arsenal. You may not be able to advertise with Internet giants like Facebook and Google, but you will find that it is still entirely possible to create and maintain a strong presence online as a cannabis-related business.
Social media is a very effective way of doing this and fortunately while cannabis related advertising is banned on sites like Facebook, you can still create a cannabis related Facebook Fanpage. There are also other very popular social media websites like Tumblr that have a more tolerant attitude towards cannabis related content and savvy cannabis business owners will have profiles on these social media sites.
For social media to be effectively used as a marketing tool it has to be more than just setting up a few social media profiles and forgetting about them. The key to successful social media is audience engagement. People like to interact with the products/brands that they ‘follow’ online. Giveaways, social media contests and regular posts with content that is relevant, interesting and informative are just a few strategies that can be used to get the most marketing power from your cannabis related social media accounts.
When setting up the website and social media accounts for your cannabis business, taking the time to make sure that they are optimized for search engines is critical. A well optimized website will rank highly in search engines like Google and be among the first search results to show up when someone searches for your targeted keywords.
This means you will have to do some keyword research and see which keywords you want to target in order to drive more traffic to your web pages. You will also need to strategically place your chosen keywords and utilize the various tags available so that your web pages have the best chance to be found. If all that sounds too complicated, fear not, there are many SEO specialists that you can hire to ensure that your website is fully optimized for the best results.
Even though there is currently no option to advertise with most of the Internet giants, cannabis marketers will find that there are several, albeit smaller, online advertising agents like Adistry that specialize in cannabis related advertising. Companies like Adistry will post your ads on websites that allow cannabis advertising, these are usually cannabis related websites.
It would also be very helpful for a cannabis business to get reviewed on one of the major cannabis review websites like Weedmaps that many people who are interested in cannabis have as their go-to sites for cannabis related information. Websites like Weedmaps and Leafy have been around for a long time and are trusted sources of information within the cannabis community. If your cannabis product or business has a review on one of these sites, especially if the review is positive, you are likely to see an increase in traffic to your website as well as a more established reputation for your business.
It seems to be the most effective place to market but the Internet is not the only place where you can marketing cannabis related products. There are also several alternative offline options where a cannabis business can advertise its wares.
Marijuana related publications like High Times are good options as they normally have a very large following of people who are already predisposed to be interested in cannabis products. When using offline marketing methods like this is it important to make sure you stay within the limits of your state and, obviously, only use offline marketing in states where cannabis is legal.
Getting a celebrity or other well-known personality who advocates for cannabis to endorse your product can also prove to be a fruitful venture. Using brand ambassadors for marketing cannabis is a viable option but it does tend to be rather costly and so is not usually something that smaller cannabis businesses will be able to afford unless they have personal connections to the celebrity.
Cannabis’ controversial legal status is no reason to shy away from making big marketing efforts. Even though there are restrictions for marketing cannabis there are still many very effective ways to market related businesses legally. Marketing online can sometimes mean the difference between a business that is breaking even and one that is booming so it is important that you get it right. When tackling the challenge of how best to market cannabis online you must first identify who your customer is and tailor your online marketing efforts to meet their needs.
Main image credit: Thomas Hawk, Creative Commons
Categories: Cannabis Marketing
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