The cannabis industry has seen exponential growth and significant change in the last few years. Once taboo, the easing of restrictions and outright legalization in some states has transformed the business into a lucrative and sophisticated endeavor. From CBD to recreational or medical cannabis products, companies are emerging all over the country to join in this thriving market. In order to grow in this industry, the right marketing strategy is key–but the cannabis industry is heavily regulated in the digital space, so businesses must tread carefully. We’ve researched some of the safest and most effective strategies to help market your cannabis business and succeed in this wildly successful industry.
What You Can and Cannot Do When Marketing a Cannabis Company
Though support for cannabis continues to spread on a national level, no two states can agree on regulatory laws. As a result, cannabis and its related products remain heavily regulated by the federal government, which dictates how cannabis companies can market to consumers. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in hefty fines.
Here’s what you cannot do (or should not do) when marketing your cannabis or CBD business:
- You cannot run advertisements for cannabis products on national television or radio outlets.
- You cannot run advertisements on Google and most social media platforms.
- You cannot make medical claims about your product.
Here’s what you can and should do when marketing your cannabis or CBD business:
- Focus on educating and connecting with customers on social media.
- Stay on top of state and federal regulations so you don’t get slapped with fines.
- Create high-quality content in the form of blogs, podcasts, and/or videos.
Marketing Strategies for Cannabis Businesses + Bonus Tools
The marketing strategies listed below should allow you to successfully market your cannabis business while staying above board with rules and regulations. Whether you implement one or all of these strategies, you’re sure to see progress.
Email marketing might be one of the most effective strategies for cannabis companies because it’s not as heavily regulated as some of the other options on this list. With email, you’re able to communicate with an audience you own completely, where you can be completely open about your business and your products.
Prompt users to sign up for your emails after a purchase or after reading a blog. You can also encourage visitors to join the mailing list by including incentives like exclusive deals and discounts upon sign up.
To maximize your email marketing efforts, consider partnering with a service provider that focuses specifically on the cannabis industry. CannaPlanners and AlpineIQ are two cannabis-centric email marketing platforms that can help automate and improve your email marketing efforts.
Create High-Quality Content
Great content is another cornerstone of cannabis business success. Whether you’re posting a blog to your website or uploading a video to your YouTube channel, you are putting content out in the digital space that has the potential to organically draw in a larger audience.
Remember, cannabis and CBD-related content should be educational in nature. Avoid pushing your products too overtly in your content, not only to avoid any sort of fines but also to make your content more trustworthy and authentic (a great rule of thumb for any business). Write blogs that focus on studies conducted about the benefits of cannabis products. If you are a grower, share videos about your business’s agricultural practices.
To make the most of your content marketing efforts for your cannabis business, consider partnering with an SEO expert. An SEO expert can help optimize your website and other content to perform well on search engines, which is a bit of an art rather than a science. Alternatively, you can utilize programs like Semrush or Ahrefs to help grow your organic traffic yourself.
Encourage Positive Reviews
Customer reviews are huge no matter what your business is, but they’re especially important for cannabis and CBD businesses. Since many of these products are still controversial with confusing regulations, customers want to be sure what they’re getting is of good quality. Authentic positive reviews from your customers communicate that you’re a trustworthy brand with a great product. Reviews also help your business rank higher in organic search results.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews by following up via email after a purchase, include a packaging insert, and ask your customer service representatives to ask for reviews organically. You can also partner with companies like Reviews.io or BrightLocal to help manage and increase your customer reviews.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing a cannabis brand on social media comes with massive caveats. Most social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, prohibit any form of advertising for cannabis and CBD products. To market your cannabis business on these platforms, you’ll need to take a different approach.
No matter your business, engagement is the most important part of any social media strategy. Respond to comments and direct messages, share polls, and ask your followers questions. You’ll also want to post relatable and educational content, but be sure to clearly state no sales will be conducted on your social media page.
Canndescent, a California-based cannabis company, does an amazing job with their Instagram Page. Their feed is perfectly branded, with their signature orange hue permeating almost every photo and video. One might think Canndescent is a lifestyle brand as opposed to a cannabis company, which is a testament to their sophisticated and aesthetic social media marketing strategy. Almost 54,000 people also seem to enjoy their Instagram page.
Another company that combines the power of positive reviews and social media marketing is Olofly. They are a leading online headshop based in California that offers a large number of brands in their online shop. Their Instagram page highlights their range of products and also consistently showcases some of the top reviews from customers.
High-Quality Packaging Design
Product packaging does more than simply protect your product–it is an extremely powerful marketing tool. Consumers subconsciously equate the quality of a product’s packaging with the quality of the product itself, a phenomenon known as “sensation transference.” This phenomenon often makes or breaks a sale. If a potential customer perceives the product packaging to be of poor quality, they are far less likely to buy the product if there are other options available.
To generate a positive reaction to your product, make sure to invest in high-quality packaging and design when you market a cannabis business. Invest in containers that keep your products fresh and protected if they’re consumables. If your business is dedicated to environmental sustainability, use environmentally-friendly product packaging such as glassware or bioplastics. Hire or partner with an experienced graphic designer that can help create beautiful cannabis labels and cartons that properly convey the quality of your brand.
Learn more: Complete Guide to Cannabis Labels
Grow Where You’re Planted
Marketing a cannabis or CBD business can be challenging, and the rules are constantly changing. One day regulations may loosen up or become more streamlined, but until that happens, these tried-and-true marketing strategies should help you grow your cannabis business successfully. At Sttark, we pride ourselves on providing some of the best packaging and labeling solutions for countless businesses just like yours. If you have any questions about how high-quality product packaging can help your cannabis business succeed, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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