The legalization of cannabis in many parts of the world has opened the door to multiple business opportunities. The developing businesses, however, face a plethora of challenges. The purpose of marketing in any business is to increase awareness, create brand recognition, generate sales, and develop loyalty. It also encompasses the scope of research to assess the current market needs. However, being a highly regulated industry, cannabis companies might face challenges while formulating their marketing plan.
It requires a better understanding of the laws, both state-level and federal, to ensure that companies strategize under them to avoid any trouble. Therefore, cannabis businesses need a different approach to marketing. The lack of uniformity in the laws related to the marketing of cannabis and its related products can make the entire process arduous and time-consuming.
Although these regulations are not something new, many pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and nicotine products face marketing restrictions. However, the cannabis industry is still at its nascent stage, and there is a lack of literature or research to substantiate any marketing programs. Therefore, cannabis companies might have to take an experimental approach to the market.
Law-abiding businesses have to follow the advertising regulations, which limit their ability to promote the products both offline and online. The competition level from established brands competitors is intense, whereas the budding companies make brand differentiation a tough fight.
To flourish in such an uptight market is a challenge as a slight deviation from the norms can catch Federal attention for the wrong reasons. Any advertising violations can jeopardize the business. So, it is essential to be aware of the regulations. Here are some common marketing limitations a cannabis business faces.
- No search network, display network, and video advertising campaigns on google
- No advertisement on social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or tumbler
- No display advertisement of cannabis products in the vicinity school or areas where children spend time
- No advertisements on television, radio, or print media that children can have access to.
- Using any toys, cartoon characters, or inflatables that appeal to children are prohibited.
- Prohibition of advertisement in entertainment ones such as stadiums, fairs, malls, and farmers markets
- Print media advertisement restriction changes from one state to another.
- Indoor advertisements are allowed at specific spaces unless all minor’s entry remains restricted.
What Can Cannabis Businesses Do?
The presence of these regulations must not deter companies from marketing their business. With some out of the box ideas, you can promote your brands and products. These creative techniques can help you succeed in marketing in the regulated cannabis industry.
Go for Ad Programming
Not being able to run ads on google and Facebook does limit your options to advertise online, but there are some alternative ways to draw buyers to your website. You can bank on the opportunities to display the ads by using programmatic ads. Backlinking your website with the help of link building experts will multiply traffic to your site.
This can be done using software to place your display ads’ strategic bids on various websites, such as relatable blogs, to optimize your website performance. You can choose cannabis friendly programs like Adistry to solve your purpose.
Go For Content Marketing
Almost all popular social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc., do not allow any cannabis marketing. Therefore, you can turn around your approach to create a presence on these platforms. One of the simplest ways to do it is by creating and publishing creative content. Good tweets, podcasts, and posts can get you search results and get exposure to your business. Make sure you create content forbidding terms that outlaw regulations.
Try Push Marketing on Social Media
Many cannabis businesses regret investing time and resources in building profile pages on Instagram and Facebook, only to lose them to the stringent community guidelines and policies. In most of cases, profiles are taken down without any prior notice.
Pushing content on social media can turn fruitless in a matter of days.
So instead of trying to push content on social media, you can try a push marketing approach. You can encourage masses, costumes, influences, and celebrities to publish content related to your brand. You can appoint your loyal customers as your brand ambassadors or hire influencers to do so.
You can motivate your buyers to do so by creating some base content related to your brand. Encouraging people to take pictures, take pictures, and post it on their social media. This strategy has worked great for companies who also set up photo booths inside their business premises for this purpose.
Gather Marketing Data
Over the years, technology has helped businesses to grow. Through data mining, a cannabis business can keep track of the buyers’ activities and preferences, which can help develop marketing research data. You can also go old school by setting up a kiosk to ask people about their details to get a notification on special promotions. Capturing information about customers can help you market your products to individuals you show interest in your business.
Sign up with apps like mail chimp to gather mailing details of people who come to your website. The creative content and educational blog can attract a lot of traffic to your website. Furthermore, people who visit to read can also turn out to be potential buyers. Email marketing can be an excellent tool for a unique product like cannabis. Make sure that you follow all laws while framing emails and text messages to your recipient’s list.
The Bottom Line
Despite the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, a cannabis company is bound to face several marketing challenges. The rules around its promotion are not going to change any time sooner. Sadly, they may vary from one place to another, so cannabis companies must keep all the factors in mind before investing resources into their marketing campaigns. Operating in such an environment is a cost to the business and may require an external agency’s support. Understanding the industry and your customers is the key to reap benefits from the fast pacing cannabis industry.