Digital advertising, is one of the most cost-effective marketing opportunities for businesses operating in most industries. However, many of the most popular advertising and social media platforms, such as Google (including YouTube), Facebook (including Instagram), SnapChat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Pinterest, don’t allow cannabis or cannabis-related ads.
The good news is that doesn’t mean cannabis and cannabis-related businesses can’t invest in digital advertising. It’s just a bit more challenging and could be more expensive than some of the pay-per-click ad networks, like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
Remember, there was a time when those ad networks and social media channels didn’t exist, but businesses could still advertise online. Today, cannabis businesses need to use some of those old-school digital advertising tactics to get in front of customers.
Following are three of the best ways your cannabis business or cannabis-related business can raise brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales through digital advertising despite the current obstacles.
According to a study by Edison Research, in 2020, podcasts reach 100 million Americans every month. Furthermore, more than one in three men (39%) and women (36%) age 12 and over listen to podcasts each month.
The data tells us podcast advertising is a viable way to connect with American consumers – both B2B and B2C.
With that in mind, look for cannabis and cannabis-related podcasts as well as podcasts focused on other topics that your target audience are likely to listen to. Reach out to them and see if they’re willing to include your business, brand, products, or services in ads during podcasts, on their website, or as a show sponsor.
Blog and Website Advertising
Cannabis-related blogs and websites not only attract the right audiences but also may allow digital advertising. For example, many of these blogs and websites allow banner ads, video ads, text ads, newsletter ads, and more.
Leafwire, CannaSOS, Cannabis Business Executive, Leafly, MJBizDaily, and New Cannabis Ventures are just some of the websites where both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies in the cannabis industry can advertise their products and services to targeted audiences.
However, don’t limit your blog and website advertising to cannabis-related blogs. Your target audience spends time on a variety of websites, so look for other kinds of blogs and sites where your audience already spends time. These could be great places to advertise.
For example, if your business is a cannabis edibles company, look for health and wellness blogs and websites. If your business sells products or services to cannabis license holders, such as dispensaries, cultivators and manufacturers, look for business-related websites and blogs that your target audiences are likely to visit in order to learn and stay on top of relevant news and current events that impact their companies.
Email Newsletter Advertising
Many online publishers send email newsletters to their subscribers and monetize those newsletters with ads and sponsors. This is a great opportunity for cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses to put their brands in front of interested audiences.
A visit to cannabis sites like Cannabis Business Executive and New Cannabis Ventures shows they’re just two of the websites that allow businesses in the cannabis industry to advertise in their email newsletters. With thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers, email newsletters can bring leads and sales to your business.
Keep in mind, email newsletter advertising is typically more expensive than blog or website advertising, but it’s certainly worth testing it and comparing the results you get from it to the other digital advertising investments you make.
Key Takeaways about Digital Advertising for Cannabis and Cannabis-Related Businesses
Digital advertising is more challenging for cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses, but it’s not impossible. Yes, it takes a bit more of an investment on your part in terms of time and money, but the results can be significant if you take the time to test and optimize.
And of course, if you want to connect with cannabis license holders for B2B email marketing and sales, the Cannabiz Media License Database provides the contact information, email marketing tools, and CRM features that you need to do it successfully. Schedule a demo and see how it can help your business grow.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.