Digital Marketing in the Cannabis Industry

Canna-Biz Marketing 101: Marketing Your Cannabis Business in the Digital Realm

In advertising, branding, Cannabis Marketing 101, content writing, digital marketing, marijuana marketing by Nicole Flanigan

In the last couple of weeks, we discussed a few do’s and don’ts for marketing new cannabis businesses and we checked out a few ways cannabis businesses can still utilize forms of traditional advertisements. This week, we will be going in-depth into the world of digital advertising and help you find a couple good ways to grow your business while navigating through the current, messy landscape of the cannabis market. Check it out!:

What is digital marketing and how can it help me?

Digital marketing essentially brings all internet based or electronic communications to your audience from your brand. Digital marketing examples include blogs and websites, the use of SEO, and even email marketing.

Businesses of all sizes are finding digital marketing methods more and more appealing for a variety of reasons. For one thing, more people are spending time online than ever before, which makes most digital marketing efforts really easy. Using measurements like clicks, conversion rates and impressions make digital marketing success or failure easier to determine. These pieces of information will give you crucial data that will help you determine if your marketing efforts are paying off or need to be redesigned.

Tips for Cannabis Businesses entering the digital marketing realm.

Below are several recommendations for how to use digital marketing channels to effectively grow your cannabis business:

  1. Advertise on Industry Websites – compile a list of several cannabis-specific websites and online communities. You can use options like Leafly or Weedmaps to list your business there, OR you can look into advertising opportunities with online publications, like WeedWeek.
  2. Familiarize Yourself with IAB’s Digital Ad Placement Standards – The Interactive Advertising Bureau has created standardized dimensions for developing digital ad units. You can use the IAB framework to streamline your workflow and help you build large campaigns that you can display across a variety of digital ad spaces.
  3. Develop Digital Content – Content is always king in the cannabis space. People are becoming more and more curious about it as legalization trends continue, so you should take this opportunity to create content that is relevant and valuable to consumers in some way. Blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts and so much more can all be used on your own website or in partnership with a company like Weedmaps, Leafly, or Leafbuyer. As this content is used and shared, your brand is being exposed to a larger and newer audience that could be interested in your business.
  4. Use SEO Best Practices – SEO best practices are designed to make sure that your website can be easily indexed by search engine spiders that way when a search is performed for “dispensary in Denver” Google can find the most relevant result that the searcher would be looking for. Here’s an excellent guide on SEO best practices that can help you get found on search engines. Not sure if SEO is too complicated? Join our Dispensary in a Box program.
  5. Use Native Advertising Options – Native advertising is great for building your business’s SEO value. Native advertising presents ads in content form, which works seamlessly to integrate with a website. Traditional ads that appear in pop-ups or in sidebars are largely ineffective. After so many years of seeing them, most people block them out without even thinking about it. By using native ads you can captivate an audience with well-presented material that isn’t an obvious attempt at marketing. Native ads also typically require the use of keywords that you use in your SEO, so it gives you a nice boost.
  6. GIFs are still cool – Animated GIFs are some of the best tools out there to communicate with an audience by providing movement to an otherwise pretty static ad. GIFs allow you to give big-picture content without the limitations of fixed images. It also helps draw the attention of page visitors and helps your ad stand out.
  7. Use Promo Codes and Tracking Campaigns – The biggest part of digital marketing is making sure that your efforts are MEASURABLE. If you can’t measure how well your ads are performing, you won’t know which tactics you should abandon or work harder on. If you’re offering a special deal, use a promo code so you can track the number of people who took advantage of it. Using a tracking campaign to a landing page will show you how many people are being driven to your website from which outlet. These tools will help you to monitor your efforts and help you be able to tell how well your audience is responding so that you can adjust your focus as you see fit.
  8. Collect Data and Build Targeted Campaigns – Collecting a list of email addresses and other data from your customers is crucial to communication because you’ll be able to segment your audience in different ways. When you segment your audience, you can ensure that all of your contacts will get a message that is relevant to them. For example, you wouldn’t want to send an email promoting some of your hemp apparel to a group of your customers who have already purchased that same hemp apparel online. You can also use it to communicate events, promotions, or other newsworthy information to your customers and leads. Just don’t email too often. Everyone hates email spam.

In next week’s blog, we will be diving deep into the in and outs of social media marketing for cannabis businesses where you will learn what is okay to share and what isn’t as well as which strategies work the best, so keep an eye out!