The Marijuana industry, like alcohol and tobacco, can become a headache when it comes to marketing the product online. For instance, advertising on Google & Facebook is prohibited and business owners have to be careful of where they put traditional printed ads due to legal issues depending on the state. But even with all the regulations, there are still ways that you as a respected business owner can get your message out in a digital world.
Let's take a look on how digital marketing can help your marijuana business grow (see what we did there?)
1. Mobile Website Design
It is important to have consistency between the product you are selling and how you present that product online to the public. Think of your target audience and how they would interact with your website. After all, your website is the hub where your clients will learn more about your business. To keep them motivated you must have a good, mobile-responsive design tailored to their culture while navigating them through their “pain points” until they connect with your brand or convert as a customer. As of 2018, Google is no longer indexing desktop sites. As a company, they have switched to the mobile indexing of your website. If your site does not have a responsive design which translates to a mobile version, your potential clients might jump ship and go with your competitors (something you really don’t want happening).
2. Social Media
Even though marijuana has been legalized throughout many states, it is still difficult for business owners to effectively use social sites like Facebook and Instagram to advertise and create brand awareness for their target audience. Companies like MassRoots, among others, have faced backlash and have even had their company accounts deleted, and later reinstated, after a tough battle with Instagram. The business, however, has had luck advertising on Twitter and Snapchat (yeah, Snapchat is still here).
Print is not dead, though many people think it is. It actually may be one of the best ways to market your marijuana business. Print continues to have a place in the marketing mix – because it works! Just remember to read up on your state laws and seek legal advice as to where to use printed materials.
4. Local SEO
Something like local SEO may be the best way to go because it helps your marijuana business get found online. Don’t lose hope, just because your company has restrictions when it comes to marketing. Show off what your product can do! The marijuana industry now has a chance to squash the stigmas that have been placed on it over the years.
5. Magazines/News Papers
There are lots of different industry-specific magazines and newspapers out there that may be much better at advertising your restricted product.
6. Blog Posts
Blogs are a great way to show off your product, and if you have a website, a blog is a great way to bring traffic there. They should be educational, as your target audience has questions that these pieces of content can answer, thus providing value and raising you up as an expert in your field.
Place ads on radio in your nearby area (remember to keep it local and always seek out legal advice).
A commercial may not be the way to go, but starting your own YouTube channel to talk about your product could be! Giving the public information about something as restricted as cannabis can give your business the fuel that it needs to succeed. And again, we cannot stress this enough, CONTENT will give you online status as relating to your field, therefore building trust with your audience.
Look at websites that are industry-specific for advertising. If you’re advertising marijuana, a website like High-Times or Leafly may be the best route to take.
Don’t let the regulations scare you away from promoting your marijuana business. If you follow the law, you can use the best marketing tool ever created - the internet - to get your message across, build trust/brand awareness. and gain potential customers within the marijuana industry. Have questions about promoting your cannabis related business online? Reach out to Humble Fox Media and we will be more than happy to answer your questions or guide you in the process. Contact us today, we would like to hear your story.
Josué Oliveras Pérez is the SEO specialist & lead web designer at Humble Fox Media. He has helped many local businesses with their digital marketing needs for more than 3 years. In his off time, you can find him tasting some local beers around Gig Harbor, WA. Or searching for music from the 90’s at a vinyl record shop near you.