Cannabis legalization in many states around the USA has created a massive demand for cannabis products. But the industry still faces strict regulations, especially in advertising and marketing. Since most consumers today prefer shopping on the internet, it’s natural for cannabis dispensaries to conduct a majority of their business online.
What online marketing restrictions apply to cannabis products?
Google and Facebook are two of the biggest platforms for online advertising. However, most cannabis online marketing happens via other media properties. A significant contributor to the issue is that there are varying regulations in every state of the US. There are some states with stricter policies than others. For instance, there shouldn’t be any unverified health claims, or images that target minors to consume the product.
In the case of Facebook, it’s prohibited to publish ads promoting recreational drugs. For cannabis products, you can’t show images of the plant or paraphernalia related to its use. However, recent policy changes now allow cannabis companies to post on Facebook as long as their account is verified.
Google has similar restrictions to Facebook, where the platform won’t allow advertising for products that result in a “high” or cause any form of mental state alteration. Regardless of whether the product is marketed as medicinal or recreational, violating these policies will result in a ban or suspension.
How to successfully market cannabis products online
Since we can’t ignore the effectiveness of online marketing to sell cannabis products, it’s essential to employ strategies that will ensure compliance with regulations. Here are our suggestions on how to successfully market online:
- Publish educational and useful content. When using platforms like social media, there are many things to avoid. But, you can never go wrong by focusing on content that aims to educate or provide useful information. Instead of promoting, your content should share facts, current news, and details to answer common questions from consumers.
- Create high-quality blog posts. A great many companies that sell cannabis products use blogs to increase consumer engagement. Blog posts don’t promote and aren’t really advertising, which makes them ideal for encouraging readers to learn more about cannabis and ancillary products. Also, blog posts can be shared on social media, making their reach more extensive and organic.
- Try podcasting. Nowadays, podcasting is quite popular. People that listen to audio content at various times during the day prefer podcasts because they are often information, engaging, and entertaining too. Another advantage of podcasts is the opportunity to speak with experts in the field. You can discuss and address misconceptions and other issues that impact the industry.
Although mainstream social media channels aren’t as friendly towards cannabis-related content, these tips will help you get around those restrictions. You can also diversify your marketing efforts by advertising on social media platforms that allow cannabis-related ad content. Social media sites like Leafwire, Weedable, and MjLink are specific examples of platforms specifically designed to connect cannabis businesses and consumers.
Of course, using mainstream online marketing platforms will have significant benefits in the long run. Nevertheless, you can begin your online marketing efforts using cannabis-friendly sites that will guarantee consumer engagement and help you network with other businesses in the industry.