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Cannabis Marketing: Easy-to-Follow Guide with 19 Proven Methods

Effective marketing is super vital to the success and growth of any business, especially a new one. Still, with the current status of cannabis in flux, many marijuana startups are finding it challenging to sail through the storm of advertising restrictions that state legislators have placed on new business owners.

It’s even tougher to build national awareness across the varying limitations of federal and state laws. The only way to outsmart the restrictions is to get creative with cannabis marketing. Here are the 19 powerful strategies you can use to reach out to your target audience.

1. Cannabis SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most effective marijuana marketing strategies. It’s a long-term project that can take 6-12 months to see results. It's also possible to see results in 3-6 months, but you need a comprehensive keyword game plan and a quantity of high-quality content published and optimized on your website.

The higher the domain authority/quality/relevance of your content, the higher the site pages will rank in search engines for related and relevant search queries. Potential buyers are searching for information on marijuana with the intent of learning more about the plant and products to purchase eventually.

You can use search engine optimization and organic search to market your brand, with no advertising restrictions, by applying an SEO tactic tailored to build and grow your domain authority and site relevance.

2. Website design

Your site is the first impression many people experience with your business. It must be informative, but it should also convey the DNA and core values that your company stands for. Plus, the site needs to be functional in order to display optimally on all devices. Not only is this essential for the user experience, but also because search engines have adjusted their algorithm to favor responsive sites.

Responsive websites are easier to find, navigate, and maintain regularly since you only have to work on one site instead of different desktop and mobile versions. Plus, you should have a mobile responsive, mobile adaptive, and mobile-optimized website, since cannabis customers, in particular, spend a lot of time on their smartphones.

3. Setup Google My Business

Setting up Google My Business is easy and will allow your company to show up on Google search and maps when users search for your dispensary or others in the nearby area. It’s free and will feature your dispensary along with its website, contact information, hours, photos, reviews, and any updates you want to share.

This is absolutely pivotal since Google is the primary way a majority of your customers will find you. Without taking the time to set this up, your business runs the risk of looking illegitimate and loses significant search engine juice.

4. Add your business to a popular directory listings

Sites like Yelp and YellowPages not only improve the chances of someone finding your dispensary but provide high-quality links going to your website. Several cannabis-related directories such as Leafly, MedicalJane, and Weedmaps exist for the same reason, but whatever you do, ensure to only use reputable directories, and begin with just a few, or else you risk hurting your marijuana SEO instead of helping it.

5. Reviews

Once you set up listings up on Google and a few directories, ask your customers to write reviews on them. This's fantastic for business when potential customers see five stars, but it's also a signal to Google that your dispensary is worth suggesting to others.

6. Content marketing

While optimized web design is essential to your online success, again, high-quality and informative content is one of the most essential elements of any online promotional strategy and cannabis branding. Content marketing is a useful cannabis branding tool businesses can use to build a stronger brand while increasing traffic and engagement.

When it comes to your website, providing relevant content will help your brand establish credibility. High-quality content not only has a high ROI, but it also builds trust, which is critical to creating brand loyalty.

Creating a brand culture founded on credibility and consumer confidence is especially important for marijuana businesses looking to stand out both online and off. To maximize ROI, you may want to invest in a cannabis SEO company or consulting agency that specializes in creating optimized content.



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7. Start a blog

The key to business success is website traffic, and posting blogs is one of the best ways to keep bringing visitors into your site. Use it to discuss events, new products, industry news, or promotions, but always try to post articles regularly. Publishing daily marijuana blog content helps your website remain relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy for the long term if incorporated consistently.

8. Instagram marketing

This platform is image-driven and ultra-popular among the cannabis community, so it's highly recommended to market your business on Instagram. While you can't have a paid advertisement, if you're in this business, you can still concentrate on organic reach. Focus on having a consistent posting schedule using a combination of branded, trending, and popular hashtags.

Share authentic pictures of your business, your products, and any other images that both reflects your brand and will resonate with the cannabis public.

9. Facebook marketing

Facebook marketing is an effective method to generate free publicity and clear up some of the confusion related to the marijuana sector and your brand. It's also a strategic way to grab the attention of traditional media looking for a cannabis expert point of view. Business pages related to this niche don't get the option of paid advertisements like other businesses. That said, organic reach is possible.

If you search the terms “marijuana” or “cannabis,” you won’t find any photos in the results. This platform has a strict policy on the promotion or the sale or use of drugs or drug-related products.

10. Twitter marketing

The biggest benefits Twitter marketing offers for commerce-driven brands is the use of promoted and retarget posts and its user experience built to track trending topics and events.

With strict guidelines for paid promotions, companies are learning and reaping the third-party credibility perks of organic promotion and outreach. Known for making/breaking trending hashtags, Twitter is a media-friendly place to break into audience conversations with the hashtags. The platform has become a source of news for users but has also become a source of information for the media.

11. YouTube marketing

If you don't get a budget or the bandwidth for YT video right now, don’t worry about this platform just yet. It’s recommended to hook your brand’s user name and create a YouTube channel if you can. That way, when you’re ready to dive into YouTube marketing, you don’t run the risk of having lost your brand’s YT page to someone else who was quicker to register it.

While the community guideline doesn’t clearly mention anything about cannabis marketing, it does state that harmful content is prohibited. So, if you’re posting about medical marijuana on YT, you won’t have a problem.

12. LinkedIn marketing

LinkedIn has similar ad restrictions as the rest of the social media platforms. A LinkedIn Business Page can serve as a platform to curate and report on industry news and company news. Its profile can be even more valuable with the PR power to unite long-form content and articles to your connections. Make sure to include video and strong visuals, thumb-stoppers that will grab the attention of your audience seeking marijuana flavored information.

13. Radio advertising

Captivating and compelling radio content can be an excellent way to introduce your brand to new audiences. Still, it can also be hard to measure the success of a radio campaign. To skip high production costs, you may want to look for Internet radio shows and podcasts that don't have a rigid structure as corporate radio.

14. Pinterest marketing

If your product is particularly attractive among females, you may want to check out Pinterest, which is 4 times as popular among women as men. This social network also boasts an audience across a wide demographic, from Baby Boomers to Millennials to Gen Xers. Make category-specific boards and pin products, images, recipes, infographics, and other things that appeal to the Pinterest audience.

15. Collaborate with influencers

An influencer’s endorsement holds a lot of impact over public opinion. Therefore, you can work with cannabis influencers to reach out to a broader audience. Find brand ambassadors who frankly believe in marijuana legalization to partner with. If you collaborate with influencers who share similar values, you’re more likely to reach out to folks who will be interested in your product.

Take, for example, Dr. Michele Ross, a neuroscientist, and health influencer. She is a respected voice in the medical community. Therefore, she would be an ideal fit for medical marijuana marketing.

16. Cannabis Email marketing

Although it may be tempting to ride a wave on social media, email marketing stays one of the most powerful marketing solutions for brands to connect with their audiences with fantastic ROI. Not only is this marketing less restrictive, but companies can also use it to deliver value to their audience through their inbox.

Whether it’s an industry update or a product promotion, cannabis email marketing is a great advertising tool marijuana brands can use without breaking the law.

17. Industry-specific magazines marketing

These kinds of publications cater to the type of audience you're wanting to bring in to your place, making them an obvious choice in which to advertise your brand. Still, bear in mind that your message can get lost in the ocean of other marijuana messaging, especially if your rivals are running ads in the same issue.

A big bonus for industry-specific magazines is they tend to be available in dispensary waiting rooms. A pass-through rate for a subscriber copy is lower than a copy distributed to a waiting room. Glossy magazines have a longer shelf life than newsprint, so a magazine will remain in a waiting room for a few months or longer versus a week for newsprint before it becomes stale. While you may have a better potential for longer-term pass-through on a glossy magazine, the tradeoff is that you might also be faced with higher ad rates.

18. Cannabis product vending machines

Vending machines have been used traditionally to advertise various types of related products, so you can come up with some fresh ideas to add to your cannabis marketing plan. One of the main selling points here is the fact that marijuana customers prefer fun ways to purchase the product and would skip the line while picking up orders.

Advantages for dispensary owners include shorter transaction times (3 minutes), the capability to monitor product quality and inventory, a chance to improve profit margins and ensure compliance while keeping your budtenders' jobs more attractive.

19. Attend events

Look for communities of marijuana enthusiasts or other like-minded interest groups and events to participate in. Highlighting your top business goals will help you find the most impactful events. You should be participating in events that are relevant and make sense for your business.

OrganicSoft – Full Service Cannabis Marketing Agency

We work directly with your cannabis business hand in hand to help it reach its full potential by leveraging the most efficient digital marketing strategies.

We attract new customers in search engines, directories, display ads, and so on. Our team composed of content marketers, graphic designers, coders, and programmers - all here to support your brand.

Call us today to work with a results-driven digital marketing agency..