cannabis advertisements
cannabis advertisements

What Advertising Plan Work Best for Cannabis Businesses?

How Do You Get Traffic To Your Site When You Can't Buy Any?

Posted by:
Lemon Knowles on Monday Feb 19, 2018

What Advertisement Plan Works Best for Cannabis Businesses? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


To succeed, a business needs an effective advertising and marketing plan. This is especially true for new business and entrepreneurs.


The regulations surrounding the cannabis industry are always in flux. Cannabis businesses need to navigate the complicated restrictions placed on them. The limits set at state and federal level make it difficult for entrepreneurs to build awareness around their products.


How can you reach your target audience? What’s the best advertising plan you can use?  How do you grow your brand? These are questions any cannabis business owner must answer. The types of marketing and advertising available to the cannabis industry are limited. However, there are many tactics, traditional and new, that you can use to increase brand awareness and target audiences.


Let’s take a look at them.


Offline Advertising

This brings together traditional advertising outlets like newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV.

While some of these may be extremely limited due to regulations, you shouldn’t cross them off your list. Traditional channels can still be incredibly useful. However, it’s important to note that offline advertising can carry high costs and its impact is difficult to measure.


Alternative Newspapers and Print Outlets

Traditional print outlets tend to have strict restrictions on what they advertise. The same doesn't apply to alternative and non-mainstream publications. Look for the ones that operate within your area. Ask for printed copies of each issue and its pass-along rate. Then, ask about their advertising opportunities and related costs. These non-mainstream publications will expand your local reach and help build your audience.


Industry-Specific Magazines and Periodicals

These are an obvious choice. Cannabis focused magazines and periodicals are a natural medium to advertise. They cater to the specific audience you want to reach. Some of these are available in dispensaries and medical marijuana waiting rooms. You might be able to choose between glossy magazines and traditional newsprint. A magazine should have a longer shelf life, but newsprint ads should be cheaper.


However, there is a downside to industry-specific magazines and periodicals. Your brand will have to work harder to stand out amidst all of the other cannabis specific advertisements.


Complementary Magazines

If you know about your customer's interests outside of cannabis, you can advertise in complementary magazines. For example, ads in cigar, beer or other adult lifestyle publications can help build your brand.


Radio Advertising

This includes both traditional radio as well as podcasts and internet shows. Compelling radio content allows you to reach audiences you may not have access to otherwise. However, be aware that traditional radio may have state and federal restrictions. Consider advertisements or sponsorships for podcasts and internet radio shows.


Video Advertising

There’s nothing more compelling than video content. However, traditional television channels are still off limits for cannabis entrepreneurs. However, this doesn’t limit you from creating great video content online. You can reach new audiences via YouTube channels and social media sites like Instagram.


social media ads

Online Advertising

This encompasses all of the digital communication of your brand. You can reach out to your audience via websites, blogs, search engine optimization, email marketing and ads.


Online advertising is a boon for any cannabis business marketing. The percentage of people searching online for brands grows daily. The restrictions that exist for traditional advertising are less or almost non-existent for online advertising. You can use digital marketing to obtain key performance metrics such as clicks and conversion rates. Your business can use this data to make critical marketing decisions.


Let’s look at some of the tools at your disposal.


Industry Relevant Websites

These are cannabis-specific websites and online communities. You can list your business here or look for advertising space. Your target audience hangs out here, and you can target them directly. However, you do run the risk of being lost in the crowd of other brands.

Digital Content

Use online advertising to develop, sponsor and distribute digital content. Create blog posts, infographics, videos, and other compelling media around your brand. Digital content is easily shared, which can make your potential outreach huge. You will continuously expose your brand name to a new audience. You can connect and build trust with customers.


Search Engine Optimization

When you want your website to be at the top of the search results, you employ search engine optimization. SEO will make your site more accessible to index for search engines like Google or Yahoo. MJSEO is a new company that does SEO specific targeting for cannabis businesses and websites.


A search engine optimization will display your website to your target audience. Identify the keywords your audience uses. Implement them throughout the content of your website, meta descriptions and title tags. Provide reputable links to relevant industry sources. Update your website regularly so that search engines crawl your site regularly.


However, be aware that SEO is mired in controversy due to constant updates in what search engines look. Even though, every cannabis business owner should understand how SEO works and its best practices.


Native Advertising

Consumers don’t like advertisements. The best way to get around that fact is to present ads in content form. Native advertising is well-crafted content that provides visitors with inherent value. It avoids looking like marketing and integrates with the look and feel of the website itself. It is easily shareable which also allows you to improve your SEO.


Animated GIF Ads

Traditional advertisement can become static and boring. You can captivate your audience with an animated ad in the form of a GIF. The continually changing image will draw attention to your page and make your ad stand out.


Promotional Codes and Tracking URLs

Your business should keep track of the results of every advertising and marketing effort. How else will you know what’s working and what’s not? You can use promotional codes to track adoption of new deals. Implement monitoring URLs to follow the number of visitors on a landing page. These online tools will allow you to improve your efforts. Use them to determine how well your audience responds.


Customer Data for Targeted Campaigns

Successful communication between your brand and your audience depends on how well you know your audience. Build a database of customer emails and data to enhance your efforts. You will be able to reach out to a dedicated core of customers about events and promotions.

Social Media

A strong social media presence is essential for any cannabis brand looking to improve their market share. With social media, you can create content that engages consumers directly. Your business can interact with your audience, boost traffic, and increase sales.


Let’s take a quick look at some of the channels you can use:


  • Facebook: A broad platform where you can post your location, hours of operation, images, news updates, and articles.

  • Twitter: Real-time messaging of text, images, or video links that allow your cannabis business to post news updates, deals and specials.

  • Instagram: This image-driven channel allows you to share beautiful pictures of your products, your business, and any other imagery that reflects your brand.

  • YouTube: The premier site for video marketing and building customer engagement.




An effective advertising plan can boost the success of a cannabis business. We hope you found this article useful for your brand.


Did you know about all of the benefits of offline and online advertising? Are there any you would like us to cover more deeply? Please let us know in the comments.


What is the Best Advertising for Cannabis Companies? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.











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