Top 5 Cannabis Advertising Best Practices

Top 5 Cannabis Advertising Best Practices

By Marketing / March 14, 2023

Marketing in the Cannabis and CBD industries can be challenging - follow these best practices

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, with more and more entrepreneurs entering the market daily. As the competition continues to increase, and as we find ourselves just a handful of days away from 4/20, (the marijuana holiday), it’s important for cannabis businesses to consider how they can stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.

To help Cannabis and CBD business owners get the most out of their advertising efforts, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best practices.

1. Build a solid foundation: When kicking off any good marketing campaign, you want to ensure you’ve got the “house in order” first. This means ensuring you have a well-functioning and informative website in place to aid customers throughout their purchase journey with your business. With nearly 55% of U.S. consumers surveyed reported to have purchased their CBD products online via the company’s website in 2022, it’s no doubt that consumers are expecting cannabis-based businesses to have an established online presence in place.In addition to having a good website, staying competitive can be a challenge. While paid search is still unavailable across Google for cannabis-based businesses, managing your website’s ranking and placement on search results pages through search engine optimization is also very important. A robust SEO strategy can deepen your brand recognition and ensure your company’s website appears as an answer to local queries about where to find the products and services you sell in the cannabis and CBD space.

2. Know your target audience: The first step in any successful advertising campaign is to know who you are targeting. Are you trying to attract new customers or reach out to existing ones? Are you targeting a specific demographic or geographic area? Take the time to research your target audience and figure out the best way to reach them.

Programmatic advertising is a comprehensive type of marketing that is generally available and acceptable for the CBD and Cannabis based industries. Using audience-targeted, programmatic digital advertising, there are several types of targeting and ad types that canna-businesses can utilize to reach their target audiences:

  • Search Retargeting - Retargets users based on their search terms with recency controls to target instantly or up to one month later
  • Keyword Contextual - Utilizes a custom list of keywords relevant to the product or service, and retargets users who view content featuring those keywords
  • Site Retargeting - Re-engages website visitors by serving them ads as they visit other sites
  • Category Contextual - Serves ads on website pages that are categorically relevant to the product or service
  • Geo-Optimization - Targets users who are located in relevant cities and states
  • Addressable Geofencing - Reaches all connected devices within a household or business property address

Programmatic advertising campaigns offer a variety of ad creative types, including standard display ad units, native advertising (which is made to look like articles that appear on the site), or more engaging ad types, including pre-roll video, audio, and connected TV/OTT.

3. Be creative, but know the limits: Cannabis advertising can often be a challenge from a creative standpoint. Understanding and abiding by the advertising guidelines set forth by ad networks and local and federal governments is vital. Ensure your creative messaging is unique and memorable, while following applicable digital advertising guidelines with the following quick checklist:

  • ▢  Don’t feature marijuana leafs or people consuming your product
  • ▢  Don’t make medical or health claims or statements
  • ▢  Don’t openly appeal to adolescents or use cartoons to depict your product
  • ▢  Include license # if your business is a dispensary
  • ▢  Ensure ensure your ad links to a website page with an age gate

4. Monitor and adjust: Don’t just set up an advertising campaign and forget about it. Monitor the performance of your ad campaigns and marketing efforts, and make adjustments if necessary. Try different tactics and see which ones work best for your business.

5. Track results: Finally, make sure you are tracking the performance of your advertising campaigns. This will help you understand which tactics are performing and which are not, allowing you to make campaign adjustments to maximize your return-on-investment.

Advertising in the highly-regulated industry of cannabis presents unique challenges and opportunities for companies looking to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals. Digital advertising is a great way to attract new customers and grow your business in this space. By following these best practices, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your advertising efforts and setting yourself up for success.

At AffinityX, we understand the importance of adhering to these best practices, and we help guide our customers to achieve their marketing goals. Our team of experts has extensive experience in cannabis marketing, and we are committed to providing our you with the support and expertise you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about advertising your cannabis or CBD-based business!