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For businesses operating in most industries, digital advertising, is considered to be one of the most cost-effective marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, digital advertising in the cannabis industry is a bit different because many of the most popular advertising and social media platforms – such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – don’t allow ads from cannabis or cannabis-related businesses.
The good news is that doesn’t mean cannabis and cannabis-related businesses can’t invest in digital advertising. It’s just a bit more challenging and could be more expensive than some of the pay-per-click ad networks that businesses in other industries can use (like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads).
Following are three of the best ways your cannabis business or cannabis-related business can raise brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales through digital advertising despite the current obstacles.
Programmatic advertising is a cost-effective way for businesses to place ads on sites that allow cannabis and cannabis-related brand advertisements. Programmatic advertising brings advertisers together with online publishers through a shared platform where they can buy and sell advertising space through an automated process.
For cannabis brands, the automated process saves time because they don’t have to spend hours or days trying to find websites that accept cannabis-related ads, negotiate fees, and so on. The platform handles everything automatically. These platforms also save advertisers money because they use artificial intelligence to bid on ad space, so your ads are displayed at the right times to the right audiences and at the right prices.
Programmatic advertising offers a wide variety of benefits to cannabis and ancillary businesses, included advanced targeting, improved tracking, tools to reach new audiences, and more. While many popular programmatic advertising platforms don’t allow cannabis and ancillary businesses, there are some that are open to the cannabis industry. There are also platforms that cater specifically to the cannabis industry, such as Mantis and Traffic Roots.
According to The Infinite Dial 2022, an annual study by Edison Research, podcasts reach 109 million Americans age 12 and older every month. Of that audience, more than one in two listeners are men (53%) and nearly one in two are women (46%).
Furthermore, the age of podcast listeners skews younger than you might think. According to the study, 50% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 34 are monthly podcast listeners compared to 43% of people 35-54 years old and 22% of people age 55 or older.
The data tells us podcast advertising is a viable way for cannabis and ancillary businesses to connect with their target audiences. This includes both B2B and B2C.
With that in mind, look for cannabis and cannabis-related podcasts as well as podcasts focused on other topics that your target audiences are likely to listen to. Reach out to these podcasts and see if they’re willing to include your business, brand, products, or services in ads during shows, on their website, or as a show sponsor.
Cannabis-related blogs and websites not only attract the right audiences but also may allow digital advertising. For example, many of these blogs and websites allow banner ads, video ads, text ads, newsletter ads, and more.
Leafwire, Ganjapreneur, CannaSOS, Cannabis Business Executive, Leafly, MJBizDaily, and New Cannabis Ventures are just some of the websites where both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) companies in the cannabis industry can advertise their products and services to targeted audiences.
However, don’t limit your blog and website advertising to cannabis-related blogs. Research shows 77% of internet users read blogs, and they’re not all cannabis-related. Your target audience spends time on a variety of websites, so look for other kinds of blogs and sites where your audience already spends time. These could be great places to advertise.
For example, if your business is a cannabis edibles company, look for health and wellness blogs and websites. If your business sells products or services to cannabis license holders, such as dispensaries, cultivators and manufacturers, look for business-related websites and blogs that your target audiences are likely to visit in order to learn and stay on top of relevant news and current events that impact their companies.
Many online publishers send email newsletters to their subscribers and monetize those newsletters with ads and sponsors. This is a great opportunity for cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses to put their brands in front of interested audiences.
A visit to cannabis sites like Cannabis Business Executive, Ganjapreneur, and New Cannabis Ventures shows they’re just a few of the websites that allow businesses in the cannabis industry to advertise in their email newsletters or through one-off email marketing campaigns. With thousands or tens of thousands of subscribers, email newsletters can bring leads and sales to your business.
Keep in mind, email newsletter advertising is typically more expensive than blog or website advertising, but it’s certainly worth testing it and comparing the results you get from it to the other digital advertising investments you make.
More advertising platforms, social media sites, and websites are opening up to cannabis-related businesses, but digital advertising is still more challenging for cannabis businesses and cannabis-related businesses than businesses operating in other industries. However, it’s not impossible. Yes, it takes a bit more of an investment on your part in terms of time and money, but the results can be significant if you test and optimize.
And of course, if you want to connect with cannabis license holders for B2B email marketing and sales, the Cannabiz Media License Database provides the contact information, email marketing tools, and CRM features that you need to do it successfully. Schedule a demo and see how it can help your business grow.