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Medical Marijuana Advertising on Facebook, Google, and YouTube
Medical cannabis advertising on Facebook. How to advertise cannabis and marijuana on Facebook. Case Study by Cola Digital Cannabis Marketing. Facebook advertising company for dispensaries.


This is the 2018 case study on how to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

If you’d like to read the 2017 case study of how we advertised medical cannabis on Facebook alone, please go here.

To read the case study on how we advertised cannabis services on Google PPCplease go here.

Medical Marijuana Advertising – 2018 Case Study

Yes, it is possible to advertise medical marijuana on Facebook, Google, and YouTube. No joke and we have two case studies to prove it.

In 2017, we were able to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook and improve the overall attendance for the Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2017 by 25% (YoY).

This was the second year in a row for us managing the cannabis-related digital advertising for the Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2018, and we proud to say we had a second consecutive year of increasing attendance by double digits year over year!

We’ve outlined our 2018 campaign in the medical marijuana advertising case study below.

Our 2018 case study includes Facebook advertising, but this year we added Google search and Google display advertising to our client’s cannabis digital marketing strategy.

Note that our 2017 campaign was on Facebook only. For the 2017 case study, titled “Can Marijuana and Cannabis Related Industries Advertise on Facebook?“, please follow the link.

Now let’s get into the details of our 2018 campaign for how we advertising medical cannabis on Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

If you’d like to download this case study and read it later, please feel free to do so by clicking the image below.

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How We Succeded Advertising MMJ on Facebook, Google, and YouTube

Executive Summary

  • Campaign Dates: June 14 – October 3, 2018
  • Increased 2018 trade show attendance by 20% (YoY).
    • Note – in 2017, we increased the 2017 trade show attendance by 25% (YoY).
  • 2018 Campaign KPIs:
    • Total Impressions: 1,003,863
    • Total Clicks: 5,475 (GDN & FB only)
    • Total Average CPC: $1.12
    • Average Video Ad % Watched: 45%
    • Total Spent (CAD): $5,906.89

Our Strategy For Advertising Medical Cannabis on Facebook & Google

  • Over 2 years (2017 &2018), we increased attendance for the Canadian Greenhouse Conference by 45% by using Facebook, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.
  • We were able to target medical cannabis growers using the term “medical cannabis” in the advertising copy and medical cannabis imagery as part of the ad creative.
  • Used creative copywriting tactics to get our ads approved by Facebook and Google.
  • Facebook’s strict advertising policies state that ads must not promote prescription or recreational drugs or drug-related products.
  • Typically, using terms like “cannabis”“marijuana”, and “MMJ” will get your Facebook Ads disapproved.
  • We learned from our 2017 campaign and case study for this client that we could get our Facebook and Google Ads approved by adding a hyphen between medical cannabis, i.e. “medical-cannabis”, so we tried that in our 2018 campaign.
  • It was a No Go! Our Ads were disapproved on Facebook!
  • So we strategically edited our ads and simply changed “medical-cannabis” to “Medical-Cannabis”, adding an uppercase M an uppercase C, while keeping the hyphen.
  • No Go, again! Our Ads were disapproved on Facebook, again! It seems the hyphen trick from 2017 isn’t working in 2018.
  • Our team is tenacious.
  • We tried “MedicalCannabis”, all one word, with the uppercase and we managed to get our ads approved and stay approved for the campaign term (14-weeks).

Our Cannabis Targeting Strategy For Facebook & Google Ads

Cold Audience:

  • Horticultural and agricultural industry professionals  
  • Fruit & vegetable growers
  • Nursuries
  • Medical Cannabis growers
  • We used video ads this year on FB as opposed to image ads used in 2017.
  • Video Ads that did the best included:
    • Short, quick, engaging “lifestyle” type messaging that gets to the point and creates awareness
    • The videos that focused on the conference didn’t do as well as those focused on lifestyle.

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Warm Audience:

  • Strategic Retargeting Campaigns to:
    • Everyone who interacted with the 2017 campaign ads
    • Everyone who signed up to the mailing list and/or purchased a registration for the 2017 campaign.
    • All website visitors
    • Anyone who abandons their cart and purchase process

Our 2018 Campaign Results & KPIs

Facebook Ads: 0:15 Video Ads

  • Reach: 77,322
  • Impressions: 200,067
  • Average Cost per 1000 Impressions – CPM: $16.35
  • Video Ad -Avg Percentage Watched: 45.29%
  • Total Clicks: 2,350
  • CPC: $1.39
  • Total Link Clicks: 865
  • Average Cost per Link Click: $3.78
  • Average Cost Per Result: $57.31
  • Total Spent: $3,270.42
  • Total Increase in Registrations (Conversions): 20%

Google Display Network Ads: Image Ads

  • Ad Impressions: 796,699
  • Clicks: 3,125
  • Avg CPC: $0.84
  • Total Cost per Conversion: $145.07
  • Interaction Rate: 0.40%
  • Total Spent: $2,611.21
  • Total Increase in Registrations (Conversions): 20%

YouTube Pre-Roll Ads – 0:15 Video Ads

  • Ad Impressions: 7,097
  • Views: 4,272
  • Interaction Rate: 60.19%
  • Avg Cost per View: $0.01
  • Total Spent: $25.26 (test campaign only)
  • Total Increase in Registrations (Conversions): 20%

About Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2018

  • The Canadian Greenhouse Conference is a two-day large trade show with over 300 booths.
  • Took place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario in October 2017 and 2018.
  • Targets fruits, vegetable, flower, medical cannabis, and nursery growers
  • Provides valuable information and experts in the industry to help grow their business
  • Also helps attendees network with other professionals to share industry challenges and solutions  

What’s Next For Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2019?

  • Due to the success of our medical marijuana advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google, the Canadian Greenhouse Conference 2019 is set to roll out the first week in October 2019, at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.
  • Our cannabis marketing team at ColaDigital.ca will be managing the MMJ marketing and advertising plan for the conference for the third year in a row!

Start Your Cannabis Advertising Strategy Today

If you’re struggling with marketing and promoting your medical marijuana, recreational cannabis, or CBD products we can help you navigate the complex world of digital advertising.

ColaDigital.ca is a highly experienced cannabis digital marketing agency. We’ve been able to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook in 2017 and 2018.  Download the case study here.

If you need help to craft, execute, and manage the social media marketing for your cannabis store we can help! Our team has been implementing digital strategy since 2004, we believe our experience speaks for itself.

We’ve served over 100 clients in a wide variety of B2B and B2C sectors, including companies in the medical cannabis space.

We know what works and what doesn’t.

Please contact us or reach out using the contact form below.

We’re ready to help you grow!

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