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10 Marijuana Marketing Ideas For Online & Retail Dispensaries
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If you’re looking for the best marijuana marketing ideas all in one spot, you’re in the right place! In this article we discuss the top 10 best marijuana marketing ideas to grow your cannabis or CBD business.

These Are The Best Marijuana Marketing Ideas For Your Cannabis & CBD Business

Does your marketing strategy include a handful of effective marijuana marketing ideas, or are you keeping things simple and only using social media to promote your dispensary or ancillary cannabis business?

Social media is an integral part of any marijuana marketing plan simply because that’s where your demographic spends most of their time and attention.

But social media also has many restrictions on both the organic, non paid side, as well as on the advertising side, so as a responsible marijuana entrepreneur, I’m betting you’d like some new options when it comes to the marijuana marketing ideas in your toolbox.

Don’t get me wrong, daily social media management should still play a part in your marijuana marketing mix and you should also try to run a few Instagram ad campaigns in hopes that your ads will be approved.

Social media advertising for marijuana is possible, and it does work, but it is a challenge to get your ads approved.

The same goes for advertising marijuana on Google and Bing search engines.

It is possible to advertise marijuana on Google, and many CBD brands are currently getting away with it, but it’s still a challenge to get search and display ads approved for marijuana and CBD products.

The good news is that there are plenty of options for marketing marijuana and CBD products that don’t even include advertising.

Below we’ll discuss and outline 10 marijuana marketing ideas to help grow your business, with and without any paid advertising.

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10 Marijuana Marketing Ideas To Build Your Business

Digital advertising is one of the best ideas for marketing marijuana because digital advertising platforms like Google and Bing attract “bottom of the funnel” potential customers directly to your website or landing page to buy marijuana or CBD products.

Look at it this way, no one goes to Facebook or Instagram when they want to buy marijuana or CBD online.

But, they will go to Google, or Bing search to look for the most convenient way to buy whatever marijuana and CBD products they’re looking for at that time.

We’ll split our 10 marijuana marketing ideas into those that require advertising and a few that require no advertising and therefore have no content restrictions.

Let’s break down our first marijuana marketing idea, digital advertising, into the 5 most effective options. It’s important to note that only one of these 5 options actually accepts marijuana and CBD advertising.

Marijuana marketing tips and ideas #1 - use Google Ads in your cannabis and CBD marketing strategy. Marijuana marketing agency in USA and Canada. Cannabis marketing company.

1. Google Advertising

  • Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, has advertising policies that restrict advertising for cannabis and CBD products and services.
  • But, Google also allows ads for CBD and marijuana-related products and services – we’ve all seen examples of CBD advertising in Google search which you can see here.
  • So based on this evidence, when meeting with clients and offering our professional recommendations, we always suggest that they try Google Ads as one of the marijuana marketing ideas they choose to implement.
  • Both Google and Bing offer search and display advertising options.
  • Search advertising, also known as paid search advertising, Google advertising, and search engine marketing (SEM), is a marketing technique that places your online advertisements in search engine results. Businesses who place ads pay a small fee every time somebody clicks on one of their ads (this is known as “pay-per-click”, or PPC advertising).
  • Display advertising is advertising on websites or apps or social media through banners or other popular ad formats like text, images, and video.
Use Bing Search Ads and Display ads in your marijuana marketing strategy. Marijuana SEO agency. Marijuana digital marketing company.

2. Bing Advertising

  • According to this study, Bing owns 33% of the search market in the United States, Google owns the rest. That’s a huge share of people searching to buy marijuana online.
  • If you’re up to trying Google Ads as one of your marijuana marketing ideas, why not split your media budget and run campaigns on Bing search as well?
  • If you focus your marijuana advertising on Google only, you’d be missing out on 33% of potential customers finding you through an online search.
  • If your budget allows for advertising on two platforms, we’d highly recommend you combine these two marijuana marketing ideas into one combined search marketing strategy.
  • Just like Google, Bing offers you ad placement on the Bing search network as well as the Bing Display Network.
Facebook & Instagram marijuana marketing tips and ideas. Marijuana marketing strategy. Cannabis and CBD marketing agency.

3. Instagram & Facebook Advertising

  • The amount of impressions and engagement a business can get on an Instagram or Facebook Ad is absolutely insane as compared to the reach your brand gets on daily organic posts on either platform combined.
  • The issue is that Facebook and Instagram can be super hardcore when it comes to approving marijuana and CBD ads.
  • We’ve all seen ads for CBD products on Facebook and Instagram, just like we do on Google. But, advertising restrictions do exist and while some brands are able to get their ads approved, many aren’t as lucky.
  • Sometimes, those that are fortunate enough to get their marijuana ads approved initially, end up getting flagged, disapproved, or at worse, having their account shut down.
  • We have been able to advertise medical marijuana on Facebook, Google, and YouTube in 2017, and 2018. Our campaign was approved upon submission and ran successfully for the 4-month term of the campaign.
  • On the flip side, we’ve tried to advertise marijuana & CBD products on Facebook and Instagram for other client’s and have not been able to get our ads approved.
  • When it comes to the best marijuana marketing ideas, we wouldn’t say that Facebook and Instagram advertising is your best option. However, we do recommend strategically testing at least one campaign on Instagram to see if you’ll be approved.
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Third Party Native Ad Networks

Now we get to the digital advertising option that actually accepts CBD and marijuana advertising. This is great news for any marijuana business owner who is set on using digital advertising as part of their marketing strategy.

One of the best marijuana marketing ideas we can offer our clients is to use 3rd party native ad networks to promote your marijuana products online or your cannabis retail store locations.

There are hundreds of 3rd part native ad networks that allow for cannabis and CBD advertising. Here’s a list of some of our favorites and others we cannot wait to test.

Mantis ad network logo. Cannabis advertising ideas. Use Mantis ad network for marijuana advertising.

4. Mantis Ad Network

  • Mantis bills themselves as local advertising made simple. They offer a digital advertising platform for CBD and marijuana companies to advertise their products and services.
  • Some of the marijuana marketing ideas Mantis offers on their platform are display ads, native ads, and video ad placements.
  • The Mantis ad network consists of more than 500 websites with niche audiences seeking cannabis, yoga, music, wellness, and other real-life content.
  • Their pricing for display ads is CPC based. Clicks can run from $0.99 – $10.00 depending on inventory, competition, and targeting factors. Display ads run on popular niche websites.
  • Native ads on the Mantis ad network are in the form of Sponsored Content and typically is priced a little lower than display ads. They provide a super opportunity to drive highly qualified, top of the funnel traffic to your website.
  • As far as video advertising placements go, it’s still in beta but many CBD brands use video ads on the Mantis ad network as a marijuana marketing idea to boost brand awareness.
  • Pricing for video ads is around $12 per 1000 views, and you only get charged when someone actually views your video advertisement (vCPM).
  • Read more about Mantis and native advertising platforms here.
Outbrain ad network logo. Cannabis advertising tips. MArijuana marketing advertising ideas with outbrain. ColaDigital.ca is a cannabis and CBD marketing agency.

5. Outbrain Native Advertising Platform

  • Outbrain is a popular 3rd party native advertising platform and calls themselves the “world’s leading premium discovery platform”.
  • Outbrain offers marijuana advertisers programmatic native ad placements on premium websites like CNN, Ha’aretz, Le Parisien, Time, Fortune, ABCNews.
  • These highly targeted placements use proprietary data to help CBD and marijuana marketers drive results, whether they are looking to generate awareness, engagement, or conversions.
  • You can use Outbrain to drive traffic to your blog articles to get potential customers into your marketing funnel or send them right to your website store to purchase.
  • If you’re looking for marijuana marketing ideas to drive high-quality traffic to your site, building your audience exposure and increasing leads and conversions, Outbrain’s ad platform is for you.
  • For more information on Outbrain and other native ad platforms, go here.
pulsepoint programmatic advertising for marijuana marketing.

6. PulsePoint

  • PulsePoint is a new and interesting digital advertising platform that I’m very eager to test. I’m currently in discussion with a representative in order to choose the right client for this network.
  • They describe themselves as platforms that distribute welcome advertising to the right consumers and physicians and create real connections across the internet.
  • They claim to serve ads to 91% of the US population and reach 70% of health care professionals.
  • PulsePoint offers global reach and scale with access to qualified health-seeking consumers and professionals across health, social and video platforms.
  • They are the 5th largest ad exchange and work with around 5,000 publishers with nearly 20,000 domains.
  • All costs are CPM or CPC based, depending on the type of media purchased. Majority of ads would be billed at CPM and costs vary depending on the type of targeting.
  • Typically, marijuana marketer’s are seeing ranges from $6-$20 CPM.
Traffic roots logo. marijuana advertising tips and ideas. Marijuana marketing and SEO agency.

7. Traffic Roots

  • Traffic Roots is another new digital display ad network to help you execute your marijuana marketing and advertising ideas.
  • They describe their platform as connecting the gap between digital display advertising and the modern lifestyle.
  • This ad platform can help your marijuana marketing efforts by reaching more consumers, on reputable websites, and with minimum effort.
  • Our network provides traffic from traditionally unavailable niches through our trusted network of lifestyle branded websites.
  • Their goal is to increase marijuana marketing success by creating an advertising platform built for niche audiences interested in music, yoga, sports, cannabis, and other modern lifestyles.
  • Traffic Roots says they have a wide network of websites that offer marijuana advertisers a unique opportunity to connect with high-quality content unavailable with Facebook, Google, and other advertising networks.
  • They use traditional, web-based campaigns as well as closed-circuit displays, emerging video ads and streaming television markets.
Marijuana marketing ideas that don't include advertising.

Marijuana Marketing Ideas Without Advertising

So far, we’ve outlined 7 marijuana marketing ideas that all include some form of paid advertising. Three of the seven marketing ideas also include strict advertising regulations and restrictions.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to market marijuana, in legal countries and states, using traditional and digital advertising platforms?

We’re not there yet, but we will be soon. Until then, let’s outline 3 more marijuana marketing ideas that do not include any paid advertising or media budget.

Email marketing for marijuana companies and dispensaries. Marijuana email marketing company.

8. Email Marketing

  • Using email to connect with your new and existing customers is probably one of the best marijuana marketing ideas out there.
  • However, I’m not sure many online or retail dispensaries are making use of this lucrative tactic to market marijuana and grow their business.
  • Email marketing for marijuana companies can be an extremely profitable marijuana marketing idea for your online or retail store dispensary.
  • It’s one of the most effective ways for you to stay in touch with your customers to offer special deals and reasons to come back to your online store or into your marijuana retail dispensary.
  • Ninety-Two percent of adults who use the internet use email. Sixty-One percent of adults check email daily.
  • 91 percent of US adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with (MarketingSherpa)
  • Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers. (McKinsey)
Marijuana SEO agency. Marijuana marketing company. Cannabis marketing ideas and tips for dispensaries.

9. Marijuana SEO For Marijuana Websites

  • Eighty percent of consumers will conduct online research to learn about the features, benefits, and reviews of a product/service before actually purchasing from a business.
  • With the high level of competition with cannabis retail stores, online dispensaries, CBD oil, and other CBD products, your online visibility needs to be a priority in your marijuana marketing strategy.
  • If one of your marijuana marketing ideas is to build a website conversion funnel, and you need an effective strategy to drive highly qualified people to your website to fill to the top of your funnel, we highly recommend implementing a marijuana SEO strategy on your website.
  • Marijuana SEO makes your website search engine friendly and easily found in relevant search results, but it doesn’t stop there. SEO is never a one-and-done thing.
  • In order to rank on page 1 for a relevant search query, your website needs to score high with Google in terms of relevance, authority, and trustworthiness when not comes to each specific search query.
  • How do you build and maintain your site’s relevance, authority, and trust on the topic of cannabis and CBD products?
  • You need to implement a blog content marketing strategy and regularly publish relevant, high-quality, SEO optimized content that answers the questions your target market is asking about CBD and marijuana products.
  • The goal of marijuana SEO is to drive qualified traffic to your website from organic search engines like Google & Bing.
  • The bonus of marijuana SEO is that it’s free – meaning there is no paid advertising spend required in order to get results!
Marijuana marketing tip #10: Publish marijuana blog content with marijuana SEO. Cannabis marketing agency.

10. Marijuana Blog Content Marketing

  • Our final marketing tactic on our list of the best marijuana marketing ideas ties directly into #9 SEO.
  • SEO and content marketing work hand-in-hand to build your website’s relevance, authority, and trust with users and with search engines.
  • Our recommendation when it comes to marijuana blog content for your website is to make sure your content fills an informational/educational need for your audience, not just a marketing need for your brand.
  • Use free and paid keyword research tools to find the long-tail search queries that your target market is typing into Google, and use those as blog content topics.
  • The more high-quality blog content you have on your website, the better the chance of Google scoring your site high on relevance and authority metrics, and boosting your site’s search engine rankings.
  • Your blog content must be in-depth to be high-quality. A 500-word blog article just won’t cut it.
  • You should aim to publish 2-4 x 1200 word SEO optimized blog articles on your website each month in order to develop your site’s domain authority, relevance, and trust.
  • To learn more about using blog content in your marijuana marketing mix, check out our marijuana content marketing services.
Marijuana marketing tips from cannabis SEO and marketing agency ColaDigital.ca.

We Can Help You Develop & Execute The Best Marijuana Marketing Ideas For Your Business

We understand it may feel overwhelming to consider adding any of the 10 marijuana marketing ideas listed above into your current marketing strategy, but we can help you find the most effective marijuana marketing strategies for your unique business.

You don’t have to implement every one of these marketing ideas, but you absolutely should identify which marketing strategies will be most profitable for your business. That’s where we can help.

If you’re interested in digital advertising options or a marijuana search engine optimization strategy for your website, please follow those links for more information.

If you’re ready to get started, please contact us for a free consultation or to request a quote.

We’re Ready To Help You Grow!

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