Marketing Marijuana, Controversial Marketing

Are You Struggling With Restricted Marketing?

When we talk about internet marketing, do you ever think of restricted products and how you could market them? Do you have a restricted product and are unsure how to market it?

Think about marijuana marketing. We live in a day and age where more and more things are becoming acceptable to talk about and do, but what about cannabis?

Today, we are seeing more and more states legalize marijuana for medical use, and even a select few states like Colorado, California, and Washington to name a few, have legalized it for recreational use.

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But how can you market something like marijuana to such a small group? Something that not everyone agrees with? Marijuana marketing is definitely controversial, especially since you can still go to jail for possessing it in many states. This is why it’s important to go about this the right way.

The fact that certain industries like cannabis are extremely restricted in the sort of promoting and publicizing they can use, there are different strategies cannabis businesses can use to legitimately expand familiarity with their Brand.


marijuana marketing, cannabis marketing


The Do’s and Don’ts of Marijuana Marketing

Audience

Be smart when branding. Think about who your audience is, and remember, this doesn’t just pertain to marketing cannabis; it applies to anything that is restricted. With the marijuana business growing a lot of people are raising questions and concerns.

Don’t market your business anywhere near minors. Think about big tobacco and alcohol companies and the hot water they have gotten into.

When marketing something restricted, you need to look at who your audience is, obviously, you don’t want to market something like marijuana to kids. Plus, something like cannabis isn’t legal in every state, so why waste time on marketing in different states, not to mention the different laws that may not allow you to do this.

Do market your business to the right customers. For instance, if you own a marijuana business in Las Vegas, your target audience is going to be tourist. So why not start targeting them when they get off the plane when they land in Las Vegas.

The focus should be more local, this may not pertain to every restricted product out there; however, something like cannabis is definitely more of a local focus. Think SEO local when it comes to internet marketing, look at the smaller picture rather than the bigger one.

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Branding

The marijuana business is new. As a business owner, you have the ability to create your brand from scratch. But don’t be one of these companies that get sued right away for stealing someone else’s idea.

Don’t steal someone else’s brand.

Not too long ago a cannabis dispensary sold edibles called “Reefer’s Cups” and “Mr. Dankbar.” The dispensary was sued by Hershey’s for trademark infringement soon after the products were placed on the shelves.

There will only be more cannabis-related trademark and IP legal disputes as the industry continues to grow.

A lot of things should be considered when branding:

  • Website Design – Does your website show your business in the right light? Remember, you’re not selling Cocoa Puffs; you’re selling pot.

 

  • Social Media – We all use social media, and it’s a great place to show off your brand, Just be sure and check out social media laws to see what content is prohibited from being posted (unfortunately, Facebook has a restriction when posting about cannabis). Here is a list of Prohibited Content:
    • Ilegal Products or Services
    • Tobacco Products
    • Drugs & Drug-Related Products
    • Weapons, Ammunition, or Explosives
    • And much more

 

  • Print – Print is not dead, though many people think it is, this actually may be one of the best ways to market your marijuana business or your restricted products. Print continues to have a place in the marketing mix – because it works!

 

  • SEO – Something like SEO local may be the best way to go when using SEO tools, but SEO is the best way to get your dispensary on the digital map and get found online. Just because your company has restrictions when it comes to marketing, don’t let that get you down. Show off what your product can do! The marijuana industry now has a chance to squash the stigmas that have been placed on it over the years.

Just because your company has restrictions when it comes to marketing, don’t let that get you down. Show off what your product can do! The marijuana industry now has a chance to squash the stigmas that have been placed on it over the years.

Do build your own brand.

Marijuana marketing isn’t going away anytime soon, and with more and more states legalizing it for medical and recreational use, don’t you want to be the business customers know and trust?

Laws

Most companies have freedom when it comes to marketing their products, they have no trouble staying within federal and state marketing laws and regulations, but with marijuana, it is tightly connected to a greater political movement that requires careful implementation and regulation.

Don’t break any laws.

Know the laws, every state, has different laws when it comes to marketing, especially something that’s very restricted, like marijuana. Remember, most states haven’t even legalized it for medicinal purposes.

Every state is at a different stage of legalization, there are different laws that pertain to print, tv and radio advertising, social media advertising, and event sponsorship. Also, remember your audience, you cannot advertise marijuana to minors.

Do research and learn about the laws.

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Marijuana marketing, cannabis marketingIndustry-Specific

Every industry is different and each has their own following. Marijuana marketing may not be the easiest, but know there are ways to show off your restricted product.

Industries all have their own following, so use that following to your advantage.

The gun industry has been doing this for years, as well as big tobacco and alcohol companies because most of these industries usually have some sort of controversy behind them, they use industry-specific marketing tools.

 

 

  • Magazines/News Papers – There are lots of different magazines and newspapers out there that are industry-specific, that may be a lot better when it comes to advertising your restricted product.

 

  • Blog – Blogs are a great way to show off your product, and if you have a website, a blog is a great way to bring traffic to your website.

 

  • Radio – Places ads on radio in your local area (remember to keep it local).

 

  • Video – A commercial may not be the way to go, but starting your own YouTube channel to talk about your product could be, giving the public information about something as restricted as cannabis can give your business the fuel that it needs.

 

  • Internet – Look at websites that are industry-specific for advertising, if you’re advertising marijuana, a website like High-Times or Leafly may be your best route to go.

 

These may be more of a traditional way to market your restricted product and might carry a higher cost, but if you can show the benefits of the product, eventually your product may become less restricted.

We have seen how marijuana has become more and more ok to talk about and advertise over the last few years because more and more states begun to legalize it.

Don’t be afraid to market your restricted product, industries have been doing it forever, just make sure and know the laws inside and out and do your research. Marijuana marketing may be new, but because its new, we are able to create branding from scratch, and inform the public about the great benefits it has.

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How to Market Your Marijuana Business | eWebResults – Houston, TX

Adam Gregory
AUTHOR: Adam Gregory

Adam Gregory is our Public Relations Manager at eWebResults. As the Public Relations Manager, Adam helps manage eWebResults, producing content, networking and making sure eWebResults stays on the first page of google. As a 12-year Army veteran with a background in broadcasting, public relations, and jumping out of planes, Adam has lived all over the world, from the Middle East to Central America. He holds a BA in Communications from Thomas Edison State University and a graduate of the Defense Information School in Broadcast Journalism.

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