Advertising cannabis products using Facebook’s Advertising Tools is prohibited, Facebook has strict advertising policies that do not allow users to promote cannabis products. As such, using cannabis-related words (“marijuana”, “THC”, “420”, etc.) and images (leaves, flowers, oils, etc.) are likely to get ads rejected by Facebook’s algorithms and moderators. If ads are continuously rejected, it can affect Facebook’s trust score of your page, which can limit the results of current and future ads. In severe cases, it may even cause the account to be deleted. Although advertising on Facebook is prohibited, Facebook can still be an incredibly useful tool for marketing and promoting your brand online. Below are two tools for marketing your cannabis brand on Facebook.
Pages – Allow you to set up a company page for your cannabusiness, acting as a “home page” for your company on Facebook. This page allows you to share valuable information about your company, including your website address, email address, hours of operation, etc. Additionally, the page allows you to gather followers online, which you can then share content with (new products/services, blog articles, memes, etc.). Pages can also serve various other functions, including allowing you to receive messages, post jobs, set up frequently asked questions, etc.
Groups – Groups are a place to communicate about shared interests. You can create a group for anything, including cannabis. Additionally, certain groups allow you to join their group with your company page, allowing your page to post within the group. In order to join groups, you will often have to agree to their rules, which often include rules around not advertising. As such, you may not be able to market your products/services in groups per se, but are still able to post content to the groups that are relevant to your brand (e.g., a blog post you wrote). A rule of thumb when engaging with communities is: give more to the communities than you take.
Advertising a cannabis business or cannabis-related business is very challenging (if not impossible) using Twitter Ads due to Twitter’s advertising policies, but you can post content and interact with consumers through a branded Twitter profile. A Twitter profile can be highly effective in boosting brand awareness, loyalty, and even sales. Listed below are two tools for marketing your cannabusiness through Twitter.
Profile – Allows you to set up a company page for your cannabusiness, acting as a “home page” for your company on Twitter. This page allows you to share valuable information about your company, including your website address, value proposition, etc. Additionally, the profile allows you to gather followers online, which you can then share content with (new products/services, blog articles, memes, etc.)
Tweets – A tweet is a post on Twitter. The act of writing a tweet is called tweeting or twittering. Tweets can be up to 140 characters long, including spaces. Tweets can be composed of numerous types of content, including text, images, video, URL addresses, hashtags, etc. Tweets are primarily used for sharing your cannabis-related content with your followers, where it shows up in your followers’ feeds.
As Facebook owns Instagram, much of the policies surrounding cannabis advertising are the same on Instagram as they are on Facebook. As a result, advertising cannabis products using Instagram Ads is also prohibited. As such, using cannabis-related words (“dope”, “hash”, “joint”, etc.) and images (people smoking, paraphernalia, extracts) are likely to get ads rejected by algorithms and moderators. If ads are continuously rejected, it can affect Instagram’s trust score of your account,whichcan limit the results of current and future ads. In severe cases, it may even cause the account to be permanently deleted.Although advertising on Instagram is restricted, Instagram can still be an incredibly powerful channel for marketing your brand online. Below are threes tools for marketing your cannabis brand online through Instagram.
Profile – Your Instagram profile is where you tell people who you are and what you would like to share. You can add your company name as the heading of your profile, a profile picture with your brand’s logo, provide a description of your business, and a link to another website, such as your website address and social media profile on Twitter or Facebook.
Post – Posts are the images and videos you choose to share on Instagram. Instagram posts are the bulk of Instagram content. These are the traditional square photo and video posts that appear in your follower’s feeds. Posts can be composed of numerous types of content, including text, images, video, URL addresses, hashtags, etc.
Stories – Stories are similar to posts, yet they disappear after 24 hours. You can view others’ at the top of the home screen, or by visiting a user’s profile. Instagram Stories allow you to share short videos and images to a temporary “Story.” You can add stickers, time stamps, and doodles to each Story and apply certain filters and effects.
Much like other social media platforms, TikTok has strict policies around advertising cannabis on their platform. As such, cannabusinesses are not permitted to use TikTok Ads Manager tools as these businesses run the risk of having their accounts suspended, or worse, permanently deleted. Considering this, cannabis businesses are not able to promote their brands on TikTok using conventional marketing tools, such as in video advertisements. Even though traditional marketing tools are not available, TikTok can be a valuable tool for marketing your brand online by utilizing some of their standard tools.
Profile – Your TikTok profile is where you tell people what your brand is and what type of content that you share. You can add your company name as the heading of your profile, a profile picture with your brand’s logo, provide a description of your brand, and a link to another website, such as your website address or social media profiles on YouTube or Twitter. On your profile, you can also see your followers and likes.
TikTok Videos – The basic function of TikTok is that users can film videos of themselves lip-syncing, dancing, acting out sketches, etc. Videos – or “TikToks” – can be up to 15 seconds long but they can also connect multiple clips for up to 60 seconds of total recording. Recently TikTok expanded the time limit to three minutes for almost all of its users. Users can also upload longer videos that were recorded outside the app.
TikTok also has video editing and customisation tools. Users have access to a library of songs, effects, filters, and sound bites to add to their videos. They can also “duet” with someone by replying to a video, creating a split-screen and endless reactions.
Much like other social media platforms, cannabis business are not permitted to use YouTube’s advertising tools, specifically YouTube’s Online Video Advertising Campaigns, which allows advertisers to create video ads. As with other platforms, trying to use conventional advertising tools (i.e., paying for advertisements) on YouTube can result in your accounting being suspended or even deleted (“deplatformed”). Even with its restrictions around using its advertising tools, YouTube is still a great platform to share content, particularly if your brand is more video focused. Below we mention a couple of the tools at your disposal.
Channel – A channel is a member’s personal presence on YouTube, similar to other social media sites profile pages. Your channel is a place where viewers can go and find something they want to watch now and later. You will want your viewers to subscribe to your channel so that are notified when you upload new content. Subscribers are viewers who’ve indicated they want to see more of your content and click the Subscribe button on your channel. Subscribers are critical to your success on YouTube because they tend to spend more time watching your channel than viewers who aren’t subscribed—and if they have Notifications turned on, they’ll be alerted when you post something new. They can also view your newly published videos in their Subscriptions feed.
Videos – YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy for users to watch, like, share, comment and upload their own videos. In order to facilitate the creating and uploading user videos, YouTube provides numerous publishing tools, including publishing calendars, video editing suite, etc. Once videos are published, they are then released onto the platform, allowing others to view the videos, with the videos also showing up in users feeds.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is quite different than the other channels that have been listed so far. Whereas the channels above are considered platforms – connecting content creators and consumers – email marketing is primarily focused on marketing your brand through your own media (e.g., an email list). Email marketing is conventionally done by emailing customers on a list that you have accumulated through email signups, contact building, etc. but can also be done by “cold emailing”, where you email people, brands, etc. that you have no relationship with in search of establishing one. When looking to set up an email marketing campaign, many businesses opt to use email marketing software, such as HubSpot, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. When using these platforms, one needs to consider that many of these platforms will not allow cannabis brands to use their tools for email marketing. As such, it is important to proceed with caution.
Email marketing can serve numerous purposes, such as the three listed below.
Welcome Emails – A welcome email, often part of a series of onboarding emails, is the very first email communication you have with a prospective or current customer. This communication can also be a subscription confirmation, post-purchase email, etc.
Email Newsletters – Email newsletters are a type of email that informs your audience of the latest news, tips, or updates about your product or company. They are often used for a variety of purposes and they come in many different forms. Some are weekly digests of content, some are quarterly organization updates, and others promote new products, but there’s no end to what you can include in a newsletter.
Re-Engagement Emails – A re-engagement email is a marketing email sent to inactive subscribers. Its purpose is to get people who have stopped interacting with email campaigns interested again. Re-engagement emails also help marketers identify uninterested subscribers (and inactive email addresses), so they can remove them from their mailing list.
4. Search Engines
Search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, are used to direct traffic toward your website. Much like other marketing channels that have been mentioned so far, the use of search engine marketing tools are not permitted for cannabis companies. As such, the main advertising tools, such as listing at the top of search engines (“paid search”), are not available to cannabis businesses. As such, using cannabis-related words (“dabbing”, “weed”, “smoke”, etc.) and images (leaves, flowers, oils) are likely to get ads rejected by search engine’s algorithms and moderators. If ads are continuously rejected, it can affect trust ranking of your Page, leading to your page to have a lower rank in search engine results.
Even though marketing on search engines is restricted, search engines are still critical for generating online traffic for your business, particularly as pages that are at the top of search engines (e.g., Google) often receive much more traffic than lower ranking. When looking to improve your search engine ranking, one needs to consider search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO – Is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). The better visibility your pages have in search results (i.e., be at the top of search results), the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
3. Inbound Marketing
As opposed to the channels listed above (e.g., social media, email, search engines) where you can “push” your content (text, images, infographics) to an audience, inbound marketing focusing on “pulling” your audience to you. In simple terms, inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company. Inbound marketing is a strategy that utilizes many forms of “pull” marketing—content marketing, blogs, videos, search engines, social media, and more—to create brand awareness and attract new business.
Content Marketing – A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
Blogs – When a business blogs on a regular basis they create new content for visitors to find them. This content created should be useful and relevant to the visitor and if you are hoping to turn leads into sales, the content should be relevant to your business as well. By creating more blog posts you create more opportunity to attract visitors looking for this relevant information.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. The affiliate simply searches for a product they enjoy, then promotes that product and earns a piece of the profit from each sale they make. The sales are tracked via affiliate links from one website to another.
In the cannabis industry, owners with cannabis-related content are able generate revenue by promoting cannabis related brands online. There are a ton of different marijuana affiliate programs which provide a commission for a sale or lead. An affiliate program involves businesses giving unique links to ambassadors who will promote the brand and products. When anyone uses the affiliate link, the ambassador earns commission on the order. At the heart of affiliate marketing is affiliate links.
Affiliate Links –
1. Cannabis Hub
Cannabis Hub is leading online hub for cannabis products. We bring consumers and businesses of cannabis products together into a simple, secure, and smart community marketplace. We allow brands to open stores and promote their cannabis products online, helping brands grow their online businesses. Consumers are able to search stores and products, allowing them to find the right product, at the right store, at the right price.
As opposed to other platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, YouTube), cannabis brands are able to open a profile on Cannabis Hub and market their products, without having to be concerned about breaking the rules. Cannabis Hub offers a variety of free tools, including a profile and posting products
Profile – Cannabis Hub allow brands to create profiles on the platform, helping brands grow their online businesses. Cannabis businesses are able to share information such as their website, description of their company, social media links, etc. Consumers are able to search these stores, allowing consumers to learn more about your business
Maximize your reach – Get your brand and products in front of more users. Maximize your presence online through a variety of innovative and easy to use solutions, including custom store fronts, unlimited product postings, and endless customer engagement.
Increase your online traffic – Increase your website’s search ranking. Opening a store and posting products on Cannabis Hub improves your website’s search engine results by providing valuable backlinks, brand mentions, and direct traffic to your website.
Market your brand through Cannabis Hub – Effectively market your brand and elevate exposure through a variety of advertising and marketing solutions to a large, highly-engaged audience. By opening a store, listing your products, and engaging with customers, you can promote your brand and increase your product sales.