Cannabis Online Marketing: 6 Challenges of a Regulated Industry

Weedmaps Advertising for Slidderz

For modern businesses, a solid online marketing strategy is a must. A well-formulated and executed plan can help you reach your target audience and stand out from your competition. It allows you to rank higher in online search results, increase website traffic, build brand awareness, and grow your company. 

Businesses of all shapes and sizes use a variety of digital marketing strategies to accomplish their goals. For those in the cannabis industry, however, marketing marijuana online can be a bit more tricky.

1. Constantly Changing Laws and Regulations

Marijuana marketing laws and regulations frequently change, making it difficult for business cannabis business owners to keep up. What was compliant one day could be illegal by the time you’re ready to launch a campaign.  

2. State/City Variations

While there may be some similarities, cannabis industry regulations, including those related to marketing, vary by state. Even within the same state, some cities or towns may have their own cannabis marketing regulations that differ from other areas.

3. Numerous Restrictions to Keep In Mind

When developing a cannabis marketing campaign, you’ll need to avoid the following:

  • Anything that might appeal to children
  • Targeting audiences under 21
  • Making specific health claims
  • False or misleading statements
  • Depicting the use of cannabis products

4. Social Media Rules and Restrictions

Many businesses run ads for their products and services on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with little to no issue. These same platforms may restrict cannabis marketing efforts, though. While you can still use social media to promote your cannabis business — it can be a very effective tool — you have to take care to follow each platform’s strict rules and regulations. Otherwise, you could get flagged and potentially shut down. 

5. Restrictions on Google

As the most popular search engine, Google is often the first place consumers go when looking for products, services, or general information. Many businesses buy ad space to ensure their target audiences see them first in relevant searches. Unfortunately for cannabis businesses, Google policies don’t allow ads that promote the sale or use of recreational or medical cannabis products. However, you can use search engine optimization to increase your visibility. 

6. Stigmas Still Exist

Cannabis use has become more widely accepted over the last few years. There’s been a drastic rise in public support for legalization. Even so, many people still view the plant in a negative light. They see cannabis as a gateway drug or believe stereotypes about cannabis users. Until we can break the stigmas surrounding cannabis, they present additional challenges for businesses looking to market their products. 

Tackle Cannabis Online Marketing Challenges With Highopes

While digital marketing might present more challenges for those in the cannabis space, a team of expert marketing professionals can help you navigate and overcome them. At Highopes, we work with you to craft a custom marketing solution that’s compliant and drives results while you focus on other aspects of your business, saving you time, money, and potential trouble. Visit us online to check out our work, or contact us to get started today! 

Patrick Toste from HIGHOPES

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