How to Advertise Your Hemp, CBD, or Cannabis Business Online
By Hunter Saab
Promoting your cannabis business online can be difficult, especially with all the advertising restrictions in the cannabis industry. All cannabis businesses are banned from paid advertising on Google Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest. Hence why cannabis, CBD, and hemp companies have a hard time putting themselves out there to the online masses. Don’t give up, just be creative! Here are online advertising opportunities you can use to promote your cannabiz!
1.) Social Media
Social media is one of the best forms of FREE online advertising. With social media, you can connect with millions of users who have been looking for you this whole time!
Build your cannabis community by sharing your journey, passion, products, or services with eye catching and engaging content.
Instagram is currently the most popular social media platform in the cannabis industry. Instagram has over 100 million visitors per month. You can reach for your target audience very rapidly with the right content.
You can do this by posting a photo in your feed with a educational or creative caption and adding hashtags in your post that will be displayed in users feeds and your profile. Instagram stories are also a great way to promote your products or services. The posts only last 24 hours here but it’s a quick way for people to see a snippet of what you offer or whatever you are doing that day. You can add things like GIFs, music, question boxes, text, and more! Also checkout IGTV, a separate feature within Instagram where you can upload videos longer than 1 minute.
Despite its popularity, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Instagram has been notorious for targeting cannabis, CBD, & hemp companies whether they violate terms of service or not. Like, follow, comment, and post at your own risk!
*Tip: Don’t display product or service prices! Direct your followers to your website or encourage them to message you directly to learn more.
Facebook has claimed that they are considering changing their advertising policy for cannabis companies due to recent legal changes countries are implementing across the globe. It’s only a matter of time until the 1 billion Facebook users start seeing cannabis advertisements. In the mean time, focus on building your business page. Share product photos, videos, and blogs from your website. Be sure to mix it up in your feed and share other cannabis related content from different . Use hashtags in your posts to show up in search. Focus on providing valuable and engaging content on your Facebook business page.
Twitter is home to over 321 million monthly users! As a matter of fact, Twitter is way more cannabis friendly compared to most social platforms. Twitter allows adult film stars to put explicit videos or images. Just to give you a perspective on Twitters policies compared to other social media platforms. Twitter is geared more towards providing your audience real time news, videos, articles, or blogs. Twitter is a great way to stay up to date with the latest cannabis industry news and insights as well as find your target audience! You are able to re-post or ‘retweet’ content from your followers or following as well as comment with animated GIFS to engage, inform, or entertain your audience. Twitter has created a live feature so you can interact with your audience in real time! You also have the ability to make private and public lists of your followers or following. It’s also a great way to get insights from your audience by creating a question and receiving votes from custom polls that you can create to learn more about your followers or Twitter users. Help your target audience find your posts and profile as well as vice versa using hashtags.
Pinterest is another great tool to bring brand awareness and increase traffic to your website. Create multiple boards with different names/categories and upload your image or graphic. Be sure to pin other users images that are related to your different board names. Upload an image, link to your website, enter a caption then include a few hashtags that will attract your desired audience. Pinterest is not so much about followers and more about the re-pins from other users unlike most social networks. Pinterest is also more 420 friendly compared to other social media channels. Home to 250 million monthly active users, it’s a great way to reach more people.
Created by a tribe of cannabis content creators that were removed by YouTube, Weedtube is home to over 2 million users. This platform offers a great way to upload your video content with the freedom to express your love for cannabis, unlike most social platforms. Upload your videos via their APP or website to start sharing your cannabis, CBD, or hemp content. Share stories, create a smoke sesh, talk about your products, comment/like with other fellow Weedtubers. They also provide advertising options to help grow your business and expand your reach in the cannabis community. It’s an alternative to YouTube since they are notorious for shutting down cannabis content or blocking monetization. Weedtube even offers monetization to their users.
Work directly with cannabis influencers to bring more exposure to your brand. How do you determine if they are legit? See what their comment section looks like to check out whether they have a engaging audience. In addition, compare the number of followers to the number of posts they have. If they have under a 100 posts and 10,000+ followers then they probably purchased those followers from an outside source. Message influencers directly to see what their rates are per post. Every influencer and their audience is different. Do your homework first to make the best investment for your cannabiz.
Blogs on your website are one of the best ways to educate your audience, increase website traffic, and drive sales! Having well written blogs about your products or services also increases your Google ranking. The more original content your create, the better your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will be! Inform your customers or patients about the benefits of cannabis, CBD, or hemp. Or, go into more detail about the services you offer and how they will help your client. Ideally, you should be posting at least one new blog a week. However, writing original blogs for your business can also be time consuming along with everything else you have to tackle. Luckily, you can hire a professional cannabis content writer that can help you reach your target audience as well as help generate more leads. Run your blogs through your social media channels to get even more eyes on your website.
Run giveaways through social media to get people excited about you brand! The more hands you put your products in, the better! Create a limited-time offer and request your followers to tag individuals or comment to enter their chance to win! Generate some buzz and excitement among the cannabis community to set yourself apart from the competition.
Consistency is Key
Cannabis, CBD, or hemp businesses should never stop advertising! No matter what route you take when it comes to bringing exposure to your brand, consistency is key! Trial and error is inevitable. But no matter what, you must keep pushing in order to be successful! Be consistent not only with advertising but with your branding, messaging, education, products, and activism!
Look for Help
Do not have enough hours in the day managing your business and life? A cannabis social media marketing manager can help you reach your social media goals by creating a custom social media game plan for your business. They can help you by creating custom graphics, writing engaging captions that turn into sales, and more!
Contact us to learn more about social media consulting for your cannabiz!