The cannabis industry remains one of the more lucrative sectors in the world today. From producing medical marijuana, recreational cannabis, hemp, and of course, cannabidiol or CBD, this industry continues to prosper even through tumultuous times, showing a great demand for products even amid a health crisis around the globe.
Although the cannabis industry is one of the hottest sectors of today, there is no denying that cannabis marketing can be quite challenging even in more modern times. This is particularly true for companies that are interested in permeating the market by trying to advertise and leverage big channels such as Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
While the use of popular advertising mediums in the market works well for industries such as clothing, cosmetics, and the like, there are marketing roadblocks that cannabis industries encounter more than others. This can be chalked up to the gray area surrounding the industry and the United States as a whole.
Given the restrictions surrounding marijuana marketing, many businesses and agencies alike are forced not only to push boundaries, but also work within and around the confines of these restrictions. As a matter of fact, many have proved creative and legendary in the field, paving the way for similar businesses and sectors to follow suit under the changing times and the growing social pressure.
Current Cannabis Landscape in the United States
Marijuana has been largely classified as an illegal drug in many parts of the United States. Because of this, it has also been criminalized and persecuted not just by those in position, but also those who remain in the dark about what this plant possesses. Although the tide is changing when it comes to the plant’s stigma and its movement toward legalization, there is still much work to be done on the federal level.
By understanding the current cannabis landscape and the existing boundaries in the United States market, individuals like you will hopefully gain a better picture of what lies in the field. By extension, this opens up opportunities on how the growing community can call for better support and engagement with its audience through effective marijuana marketing approaches.
For the nation, there is no doubt that 2020 was a defining year for the industry. Besides ushering in a boost in sales and a growing demand for marijuana and CBD products on the market despite the existence of a virus pandemic, it has cemented itself as one of the leading change-maker come election day. It has successfully been legalized in the states of Arizona, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, joining other states that have long legalized the drug.
With many states having legalized the drug and others working to achieve this, the industry is booming, to say the least. It is slated to be worth $24.5 billion alone in 2021 and approximately $66.3 billion come 2025. Tech Crunch states that in 2020 alone, legal cannabis sales have reached around $20 billion and it is only expected to climb within the coming years.
The current cannabis landscape has effected great changes when it comes to policies, legality laws, and even decriminalization. However, there is still a long way to go, especially when it comes to the sale and advertisement of products in the country.
Issues and Challenges Within the Marijuana Sector
The health crisis has led the industry to gear its efforts and focus on its respective e-commerce platforms. After all, with this sector classified as an essential business in many states in the country, its operations are seen as one of the most important, alongside food, drug stores, gas stations, and the like.
With many dispensaries still operating with a brick-and-mortar establishment, moving towards an e-commerce space has bee challenging, especially when it comes to dealing with customers who have long been accustomed to a certain service or approach.
As marijuana retailers turn to e-commerce platforms and digital payment solutions to streamline and modernize their businesses, running across advertising and promotions challenges is but the norm. Despite the changes in the field, some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Google and YouTube, remain quite wary and unreceptive towards marketing content that have marijuana products in them.
In particular, the Google Ads policy still classifies cannabis as part of the dangerous goods or services that cannot be promoted on its site. This, therefore, limits the target audience of many agencies and businesses who want to reach more people.
The same goes for YouTube. The platform reportedly calls for harmful content from being put up on its site, and this includes about recreational use of the drug. However, discussing medical marijuana on the site is still accepted, so this definitely falls into another gray area.
Other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter have also banned the promotion of drugs and drug accessories or paraphernalia, meaning even marijuana cannot actively be talked about. These, however, serve as vital components in building a more stable online presence, a crucial factor when it comes to building a cannabis business social network.
Role of Cannabis Marketing in Growing Marijuana Businesses
With many restrictions and challenges in place, marijuana products and businesses, as well as the overall community, may find its niche struggling to prove itself and make worthy engagements with its target audience. However, thanks to the creative geniuses behind every cannabis marketing agency, marketers are now making the case for cannabis marketing.
For one, these marketing agencies are in charge of promoting not only products and brands, but also getting the right publicity for the industry. They are, after all, a representative of the whole community. As part of changing the public’s perspective on cannabis, CBD products, and the like, these marketers and PR firms are gearing their efforts towards educating the masses about the uses and benefits of cannabis.
Those who truly invest in taking the time to inform and educate the public and target audiences also pave the way for more customer data and insights. Whether it be through blog posts with marijuana SEO, video content, or even images, this type of content strategy is taking the lead not just in increasing awareness and reducing the stigma on the drug, but also get more conversions in the long run.
Building a Cannabis Business Social Network on Various Platforms
In a highly digital age, the emphasis on connections and building more meaningful relationships are being highlighted, especially now that the world is dealing with a health crisis and people are being kept apart. The cannabis community remains affected by this, with a large part of marijuana culture being deeply rooted in socialization and sharing.
Thankfully, more marketers are now exploring varying platforms. Along with the constantly evolving policies and legal reforms are the changing digital marketing landscape. As more platforms have become more tolerant, if not welcoming, towards cannabis businesses and marketing as they veer away from advertising and focus on the more personal interactions and engagements, creating social groups have become the norm.
Whether it is building a community or a page for like-minded people on Facebook to share similar experiences or even recommendations, sharing beautiful photos and curating a feed on Instagram, and the like, these pages are slowly driving engagement and relationships, a key factor in having a cannabis business social network.
For example, while Instagram does not necessarily allow nor afford cannabis retailers with the same opportunities, it certainly makes for a more organic approach towards cannabis marketing. To gain more traction, marketers, as well as business owners, are urged to post regularly and jump on trends and add more hashtags, even including marijuana SEO on their tags. The same goes for Facebook.
Video content also reigns supreme these days, which is why agencies and companies should learn to use these for their advantage. For those starting out in the field or simply those who want to connect with more people, holding IGTV or Facebook stories can be quite helpful, especially for those who wish to answer or educate more individuals as they go along.
Of course, marketing on such platforms, and other similar websites, will not be complete without an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This is the best approach for marijuana marketing not only because it poses no restrictions, but it also gets more traction on the internet, thereby allowing companies to reach a wider range of people.
Utilizing platforms to find relevant keywords are your best bet. These sites provide you with what the audience is looking for and what should be targeted in your content. Here, you can insert cannabis backlinks and products that can seamlessly direct consumers to your website.
The Bottom Line
Marketing is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with as the cannabis community builds the industry towards new heights. Its impact on the field is certainly unparalleled. With efforts driving in more positive outcomes, it shows that the right strategies allow businesses in the sector to thrive and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.