With all the confusion going on with cannabis and even hemp advertising, marketers must exercise caution when planning their advertising campaigns through social media channels. Even hemp product vendors know how easy it can be to loose an account by only being associated with the plant!
Methods of content and social media marketing provide effective ways for you to promote your products to consumers in legal ways. However, since cannabis (and even hemp through many eyes) is still illegal at the federal level, social media platforms have enforceable policies that limit marketing and advertising options for cannabis businesses. Get to know your particular local and state marketing regulations for cannabis, for each state varies from state to state to some extent.
Despite social media restrictions set in place related to content publishing, you can still gain traction and improve your sales significantly by using a strategic series of very powerful and lawful tactics. Marketing on Social Media is not as daunting as it looks if you know the rules and practice sensible steps to get your brand name out.
* Promote a lifestyle not a product
* Educate, do not sell.
* Let the public“sell your brand”
Ultimately, social media marketing involves generating earned media and organic reach. You earn media reach when other people talk about your brand and share your media content across channels, so rather than paying for this publicity that extends your brand’s reach to a wider audience organically, you earn it.
Sharing content through your social media posts – Publishing great content and sharing it to your social accounts through a media publisher is an industrious and safe way to send news and informative articles out to your followers – and better, news stories can be boosted on Facebook. Ideally, your audience will see that content, like and share it to their own audiences, which brings to you precious trust and organic reach. This doubles when your audience clicks the post back to your page or products and sees other posts and goods you have.
Let Hosts and Influencers advertise for you.
Work with influencers who are willing to share your brand with their communities. The theory behind this is that on Social Media, individuals can share with impunity, which means hosts and influencers are able to share products they are passionate about without fear of getting shut down – as a business would. It is perfectly fine to have a friend recommend or suggest a product to another friend. Take advantage of the ease of finding people you can relate to on the internet or visit an influencer site to find a company or person to whom you believe would benefit from and be excited about your product or service. Sometimes the amount of views or followers they have doesn’t mean they are not right for the job! Do your homework and find out what they like and their field of expertise. The best way to win an influencer is to have him or her believe in your product.
Partner with a third party media publisher – create branded content that is considered newsworthy and advertise within the media via news stories and health articles through the publisher to effectively and safely share your brand content. A good way to gain media reach and avoid direct advertising. Once people see your product, posts and advertising together the association begins. Initially, when you post out to your followers they will be informed about what your brand could be about, and after the click, they will be informed of what your product is. When you post through a media publisher, your audience can then click back to your promo, products and profile – and there was an example 😉
Affiliate with other vendors or prospectors
Through this association you will gain another ecosystem of followers and your affiliate will experience the same. Affiliate products are a great way to start selling products, if you haven’t any or introduce your product to the industry by being useful in another environment.
Do not provide a direct way to buy the product.
Through social media and do not Do NOT provide direct ways to order it either. Instead, rely on your audience to search for your brand name (it is good for SEO ranking), and after you have run awareness campaigns through these channels, it will be easy for them to find you.
Publish useful educational content.
Focus on sharing useful, educational material that doesn’t directly promote cannabis products and services. While you are posting, develop a plan to increase earned media and organic growth. Analytics surrounding your posts and reactions are a major help to determining how successful your posts and campaigns are. A third party publisher has tools to help you achieve your goals with this. In time, you’ll see positive results from your efforts!
Join Social Causes.
Once you attach your brand to a person, product, event or charity of significant value or vast exposure you will be associated with it and the benefits it generates. (This also goes for bad connections too!)
Magazines and Flyers and Mailers
For cannabis businesses, print advertising in industry publications and cannabis-friendly publications presents an excellent opportunity to raise brand awareness among highly targeted audiences. In addition, highly strategic direct mail offers a big opportunity for cannabis businesses. Many of these traditional marketing tactics are overlooked by businesses today, but for highly regulated businesses, they are the foundation of a successful marketing plan.
Advertise via method of product placement.
Product placement is an advertising technique brands use to promote their products or services through the appearance in movies, TV shows, music videos and other forms of entertainment content.
Product placement is closely related to celebrity endorsement and even influencer marketing. Oscar-winning or not, movies are a great way to boost brand awareness and sales. Well-crafted product placement feels natural and is never annoying compared to traditional advertising. This is what makes product placement a win-win solution for brands and media manufacturers—one gets the glory, the other receives funding.
Usually, product placement is initiated and regulated through an agreement between a brand and a media company.
Use PR to your advantage.
Attach your brand to social causes. Example: campaigning for legalization of cannabis on the grounds of medicinal and useful bi-products when circulated can remain unobtrusive yet evokes emotion and defines your brand without being in people’s faces.
Avoid directly advertising prices and promotional discounts.
“flowers, buds, weed, marijuana, smoke” etc.
In fact, in federal court view the word “Marijuana” is considered an illegal portion of the “cannabis” plant
Video content is very popular and highly shareable, so it is a great way to advertise. You can create your own video ads and display them through direct website placements (as discussed above), or you can approach video publishers and ask if you can sponsor their videos or upload yours. For example, a popular YouTuber whose audience matches your target consumer might be willing to mention a cannabis business at the beginning of his or her video.