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cannabis paid advertising

By Vyla Carter

With limited options due to restrictions, paid cannabis advertising can be tricky. Google and Facebook are the typical platforms brands use to advertise, but they are often off-limits for cannabis brands. Even with these restrictions, there are several places you can pay to advertise. But which one is the best for your brand?

Cannabis Listing Sites

Cannabis listing sites, like Leafly and Weedmaps, are utilized frequently by cannabis brands. They are used to drive new customers that are searching for products to brands. These listing sites display a large directory of cannabis retailers and the brands they carry. Most sites require a fee to list products. They also offer other advertising opportunities. These include sponsored listings and product menus.

A large number of cannabis consumers go to these sites to find products they want near them. Many of these listing sites also provide educational content so consumers can learn what strain may be best for them. Cannabis listing sites also allow consumers to review the products listed, allowing a brand to receive earned media.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is automated, digital ad buying in real-time. Advertising this way utilizes a company’s data and finds the best-paid advertising for them based on informed parameters. This allows cannabis brands to be very specific in the audience they plan to target and to work with programmatic platforms in order to remain compliant. Programmatic advertising can allow a brand to reach the right audience, at the right time, in the right place by leveraging data. This means a company can choose certain audiences, like a specific geographic area or age group.

The programmatic framework is unchanging even when the cannabis industry is constantly changing. Learn more about how your brand can benefit from programmatic media buying here.

Paid Cannabis Influencer Advertising

Social media influencers are a popular way for any brand to showcase their products to a specific audience. There are celebrities like Seth Rogan that are considered cannabis influencers but also micro-influencers with a range of smaller, targeted followings.

The influencer you choose to represent you depends on your brand’s image and the product you are trying to sell. You want to choose an influencer that has similar values as your brand and has an audience that lines up with the brand’s own target audience. Instagram is largely popular among these influencers, but brands must be wary of the platform’s terms of service, as anything seen as promoting the sale of cannabis can be flagged. Work with influencers to make content educational and informative in order to remain compliant.

Influencer marketing benefits a brand in several ways. Not only do they help a brand reach a new audience, but they also are sharing this information with an audience that trusts the influencer. People often buy a product just because someone they look up to uses it and recommends it.

Depending on the following an influencer has, prices will vary for paid cannabis influencer advertising campaigns.

Learn more about cannabis influencer advertising here.

Cannabis Specific Publications and Native Advertising

Although many mainstream print and online publications do not allow cannabis advertising, there are many cannabis-specific publications where a brand or store can advertise. Depending on the state you are marketing in, a brand is allowed to advertise in print if the publication has a proven audience aged 21 and over.

Examples of publications a cannabis brand or retailer can advertise in are Rooster Magazine and High Times Magazine, but there are many others to utilize, including publications that are local to the audience you are targeting. Rooster is a great example of  an alternative weekly that cannabis marketers can utilize here in Denver. Alternative weeklies are publications that include some mainstream media but also have a focus on arts and other non-mainstream topics, like weed. These publications offer several different forms of traditional print and digital advertising. Cannabis-specific publications allow you to directly advertise to others involved in the cannabis world and can possibly bring new consumers to your cannabis store.

One form of advertising a cannabis brand can utilize in these publications is native advertising. Native ads are media placements that fit the form and function of the surrounding editorial content. Basically, these ads are made to look like articles in the publication. An article detailing different strains that a specific brand paid to have written and include their product would be an example of native advertising.

How to Choose the Best Cannabis Paid Advertising Opportunity for Your Brand

Research is vital when considering what paid advertising method for your brand is best. You want to utilize advertising that targets the right audience and sends them the best message. Different advertising methods reach different audiences and allow different types of messages. Also, make sure to consider your budget and what method best fits within that budget.

Different advertising methods are going to work differently for different brands, making research an important step in the advertising process.

Read “Paid Cannabis Advertising: What’s Allowed, and What’s Not” to learn more.

Learn more about cannabis paid advertising and other cannabis marketing topics by becoming a CMA member today!

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