Cannabis Advertising Ideas: 4 Reasons Why Retailers Need a Digital Strategy

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How can you make the most of this new world when it comes to your cannabis advertising plans? With dispensaries and cannabis retail stores shifting to curb side pick-up and home delivery, what happens to your retail marijuana marketing plans? Here are 4 reasons why your retail store needs an optimized cannabis advertising strategy.

Why Online Cannabis Advertising is Key To Retail Marijuana Marketing

The cannabis industry has gone through an overnight transition and is now in a world where the new normal for cannabis advertising includes a cannabis digital marketing strategy instead of a retail marketing plan.

Now more than ever, it’s absolutely necessary to have a cannabis or CBD e-commerce website that is strategically optimized & highly visible for your target customers and for search engines.

Cannabis retail dispensaries are quickly pivoting to e-commerce, click and collect curb side pick-up, and fast delivery in order to stay competitive and profitable.

To add to this, many businesses are dealing with changing consumer preferences away from inhalable products, and some are implementing compassionate pricing polices in their marijuana marketing strategy.

Even the social practice of puff puff pass the entire social side of cannabis has shifted to something much different than previously established norms of the cannabis community and the marijuana industry.

It’s highly likely that these new behaviours in this new normal will potentially end up being industry practices even after the ongoing pandemic subsides.

So what are you doing in terms of cannabis advertising and promoting your new ways of doing business? Have you considered a cannabis digital marketing strategy?

In this article we’ll outline marijuana marketing ideas to increase revenue for you online store, delivery service, and retail dispensary.

This include cannabis advertising tactics and other cannabis digital marketing strategies designed to grow your business.

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Cannabis Advertising Pro Tip 1: Retail Now Focuses on Digital

Social distancing has caused cannabis retail dispensaries to focus less on brick-and-mortar revenue that relies heavily on foot traffic and cash payments to do business.

While this wasn’t done by choice for many retailers, local regulations created burdensome obstacles for dispensaries to obtain marijuana delivery licenses or to do any cannabis advertising online.

But then, cannabis became classified as an essential service which then provided an opportunity for cannabis retailers to implement cannabis advertising tactics and stay in business while remaining compliant.

But even though cannabis dispensaries are deemed essential, this really means that in-store operations were essentially over for now. And that’s gonna hurt your bottom line in a major way.

Many dispensaries and cannabis advertisers had to make the transition nearly overnight to keep up with safety guidelines and consumer demand, which has been at an all-time high since mid-late February 2020.

Fun fact – Jane Technologies, a cannabis ecommerce platform, reported that the number of new cannabis customers ordering weed online increased by 142% in March – right when several states were imposing lockdown measures.

Then, when some states started imposing retail restrictions and store capacity limits, dispensaries had to then shift their entire businesses to an ecommerce model that provides delivery and/or curb side pickup.

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Pro Tip 2: For Advertising Cannabis Online

Shift From Retail Promotions For Foot-Traffic to Digital Experiences For Website Traffic

Although the marketing for your retail cannabis dispensary would frequently rely on in-person experiences to educate marijuana consumers about your products, many of our clients have pivoted and focused on using virtual settings to keep customers informed, stocked up, and safe.

For example, since mid March early April 2020, we’ve seen many cannabis retail dispensaries in the United States start offering cannabis consultations between their staff and their customers using Skype, Zoom, and/or Google Meet.

Some retail dispensaries, and many online cannabis stores have leveraged their social media platforms to livestream pop-up events and product demonstrations to increase customer engagement and maintain a connection with their audience (read: customers).

Curaleaf, a leading medical and wellness cannabis operator in the United States that serves over 150k registered patients across 12 states took a similar approach. They chose to host desksides over Zoom to publicize new product launches and safe consumption methods to a wider audience.

It’s super important to note that as cannabis consumers grow more and more used to this type of cannabis advertising, it is highly unlikely that they, or the cannabis retailers, will revert to the previous brick-and-mortar model after the social distancing restrictions are eased and/or lifted.

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Cannabis Advertising Pro Tip 3: Cash Payments Were King, But Now We’re All About Cashless Payment Options

The new way of marketing a cannabis dispensary and selling marijuana online or in-store will be led primarily with cashless payment options. We’ve experienced this first hand with some of our cannabis advertising campaigns.

In recent weeks, multiple cannabis dispensary business owners have reached out to us expressing their need for cashless payment options to mitigate any risk and keeping both store employees and customers safe.

But how easy is this for cannabis dispensaries who are already challenged with access to financial services?

The good news is, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., who cosponsored the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act that allows mainstream financial institutions to provide services to legal cannabis businesses, is pushing for Congress to revisit the bill in upcoming stimulus hearings.

If the SAFE Banking Act gets passed, cannabis dispensaries in the USA would be able to easily move to cashless transactions, and by doing so will effectively legitimize the entire cannabis industry on a financial level.

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Pro Tip #4 For Marijuana Advertising: Focus on Shifting Consumer Habits

In this new world we live in, safety and affordability have shifted to the forefront of the cannabis consumers mind. Fears over contracting the virus and looming economic uncertainties have significantly shifted consumer habits in the past few weeks.

According to Headset, one of the leading data and analytics providers in the cannabis industry, non-smokable products like edibles and beverages have experienced the largest increases in demand in April.

If you’re planning on starting your new marijuana marketing strategy, the data suggests focusing your cannabis advertising campaigns on high margin THC edibles and cannabis infused beverages.

It’s interesting to note that sales for pre-rolls and other inhalables have decreased since the outbreak. The speculation here is the decrease is likely connected to media coverage linking smoking and contracting respiratory infections.

Edibles are popular because they are easier to enjoy and consume while you’re alone at home. With inhalable/smokable products, these are much more often consumed outside or in the company of others.

Some may say that it’s highly unlikely that people will be comfortable with passing around a joint with a group of friends in the next little while.

Even after social distancing restrictions are relaxed, cannabis consumers may be more hesitant to share joints or other inhalable products purely for hygienic reasons, which could lead to a rise in demand for smaller, single-use products kill THC edibles.

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We Can Help You With Your Cannabis Advertising Strategy!

If you’re a retail cannabis dispensary that needs to market and promote your curb side pick-up service or your new home delivery service, we can help you with strategic cannabis advertising.

We’d suggest our programmatic display and/or video ad placements on popular websites, streaming services, and connected TV.

This tactic also allows us to retarget everyone who visits your website with customized display/video ads.

Other suggestions include SMS Text Message Marketing, Email Marketing, and/or Google Search ads.

Please contact us to request a quote, or call us for a free 30-minute phone consult.

We’re ready to help you grow!

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