It’s challenging to market and promote cannabis and CBD products using popular digital platforms like Google & Facebook/Instagram. So, as an experienced cannabis marketing agency, we’ve detailed 7 cannabis marketing services that are essential for an effective cannabis marketing mix.
What Cannabis Marketing Services Do You Need in Your CBD & Marijuana Marketing Mix?
Are you ready to start marketing your dispensary or ancillary cannabis business with effective cannabis marketing services designed to grow your business?
Your goals are really no different than any other online or local business. You just have more advertising restrictions to deal with.
But essentially, like any other business, you need a digital marketing plan from an experienced cannabis marketing agency to help you reach as many cannabis customers as possible.
The question is, what specific cannabis marketing services are available, affordable, and profitable for your unique cannabis business?
You’re likely using internal or outsourced cannabis social media marketing services to promote your cannabis brand, particularly on Instagram and Facebook.
You may be frustrated that you’re unable to expand your daily reach and impressions because you can’t advertise your cannabis products on either platform.
Or, if you’re a local cannabis business, as opposed to an online dispensary, you may have already claimed and verified your Google My Business Page (GMB) and had a cannabis SEO expert do some local optimization on your GMB page, as part of your local SEO strategy.
Maybe you’ve collected email addresses and/or cell phone numbers from your cannabis customers since opening day, and you’ve implemented a cannabis email marketing campaign, or even a better, you’re utilizing the cell phone numbers as well and using Facebook Messenger to target all who haven’t opened your marketing email with an offer to return to your dispensary or ancillary cannabis business.
We’ve only mentioned 3 basic cannabis marketing services so far but there are a few more essential marijuana marketing services we feel you should consider for your overall cannabis marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll review the 7 cannabis marketing services listed below, which can be most effective for you to grow your cannabis-related business.
You’ll note that some of this list refers to specific cannabis-related businesses, but it should be noted that these cannabis marketing services are applicable to all cannabis companies regardless of product.
- Social Media Marketing Services for Cannabis Companies
- Local SEO Services for Dispensaries
- Email Marketing Services For Marijuana Marketing
- Google Ads Management Services for Online & Retail Dispensaries
- Search Engine Optimization Services for Cannabis Businesses
- Native Advertising Services For Cannabis & CBD Companies
- Blog Content Writing Services For Medical Marijuana
Let’s get started and discuss each cannabis marketing services and how & why they matter to marketing your cannabis related business.
1. Social Media Marketing Services for Cannabis Companies
Pretty much the first marketing service most dispensaries and other cannabis companies start with is social media, Instagram in particular. Sometimes this is even before they’ve started to design and develop a company website!
Personally, I feel a cannabis brand should start with owning its own domain and to start building its domain authority with a user-friendly, SEO optimized website. But I can understand the urgency to get started on Instagram asap.
As I’m sure you’re aware, there is a ton of competition on Instagram when it comes to cannabis and CBD products, brands, profiles, influencers, and fans. So it’s necessary to develop and grow a strong Instagram following but in order to stand out from all the noise/competition, your content needs to be fire.
You have two options when it comes to your daily, organic (not paid) social media management.
The first option is for you to take care of all of your social media platforms, content creation, copywriting, and hashtag research yourself or with the help of your in-house cannabis marketing team.
The second option is to outsource your cannabis social media marketing services to an experienced cannabis marketing agency and take advantage of their talents and skill sets.
Digital marketing changes every day so it’s important to consider using a digital marketing agency with the experience to craft and execute your cannabis marketing strategy.
Regardless of which option you choose to go with, we recommend the following content types and posting schedule to market your dispensary on social media:
- 1 Post per Day
- Test posts using short captions (1-2 sentences)
- Test posts using medium length captions (1-2 short paragraphs)
- Test posts using long form captions (3+ short paragraphs)
- Test use of emojis and then test different emojis
How to measure organic success on Facebook: Track your engagement rate on your Facebook posts as well as your Facebook Page.
- 1 Post per day
- 1 Instagram Story/day (1-3 cards/story)
- Test posts using short captions (1-2 sentences)
- Test posts using medium length captions (1-2 short paragraphs)
- Test posts using long-form captions (3+ short paragraphs)
- Test use of emojis and then test different emojis
- Test different hashtags, always use maximum 30 hashtags/post, that are relevant to the post, to expland your reach
How to measure organic success on Instagram: Track your engagement rate on your posts, stories as well as the number of visits to your business profile page. Also, remember to track your increase/decrease in followers.
- 3-5 Tweets per day
- 2-3 ReTweets per day
- Test different hashtags, always use maximum 30 hashtags/post, that are relevant to the post, to expand your reach
How to measure organic success on Twitter: In addition to increase/decrease in followers, you should also track your engagement rate on your tweets, retweets, as well as likes and replies.
You could choose to use more social media platforms like LinkedIn, Snapchat, and even Pinterest. The choice of which social platforms to use when researching your cannabis marketing services is always dependent on the type of brand/type of company you are.
If you need help choosing which social media platforms will be the best fit for your cannabis business, please contact us for a free consultation.
2. Local SEO Services for Cannabis & CBD Dispensaries
I’ve been surprised at how many local dispensaries and cannabis retail stores that I’ve spoken to and/or consulted with recently, who have completly neglected local search and local SEO in particular as an essential cannabis marketing service.
Did you know that 40% of all searches on Google are a local search? That is, a search for a local service or business near the user.
People will always use Google to find a local business, i.e. a local dispensary – near them, and local SEO is the cannabis marketing tactic to get your dispensary on page 1 of a relevant local search query.
What is Local SEO & Why Do You Need It?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank better for a local audience.
Your Google My Business Page is directly involved in your site’s local SEO optimization and thus is just as important as your website optimization when it comes to choosing which cannabis marketing services you use for your business.
A website gives you the opportunity to target the entire (online) world. If you operate an online dispensary or online cannabis-related business, this cannabis marketing tactic may not be for you.
But if the target audience for your cannabis business is actually located in or near the city you have your office or dispensary, you’ll need to add at least some local SEO to your list of cannabis marketing services.
For example, you need to optimize for your city name, optimize your dispensary or office address details. In short: you need to optimize so people know where you are located and are able to find you on and offline.
This includes an initial SEO and keyword strategy on your website (which we will discuss later in this article), as well as optimizing local review sites like your Google My Business Page and your business profile on Yelp.
Why Do You Need Local SEO on Your Website?
Here’s what a local search result looks like for the query “buy weed in CITY NAME”. You can bet that these businesses are using local SEO cannabis marketing services or have implemented their own local SEO strategy.
Can you see how super valuable it can be to get your cannabis business listed and ranked in this local map for a similar search query in your city?
These local map listings have a much higher click-through rate because of how engaging the local map is to users looking to buy CBD or weed in San Diego, as well as the amount of additional information included in each listing, noted above in green and purple arrows.
A 2nd good reason to consider local SEO as an essential cannabis marketing service is the fact that 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches and over 90% of these people were likely to click on the first set of results.
You want your dispensary or your cannabis related business to show up on page 1 and potentially be in the top 3 positions, right? Then consider adding local SEO to your list of the cannabis marketing services needed to grow your business.
Search Engine Land broke down more findings from a recent study called “Near Me Shopping Report” that shows the following categories had the following percentages of “near me” searches:
For retail-specific lookups, smartphone shoppers were doing the following:
- Product research — 63%
- Price comparisons — 62%
- Search for coupons/deals — 56%
- Store hours — 54%
- Store locations — 52%
In terms of this retail search category, mobile consumers were looking for:
- Specific store/retailer — 48%
- Product category nearby — 29%
- Specific brand nearby — 23%
The survey also revealed that 60% of mobile users were “very likely” to click on the “first two to three search results they saw.” Overall more than 90 percent were “likely” to click on the first set of results.
If you’re looking for the best cannabis marketing services to drive highly qualified potential cannabis customers to your dispensary or cannabis business location, a local cannabis SEO plan is your answer.
3. Email Marketing Services For Marijuana Marketing
This one seems to be a no brainer for cannabis and CBD companies as well as online marijuana dispensaries and retail cannabis stores.
With email marketing, you’re able to build an audience, reach them on mobile phones, and keep your customers informed of new deals, your latest offers, or your new products.
If your cannabis business is an online marijuana dispensary or a bricks and mortar cannabis retail store, the good news is that email coupons drive online and in-store sales.
Inc.com reported that a Nielsen study “found that 27% of US online shoppers subscribe to store or product emails in order to save money.
This conclusion is backed up by recent data from Shop.org who reported 64% of US Internet users have printed a coupon from an email. Though consumers are looking to save money, it can turn into increased revenue for the retailer. E-coupons are big business, and email marketing is at its heart.”
Now for the not so good news.
If email marketing is one of the many cannabis marketing services you’re set on implementing, and with the statistics above, who would doubt you, there’s something else to consider.
In order to run a successful email marketing campaign for your dispensary or other cannabis-related business, you need to use an email marketing platform from one of the many email marketing providers.
Just like Google and Facebook, these email marketing platforms do have restrictions on using these service/servers to promote “illegal substances” or “illegal drugs”.
These platforms don’t specifically list cannabis or CBD products in any verbiage in their policies but interestingly enough, they do use things like “at our sole discretion” and similar phrases. It’s very similar to advertising cannabis using Google Ads and social media advertising.
Meaning that your ads/email newsletter could be approved or they could get flagged and not be able to run.
So how do you run an email marketing campaign for a marijuana dispensary that does get approved?
You need to try. You also need to be creative and tenacious.
You need to know what you’re doing or at least have some experience with Google Ads, Facebook Ad Manager, and popular email marketing platforms like Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Hubspot, Sendgrid, Constant Contact, and others.
Getting back to some good news, this means that any business can be flagged or suspended by any top email marketing provider – whether you sell cannabis and CBD products or not.
So email marketing should be looked at as one of the essential cannabis marketing services you will test/try at least once – it could work for your canna business!
4. Google Ads Management Services for Online & Retail Dispensaries
Since we’re on the subject of risky cannabis marketing tactics, let’s talk about Google advertising and whether or not you can advertise cannabis or CBD products on Google with paid PPC and display ads.
We recently wrote about how it actually is possible to advertise CBD on Google and backed that up with screenshots of ads for CBD oil on Google Search and with Google Shopping Ads.
Our team has been able to advertise medical cannabis on Facebook, Google, and Instagram since 2017. We’ve also advertised CBD and cannabis marketing services using Google Search for our agency.
You may not have tried to advertise your cannabis business on Google because of their strict advertising restrictions but clearly, some CBD brands are finding a way to get their products in front of literally millions of people every single second using Google Ads.
On the other side of things, I have sponke to cannabis business owners who have tried to run Google Ads campaigns to promote CBD oil or cannabis flower and have had their Google Ads account shut down. So just like email marketing discussed above, there is a risk to using Google to advertise you CBD and cannabis products.
So what does a cannabis business do?
Should you even consider advertising on Google, or should you focus your digital advertising budget on 3rd party native advertising platforms that actually accept cannabis and CBD related ads?
We recommend clients try using Google to advertise their marijuana products at least once. In our experience, we have been able to get ads approved after lots of tweaking and a ton of research and, as mentioned above, some cannabis and CBD brands are able to get their cannabis ads approved, so why not give it a shot?
I’d highly recommend you consider outsourcing this cannabis marketing service because of the experience required setup and optimize a Google Ads account, especially when it comes to cannabis advertising and the possibility of getting your Google account banned.
With that said, it’s always good to have a contingency plan for your cannabis marketing and have another effective cannabis marketing service in your toolbox in case Google Ads don’t work out for you.
We have a great example of an effective cannabis and CBD marketing service that has absolutely no restrictions and doesn’t require any advertising/media spend. We’ll discuss this tactic in the next section.
5. Search Engine Optimization Services for Cannabis Businesses
I’ve have written a lot about SEO on our blog and for a very good reason. I feel that SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for every business, but especially for cannabis businesses and marijuana dispensaries.
Why? Simply because it works. There’s also no advertising restrictions, you can publish or “advertise” anything you want, and you own all your content.
You can even control how your cannabis business shows up in search results. Both for local searches, which display your business information, as well as for general search queries related to cannabis or CBD that show up in the organic search listing and link right to your website.
From a very high-level (read: easy to understand level), the theory for using SEO as one of your essential marijuana marketing services goes like this.
- A potential customer has head about CBD oil (or a certain cannabis strain) and wants to find out more information about the product before they decide which brand to actually buy.
- They may ask their friends but let’s think of this potential customer as someone who like to do their own research.
- They’ll hit up a search engine like Google or Bing and type their question into the search box and begin their search for the information they’re looking for.
- I feel they’d probably type something like “what is cod oil”, “what are the health benefits of cbd”, or “does cbd oil treat anxiety [or add any other related condition]”.
- They will see a bunch of search results and maybe even some paid Google Ads.
- They will find a result that has the title/link that best relates to their query. They may even read all the links/titles and even read some of the page description underneath each link to see which one will answer their question best.
I think it’s safe to say that you want your website content to be found in those page 1 search result listings and you want that potential customer to choose to click your link and land on your website, right?
If you’re an entrepreneur you may be thinking – “I’d rather have someone find my site when they want to buy cannabis or CBD online or at my dispensary near them. I feel like we just lost a sale”.
That’s not true at all and here’s why. Remember, this potential customer wasn’t looking to buy.
They were not a “bottom of the funnel” potential customer. They are a “top of the funnel” prospect and should be regarded as such.
Everyone who visits your website is a potential customer who may buy from you sooner or later. Everyone who is browsing your store’s product pages is a potential customer who also may choose your brand over a competing cannabis brand.
So how do you convert these potential customers into paid and returning customers?
You need to find the right mix of cannabis marketing services to build a lucrative website conversion funnel using organic search, as well as social media and potentially digital advertising.
One of those marketing tactics should be to use SEO and blog content marketing together, to create blog content that answers your target market’s questions about cannabis and CBD use.
If the content is properly optimized for users and for search engines, you’ll show up on page 1 for the popular/profitable keyword search phrases (i.e the customers questions) that you optimized for.
This increase in traffic from organic search will populate the top of your conversion funnel and inevitably drive more traffic to your online store or retail dispensary, which will lead to increased sales and revenue for your business – with no advertising restrictions!
We’ll discuss blog content writing in the last section below and how to combine that with SEO for maximum results.
6. Native Advertising Services For Cannabis & CBD Companies
If the cannabis advertising restrictions on Google and Facebook have got you down, and you’re a direct response type of business owner that has their heart set on running paid digital advertising campaigns, we have good news for you.
There are a few advertising platforms that allow CBD and Cannabis advertising. They offer native ad placements, sponsored content placements, as well as video ad placements on some of the world’s most popular websites.
Keep in mind that the reach your ads would get on these platforms is not nearly as large as you’d achieve on Facebook or Googleand that CPCs and CPMs are more expensive, but there are benefits to using 3rd party native advertising platforms.
For example, here’s what the following 2 examples of 3rd party native ad platforms say about their respective cannabis advertising services:
Mantis influences the world’s largest audience of millennials interested in cannabis, yoga, music, wellness, and other real life content. We know our audience and what makes them tick; work with us to share your company’s message.
- 500 publishing partners in their network
- 35M unique views per month
- 100M impressions served per month
- Top 100 network via Quantcast
Outbrain’s partners include news and media publishers such as CNN, US Weekly, MSN, WSJ, and The Guardian, as well as lots of more niche sites, including sports, entertainment, finance, health, and technology. Their ad units will usually be found as recommendations in the footer of the page and marked with the Outbrain logo.
- 275B monthly recommendations
- 80% of the world’s premium publishers
If you’d like more information on 3rd party native advertising on these platforms please see How To Advertise Marijuana Products Using Native Advertising Networks.
7. Blog Content Writing Services For Medical Marijuana
This section ties in with section #5 on cannabis SEO. If you’re creating any content for your website, blogs or regular website page content, that page needs to have its metadata, back-end code, on-page copy, and images, optimized for search engines.
Google needs the SEO data to be able to crawl the page effectively and to properly rank the content for relevant search from potential cannabis customers.
If you want your blog content to be found in search results, you’ll need some sort of cannabis SEO strategy on your site.
The key to writing optimized blog content is to know your audience. You need to understand their questions and concerns about cannabis and CBD products. You can find this information by using free keyword research tools.
Keyword research is a practice search engine optimization professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject or when looking to purchase something specific.
For example, Google provides two essential and free keyword research tools. Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Suggest.
Here’s an example of what Google suggested when I typed in “what are the health benefits of cbd oil”.
You can see that Google is telling us that people who searched for the phrase “what are the health benefits of cbd oil”, also searched using the following related queries, among others:
- what are the health benefits of full spectrum cbd oil
- what health benefits has cbd oil
- health benefits of cbd oil anxiety
- health benefits of cbd oil for cats
- health benefits of cbd oil for humans
All of these 5 search queries could be used for an SEO optimized blog article to be published on your site. In order for your content to rank in search results, it has to be useful to the reader and somewhat in-depth.
This means a simple 500-word blog article with no images just won’t cut it.
Google rewards site with high relevance, authority, and trust. To get high scores in these key search metrics your site needs to be populated with high-quality, relevant content that people are searching for.
People should be on your blog page for at least 0:30 seconds if not 3+ minutes, in order to show Google your content is relevant and useful.
If people are spending just seconds on your website (i.e. you have a high bounce rate), it signals to Google that your site is not relevant to the user’s search query on cannabis or CBD products. Therefore, your rankings could suffer along with your domain authority.
So when choosing blog content marketing as one of your essential cannabis marketing services you need to grow your business, be sure to publish 2-4 x 1000-1500 word, SEO optimized blog articles, with images and media, and formatted for easy readability by potential customers, each month.
This cannabis SEO strategy will help boost your website’s traffic as well as it’s domain authority, relevance, and trust scores with Google. After all, authority, relevance, and trust are Google’s top 3 search engine ranking factors which is why we recommend optimized blog content writing for your cannabis marketing strategy.
We Can Help You With Experienced Cannabis Marketing Services
So now you have some decent background on effective cannabis marketing services that can be used to grow your dispensary or cannabis ancillary business. Which ones do you feel will be most profitable for your business?
If you’re willing to accept the risks involved with using digital advertising to market and promote cannabis, we’ve done it before and can help you navigate those murky waters.
If you’re sold on the long-term strategy of using SEO to build a conversion funnel by boosting brand awareness and increasing your hyper-targeted website traffic, we are Google Analytics certified search marketing professionals and can help you implement a proper cannabis SEO strategy on your website.
Our content marketing team is made up of experienced cannabis content writers and SEO professionals who can research and write SEO optimized blog content to increase your website traffic from organic search.
Regardless of what kind of marijuana marketing you need, when it comes to any of the cannabis marketing services mentioned above, we can provide strategic consultation and managed services.
Please contact us for a free consultation to discuss your cannabis project or to request a quote.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!