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Embroker Team September 16, 2022 9 min read

How to Develop a Marketing Plan For Your Cannabis Business

A woman is holding a book containing knowledge that can help her write a cannabis marketing plan for her business

As cannabis becomes increasingly legalized and accepted across the United States, more and more businesses are getting involved in the cannabis industry. And with any business, marketing is a key component to successfully operating a cannabis business in your state. But because cannabis is such a new and regulated industry, marketing a cannabis business can be tricky. 

First, you should check laws and regulations in your state as, for example, some types of advertising might not be allowed. In the online world, Facebook, Instagram, and Google also have their limitations, but they do offer certain advertising opportunities for cannabis businesses. Also, big e-commerce companies might still be reluctant to accept and sell cannabis products through their platforms.

Even with these restrictions, you can still find options to advertise and market your cannabis business. If you are reluctant to embark on this project on your own, consider hiring a cannabis marketing expert who is familiar with all the rules and can help make a detailed marketing plan.

If you would like to know the basics of developing a marketing plan for your cannabis business, here are some tips to assist with that endeavor.

Define Your Target Market

The first step in any cannabis marketing plan is defining your target market. Who are you trying to reach with your product or service? When it comes to cannabis, there are a few different markets you could focus on: medical patients, recreational users, or cannabis businesses themselves. Once you’ve decided on your target market, you can begin to develop marketing strategies that will appeal to them.

When considering how you want to market your product, you should try putting yourself in your target buyer’s shoes. Why do they need your product? What benefit will they have from it? Where will they most likely look for the product they need? Answering these and similar questions should help you plan how to market your product to your target markets.

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Create a Brand Identity

Just like with any other business, developing a strong brand identity is essential for cannabis businesses. Your brand should reflect your company’s values and be consistent across all your marketing materials. You need a recognizable visual identity, a flawless website and storefront (both online and offline if you are running a dispensary), and a perfect way to associate your business name with your design.

 A strong brand will make you more recognizable to your target market and help you build trust with potential customers. That’s why every aspect of your operations, including your employees and the way they interact with customers, needs to reflect your brand values.

Develop a Cannabis Marketing Strategy

A man and a woman fist-bumping, happy that they agreed on the cannabis marketing strategy for their business

Once you’ve defined your target market and created a strong brand identity, you can begin to develop a cannabis marketing strategy. There are a few different channels you can use to reach your target market, including traditional media, online advertising, and word-of-mouth marketing. Figure out where your target market spends the most time and focus your marketing efforts there.

Developing a cannabis marketing plan can be challenging, so it’s important to remember that you’re not starting from scratch. There are many resources and examples out there to help you get started. Take some time to research how other cannabis businesses are marketing their products and services and use that information to develop your own cannabis marketing strategy. For instance, these cannabis marketing ideas will help you launch your brand as a new business on the block:

Print Ads

Print ads can be placed in magazines, newspapers, or other publications that your target market is likely to read. Try focusing your print ads on local circulations if you want to target a certain demographic or geographic region. If you aim to reach larger audiences, you can place print ads in cannabis-specific publications and events.

Radio Ads (or Podcast or App)

One way that cannabis marketing can reach potential customers is through radio ads. Radio ads allow cannabis businesses to target a wide range of listeners with their message. By carefully crafting a cannabis-themed ad, you can create an effective way to reach potential customers and generate interest in your products or services. If the radio sounds like an outdated medium, consider the intent of radio ads for cannabis marketing and apply it to the channel you believe you’ll find your customers, such as music streaming, podcasts, or other audio apps.

Commercials

TV ads are a great way to reach potential customers with your cannabis marketing message. TV ads can be aired on local TV stations or cable networks that your target market is likely to watch. When designing your cannabis TV ad, make sure to include a strong call-to-action and your company’s contact information.

Online Ads

Online ads can be placed on websites, cannabis forums, certain social media platforms, and search engines that your target market is likely to use. By targeting potential cannabis customers with cannabis-related keywords, you can reach a larger audience of people who are interested in cannabis products. In addition, online ads allow cannabis marketers to track the performance of their campaigns and optimize their strategies over time.

Social Media Advertising

While cannabis advertising remains highly regulated, social media provides a powerful platform for cannabis marketers to reach their target audience. Through creative content and strategic targeting, you can use social media advertising to effectively reach potential customers and create meaningful engagement. When done right, social media advertising can be an extremely effective way to reach cannabis consumers. 

Blogging

If you want to reach potential cannabis customers, one of the best ways to do so is through blogging. You can write blog posts to provide valuable information about cannabis products and services, as well as to promote your brand. Reaching customers through educational and informative content can help you communicate the effective uses of your products, the benefits, and the value of your brand.

Infographics & Educational Materials

Speaking of education, infographics are a great way to reach potential customers with your cannabis marketing message. Infographics can be published on your own website or on other websites that your target market is likely to read. When designing your cannabis infographic, make sure to include a strong call-to-action and where to find your products or services.

Email Campaigns

Use email to reach potential customers by sending them targeted content that speaks to their specific needs and interests. By doing this, you can create a more personal relationship with your audience, which can lead to better results. As a bonus: you can easily track email campaigns, including metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and more that show you precisely how well your cannabis marketing is performing.

Outdoor Ads

One way cannabis marketing can reach potential customers is through outdoor ads. This could include billboards, public transit ads, and even flyers or posters in high-traffic areas. Outdoor advertising is a great way to reach cannabis users who may not be reached through other channels, and it can be very effective in raising awareness for your brand.

Product Packaging

Opt to use product packaging to reach potential customers in a variety of ways. Packaging can be used to advertise special offers, new products, or even cannabis strains. Additionally, cannabis marketing can use product packaging to target specific demographics with customized messages. 

For example, packaging for cannabis products aimed at seniors may include information on cannabis strains that are known to be effective for pain relief. By using cannabis marketing to reach potential customers through product packaging, you can ensure that your products stand out from the competition.

Events

Events will help you reach potential customers in a variety of ways. For example, cannabis businesses can host cannabis-themed events or partner with existing events that align with your target market. Cannabis businesses can also sponsor events or donate products as prizes. By participating in events, cannabis businesses can create positive associations with their brand and reach new customers.

Influencer Marketing

A person is pointing at a notebook and presenting their marketing plan to another person who is a cannabis industry influencer

Influencer marketing is everywhere, and it certainly has a place in cannabis as well. Consider partnering with influential names to get the word out. This could include bloggers, social media personalities, and other cannabis-focused businesses. By collaborating with these kinds of people and companies, cannabis marketers can tap into new audiences and create more interest in their products or services. Additionally, working with cannabis influencers can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is one of the most effective cannabis marketing tools available. It allows you to reach a large number of potential customers with your message without spending a lot of money. You can target your direct mail campaign to specific demographics so that you only send your message to people who are likely to be interested in it. This makes direct mail an extremely effective cannabis marketing tool.

Cannabis Trade Show Booths

Research trade show booths to connect with potential customers by displaying products and services, providing information about your company, and offering promotional items. Trade show booths offer a great way to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time and can be very effective for cannabis companies.

Sponsorship

Trade sponsorship includes sponsoring events that are popular with cannabis users. This type of marketing allows cannabis companies to connect with their target audience in a more personal way and build brand awareness. Trade sponsorship can also be used to support local businesses and community events that are important to cannabis users.

Guerilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost way to reach potential customers through unconventional means. This can be anything from handing out flyers in busy areas to setting up street art in strategic locations. Guerrilla marketing is all about being creative and thinking outside the box to get your message across.

Cannabis marketing can use guerrilla marketing to great effect. For example, setting up a stall in a busy area and giving out free products is a great way to get people talking about your product. Or, setting up an installation in a public space is sure to turn heads and get people talking.

Retargeting

Cannabis marketing can use retargeting to reach potential customers by placing ads on websites that they have visited in the past. This allows cannabis companies to stay top of mind with consumers and increase the chances that they will make a purchase.  Retargeting is an effective way to reach those who may be interested in cannabis products but need a little reminder. 

Cannabis PR

Cannabis marketing can use PR to their advantage by creating a strong and favorable public image for their company or product. You can do this by issuing press releases, holding media events, or conducting interviews that present the cannabis company or product in a positive light. Additionally, cannabis marketers can work with online influencers to get them to promote their product or company to their followers. By doing this, cannabis marketers can tap into a larger audience and create a more favorable public image for their product or company.

Street Team Marketing

Cannabis street team marketing is a great way to reach potential customers with your cannabis marketing message. Street team marketing involves sending teams of people into public places to promote your products or services. When using cannabis street team marketing, choose team members who align with your brand identity and will do the best job promoting your brand.

Affiliate Marketing

Cannabis affiliate marketing is a great way to reach potential customers with your cannabis marketing message. Affiliate marketing involves working with partners to promote your products or services. When using cannabis affiliate marketing, make sure to choose partners who align with your brand values.

Product Placement

Cannabis product placement is a great way to reach potential customers with your cannabis marketing message. Product placement involves placing your products or services in strategic locations. When using cannabis product placement, make sure to choose locations that will be most easily accessible for your potential customers.

As you can see, there are many different types of cannabis marketing that you can use to reach potential customers. When choosing a cannabis marketing strategy, choose one that aligns with your brand identity. By doing this, you will be able to reach your target audience and promote your products or services in the most effective way possible.

And finally, always remember to comply with state and federal cannabis laws when it comes to marketing your business. Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, there are some restrictions on how cannabis businesses can market their products. Be sure to research the laws in your state before you begin any cannabis marketing campaign. 

To ensure you are protected from any legal liabilities resulting from your marketing efforts, consider purchasing insurance for your cannabis company. Adequate cannabis business insurance policies will provide a financial safety net allowing you to conduct your operations without fearing a complicated lawsuit could bankrupt your business. If you still haven’t purchased insurance for your business, you can fill out the form to get an online quote for your cannabis business with Embroker.

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