Today’s topic is medical marijuana marketing.
Over the last two decades, cannabis has gained more ground in the US. With its legalization in many states, even more, people have started using it to treat illnesses and other underlying health conditions.
One will think that this will make it easier to promote and market medical weed, but that’s not the case.
There are still restrictions, and advertising medicinal cannabis products, services, and contents require careful planning and execution so that you don’t get on the wrong side of the law.
This article will address how to promote and market medical weed with four strategies that the leading marijuana brands use.
Why promote medical marijuana?
Here are two reasons you should promote this product.
- To satisfy the demand for it and increase sales: As we mentioned earlier, many patients use medicinal cannabis to manage health conditions. However, the substance is also known to increase the efficacy of other drugs. This creates a high demand for medical pot, with little dispensaries to supply the product to patients. Therefore, by promoting your dispensary, products, and services, you’ll be satisfying the needs of these people by making it readily accessible to them.
- To increase brand awareness and create a better customer experience: In the US, marijuana has been associated with negativity. Therefore, another reason you should promote your medical marijuana business is to increase brand popularity among cannabis users. Once this is achieved, your business will then be viewed by customers as an authority in the industry, and the go-to source for information about marijuana. All these lead to better customer experience.
What are the restrictions on promotion?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are two agencies that regulate how dispensaries and cannabis customers can promote and use medical marijuana, respectively.
In the last few years, the FTC has issued stern warnings to companies that promote their medical cannabis products and promise they can cure or treat diseases without reliable scientific evidence or backings.
Furthermore, the FDA has not approved many CBD products that people use. Therefore, marketing your dispensary can prove challenging for many business owners.
However, both agencies have not explicitly come out to say that you cannot promote such items or the dispensary that produces them.
So, on the bright side, there’s a way to sidestep the restrictions of these agencies.
Top 4 Strategies for Promoting Medicinal Marijuana
These medical marijuana marketing strategies are tested tactics that marijuana businesses and dispensaries have used in promoting their products and services.
They will help in building customer relationships and create a conversion funnel for your medical cannabis business if used strategically.
Here are the five strategies:
- Content Marketing
Content marketing has always been one of the most useful aspects of digital marketing. For medical weed businesses looking to promote the substance, it is even more instrumental because people need to be enlightened on its benefits. What better way to get this done than to create content?
When using content marketing as a strategy to promote medicinal cannabis, you must ensure that you create only relevant content that addresses the concerns and questions users have of the substance.
Due to the controversial nature of marijuana, you cannot place such ads on search engines. Still, the first action users take when they have marijuana-related questions is to go to these search engines.
Therefore, you’ll want your product or brand content to be one of the first to show up on search results by strategically using keywords to rank higher.
What type of content should you create?
The fundamental focus of content marketing is to add value to your audience. To do this, you can create content that can be promoted on many digital channels like:
- In-depth articles and blogs
How to get started with medical cannabis content marketing
Here are the steps to follow to get started with promoting marijuana for medical use using content marketing:
- Define your goal: Although the end goal of using content marketing is to promote your products, other objectives could branch out from this. For example, your goal might be to improve people’s impression of medicinal cannabis or keep them informed about the latest breakthroughs and research works. In any case, the first step is to have specific and achievable goals.
- Define your target audience: Once you know what you want to achieve, the next thing is to define who you are trying to reach with your content. Is your target audience aged, or of a particular gender or a cannabis user? Where do they live, and what are the marijuana regulations in that area? What do they know about weed for medical use, and what are they expecting to get from your content?
Answering these questions puts you on the right path to genuinely adding value to potential website visitors and then promoting your items.
- Create your content: With the knowledge of who your audience is, their expectations, and your goal, the next step is to create content on medical pot.
- Decide on the distribution channels: There are many distribution channels where you can pass your content and get people to view it.
- Track and test: The last stage is to track how your content performs. Look at whether or not you should change your distribution channels, what people do after viewing it, and if they get the attention of people. We recommend that you use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to make it easier to track and measure your content marketing strategies.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a data-driven strategy that drives high-quality prospects and customers to learn about medicinal marijuana.
As a medical marijuana marketing strategy, it goes hand-in-glove with content marketing. Afterall there’s no use of creating content if you won’t optimize it and ensure that users see it in search results.
Therefore, images, videos, blogs, and relevant keywords of your medical cannabis content should be optimized.
How does SEO help your CBD brand?
- The business can create awareness about pot for medical use without using paid adverts
SEO is organic, which means that your content will be ranked on search engine results pages (SERPs) if you tailor it to meet users’ search queries.
Therefore, if you publish relevant content and you optimize it for search engines, there’s hardly any reason why your target audience won’t find it in SERPs.
This implies that you can increase the awareness of medical cannabis without paying publishers to include your content in their posts, articles, and blogs.
- SEO strategies used for this content will boost brand credibility and trust among users
Customers don’t have the time to go through every result that pops up on search results. Therefore, if your business or medicinal weed content is down the rankings, people will be skeptical about your brand.
Thus, apart from increasing awareness that people have about your products, using SEO strategies can also boost your brand credibility.
- Using SEO strategies for medical marijuana content helps businesses get more data about its users
Since marijuana is considered a controversial topic to discuss, it can be challenging for businesses to get data about users of the substance. So, by not only creating relevant content on medicinal cannabis but also optimizing it for search engines, you can understand the needs of customers. You can also use the insights from the data to find high search volume keywords.
5 SEO techniques you should try today
Here are 5 SEO techniques you should consider using when promoting medical marijuana on your website:
- Ensure the site is mobile-friendly: People don’t move around with laptops, tablets, and computers as much as they do with their mobile phones. Therefore, businesses that promote such products on websites must ensure that their sites are mobile-friendly. This means that the content is readable, maintains its structure when viewed on a mobile phone, and has no glitches that may ruin users’ experience.
- Update old promotional content regularly: Posting promotional content solves one half of the problem. The other is ensuring that you update it regularly. In the cannabis industry, things change quickly. So, this is a tell-tale sign for businesses that promote marijuana and other forms of cannabis that they must be on top of their game on the latest happenings.
- Use your competitors’ keywords: ‘Medical marijuana’ is perhaps the most used keyword by businesses that are looking to promote the substance. However, there are several other ones you can use. And what better way to get unique high-volume keywords than to research the ones your competitors are using?
Digging to find out the keywords other businesses are using wouldn’t cost you anything, and you can get new strategies from such insights.
- Write round-up posts: Round-up posts are either interviews or contents that contain a list of something. They are another excellent way to grow your SEO rankings while promoting medical cannabis.
- Branding your business
Another way to promote marijuana for medicinal use is to make your promotional content about your business’ brand, and not your products. For startups that are looking to promote medicinal pot while increasing their popularity, this strategy can prove useful.
One way medical cannabis can be promoted is to produce creative ads that relate to the lifestyle of the target audience. For example, most companies in the US have started making edibles from marijuana. However, it is the unique logos and names of the businesses that have stuck with these customers, and not the product itself.
Another example is the branding strategy a cannabis company employed in California. The company invited cannabis users to one of its dispensaries so the users could experience first-hand how their medical marijuana tinctures were made. Organizing excursions like this builds users’ trust and confidence in your brand.
The biggest challenge of branding your medicinal marijuana business is that it is easy to get into the bad books of the regulatory agencies. So, we recommend that you employ this strategy carefully.
- Social Media Strategies
Social media, over the years, have become one of the popular platforms to advertise, promote, and market products and the reason for this is not far-fetched. Although each platform has its own rules as to how you can promote products, most of them have stricter regulatory laws on advertising medicinal marijuana. For example, Facebook clearly states that businesses should avoid using images of medical or recreational marijuana in posts.
4 creative ways to promote on any social media platform
- Run contests that’ll attract the attention of your followers: A subtle way to promote a product without outrightly advertising or medical marijuana marketing it is to run contests on social media. In this case, contests are a great way to generate buzz about your brand and clear the air on questions that people have about it.
When running a medical marijuana contest on social media, make sure it is fun and simple. You can also consider spicing it up by having some sort of reward or incentive to keep customers going.
Ultimately, this method will spur people into accepting medical weed in the long-term. It will also help you to generate more leads and convert more users.
- Provide proof that’ll build confidence in medical marijuana: A decent number of people have heard that medicinal cannabis has some health benefits. However, most people in this group believe that it is an untrue plot by dispensaries and marijuana companies to compel people to purchase their products. Therefore, first building confidence with social proofs is another way to promote medical cannabis on social media.
Social proofs include testimonials, customer reviews, or any information that’ll convince people of the good medical marijuana has to offer.
- Run deals and promos on social media: A newly introduced way of promoting medical pot on social media is to give away deals and promo code. Running deals on social media is a good way to keep users engaged. So, when using this method, try to add a personal touch that customers would like.
- Leverage the power of social media influencers: Social media is a game of numbers, and getting the job of promoting medical cannabis done can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the crop of followers you need. Fortunately, some social media influencers can help you make the process much easier. You can partner with those who have promoted medical weed in the past to increase awareness about the substance.
3 Ways to promote on Instagram
Here are a couple of ways you can market medical marijuana on Instagram:
- Include specific hashtags: Hashtags are used to group concepts, conversations, and ideas, and they make it easy for followers to find content. When promoting medical cannabis on Instagram, you should use hashtags that describe the substance. However, stay away from the controversial ones like ‘pot’ or ‘weed’ that will cause user upsets.
- Apply filters: Using Instagram filters positively affects the engagement on an Instagram post. Therefore, when promoting weed for medical use on social media, make sure you use filters. You might use a tool to help you pick which one is popular among users of medical marijuana.
- Post at the right time: Knowing when your target audience will engage with your post is essential data that every business should have at their fingertips. Take, for instance, a business whose target audience is people between the ages of 30 to 40 years. Such a business should upload its Instagram posts sometime after the close of work or during lunchtime than at midnight.
2 Tips when promoting on Twitter
Tweeting is more than posting characters and hoping people see it. When promoting medical marijuana on Twitter, you need to do it the right way. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Create Twitter Moments: On twitter, you can mash up many of your promotional posts into a single collection. For example, if you’ve been posting about the numerous diseases that medical cannabis helps to cure, you can curate all of them into a single tweet. This is sure to get more engagement from your target audience.
- Ensure you format your tweets correctly: People often neglect the power of a properly formatted tweet. Formatting on social media requires that you use the right characters, images, paragraph spacing, and hashtags in your promotional posts.
For example, a paragraph of six to seven lines, even though it explains the extraction process of CBD oil, will not get the attention it needs.
On the other hand, a paragraph of half the length, with short and concise statements broken down in a thread, could do the trick.
3 Tips for Dispensaries that promote medical marijuana use
As a dispensary, here are tips that’ll help when you when promoting responsible medical marijuana use:
- Ensure that it is safe for patients to access medical marijuana: People go to dispensaries because they expect it to be a safe environment. For these dispensaries, it is a lot easier to develop relationships when they can attract patients who would have otherwise gotten medicinal marijuana in less-than-ideal settings. Then, encouraging the responsible use of medical marijuana in treating conditions becomes much easier.
- Ensure you deal with top-quality substances: Modern marijuana cultivators have developed unique solutions that can treat the underlying health conditions of patients. Once a dispensary can show that it deals only with top-quality marijuana, patients feel the need not to abuse or misuse the substance. For example, medical dispensaries are expected to use only marijuana products that have 0.3% or less of THC. So, if a business can show that it follows this rule strictly, it will encourage users to abide by their prescriptions.
- Change the conversation about marijuana: Many people, including doctors who prescribe the substance, still see marijuana and other cannabis products as illicit drugs. Therefore, for dispensaries to promote the responsible use of marijuana, they must find ways to spread positive messages to the public. For example, many medical dispensaries in the US now run campaigns that reveal the dangers of illicit marijuana use, as well as the differences among the different strains of cannabis.
FAQs on how to promote medical marijuana in the USA
Q1. Why hasn’t the FDA approved many marijuana products for medical use?
With the FDA holding back from approving many marijuana products for medical use, promoting the substance on digital channels has been a challenge for dispensaries and other marijuana companies. The regulatory body relies on the research of scientific investigators, and so, it works primarily with the data that is submitted for approval.
One significant barrier preventing the agency from approving the use of some medicinal marijuana products is the number of reports it has received of the adverse effects that have come from the misuse of those substances.
Q2. What is the composition of medical marijuana?
Like recreational marijuana, cannabis used to manage health conditions should not compose of anything more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating substance found in cannabis.
Q3. Can I make claims about the health benefits of Marijuana?
The FDA frowns at businesses that make extreme claims of the health benefits of marijuana. Therefore, you should be careful about the things you say the marijuana you make can do when promoting the substance for medical use.
There’s a thin line between promoting medical pot and breaking the law.
Sadly, most people don’t recognize the difference, and government agencies are quick to make an example of such businesses. So how do you plan to promote your medicinal weed, content, and services?
We are here to help you grow your business, and so have provided four medical marijuana marketing strategies that will come in handy when you want to promote your cannabis products for medical use on digital channels.
With this and all the other tips we’ve included, you should have all you need to make your medical marijuana products, content, and services widely known in the cannabis industry.