Tag Archive for: cannabis brands

Despite the challenges for cannabis brands, social media is important to them.

In 2005, just 5% of American adults were on at least one social media platform. By 2020, that number had risen to 72%. And as social media has become a ubiquitous part of modern life, social media marketing has, in many ways, become a virtual version of the storefront. It is vital to the success of retail operations in the United States.

However, the booming cannabis industry cannot capitalize on social media marketing the way that others can. Because cannabis has still not been legalized at the federal level, major social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn all limit cannabis companies’ ability to promote their product on social platforms. Each platform has a specific policy in place that limits the efficacy of cannabis marketing online.

Many cannabis companies and cannabis-adjacent companies have had their profiles deactivated and pages deleted without notice by various platforms, and still others have their ad accounts shut down when they try to post a promotional ad for their products.

This ultimately costs each business money and customers and reduces their visibility and reach online. Social media platforms police these businesses and the content they post, and it’s not unheard of for a company to alert the platforms’ administrators to a competitor’s post as an underhanded way to reduce the impact of their advertising.

But while cannabis brands face and will likely continue to face specific challenges in advertising their product until it is legal at the federal level, there are still ways that they can advertise themselves while operating within social media platforms’ stated parameters. Let’s take a look at some of the ways cannabis companies can appeal to the hundreds of millions of people on social media without risking deplatforming.

Traditional Advertising

While you can definitely still make use of social media advertising, you will need to tread carefully to ensure that you are not in violation of any of the platforms’ policies, which vary from service to service.

One possible loophole to the platforms’ blanket moratorium on cannabis advertising is to publish ads that are for educational purposes. By ensuring that the ad is not promotional and doesn’t link to a promotional page, you will have improved the chances that your ads will be approved by the powers that be. There are, obviously, limits to the effectiveness of an ad that doesn’t actually advertise, and you’ll need to get creative for it to be effective.

However, even if your ads are educational and created for advocacy purposes, Facebook could still try to shut down your ads account or your business page. They may argue that even though your ads were merely meant to be educational, they still promote cannabis use.

At the end of the day, ads are an option, but you must exercise extreme caution. Most cannabis companies do not have much success with traditional advertising on social media platforms, and the few that do are in an extremely fortunate minority.

Educational and Valuable Content

In order to develop your unique brand online, you should publish content that your target audience will value. Your focus should be on educational content that could be useful to your customers, rather than on promotional content.

Share useful data with your target audience and indirectly promote your brand through videos, posts, articles, and more that help bring visibility to your brand but don’t violate social media policies. Even customers of businesses that are permitted to post promotional content regularly post other types of content, including educational content, as most customers don’t want to follow companies who only promote their products and offer little that is informational or otherwise useful.

Engagement

Instead of focusing on promotion, you should focus on engaging with your current customers and your new potential customers. Don’t post information about your products or price info. Don’t publish any content that shows customers interacting with your products. Instead, concentrate on creating content that won’t violate the platform’s policies.

There are many types of engaging and entertaining content that can instill brand loyalty in your customers, such as tutorials, infographics, behind-the-scenes content at your place of business, and more. When consumers interact with this type of content, it puts a proverbial face to your name, increasing their trust in your brand, and helping them get to know your business better.

Earned Media Attention

One of the most important social media advertising opportunities for cannabis companies is earned media attention. When individuals share content that you published in other forums, on other social media platforms and elsewhere, you earn social media attention. And unlike running ads that may go against platform policies and get your page shut down, this publicity is entirely free. Generating word of mouth is one of the very best ways to bring in new customers.

The content that people talk about and are excited to share is content that is entertaining, informative, and authentic.

Some ways to generate this shareable content is through:

  • Blogging – If you are in the cannabis business, you should absolutely maintain a regular blog. Draft interesting blogs and then share your blog posts to your social media platforms so that your audience can easily find and share your blog content. Select topics that you think your audience will care about and remember to keep it educational and informative rather than promotional.
  • Videos – Blogs, of course, require consumers to engage with the written word. Many people prefer a visual format, which is why videos are such a great way to reach your target audience. In fact, if you have the resources, you could turn your blogs into video blogs for those who prefer to watch rather than read. You can also share video content across various social media platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Instagram. You might consider using videos to interview important individuals in the cannabis industry, educate your audience on the many different beneficial compounds found in cannabis besides the well-known THC, and advocate for the federal legalization movement.
  • Podcasts – Finally, you can use podcasts to promote your brand and reach your audience. Grab some recording equipment and use one of the numerous free apps to create your own podcast. Use the podcast to do an audio version of your blog, or to conduct interviews with influencers in the industry or activists who are leading the fight to legalize cannabis at the federal level. And of course, share that content across all of your social platforms.

If you run a cannabis business, it can be an uphill battle trying to leverage social media tools to promote your products online. But there are still ways that you can reach your target audience and increase engagement through these platforms.

Contact Avaans Media

If you are interested in learning more about how to use social media to your advantage as a cannabis business, or are seeking assistance building your brand, look no further than Avaans Media, recognized as a top cannabis PR agency. Our team has the experience and skills to help you develop a strong brand and increase your customer engagement through social media marketing. Contact us today to find out more.

What is a top cannabis firm anyway? How important is it that someone else thinks a PR agency is great? What YOU need to know is if a leading cannabis firm is right for YOU. If you are leading a cannabis business or are trying to grow and develop an existing cannabis brand, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing a leading cannabis industry PR firm that understands your business objectives. As the industry explodes and cannabis becomes more accessible in more and more states where it is legal, many cannabis businesses are searching for an agency with whom they can develop a long-term, successful relationship.

To help you make the right choice for your business, we’ve put together a list of qualities you should look for when scouting a PR firm. By following these helpful tips, you’ll be better able to find the best firm for you and your business.

Does The Firm Have Experience In Your Field?

When you are seeking out a top cannabis PR agency, you want one that combines a strong knowledge of the fundamentals with experience in your specific field. A firm that has worked in the cannabis industry is one that understands the challenges your business faces due to the patchwork of state-level laws regulating its production, marketing, and consumption, and one that knows how to appeal to your target audience. The last thing you want is a firm that doesn’t know Facebook’s policy about advertising cannabis on its platform, or has outdated assumptions about the consumers who might be excited about your product.

Does The Agency Maintain Strong Relationships?

It’s important to determine whether the cannabis PR firm knows the major players in the cannabis industry, if it has preexisting relationships with influencers and important publications, and whether it can put you in touch with the consultants and other experts who can help take your cannabis brand to the next level. Having access to a PR team’s vast network of professionals can be incredibly beneficial to your business, so it’s worth asking who they know as well as what they know.

To put it simply, you want a PR firm that is more than just a database — you want a team that has ongoing working relationships with industry insiders and the other cannabis industry personnel who can be your entrée to more opportunities down the road.

Is The Firm The Right Size For Your Business?

You should seek out a cannabis PR firm that compliments the size of your business, one that offers you all the resources you need to flourish but also the personalized attention that your company deserves. If you own a small business, you may not need the resources of a 100-person firm. But you also might require more work than a single freelancer can provide. Finding that balance is critical.

What Is The Staff Like?

Since it’s common to work with one group as you explore PR firms, and another team when you sign with an agency, you should ask questions about the makeup of the team you’ll be working with. Ask each person you’ll be working with about their professional backgrounds and experiences, inquire about their responsibilities as part of the team, and find out why they’re interested in the cannabis field. Lastly, make sure that you have the opportunity to consult with senior-level executives at the firm and confirm that they will be available to provide strategic advice when needed.

Does the Firm Offer Integrated Services?

You should seek out a PR firm that offers an array of services, including earned media (such as press coverage, social media mentions, quote tweets, shares, and reviews) and owned media, also called content development (which encompasses blogs, studies, vlogs, podcasts, and more). You should also ensure that the team has the ability not just to develop content, but to do the hard work that ensures this content is meaningful to your target audience: researching, conducting interviews, and writing in an impactful way.

Does the Firm Work in a Timely and Efficient Manner?

You should also consider whether the firm takes the initiative and puts proactive plans in motion in a timely and efficient manner, rather than waiting around for you to approach them. The last thing you want is a PR team that doesn’t understand your business or your goals, doesn’t regularly strategize to help you accomplish those goals, and makes you reach them yourself.

What is the Turnover Rate for Employees of The Firm? What About Clients?

The average rate of turnover between the agency and their clients will give you an excellent idea of how much other companies trust the agency with their business. How long do their professional relationships usually last? Even if you are only signing a limited contract, would you be able to continue the relationship under a renewed contract? You should also ask what the firm’s employee turnover looks like. Low turnover is always a good sign that the firm is a place where employees enjoy working. Happy employees are better for your business, as they will likely be more invested in your business strategy and in helping you succeed. And less turnover also means that the firm won’t be cycling people in and out of your account — people who may not be familiar with your business and its goals.

What’s The Cost?

Like any businessperson, you’re going to have to settle on a budget, and that budget will influence what services you can afford. It’s important to factor the cost of an effective PR campaign into your budget, as this could make or break your business. You should be upfront about your budget and ask other cannabis businesspeople and peers how much they pay for the services you’re seeking. Being upfront about your budget will ensure that neither your time nor the PR firm’s time is wasted.

Ask For References

You should review what other clients have to say about their experience with the firm. Do they express hostility, indifference, or enthusiasm for the firm? How other clients respond will tell you a lot about what kind of relationships the firm builds with its clients. If your peers don’t get excited about the agency, then it may not be worth your time.

Contact the PR Professionals of Avaans Media

If you are starting a cannabis business or are looking to take your existing business to the next level, contact Avaans Media today. We look forward to discussing your business objectives, introducing you to our team, and determining if we’re the right fit for your needs.

The cannabis industry in the United States continues to grow and adapt to changing consumer behaviors, methods of production, and technology. Let’s take a look at some of the emerging trends surrounding cannabis in 2021, and what the industry as a whole may be in for in the coming months and years.

Health & Wellness in Cannabis Industry

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon for the health and wellness industry, as many individuals have begun to place a greater emphasis on taking care of their bodies and soothing their minds. Superfoods containing hemp, full spectrum cannabis extracts, CBD and CBG products, and other cannabis products are all becoming popular among consumers, and there’s no reason to think that trend will end anytime soon. One cannabis statistic that stands out is the the anticipated growth in the cannabis industry in the US. According to BDSA, Retail sales of cannabis will reach $47.5 billion by 2026.

Sustainability

Sustainability is an emerging consumer demand across products and industries, and the cannabis business is no exception. People are looking for products that are sustainably produced, organically grown, all-natural, and free of hazardous toxins and chemicals.

Consumers are getting smarter, and they care more deeply about where their products come from and how they are produced. This is leading some cannabis brands to vertically integrate, giving them the ability to control quality through the various stages of production and distribution. Cannabis marketing companies are seeking to establish trust and transparency with consumers, providing them with more insight into the production process, what ingredients are used to make products, and more.

Other Cannabinoids in Cannabis Brands

Consumers are also gaining awareness about other chemical elements of cannabis apart from THC. While much of the focus of the industry has been on THC products, more and more consumers are learning about the benefits of other compounds including CBD and the up-and-coming CBG, which may aid users with sleep, pain, inflammation, and discomfort. Full-spectrum products have also grown in popularity in recent years. Other compounds that consumers are learning about include CBC, CBN, and THCV.

Delta-8, Delta-9, and other unidentified cannabinoids that haven’t been specifically identified as legal or illegal. This gray area leaves new product development open, so many cannabis brands are taking advantage of this, by producing products low in THC, but high in other psychoactive effects so they aren’t subject to THC regulations.

More cannabis-containing products will probably become available soon as well. CBD-infused beverages and THC beverages are already becoming increasingly popular, and even large corporations like the Coca-Cola company are considering creating CBD-based soda products. Edibles are also increasing in popularity, and CBD edibles are becoming more widely available thanks to retailers not usually considered cannabis businesses. Still, the marijuana flower itself is likely to remain the dominant cannabis product for the foreseeable future.

Craft Cannabis Products

Craft products have also come into higher demand recently. As the availability of cannabis products becomes more widespread, increasingly refined consumers will seek out cannabis brands marketed to the connoisseur, in much the same way that they did during the craft beer boom of the last few decades.

When a wide variety of cannabis products becomes available and consumers have more choice, educated consumers are no longer satisfied with the most readily available cannabis products. They want something that was created ethically, with thought and care given toward taste, branding, and status. One other positive thing about the craft cannabis movement is that craft cannabis companies are small businesses. These boutique brands can particularly do well with cannabis PR because it puts them alongside top cannabis brands and highlights their differentiations well.

Delivery and Drive-thru Transactions

Curbside and delivery options have become the norm in the era of COVID-19, and this trend may continue after the pandemic ends due to the convenience it provides consumers. While many consumers will enjoy the return of in-store shopping and the interactive experience it provides, other consumers will continue to expect the ease and comfort provided by a less involved buying process.

More, and More Diverse, Customers

As cannabis products become more mainstream, their use will likely become popular with people who had never been regular cannabis consumers in the past. Cannabis is also likely to shed some of the seedier stereotypes that some people associate with its use, as it becomes less and less of a taboo. We’ve already seen pushes for diversity, with the introduction of LGBTQAI+ Pride Month products, and programs in New York and Virginia that embed social equity programs into their legalization rollouts.

Medical Marijuana

More doctors will recommend—and will be legally able to prescribe—medical marijuana as a treatment for certain medical conditions. Medical marijuana is already legal in 36 states and several territories, making holdouts increasingly the odd ones out.

Increased Cannabis Retail Sales

As more and more states fully legalize cannabis, and others seem on a path toward legalization in the near future, cannabis sales will continue to skyrocket. More consumers will become aware of the benefits of the various compounds in cannabis, and as we inch closer to federal legalization, the cannabis industry may grow exponentially.

Job Drug Testing Will Decrease

Amazon announced in the summer of 2021 that they would no longer test applicants for marijuana during the hiring process. They also threw their support behind marijuana legalization. Due to Amazon’s market power, it makes sense that other companies will take note and follow Amazon’s lead on the issue.

Social Equity

As cannabis has become legal and widely available in many states across the country, it has forced us as a society to have important conversations about the number of individuals, particularly individuals of color, who have been incarcerated as a result of the decades-long “War on Drugs.”

As access to cannabis increases across the United States, many states are enacting social equity initiatives with the goal of reversing the harm done to individuals who were punished for something that is now perfectly legal and widely used, and steering income to the communities that these policies devastated.

The Legalization Movement

The movement toward legalization is continuing to grow in 2021. Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and Virginia have all legalized cannabis since the beginning of 2020, and more are likely to follow or risk losing out on the tax income that legal cannabis provides.

With the vast majority of Americans supporting federal legalization of cannabis, it’s clear that the movement will only continue to grow and that federal cannabis legalization may not be far off. Additionally, several other states have recently decriminalized recreational consumption of cannabis, which historically has been the first step towards legalization.

Conclusion

As demand soars and the movement toward legalization gains more and more support, the cannabis industry will continue to grow at a prodigious pace. If you are thinking of getting into the market or are trying to grow your cannabis business, our top cannabis PR agency has the knowledge and resources you need to stay ahead of emerging trends, help you stand out from the competition, and achieve your business goals.