It’s safe to say that cannabis is no longer down “the weeds.” At least, not in many US states. Every year in April, cannabis enthusiasts all over the globe light up a joint to celebrate this recreational (legal) plant. Cannabis startups use PR, digital marketing, and social media to launch their cannabis brands; here we share our tips.
Launching a cannabis brand can be made easier as long as you follow some tried and tested marketing methods. So, if you are a cannabis business owner looking for cannabis startup PR ideas, 4/20 is the perfect time to show the world what you have to offer. But how about the rest of the year?
We’ve seen cannabis businesses continue to grow as an increasing percentage of the general population accepts cannabis as a part of their recreational and medicinal usage. The acceptance has grown increasingly ingrained in how people live because of expanding its consumption habits. A variety of cannabis-infused products are now widely available in local stores.
Tips to Launch a Cannabis Lifestyle Brand
The cannabis market is expanding at an unmatched rate, with US sales estimates reaching $31 billion, up 41% over previous years. Nevertheless, the future for cannabis is unsteady despite this encouraging sales rise.
As the sector struggled with rising competition and other side effects of its most recent boom cycle, mergers and acquisition (M&A) in the cannabis space has also seen a record rise, which spells good news for the industry. However, new startups and more established businesses within the cannabis space are finding it harder to reach out to new consumers.
By putting money into product innovation and expanding beyond the flower, cannabis firms can connect with more people. Approximately 80% of sales were attributable to flowers about ten years ago; today, that percentage is 47%. Consumers are becoming more drawn to edibles, infused items, and other produced cannabis products.
Although outdoor (OOH) advertising is a more conventional channel, cannabis firms continue to invest in billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising. This change enables companies operating in the sector to increase customer trust while de-stigmatizing the industry. Although OOH consumes a sizable percentage of advertising dollars for cannabis promotion, the channel has several drawbacks. A significant problem is performance measurement.
It’s All About Branding
In 2022, cannabis brands changed massively. The type of customers your product appeals to will influence the appearance and feel you select. Keep track of any themes or keywords you see in popular brands.
Nowadays, cannabis and cannabis-infused products are everywhere. Some of the major distributors have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since it became legal in some US states, and by 2028, they anticipate that the market will be worth more than 70 billion dollars.
The market has produced many goods, including pre-rolled joints and CBD edibles for medical and recreational purposes. There are also many alternative purchasing methods available.
New cannabis startups need to create a brand that sets them apart and aids in clearly defining their positioning. So, what do most of the top cannabis brands have in common? A name, and of course, a logo. When terms relate to cannabis in a sophisticated, subtle way, like Tokyo Smoke of Doja, they usually succeed. Brands have recognized it’s past time to stop using cannabis culture’s overused clichés.
Most contemporary cannabis company logos avoid the ganja leaf symbolism of the past unless it is soft or creative. While posters of Guns n Roses might have looked good next to pictures of enormous green foliage, the 1990s are long gone. However, the leaf is a symbol that has become a significant and distinctive industry emblem that, when applied wisely, may lead to excellent brand development.
We all love to be part of a community, and when it comes to brands, some of the successful brands in the world thrive because of their communities. Cannabis brands can use social media as a beneficial tool to develop their community once they have established their presence on several platforms. They may also offer your clients the option to sign up for email newsletters that inform them of the most recent developments in the cannabis sector.
Building a community could assist in assembling a sizable group of worthwhile customers and well-wishers from the same sector, which is always good for business. You could sell your brand more effectively by locating like-minded people who share your interests at the end of the day.
Not every cannabis startup knows about cannabis public relations. Additionally, investing in efforts to improve your cannabis brand online is constant and impossible for one individual to manage alone.
As the sector develops, cannabis branding becomes a crucial marketing tactic for businesses competing for the majority or at least part of the market share. With that in mind, cannabis businesses must create an identity that resonates and caters to client demands if they want to connect with their target audience.
All of this will remove your focus from managing your firm, which is your area of expertise. In this situation, contacting a marijuana marketing firm can be the best course of action for you. By working with an agency, you can concentrate on running your company while it develops a digital advantage over your rivals.
Maintaining a website, posting content to social media, and formulating an effective digital marketing strategy are simple tasks in digital marketing. However, online company expansion is more challenging than it seems.
For instance, search engines continually update their algorithms to enhance search results and make it easier for users to locate what consumers are looking for. To appropriately know these changes and respond requires a full-time commitment by cannabis business owners, which is impossible when you’re running a new company.
A cannabis digital marketing company may help you avoid wasting time and money. These experts support themselves by remaining educated and anticipating developments that can have a detrimental effect on the exposure of your business.
Elevate Your Social Media Content
Social media platforms are where the party is at when branding these days. With more and more cannabis businesses entering the space, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to reach out, let alone attract new customers to your brand. It is why your brand needs to be where your customers are: FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok (yes, that too), and so on.
Since cannabis usage is still illegal in certain places, there are hazards associated with using social media to advertise your cannabis company. It’s crucial to exercise extreme caution while posting things online and to keep up with the most recent cannabis laws and regulations. As you maintain compliance, concentrate your social media marketing approach on client education.
Avoid making it clear that you are selling cannabis goods by avoiding language that indicates your items are available for purchase, trade, or delivery. Additionally, avoid including pricing or specific contact information for purchasing cannabis items. Nevertheless, you may still add a link to your website.
However, as we’ve already established, the cannabis sector is still strictly controlled, and social media sites follow their rules and regulations regarding sharing anything related to cannabis.
To advertise their cannabis businesses ethically and legally, as well as to avoid having their brand permanently banned from a social media site, cannabis brands must carefully research the policies of each social media network. Despite these restrictions, cannabis businesses can still use social media platforms; all you need is the right approach and some cannabis PR startup savvy.
And how’s one to do that? You should conduct a considerable study to learn everything there is to know about the sector as one of your initial steps. Learn all there is to know about registering a cannabis brand in the state and any relevant local or federal laws so that you can abide by them. Most essential, to avoid compliance concerns, brands must get familiar with the specific rules and regulations for whichever state they plan to develop their business.
Additionally, it is vital to study the demographics that a particular cannabis brand is looking to target. You must know all there is to know about your target market, including their purchasing patterns and consumer behavior.
Meeting Challenges of Cannabis Startups
As the cannabis industry matures, there are multiple challenges that new business owners face. Luckily, these issues are nothing some out-of-the-box thinking can’t fix. While legalizing cannabis products may be several states across the US, one area that new business owners complain about is the marketing that’s still heavily regulated in many places. That’s why cannabis startup PR is so critical. Work with a PR agency alongside your cannabis branding agency and cannabis advertising to ensure a coordinated and successful cannabis product launch.
To compete for clients, cannabis firms need to develop methods to differentiate themselves. Additionally, the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency has rules for marketing that these companies must follow.
According to CRA laws, medical cannabis marketing cannot target people under 18, and recreational cannabis advertisements cannot target anyone under 21. Dispensaries must ensure that at least 30% of an advertisement’s overall viewership is within the specified age range. Scientific data must back up any agency-approved warnings in ads, and the FDA must approve any health advantages claims.
The organization released new regulations last year that mandated modifications to any packaging that may appeal to minors. As a result, they are prohibiting cannabis-related firms from using cartoon characters or images of kid-friendly foods like fruit or candies. Products made from edible cannabis must resemble kid-friendly foods like gummy bears.
These are some severe problems that new business owners in the cannabis space will have to deal with, but there is always a way out. All you have to do is be creative with marketing your cannabis brand to the masses.
New Marketing Techniques on the Horizon
Since the beginning of the legalization of recreational use, the landscape of cannabis marketing has transformed. Highway travelers may now see cannabis billboards, but as choices like in-app advertisements and digital ads become more prevalent, marketing methods are beginning to move away from billboard promotion.
Businesses are assisting their brands to stop using social media as a source of income. Instead, cannabis firms could do better by highlighting the cannabis experience using social platforms and relying on their website to bring in money. The website of the cannabis brand may be the primary source of revenue, with fewer laws to manage by holding events and raising brand awareness.
More and more, affiliate marketing is becoming available to cannabis brands – it’s already available for hemp brands – and this is good for cannabis startup PR too.
There isn’t a single consumer product category that hasn’t led to the growth of a robust market for branded products, and cannabis is no exception. Numerous cannabis stores specialize in various products that consumers may include in their lifestyles. While some concentrate on creating a feminine line of luxurious cannabis goods, others are more interested in clothing and recreational use.
The cannabis industry has been thriving and expects to keep expanding in the upcoming years because of the variety of goods and services provided to enhance people’s lifestyles.
Those thinking of starting a cannabis lifestyle brand need to pay special attention to how they market their wares to the masses; this involves their marketing techniques and branding consistency. The good news is that cannabis startup PR services are readily available nowadays to help you grow your cannabis brand in what has turned out to be a highly competitive business space.