Tag Archive for: cannabis startups

Cannabis businesses who are new to PR have a lot of decisions to make. Many of our clients have never hired a cannabis PR agency before and the process can seem daunting.At Avaans we work with a lot of hyper-growth or early stage companies in emerging industries, so we’re pros at guiding ambitious companies to the next stage of growth. Often our clients are CEOs or CMOs who understand why PR is important, but maybe haven’t engaged a professional PR agency before. That’s why we came up with 3 tips for cannabis companies new to PR.

Cannabis Companies New to PR: “Am I Ready for PR?”

 

If you’re new to PR and you’re asking yourself the question, you’re off to a great start.

If you’re new to PR, you might be confused about what to ask an agency. For more strategic PR partnerships, ask the agency whether they think you are ready for PR. That will tell you how prepared they are to work with a company of your PR readiness. If a firm tells you that you aren’t ready for cannabis PR, what they’re saying is “You aren’t ready for our PR services.” We believe it’s important to consider PR from the very first moment.

The next question to ask yourself is how much bandwidth you have for PR. We started our consumer product PR sprints for very early growth companies or companies without huge budgets. Our cannabis PR Sprints are an excellent way to look underneath the hood of working with a PR agency, without a long-term PR contract. The PR Sprints are also great for cannabis product launches.

A full-scale bespoke PR program is more successful when the PR agency has a key contact at the cannabis company. Bespoke programs are for consumer brands committed to strategic PR outcomes like pre-IPO or investment, or attracting top talent. Bespoke programs are for companies and brands that have a long-term vision for the company and can state their 3-year and 5-year goals. B2B PR are also bespoke PR campaigns because every B2B campaign has dependencies as distinctive as the company’s leadership, product, and ambitions.

Naturally, budget comes into play, but working with a cannabis PR firm is like hiring a contractor – you rarely want the cheapest. If you’re new to PR, you’re in the early stages of reputation and branding, and this is a critical time for new cannabis brands. In particular, a cannabis company needs to invest in trust-first positioning and can’t take risks with the brand, because there is less brand equity.

Another way to know whether you’re ready for bespoke PR? Being crystal clear on cannabis public relations goals and outcomes will make choosing a firm, and a time to start cannabis PR much easier.

How Do I Look, Hunny?

Starting a cannabis business means jumping through a lot of hoops, and sometimes branding and marketing seem like it takes a back seat to the regulatory hurdles for cannabis companies. How does your cannabis packaging look on the shelves at a dispensary? How will it look on the pages of a magazine? Are your product images professionally shot? Do you know who your customers really are? If you’re still figuring out your website or tinkering with formulations, then focus on those items first, or at least go with a shorter-term, very focused PR campaign. Starting with a freelancer could also be an option at this stage as well. But in general, bespoke PR firms are worth the investment if you’re clear on your brand, its customers, and the look/feel of your cannabis packaging and product.

What’s the Best Time of Year To Engage a Cannabis PR Agency?

Journalists and editors are planning months in advance. This means your PR pitching should start months in advance, too. This is one aspect of PR that many new-to-PR companies struggle with: the need to plan in advance. For example, PR agencies will want photos and product descriptions months before

Look beyond 420 for cannabis PR. The fall months are a dynamic time for the cannabis industry. There are cannabis industry tradeshows and conferences happening, award winners announced, and of course, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the December holidays, and New Years’ Eve all add up to massive revenue opportunities for cannabis brands. For consumer brands new to PR, the fall can be one of the most valuable times of year to get editorial coverage for consumer brands. In fact, up to 40% of coverage for consumer brands happens during this time of year, so that’s a great time to pack a PR punch. We developed our consumer brand PR Sprints to include fall cannabis PR for this reason.

For B2B PR for cannabis companies, the equation looks a little different. If you’re looking for a feature on a product launch or an executive, planting that story takes planning on behalf of the journalist and editor who have to fit it into regularly scheduled articles. Starting B2B cannabis public relations in the fall may be right for you if you have big plans for the spring. B2B PR, like thought leadership, speaking engagements, and cannabis industry visibility have more dependencies, some of which – like when speaking engagement submissions close, aren’t in your control. If you miss the window for this year at a particular event, there are only a couple of avenues to take, and most of them include spending a considerable sum of money. Campaigns and activations around crucial industry events may take longer to plan and implement, especially cannabis industry events. In short, B2B PR often requires longer lead times.

For cannabis consumer brands new to PR, there are some advantages to starting PR in the second quarter. But not if you’re planning a big 420 splash or product launch. You really aren’t giving yourself enough time to maximize your 420 if you’re starting in Q2. At that point, the question is really should you do a 420 campaign? On the other hand, if you’re a consumer or CPG cannabis brand who tends to have a summer-based sales cycle, say cannabis beverages, then starting your PR well in advance of the summer is a great idea.

Starting a new PR campaign in January gives most brands a superb runway to plan for everything the year offers, regardless of whether it’s B2B or B2C. We love starting the year off together with new clients, but this isn’t a time of year to start new projects for everyone. If your product does particularly well in February for Valentine’s Day – then starting in January is too late.

Being a cannabis company new to PR doesn’t have to daunting. Contact us with questions about hiring an agency, and what to look for. We love working with cannabis companies in all stages of growth.

Cannabis is finally having its day in the sun after years of ridicule. The lifted ban on cannabis use for medical purposes (and, in some states, recreational) breathed new life into the industry, with more companies registering and more cannabis-infused products (and more variety) than ever before. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easier to do a cannabis product launch. While this is excellent news for the industry as a whole, for those who are in the cannabis space, marketing their product or brand can be pretty challenging, even with so many options readily available these days.
However, there are some innovative ways in which you can spread the word when you’re launching a cannabis brand.

Why Is Cannabis Industry PR Important?

Just like any other form of marketing, cannabis marketing helps your cannabis brand. Because it is aimed mainly at them, it naturally draws more excellent leads and potential customers. Nowadays, it’s usual to see marketing for cannabis products on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram Stories, and SEO-optimized campaigns.

While promoting cannabis products, it’s crucial to use caution. As reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all cannabis products must adhere to any rules that may be in force. According to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision, manufacturers cannot add cannabis to food, supplements, or pet food. This prohibition is valid regardless of whether the product is marked as containing hemp.

Since there is no evidence using cannabis has any real health advantages, cannabinoids cannot be sold as dietary supplements or added to the cleared goods by the FDA and sold legally.
Regardless, brands are not permitted to make medical claims about cannabis; if you do, they will suspend all your online marketing activities. You won’t experience any difficulties running your marketing initiatives as long as you adhere to the local laws and regulations.

Understand the Demographic

Many cannabis firms are unaware of the hazards of modern content marketing and cannabis industry PR when selling cannabis oil or goods or are adopting non-compliant or old-fashioned marketing techniques.
Due to the high volume of incoming cannabis business, your branding needs careful preparation, original thinking, and consistency to stand out in an emerging market. To effectively engage with local consumers, they should provide your cannabis marketing plans with ways to connect through various channels, including SMS marketing, native applications, and cannabis-focused blogs and press releases.
The age of a target demographic will undoubtedly affect the digital marketing channel they use the most. It is expected for influencer marketing and loyalty programs to be favorably received by cannabis consumers between the ages of 19 and 29. On the other hand, people in the 30 to 60 age range are more inclined to look for reviews and videos instead. While customers over the age of 60 are more likely to connect with a marketing campaign through the platforms that they are familiar with utilizing and respond to emails addressed to them.
Your cannabis firm may improve its marketing strategy by using an omnichannel marketing solution and preferably one that targets customers according to their chosen communication channel. Your open rates and other essential metrics covered below can be influenced by targeting by medium and the proper age.
Know Your USP

Your cannabis product’s USP or Unique Selling Proposition will give value to your brand, and there’s only one way of ensuring others know what you have to offer. Cannabis products have evolved into a panacea, making it more difficult for businesses to enter the market and determine their position precisely.
Should your primary goal be to manage pain or edibles or offer products for the pet industry? To position your cannabis brand effectively, finding the right match is crucial. Most cannabis companies lack a distinctive viewpoint or brand objective and cannot determine their brand fit. They sell the same things and don’t attract new customers.
Brand fit is a vital component that can make or destroy your cannabis brand’s marketing plan. Given the variety of health advantages that cannabis offers, the market must be uniform. Position your brand such that it closely links to your target customers. Create your company and your products to appeal to their personalities, meet their needs, and address their issues.
Focus on User Experience

The eCommerce user experience is essential to any online purchasing process. As a result, it is vital to investigate the entire user experience of your website. There are several strategies for enhancing the user experience on your website, but when buying a product like cannabis, discoverability, legitimacy, and usability are crucial.
You can hire a company to conduct surveys, make adjustments, and perform your informal study. Additionally, you may ask visitors to your website who have just made a purchase how their experience was and if they have any particular recommendations for enhancements.
Don’t Forget the Press Release

You may use a press release to introduce new products or services since it is simple to disseminate to journalists, news sources, and all of the main search engines and social media platforms. Press release allows the business to reach a wider audience.
Additionally, businesses may send out several press releases as needed because the press release is simple to write and distribute. Press release hyperlinks that direct readers to other firm websites are only one of the numerous additional elements publishers may include in digital press releases. Businesses also frequently use highly particular keywords when discussing their goods, including those related to the brand. The press release may be made even more search engine-friendly by including relevant keywords related to the business.
A press release is a permanent part of a business’s public record because it is so readily available that people can find and reread it in the future. A neatly carved-out press release can also double as a direct communication tool, enabling businesses to quickly communicate with the general public and the target demographic on critical areas such as the benefits of said cannabis product.
Suppose the brand can provide a PR agency with all the information required to spread the word through a press release, including accurate information, comprehensive data, and pictures, and provide access to the brand’s spokesperson. In that case, you will add value and enhance your reputation through strategic PR.
It is the main reason brand awareness is combined with the expertise and objectivity of a reputable journalist or newspaper who wouldn’t spread false information for financial gain. The general people can tell the difference when someone has this type of credibility. 420 PR can be complex, so you should hire experts to draft the press release and all other marketing collateral.
Use Social Media

The advertising of cannabis products through promoted tweets or ad spaces is presently not permitted on Twitter. Retweeting or sharing links that aim to raise awareness of the items is the most effective way to promote them on the Twitter network.
Facebook and Instagram both have relatively similar policies; however, Instagram accounts run the possibility of being deactivated if they are detected. Instead of attempting to sell straight to the audience, the emphasis should be on educating them about cannabis products for Instagram promotion. The Instagram account trying to advertise the items should link to authority posts or share cannabis material from other pages rather than running sponsored advertisements.
Facebook has loosened its restrictions on marketing goods containing cannabis, but only for topically applied treatments. The advertising should point to a landing page with the FDA’s disclaimers indicated earlier and age limitations for optimum performance. It is important to note that both inhalants are still illegal.
One of the ways to attract new consumers and boost sales is to promote products on social media. You can include platforms like Facebook and Twitter in your marketing plan to help you establish an online presence and interact with the target market warmly and welcomingly. So while promoting cannabis goods, be sure to leverage the power of social media entirely.

Affiliate Marketing

The world can learn about your product thanks to affiliate marketers, who can do it all without you having to do a thing. Industry statistics predict a 10% increase in affiliate marketing spending over the next five years. Note that online users clicked on affiliate marketing links more than five billion times, generating an astounding $12 billion income.
One of the best methods to keep your cannabis business current with market developments is participating in industry events. Participating in such events offers brands invaluable knowledge about trends, laws, and other vital issues and provides a great chance to network with possible clients and rivals. Attending industry events is a fantastic opportunity to show your dedication to your cannabis brand and stand out from the competition.

Have a Plan

Your cannabis product launch will stand out to potential clients if you properly design an efficient marketing strategy. As a cannabis company, developing an efficient marketing strategy is crucial to connect with your target market and conveying the appropriate message.
Start by identifying the characteristics of your prospective clients, such as their age, interests, geography, etc. After establishing these fundamentals are established, pinpoint the platforms they frequent and create a thorough approach that delivers information that appeals to them and best showcases your cannabis goods. It involves using influencer alliances, email marketing, social media campaigns, and other techniques that get you recognized.
Follow the Rules

Even if the cannabis industry is still in its infancy, you must familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations before your cannabis product launch. For instance, a few California cannabis firms and manufacturers have started selling their goods to clients online, avoiding the conventional brick-and-mortar retail stores and delivery services that have long served as the industry’s gatekeepers.
Some of the top marijuana firms in the state, such as Roach, Old Pal, and Kiva Confections, are using the direct-to-consumer strategy. Still, practicing this new method of reaching customers is only done in California.
What About SEO?

Search engine optimization, sometimes known as SEO, is one of the most natural ways to develop your business on the Internet. Since you will market and sell your brand online, it pays to ensure that you have an online presence and, more importantly, that others know of that presence. It is where SEO or Search Engine Optimization comes in.
The cost of using this strategy is typically much lower than other advertising tactics, even though it might be relatively challenging to implement. Hiring an SEO specialist who can do all the heavy lifting for you is the most innovative approach to ensure the effective spending of your time and money.
You also don’t have to worry about flouting cannabis marketing regulations. However, if the FDA looks into any health or illness claims, please be advised that SEO “keywords” will be seen as a marketing and promotional materials. By using effective SEO techniques, you may establish yourself as a respected thought leader in the cannabis industry.
Ending Note

Even though the cannabis industry is already enormous, it is still expanding swiftly due to consumers’ increased acceptance of it. According to conservative estimates, cannabis sales are likely to generate around $1.8 billion yearly, a remarkable increase from sales in previous years. Researchers have long expected that the consumer market will overtake the whole legal cannabis business, and that seems like it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.
However, a deeper examination of market patterns reveals that the legal marijuana sector in the US expects to reach a value of more than $23 billion in the next few years, setting the example for the cannabidiol industry in this country.
A lot goes into cannabis industry PR during a cannabis product PR launch. Still, it’s safe to say that the tips mentioned above are tried and tested to bring in the results you want when launching a cannabis brand.

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, especially vapes, edibles, and beverages, 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.

Community Building

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.

Hire a Cannabis PR Service

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.

Ending Note

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.