In Part 1 of our How to Market Your Cannabis Business series, we looked at some general guidelines for safely and effectively marketing a new cannabis business while navigating the current landscape of the marijuana industry. Now we’ll look into how you can use traditional marketing channels to help your business grow.
Traditional marketing outlets include media like newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. Due to cannabis’ standing with the federal government and the strict advertising restrictions placed on cannabis businesses by their respective states, traditional channels can be extremely limiting. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should discount these methods altogether. Yes, these marketing channels often carry high costs, and measuring results is challenging but you might be able to get creative and identify an opportunity that’s appropriate for your business.
Here are a few simple ideas on how to use these channels to your advantage and stimulate the growth of your business:
Find Alternative Newspapers and Print Outlets in Your Market
Alternative, non-mainstream publications often don’t put the same restrictions on their advertising partners as more traditional print outlets. Find some in your market and look into their advertising opportunities. Keep in mind that the majority of all publishing sources list a readership per issue far greater than number of issues actually printed. The reasoning behind this is that more than one person reads a magazine and thus there’s potential to have your ad seen multiple times.
To effectively compare 2+ print sources, you should ask for actual printed copies of each issue and its pass-along rate so you can compare costs across different publications.
Check out Industry-Specific Magazines and Periodicals’ Advertising Opportunities
These types of publications cater to the type of audience you’re looking to bring in to your establishment, making them an obvious choice in which to advertise your business. However, keep in mind that your message can get lost in the sea of other marijuana messaging, especially if your competitors are running ads in the same issue.
One potential bonus for industry-specific magazines is they tend to be available in dispensary waiting rooms. A pass-thru rate for a subscriber copy is lower than a copy distributed to a waiting room. Glossy magazines generally have a longer shelf life than newsprint, so a magazine will stay in a waiting room for a couple months or longer vs. a week for newsprint before the content becomes stale. While you may have greater potential for longer-term pass-thru on a glossy magazine, the tradeoff is that you may also be faced with higher ad rates.
Find Complementary Magazines With a Similar Audience as the One You Want to Reach
Here’s where you can dabble into a little bit of market research. Learn about your customers’ interests outside of cannabis and see if there’s an opportunity for you to advertise across those outlets, Wine, cigar, beer, or other adult lifestyle-based publications could be a viable option for your business.
Look at Radio Advertising as an Option
Compelling and captivating radio content can be a great way to introduce your brand to new audiences, but it can also be hard to measure the success of a radio campaign. To avoid high production costs, you might want to look for podcasts and internet radio shows that don’t have the same rigid structure as corporate radio.
Video Advertising Is Opening Up
Television ads are a little too progressive for most corporate networks and service providers to be open to partnerships with cannabis companies at this juncture, but with the right approach and a little finesse, some cannabis companies have begun to successfully advertise on web-based video channels like YouTube (like Leafly’s channel — reach out if you’re interested in sponsoring one of Leafly’s videos!
Check out Part 3 of our Cannabis Business Marketing series, where we cover digital marketing opportunities for your marijuana business.
Excited to dive in and explore cannabis marketing options for your business? Leafly’s Marijuana Advertising options were specifically designed to boost businesses like yours. Learn more about how we can help you grow your audience!