Cannabis Advertising in the USA – What CAN you do?
Maggie Woodroof Digital Marketing Strategist
It’s 2023 and sales of cannabis and CBD products are on the rise, but it still can be sticky to market those products across digital ad platforms. Recently, Google loosened its grip on cannabis advertising regulations. Google has adjusted two ad policies that will allow digital ads of pharmaceuticals with CBD that have the stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The platform will also allow hemp-derived products such as beauty products and candles to be advertised. Here is the caveat: ads will initially only be shown to users in Colorado, California and Puerto Rico for adults over the age of 18.
The Criteria That Must Be Met to Advertise CBD Products on Google
So, what does that mean for cannabis and CBD brands and the future of their marketing efforts? Well, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear to advertise across Google unless you meet the following criteria:
- All CBD or hemp-derived products must be FDA approved
- Brand will need a certification from Google’s legal partner LegitScript
- The LegitScript certification includes: (1) Providing product samples to test for compliance with legal THC limits and (2) providing LegitScript with a third-party Certificate of Analysis.
What If Your CBD/Cannabis Brand Does Not Meet This Criteria?
If your brand doesn’t meet the above Google advertising guidelines, don’t worry — you still have Kinetic to help execute the perfect digital strategy for your cannabis brand without having to jump through all the unnecessary hoops.
There are currently 10 states that legally can sell cannabis recreationally and 12 states that can sell it medically. At each state level, an advertising requirement may exist and Kinetic can provide guidance and recommendations on the requirements. Being well-versed in the legalities around cannabis and CBD advertising has helped Kinetic build strong digital campaigns around these guidelines. We executed a few of these digital capabilities for our client, High Mountain, which is one of the first recreational cannabis dispensaries in Billings and Ashland, MT. Check out our work for High Mountain.
Kinetic’s digital capabilities for cannabis and CBD campaigns include top, middle and bottom of the funnel tactics which come together to create a seamless omni-channel campaign to get the best quality results for our clients. Forget the restrictions and check out this list of what Kinetic CAN do for your cannabis brand.
Kinetic’s Digital Capabilities for Cannabis and CBD Brands Include:
- Native Advertising: a natural and nonintrusive way of capturing your audience’s attention with sponsored content that matches the form and function on the platform it appears.
- Geofencing and Geo-Retargeting: virtually fencing an area or location to show your brand’s display, native or video ad.
- Video/OTT ads: deliver pre-roll ads that play before content that your target audience has clicked on to watch and appear on sites or apps across all devices, or utilize over-the-top (OTT) video ads, which are embedded into the programming content that your audience is streaming on their connected devices.
- Display Ads: ads that run across all devices, appearing on websites or apps that your brand’s target audience would be visiting.
- SEO Management: improving and promoting your cannabis brand’s website to increase the number of visitors to the site from search engines like Google.
- Mobile Conquesting Ads (CBD only): a location-based, demographic and behavioral targeting option to reach your brand’s consumers with display or video ads on their mobile devices.
- Facebook and Instagram ads (CBD only): run display and video ads across all devices on Facebook and Instagram and target your brand’s consumers.
- Google Business Optimization: one of the most important factors when showing up in search results based on location (e.g., “dispensary near me,” “dispensary [town, state]” is optimizing your Google Business Profile to rank the highest in local searches with keyword research, high quality images and strategic copywriting.
- Local SEO and Review Management: in a fraction of the time it would take to manage all of the individual platforms for local listings and soliciting reviews for your cannabis business, Kinetic can manage it all from one convenient location.
- Email and SMS: a great marketing tool for dispensaries that give control over their messaging compared to other hyper-regulated advertising channels, with a direct-to-consumer communication channel where you can speak freely about your products and promotions.
- Organic Social Media: social media is still highly regulated when posting about cannabis and CBD products, but Kinetic has the formula to create posts that showcase your company and cannabis culture without getting shut down or shadow banned.
- Leafly and Weedmaps: two platforms that allow cannabis companies to pay to advertise on their websites and apps. They both provide dispensary, sponsored and menu listings that can bring cannabis consumers to your inventory directly on their platform.
Why CBD and Cannabis Brands Should Prioritize Higher-tier Inventory
We know there are multiple places to run cannabis-related advertising based on certain guidelines, but research shows that Private Marketplaces can provide an optimal solution to many campaign challenges. This allows access to a higher-tier inventory (no pun intended) and more control over the placement and performance of your brand’s ads. That’s why we have partnerships with industry-leading programmatic advertisers that offer 24/7 client-facing dashboards and support.
As you can see, the restrictions around cannabis guidelines should not hold your brand back. There are multiple capabilities across the digital landscape that you don’t have to tackle alone. Let Kinetic help alleviate the stress of it all by guaranteeing a digital strategy that delivers quality results.
Digital Marketing Strategist
Maggie is literally a world-class Digital Marketing Strategist. Prior to joining the Kinetic team, she led digital strategy for a large international communications agency developing effective media buying and tracking strategies, media planning, identifying target audiences and crafting effective funneled digital campaigns (all while reporting on benchmarks in real time). We love her for so many reasons; she possesses an awareness and acute understanding of the ever-evolving digital media industry at a level few can match yet she’s not all business! Maggie is an absolute joy to know and to work with. Maggie’s sense of humor, sense of fun (and her love of the paranormal) make her a perfect fit for the Kinetic team!Read more about Maggie