For the states where medical cannabis is legal, navigating the restricted waters of the market can be quite tenuous. Add to this the need to overcome any negative stigmas associated with marijuana, and you create a considerable challenge for anyone in the medical cannabis industry.
PR firms and marketing companies that specialize in medical marijuana are becoming more prominent. These companies are helping businesses entering the industry better understand the marketplace. The job, however, is more strategic than fluid. There are real penalties for not abiding by the rules of medical cannabis marketing, and you need to know what you are doing.
Understanding the limitations of medical cannabis advertising can help prevent future problems from developing due to a lack of experience. For example, while medical cannabis may be legal in your state, it is still considered illegal federally. Because of this, advertising is quite limited. Social media giants, Facebook and Instagram, do not permit the advertising of medical cannabis as they consider it “prohibited content.” Google Adwords is another of many places where the advertising of medical marijuana is prohibited. Google does not distinguish between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, and therefore, both are not permitted.
Medical Cannabis Marketing Tactics that Work
With so many limitations in place, medical cannabis businesses may find themselves at a loss for how to reach and educate potential patients. One of the best ways we have found for medical cannabis businesses to reach consumers is through search engine optimization (SEO). With SEO, we can spread the word about the organization organically. This is better for the business’s bottom line and shows greater credibility to prospective patients.
Another effective marketing tactic for the medical cannabis industry is social media. While advertising is not permitted, businesses can reach and connect with targeted consumers who are interested in medical cannabis. They can use social media as a platform to attract, educate and engage. It is also an excellent place for patients to share their own stories, which helps those considering medical cannabis make the best decision for them. Social media also provides an opportunity to use influencers to propel their business brand.
Lastly, PR, or public relations, is another tactic that can prove to be quite effective for extending reach. Medical cannabis is a hot PR topic and businesses can use the media to educate and make an impact in the industry. From legislative to economics, to the health benefits, there are many stories that can be pitched on medical cannabis.
Just because medical cannabis marketing is limited, doesn’t mean businesses are unable to get the word out. It just requires flexibility, creativity, and an outside-the-box mentality to implement tactics that get noticed.