Let’s just make the statement: Marketing Cannabis Related Goods is HARD!
Whether you’re just trying to sell your homemade product, a lab created CBD, or just some smoking paraphernalia, it’s hard for a number of reasons. Namely, the big social media and paid for advertising sites have blocked you from showcasing your wears.
It’s a budding industry that is constantly changing. With most clients unsure what is legal and what is not.
Also, if you’ve been following the situation with The Haze Club, those who are pushing the limits of legal practises are doing the hard work for the rest of us. We salute you guys!
We’re here to tell you what we’ve experienced, and if you have any suggestions, please share. Anyway, for those who are new to the game here are our tips.
It’s organic all the way baby!
If you’ve tried to upload your product into a Google Ad Word campaign, or Facebook, you’ll have noticed a few red flags pop-up. Namely, the issue that cannabis is not officially (or federally) legal in the USA.
While we are all inundated with the great news that individual States have legalised it, there are various levels of legalisation.
There’s recreational, medical, and just plain decriminalisation. That’s seriously a glossing over and something I’m sure I’ll be coming back to on the Zootly Hoot! But what this means is that these channels can’t advertise marijuana products as they’re not yet fully legal across the “nation of the free”.
It’s this lack of wider legality that social media services have to abide by, as their servers are based in the States. If any big social networks are reading this, you should host your servers somewhere else, where it’s legal. Like having servers in Ireland due to the tax break (cough cough).
Someone should send this hint to Tito Mboweni…Andrew Macfarlane, freelance writer with no control of government policies that could make BIG MONEY!
While you can advertise CBD, it is also in its infancy of medical research and is highlighted by these companies as products that are prone to attracting spam content. Think “penis enlargement pills”, which is pseudoscience and not real.
What this all means is that you need to create content that is organically appealing to Google, or SEO appealing on your website. And social media content that is visually appealing.
The first part is what the writer of this article is trying to do… Bizcommunity. Looking directly at you! We want to get your attention while you scroll down the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Also, Google can’t remove your listing for your bricks and mortar, so encouraging clients to rate your store is also a bonus.
Marketing cannabis related emailers
Emailers are also important for cannabis related industries. Especially if you want to drive attention to items. Once again, these service providers will stop servicing you if they deem your wares illegal. For Zootly, selling cannabis paraphernalia is legal.
Which means, that using services like MailChimp is doable. Some issues do pop up from time-to-time. With some of our friends, they’ve been deemed illegal and their MailChimp account was closed down.
Now that we’ve covered that, how else do you elevate your organic reach?
Like any industry on social media there are influencers. Depending on how comfortable you are at adopting new jargon you can just call them influencers.
We’ve used a few influencers to spread our brand’s presence online.
Such as Dazed Donna.
And our buddy and friend Dassie Grows! Who is currently hosting the Solo Cup challenge, or #DassieCup2021.
As you can, tell both have their very own tone of voice and target demographic.
But then again, one loves the vibe, the other loves the growing life.
Also, that gives us a nice segue-way to our next method of marketing cannabis related gear.
Experiences and events!
In the marketing world you’ll be thumbing through your thesaurus for the right words… it’s experiential marketing. God… Anyway!
Currently in South Africa, you are allowed to possess an unlimited amount of cannabis seeds. Which is good news if you want to host South Africa’s best cannabis growing cup!
And, you are allowed to grow your own. But beware that the suggested legal limit is four plants per adult in the home. We can only hope that the government comes to their senses and just legalises it already.
Until that day, we’re going to have to work on the fringes.
Tone of voice marketing cannabis related items
With Zootly, we’re appealing to the quirky, happy go lucky stoner who wants a quality product. This tone of voice varies depending on the products we’re selling.
Most growers want to know the science behind the nutrients, while vapers are more keen about battery life and hit quality. Two completely different fields of industry.
Read through a Biobizz page and you’ll be sifting through nutrient information, what to look out for on the plant, and how it the nutrients are made. Vape material seems to be written by people who wish they could have written the brochure for the latest iPhone catalogue.
This being said, we’re just the South African retail outlet for all your cannabis needs.
Zootly has a fun and relaxed voice as the cannabis world can be intimidating because there’s so much to learn.
And just like that. We’re done that sharing our insights. Leave us your big cannabis marketing tips if you have any. After all, this trip is only getting started!
Words by: Andrew Macfarlane, gardener, freelancer writer, and ex-advertising man…
z00tly says: “I love reading vape material! Hold your tongue Andrew! You half dried up marketing man!”