What to know about cannabis advertising in 2020

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If you are a business owner you might know advertising can be challenging at times, especially if you are an owner of a Cannabis Dispensary or CBD Shop. You are not sure where to start. You might ask yourself do I need someone to help me with this? What are the laws, rules and regulations for advertising cannabis and or CBD?

You may have previously heard of banner ads and maybe even display ads. Then you might ask yourself; how can I get my business out there without being lost in the mix? This is a question a lot of clients ask me. The answer to that is simple – Native Advertising.

Native Advertising is the future of advertising. According to e-marketer US advertisers have increased their investments in digital native advertising this year by almost 25%. By next year two-thirds of display budgets will go towards native ads.  So you might ask what is Native Advertising and how can that help my business? Native Advertising is content within an online publication that resembles the publication’s editorial content but is paid for by the advertiser. Native ads are educational pieces of information, where YOUR BUSINESS is featured as the expert. Banner & display ads are becoming blind to readers. You have to find new ways to get in front of your audience. Your audience needs to be educated and you want to ENGAGE them. In an ad-saturated world, 73% of pop up ads have a disapproval rating and 64% of people say ads are annoying. This is where Native fits in perfectly. Business Insider predicts that native will dominate all other forms of advertising ad make up almost 75% of all ad revenue by 2021.

This year I have acquired a few new CBD clients. Running advertisements for cannabis or CBD on our own and operated sites are not a problem. However I have faced a few challenges with social media, particularly with Facebook.  

According to Digiday:"Facebook has relaxed its outright ban on CBD products, according to an agency source with knowledge of the matter. Advertisers are allowed to run ads for topical hemp across Facebook. Advertisers can run ads that direct to landing pages that feature ingestible hemp and topical CBD. But the ads cannot specifically feature those products. Facebook is still prohibiting ads for ingestible CBD, including ads that direct to landing pages with those products."

Facebook does allow some ads for CBD, however the graphic used in the advertisement cannot show ingestion of the product. This is why I always tell my clients to make sure your website is up, active and mobile friendly. Yes Facebook is a great avenue to run ads, however with the changes in algorithms and suppression of certain content, the audience you are trying to target might not even see your ads on Facebook. This is why you need an agency like Shaw Media Marketing to assist you with your cannabis and or CBD campaigns. Our owned and operated sites are able to get your content in front of our readers.

Illinois is the 11th state in the country to legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana starting in January 2020. The stigma surrounding marijuana will dissipate within the next few years.  It will eventually be a part of every day life without the harsh criticisms. You might ask how is that possible?

Readers might not engage or read an advertisement showing a person ingesting marijuana or rubbing CBD topical cream on but they would be more likely to engage with your content if it was an article about a wounded veteran overcoming pharmaceutical addiction with the help of natural and holistic medicine like medical marijuana or CBD. The article might mention how the solider is an amputee and after surgery was prescribed opiates for pain management and then was seeking other ways to manage his pain because he knew the pills were becoming a problem. Then he talks about how medical marijuana saved his life. The pains are mostly gone, feeling better mentally and physically, etc. Stories like this will help educate the public on the positives of medical marijuana. When more people are educated and see how medical marijuana is helping people the stigma will fade, slowly but surely. People that may have been on the other side of the fence might be more open to try it or to not think negative thoughts about it.

This is how Native Advertising works. You have the chance to tell a story and educate your audience how medical marijuana can help. You have to tell a story and when the story is good, your readers will trust you. And when they have an issue, who are they going to call or go to? YOU – because you are the expert. You have educated your audience why you are the best Advertiser to purchase cannabis or CBD from. You invoked emotion and you have earned their trust. This is the power of Native.

As more states pass laws and the use of marijuana becomes more accepted you will see more and more advertisements for CBD, medical and recreational marijuana. Don't get lost in the mix. Be a storyteller. Be authentic. Invoke emotion. If you want to stand out and be noticed invest in Native, it is the future of advertising and has the green light.