Leaf & Learn: The Art of Crafting Compliant Cannabis Digital Marketing Campaigns by State

cannabis leaves

The recent wave of cannabis legalization sweeping across the country has not only opened the doors to a burgeoning industry but has also presented a unique set of challenges and opportunities for marketers. With the cannabis industry projected to reach nearly $40 billion by the end of this year, it has become more crucial than ever for cannabis companies to master digital marketing within the constraints of state regulations.

THE LANDSCAPE OF LEGALIZATION

Just a few years ago, marijuana was illegal in all 50 states, but as of 2024, 24 states have passed laws allowing the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. With such a drastic shift, the cannabis industry has skyrocketed, becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy. Cannabis is projected to make an economic contribution of $115.2 billion this year alone, establishing itself as a significant market.

However, this rapid growth has led to a complex web of state-specific regulations. Each state has its unique laws governing the sale and marketing of cannabis products, necessitating a highly targeted and well-informed approach to digital advertising.

GUIDELINES AND BEST PRACTICES FOR CANNABIS ADS

Navigating digital marketing in the cannabis industry requires close attention to compliance while still managing an effective ad campaign. Here are several tips to guide your marketing efforts:

1: Stay Up To Date On Local Cannabis Marketing Regulations

Understanding state-specific laws is fundamental. Regulations often change as lawmakers and regulators respond to industry developments and societal perceptions. A dedicated compliance tracker is essential to stay informed and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly.

2: Understand Which Marketing Channels Work Best For Cannabis

Certain marketing channels may be more conducive to cannabis advertising due to their ability to target users actively seeking information. Because social media and email channels have strict guidelines making cannabis advertising more challenging, businesses may see more success running their campaigns through display, pre-roll video, native, audio, or CTV/OTT

3: Focus Your Creative on CBD, Not Traditional Channels

Cannabidiol (CBD) products face less stringent advertising restrictions in many states than products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). By focusing your creative efforts on CBD, you can often reach a wider audience and have more flexibility in your messaging.

4: Consider Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising offers a more streamlined and targeted approach to digital marketing by automating the buying and placement of ads. This not only saves time but also ensures that your ads reach the right audience at the right time.

5: Sell Your Brand, Not Your Product

Due to the restrictions placed on the direct marketing of cannabis products, it’s often more effective to focus on building brand awareness and loyalty. Tell your brand’s story and highlight the values that resonate with your target audience to create a lasting connection.

THE BENEFITS OF PARTNERING WITH BRIDGE FOR COMPLIANT CANNABIS ADVERTISING

Implementing the guidelines mentioned above can be a complex and time-consuming task that often exceeds the capabilities of in-house marketing teams. This is where strategic partnerships with experts like BRIDGE come into play. Here are some of the unique benefits our solution offers to businesses in the cannabis industry:

  • Targeting the Right Audience

With access to first-party compliant data, BRIDGE offers precise demographic targeting. BRIDGE can help you target real people over 21 only in legal states who are interested in your product.

  • Ensuring State-specific Compliance

Our team of legal and compliance experts provides support for navigating the intricate web of state regulations. We review and approve all ad creatives and placements to ensure your campaigns are compliant.

  • Transparent, Accurate Reporting

Our robust reporting tools provide clear and accurate insights into the performance of your campaigns. Track metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversion to inform future strategies and optimize your ROI.

  • Customized Creative Focus

We work closely with our clients to develop creative content that resonates with their target audience. Our team understands the nuances of the cannabis industry and can help you craft compelling messages that align with your brand and values.

  • Programmatic Advertising Expertise

Our programmatic advertising solutions are designed to be efficient and effective, ensuring that your campaigns reach your target audience of REAL people without wasted spend.

SEE HOW WE’VE HELPED OTHERS LIKE YOU

A company known for its high-quality cannabis-infused gummies was looking to drive foot traffic but faced marketing challenges due to the complex legal landscape of cannabis advertising. Recognizing the need for an expert partner, they turned to BRIDGE to help navigate these hurdles and reach their desired audience effectively and compliantly.

Our approach began with a deep dive into understanding the brand’s core audience, including their preferences, behaviors, and the legal context of cannabis consumption in their locale. We then designed a series of targeted digital advertising campaigns, focusing on platforms that allowed cannabis-related advertisements.

By leveraging programmatic advertising, we could adjust our strategies in real time based on campaign performance data. This approach allowed us to optimize ad placements, focus on high-performing channels, and pivot away from less effective ones swiftly.

The results were compelling. Within the first three months, the client saw a 30% increase in foot traffic to their dispensaries and a notable surge in online sales. These outcomes were achieved by maintaining strict compliance with state regulations, and ensuring that all advertising materials met the requisite legal standards.

View the full case study here.

MOVING FORWARD: IGNITE GROWTH IN GREEN MARKETS

The need for compliant, effective digital marketing in the cannabis industry has never been greater. By partnering with a knowledgeable and reliable digital partner like BRIDGE, your business can ensure compliance and stand out in a highly competitive market. We invite you to explore the multitude of benefits that a strategic partnership with BRIDGE can bring to your cannabis marketing campaigns.

Ready to take your cannabis digital marketing to the next level? Contact us to learn how BRIDGE can help your brand soar.

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