How Cannabis Businesses Can Enhance Their Marketing Without Fearing Sanctions

August 3, 2023

Miri Haham

Head of Marketing

Cannabis has been utilised for centuries, but it is only in recent years that the cannabis industry has experienced a surge in popularity. This well-liked industry is expanding, and it is poised to grow even further in the years to come.

As experts in payments for the cannabis industry, we engage a cherished cannabis community, where we send out news and updates about the industry every two months. In our most recent Fibonatix Cannabis Newsletter, we invited our readers to challenge us with questions related to the industry. One question that arose frequently was:

How can Cannabis and CBD businesses promote themselves?

Cannabis businesses encounter significant challenges due to the nature of their industry. Many countries, particularly in Europe, impose tight restrictions on the advertising and promotion of cannabis products, particularly those containing THC. This makes it difficult for these businesses to effectively market themselves online.

Major online advertising platforms like Google and Facebook have stringent policies against promoting cannabis-related products, leading to potential censorship and removal of content. Additionally, the legal status of cannabis in various jurisdictions adds complexity to financial transactions and cross-border operations, further hindering business growth. This can lead also to difficulties in accepting online payments and conducting e-commerce transactions. Turning to payment processing companies specialised in high-risk industries, like Fibonatix, will allow the business owners to focus on growing their Cannabis or CBD business while having secure and tailored payment solutions.

The main online organic marketing strategy, search engine optimisation (SEO), is restricted to certain keywords related to cannabis and CBD. This can limit Cannabis companies’ visibility in search engine results and write off any effort. However, there are several ways to overcome the obstacles.

In this blog post, our Head of Marketing will share innovative strategies to reach your target audience despite the multiple regulations.

Recently, advertising platforms have recognised the increase in popularity of the CBD and Cannabis industry. It’s essential to highlight that the majority of regulations favor businesses selling CBD products, rather than any cannabis product. Even if now digital marketing possibilities are more open, strict rules are still in effect.

In January 2023, Google eased its ban on CBD advertising, allowing ads for certain CBD products. Google’s decision to loosen its ban comes as the CBD industry has grown in popularity.

Under Google’s new policy, ads for CBD products are allowed as long as they meet certain criteria:

  • Ads must not make any claims that CBD can treat or cure any medical conditions
  • Ads must not target minors
  • Ads must only be shown in countries where CBD is legal or not restricted

This new policy is a significant step forward for the Cannabis industry. However, it’s important to note that there are still several restrictions in place. Businesses that want to advertise CBD products on Google should carefully review the platform’s policies before creating their ads.

On the organic side of marketing, there are still rules and regulations to follow closely. 

SEO is a long-term organic strategy that can help businesses rank highly in search results. This strategy can bring more qualified leads into the sales funnel however, it takes a longer time to establish a successful and beneficial SEO strategy.

Here are some steps you can apply to your SEO efforts:

  • Content: Produce content based on relevant terms to attract the right audience, look for the keywords that they might search for, and make sure they don’t contain the words ‘cannabis’ or ‘marijuana’. The purpose is to find close keywords or long tails that support the products you’re selling without using the words that are forbidden. The content should be informative, engaging, and optimised for search engines.
  • Website optimisation: Optimise your website for SEO and ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. It is also important to mention the significant importance of your website’s structure if you are selling your products on it. The website should support your buyer’s purchasing process, and the user experience should be smooth and simple right from the moment the consumer landed on the website page up until they reached the payment page and made the purchase. This is why it is important also to partner with a payment solutions provider (PSP) that understands its importance and is able to customise the payment process to your specific consumers’ behaviour to increase conversions.
  • Localisation: Businesses should understand and address their target markets in their language and adapt to their culture. It can also affect their purchasing habits and raise brand loyalty.
  • Outreach: Online cannabis magazines, guest blogging, and cannabis online forums are a great way to reach a targeted audience of potential customers. By appearing on these channels, you can connect with people who are already interested in cannabis and CBD products. These channels can help you build brand awareness and credibility.

The provided steps above should enhance your online purchasing conversions and attract more potential buyers to your online e-commerce store.

The cannabis industry has grown exponentially, gaining more attention in recent years. However, advertising cannabis and CBD businesses comes with an array of challenges in today’s digital world. Stricter regulations and negative perceptions have made it challenging for cannabis businesses to establish an online presence. Despite the obstacles, businesses can work on organic marketing strategies, like SEO, content creation, and outreach, to build brand credibility and connect with potential customers. Recent shifts in advertising policies, such as Google easing its ban on CBD ads, change the industry marketing for the best.

Cannabis businesses can now boost their revenue growth by following our tips on marketing approaches to appeal to a wider and more qualitative audience in this thriving and continuously changing market.

For more information, you are welcome to reach out to us and delve deeper into our payment solutions.