PR & Marketing for Cannabis Brands

September 12, 2018

Katie Pringle
Co-Founder Marigold PR | Cannabis Communications

 

Legal Cannabis brands including retailers, Licensed Producers and auxiliary services/products are limited in their ability to communicate the benefits of their offerings to Canadians. The blog posts features tips and tricks for marketing cannabis brands in Canada.

 

3 Things that Make Cannabis Marketing Challenging
● Regulations: like Canada’s Cannabis Act, they’re arguably the most restricted in this evolving industry
● Stigma: unlike other industries, the vast majority of cannabis consumers don’t flaunt their cannabis consumption
● Education: cannabis understanding is low; there is a need for education during consumer adoption

 

 

The Problem: Reaching the cannabis consumer Canada’s regulations on cannabis limits the industry's ability to build brand profile through paid/traditional advertising solutions. In addition to banning flashy packaging, new regulations will also prohibit celebrity sponsorships and any branding that may appeal to youth. Many traditional mass marketing and advertising options are unavailable or severely restricted. Cannabis brands are blocked from purchasing advertising through most mainstream digital media channels and on social media ad platforms (looking at you Facebook, YouTube and Google). On top of Bill C-45, and all of this, cannabis is facing additional and specific municipal, provincial and federal advertising and marketing restrictions.

 

The Solution: Relationship and reputation building Public Relations related activities, including events (thanks Hempfest!), social media and content marketing provide unique communication and customer engagement opportunities. For cannabis brands, it’s about building that trust through compliant avenues like one-to-one relationships, authentic third party endorsements and media coverage. Canadian cannabis is a hot topic. Recreational legalization is quickly approaching and adults in all demographics and life stages are interested consumers. Here are some tips on how to leverage PR to reach cannabis consumers in Canada.

 

 

PR/COMMUNICATION TIPS FOR CANNABIS BRANDS

 

PRESS RELEASES DO

work with a professional PR firm for this valuable awareness opportunity. DON’T think communicating with media is the same as advertising.

 

INFLUENCERS
DO drive authentic exposure through the right influencer marketing tactics. DON’T break the new rules while leveraging this interesting arena.

 

INSTAGRAM
DO #use #hashtags - engage with customers & influencers ongoing. DON’T forget - advertising restrictions apply; authentic relationships are key.

 

FACEBOOK
DO use Facebook to promote educational and newsworthy cannabis content. DON’T try to sell cannabis or count on advertising (it will be declined!).

 

TWITTER
DO use Twitter to engage with influencers it’s a great way to build relationships. DON’T forget to monitor Twitter conversations and events; this is where news breaks.
 

EMAIL
DO focus on acquisition and value-add through great content. DON’T miss out on additional and compliant communication opportunities.

 

Please reach out to Cannabis Communications to discuss building your cannabis brand.

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