Move The Needle: 4 Best Practices For Digital Advertising

Business owners and marketers in today’s fast-paced digital world face a huge challenge—grabbing customers attention with their digital advertising. Americans see thousands of advertisements a day, and they have gotten used to ignoring digital advertising. So, how can you engage potential customers and get them to pay attention to your advertising?  Here are four simple digital marketing best practices that will help ensure that potential clients see and pay attention to your digital ads.

Focus on Emotion

One way to capture your client’s attention is by creating a strong emotional bond through your digital advertising. Emotion makes people act, whether that emotion is sadness, happiness or anger. In fact, many research studies have indicated that emotion moves people to buy things. Not only that, but strong feelings cause social influencers to talk about your product or brand, and social influencers do help sell products. Studies show that people are more likely to buy a product or brand that has been recommended by their favorite YouTuber. So, every time you release a new advertisement, ask yourself “how did this make me feel?” If you can’t answer that question or answer with a “nothing”, then something is wrong. Go back, and think about how you can move your audience by eliciting a strong emotional response through your ads.

Don’t Pay So Much Attention to Clicks 

People are exposed to lots of digital information each day. Many people click on advertisements without ever buying anything. Rather than focusing on reaching as many individuals as possible, try to pay more attention to how you can reach the right person at the right time. Google Adwords or similar services are great forms of digital advertising because they allow customers to see your digital advertisements at the same time that they are searching for products or services that you sell. Targeted digital ads allow you to reach customers who are looking to buy what you offer at the time that they want to buy it.

Make Sure Your Digital Ads Are Mobile-Friendly 

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring how important mobile-friendly advertising has become. Mobile content is clearly the future. According to Google, as of 2015, more internet searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the United States. You are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to engage customers if you are not catering your advertisements, content, and website towards mobile users. All of your advertising should be mobile-friendly for various devices.

Collaborate Across Teams

A good digital advertising campaign requires several different teams within your company to work together. For instance, your content team should work closely with your marketing team to develop your digital advertising strategies simultaneously.

 

The Top 3 Marijuana Marketing Pitfalls (and how to Avoid Them)

Marijuana Social Media

With 26 states having at least some form of legalized marijuana, the cannabis industry has officially gone mainstream. If the votes don’t prove it, the money sure does. Colorado alone made over $1 billion last year, and business doesn’t appear to be slowing down anywhere in the country.

Needless to say, the year ahead is going to be a huge one for the cannabis industry. The businesses that stand out and succeed against the competition will be those who market themselves effectively, and stay on the right side of a shifting legal landscape.

While advertising should be a part of every cannabis business’ marketing strategy, there are three potential pitfalls that all cannabis business owners can work to avoid.

STATE ADVERTISING REGULATIONS

Even though over half the country has legalized either medicinal or recreational marijuana, cannabis is still illegal federally. With no federal guidelines, each state has their own unique rules on cannabis advertising.

Take Colorado for instance. Like other states with legal cannabis, Colorado has some fairly strict laws regarding online advertising. According to their rules, a “retail marijuana establishment” has to show that no more than “30% of the audience” for your website or blog is under the age of 21.  Other legal cannabis states like Washington are more explicit about prohibiting advertising to minors. In the state of Washington, cannabis retailers aren’t allowed to create advertisements that would be “appealing to children or other persons under twenty-one years of age.”

Because of these and similar laws around the country, cannabis marketers need to be especially careful with how they target their campaigns, and when and where they place their advertising.

SOCIAL MEDIA BLUNDERS

Social media outreach can increase brand awareness, attract new fans and drive sales. Many cannabis retailers have even taken on social media managers to get the message out about their products. Unfortunately, social media giants like Facebook have erred on the side of caution when it comes to marijuana advertising, and do not allow for retail marijuana businesses to run paid promotions for their product.

While you can post ands sell to followers who live in your state, Facebook will typically block any attempt to run a cannabis-related ad on their platform unless you are extremely delicate in selecting your language and imagery. Brands that provide services to the cannabis industry or who use their pages to promote cannabis advocacy and information can make careful use of Facebook’s advertising tools to run specific types of ads and promotions.

Another great option for running your social media campaign is MassRoots. MassRoots markets itself as the social media platform for marijuana and it requires users to affirm that they’re 21 years of age before entering the site. There, you can run just about any ad you want to a highly targeted, useful audience.

STONER CLICHES

Gone are the days of Bob Marley posters, tie dye and Cheech and Chong. Today’s cannabis users and business owners are a much more sophisticated audience than they had been in the past. Between recreational and medicinal cannabis, everyone from rappers and comedians to doctors, lawyers and even grandmothers are interested in using cannabis and your marketing has to be able to meet them in the middle.

To avoid turning off a lucrative audience, avoid stoner slang and overly pot-centric visuals. Instead, opt for modern designs, sleek fonts and a clearer brand voice to carry your message to the most diverse audience possible.

Six Strategies for Truly Effective Digital Marketing

Cannabis Websites

The cannabis industry is exploding nationwide. According to Forbes, marijuana sales topped $6.7 billion in 2016 alone. With so much money to be made, it seems as though new cannabis business concepts are appearing over night. The brands that stand out and thrive in this evolving market will need to work with the future in mind, a path that starts with these core steps.

Create a Conversation Online

It’s about more than just hashtags. The cannabis industry is literally a multi-billion-dollar enterprise linking millions of people. The best part? Its years spent underground have inspired a large and passionate community that’s only grown and evolved as more states have legalized marijuana. A major percentage of these cannabis enthusiasts are already online, posting blogs, talking on forums and sharing content conversation on social media.

Creating and hosting your own unique content is essential in helping your brand find it’s way into the conversation. Building useful, creative and entertaining content encourages fans and new customers alike to spread the word and include your brand in the online conversation.

Listen to Your Customers

One of the most important tools social media gives your business is the ability to see what your customers say and do. The brands that are currently winning in the cannabis industry are putting this concept to use daily. Knowing both what your customers like about your brand and what they value in other brands is crucial to forming lasting connections and converting fans into advocates.

Each specific cannabis niche will have its own unique target audience. For instance, many modern cannabis consumers are also interested in health, wellness, and fitness routines. Discovering that information first hand and marketing in ways that emphasize and tie your brand into a healthy lifestyle will help you resonate even stronger with your audience.

Encourage Audience Participation

Use your social media to promote contests, giveaways, games and discounts earned through user interaction. Encouraging you fans to like, share, provide information and submit content in exchange for a small reward is a fantastic way to spread brand awareness, and earn good will from your online audience.

Work Within Your State’s Laws

Each state has its own set of laws and regulations on cannabis advertising. It’s essential that you understand both state and local advertising laws before you create your marketing campaign. You don’t want to pay fines or have to redo your entire campaign because you didn’t consider something basic.

Create New Experiences

As important as it is to follow the rules, it’s ok for your brand to take some creative risks. Embrace new marketing channels alongside your audience, and develop content that people actually want to see.

Don’t be afraid to abandon old stoner clichés in favor of more modern design and marketing concepts. The brands that dominate the national market in the future will be the ones that appeal to the widest range of people, embrace opportunities to stand out above the crowd and be found in new and unexpected places.

Send The Right Message

Just remember to market according to your state’s laws and always use words and graphics that convey the image you want associated with your brand. Avoid words like “ganja” or phrases like “getting high”. Instead speak to more tangible benefits such as the effects of a strain or the lifestyle benefits of your service. That way your actual goal won’t get mixed up in tired clichés and bad stereotypes.