Cannabis Marketing and the Importance of Great Web Design

(Ad) Since the legalization of marijuana in the U.S., a growing number of the U.S. population is embracing its medicinal and recreational use. According to statistics, 44% of Americans currently have access to legal recreational marijuana.

For a brand trading in the proliferating cannabis industry, the big question is how many of this demographic are in touch with your brand.

Brand visibility is the make-or-break to achieving financial success among a growing and highly experimental base of legal marijuana users. But how can you achieve such success and excellent brand visibility?

By investing in a great web design. Here’s a look into the cannabis marketing space, what makes a good cannabis web design, and how to create a compelling website design for your growing cannabis business.

Overview of the Cannabis Market

Interest in marijuana is snowballing across the U.S. According to a Gallup poll, about 49% of U.S. adults have tried cannabis. Seven years ago, this number stood at 40%.

These statistics show that the legal marijuana market is growing, and generational patterns have a huge role to play in the uptake of cannabis. From the data, 19% of individuals born before 1945, 50% of Baby Boomers, 49% of Gen Xers, and 51% of Millennials say they’ve tried marijuana.

As more individuals from later generations come of age, the number of marijuana users keeps growing in the U.S.

There’s also been a renewed interest in cannabis dispensaries which has pushed investors to increase their investments in the industry. Data shows that nine of the largest multi-state operators raised approximately $2.8 billion in 2021, a substantial increase from $896 million in 2020.

The pandemic also played a significant role in expanding the cannabis market. According to Businesswire, more than half of cannabis users increased their consumption from March 2020, which translated to more business for cannabis brands over the same period.

So, how has this affected marketing?

The State of Marketing Cannabis

Cannabis brands must adhere to strict digital advertising standards to remain compliant and in business. These laws and regulations will vary greatly depending on the platform you’re using and the state you’re advertising in. Therefore, when it comes to cannabis website design, not everything goes.

However, some basic rules and regulations apply across most states. These are:

  • Don’t make any specific health claims about CBD products or cannabis
  • Don’t target individuals below 21
  • Avoid characters or animations attractive to children
  • Don’t advertise ingested products unless they’re FDA approved
  • Don’t target states where your CBD products or marijuana are illegal

These guidelines help you develop a great and compliant web design and understand your limitations when advertising marijuana or CBD online.

For instance, not every online platform permits the advertising of CBD or cannabis. Google Ads, for example, is off-limits whether you’re a direct-to-consumer (DTC) website or retail dispensary.

However, Google still permits you to use search engine optimization (SEO) on your website and create a local Google Business Profile for your brand or business.

On the other hand, if you want to promote your business on social media, you may face numerous roadblocks with major sites such as FacebookTikTok, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms do not permit cannabis ads, each adopting different CBD product regulations.

For instance, Twitter can promote your cannabis website only if it sells CBD topical products with the restrictions:

  • You must be a licensed seller
  • Twitter must pre-authorize the ads
  • The ads cannot target jurisdictions where you don’t have a license

You can still use influencer marketing, organic traffic, and hashtags to drive traffic to your website and social media pages. However, some social media sites, such as Instagram, forbid DTC sellers and dispensaries from posting contact information about the business. Instead, you should only provide a link to your website in your bio.

So, what’s the best way of keeping up with these ever-changing regulations and standards?

Your best bet is working with an experienced cannabis advertising agency that knows each platform’s and the state’s ins and outs to ensure your website is legally attracting as much traffic as possible.

6 Reasons Why You Should Have a Website for Your Cannabis Brand

With all the complications of digitally advertising cannabis and having a cannabis website, should you have one? The answer to that is a big yes.

There are so many advantages to having a website for your cannabis brand. They include:

1. Improved SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most unlimited way of promoting your cannabis business online. Your primary goal should appear in the top organic search results on Google and other heavily used search engines.

SEO generates leads and traffic affordably and in the long term. Your business can achieve great SEO by targeting specific keywords or phrases in the website that will elevate it to the top of organic search results.

SEO is also a powerful tool because the cannabis industry is still growing and emerging into the mainstream. For instance, merely having the cannabis website keywords “marijuana” or “cannabis” can significantly improve your SEO ranking since there’s limited competition for it.

2. Improved Brand Visibility

Cannabis and CBD customers are diverse, with different ways of accessing information. In fact, some customers may find you on a Google search, while others may see you on a listing website.

Even if your company is listed on directories such as Weedmaps, Leafly, and Hytiva, it would be beneficial to have a company website to increase brand awareness to help generate more sales and partnership opportunities.

In fact, being on a directory without a website is like building your house and letting the builder keep your foundation. They own all of your data, clientele, SEO traffic, and targeting opportunities. You lose control of your marketing, and the auction process can get competitive.

Additionally, a cannabis website using responsive web design allows you to connect with these various customers on their most preferred platforms.

Responsive web design ensures that your website looks, feels, and operates great on all devices. These include mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop.

Therefore, younger mobile and older desktop users will have a similar experience using your website and interacting with your business through the website, improving brand visibility.

The core consideration here is ensuring you’re only targeting legal-age customers aged typically 21 years and above. A good website design will include a splash screen when the user opens the site confirming they are of legal age.

3. Fast, Secure, And Reliable Shopping Experience For Your Users

A good website design is supported by great hosting that ensures the website is fast, reliable, and secure. Cheap hosting options lead to unresponsive sites with slow loading times and poor security, which puts user data at risk of cybercriminals and hackers.

A good cannabis website builder will offer dedicated server solutions that increase speed, security, and reliability.

Most cannabis users also prefer great discretion and privacy when shopping and ordering marijuana, which you can only offer through a fast, secure, and reliable website.

You should hire experienced cannabis website developers who’ll come up with a great design and employ the best server practices to give your customers a smooth experience on the website.

4. Lead Generation

In most businesses, the company’s website has the greatest potential for generating significant sales leads. A website with a clear call to action and quick navigation makes it easier for prospective customers to find what they’re looking for.

Therefore, the best cannabis website incorporates the following:

  • A compelling call to action on every page
  • A contact form instead of a published email address to quickly get information from your leads
  • Integration with great marketing automation software to respond to queries from leads
  • An effective way to collect email addresses

Source: Kiva Confections

Kiva Confections uses a pop-up to encourage newsletter sign-ups in exchange for a promotional discount.

5. Establishes Your Credibility

Fraud is becoming a real threat to most legitimate cannabis businesses. Therefore, establishing your business’s credibility is crucial to building positive brand trust among your customers. An effective way of doing this is by having a well-designed cannabis website.

Customers will trust and interact with your brand more if your website is professional and they have a secure, reliable, and fast shopping experience.

6. Provides A Platform To Educate Customers

Since most leads come from websites, having a professionally designed cannabis website is an excellent way of educating your customers about your brand and products. For instance, you can post informative blog articles talking about the different types of cannabis, their benefits, and how to use your products.

You can also use the website to answer frequently asked questions about your business and products.

Source: Harborside

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