How do you advertise a product that is only recreationally legal in nine states? That means companies can be extremely limited in promoting its product and connecting with potential consumers. Those limitations also inhibit brands advertising with several prominent websites.
According to a recent report by influencer marketing platform Traackr, advertisers have thought up a creative workaround to the problem—influencers.
“Marijuana brands have a huge opportunity to connect with the cannabis community through influencers,” Traackr CMO Kirk Crenshaw told Campaign Live. “Influencer-generated content uncovers where customers are most engaged so brands can nurture customer relationships on a highly personal level while building brand awareness.”
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It can be difficult to build that awareness elsewhere because regulations about marijuana advertising are as patch-worked as the laws governing its legality. Facebook and Google bar marijuana advertising even to users in states where weed is legal, and states themselves impose a broad variety of restrictions. Although these guidelines only cover direct marketing, programmatic is a gamble, too. While it’s possible to target audiences based on age, location and other factors that fall under regulatory purview, it leaves too much ambiguity for conservative social platforms to let it fly.
Traackr broke down the top cannabis brands into categories of delivery, edibles, vaporizers, glassware, and topicals. From there they surveyed which brands received the highest popularity and engagement with cannabis influencers via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. There was no delineation placed between paid and earned posts from influencers.
Eaze came away as the clear winner, with both the most activated users and engagement. The popular marijuana delivery service is helped by its non-categorical status—i.e. doesn’t matter if you want an edible or bud, you still want it delivered.
“Twitter garners about half the mentions of cannabis brands by influencers on social media, but Instagram is hands down the platform that drives the most engagement for brands,” Crenshaw told Campaign Live. “The only exception is vaporizers, which have generated significant conversation.”