9 Most Effective Cannabis
Marketing Strategies of 2021

By Liam Noonan


Marketing in the cannabis business is tough. The nature of this highly regulated industry means getting creative when it comes to effective ways of marketing cannabis products.

That’s why this article covers the top cannabis marketing strategies of 2021. We’ll go over the best ways to increase traffic to your dispensary or brand website and build up your online awareness.

1. Social Media Content

social media marketing examples from cannabis brands

Examples of high-quality social feeds from Old Pal, Lowell Farms, and High Supply

Without question, your cannabis brand or service needs at least one social media account. Whether you use a social media agency or post in-house, you need to actively publish high-quality content that adds benefit to your social media followers’ experience.

It’s also a good idea to populate various platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, etc. You don’t have to publish three times per day, but it needs to be frequent and fresh. It’s okay for your publishing schedule to ebb and flow a bit, but consistency is key.

When it comes to the best strategies social media content, video is king. Short, engaging videos are by far the best type of content you can put out! Your best place to start on social media is where you already have the most engaged following or community. If you’re not already invested in social media marketing, it’s time to start.

2. Billboards and Digital Ads

big blue freeway billboard for cresco labs cannabis

Cresco Labs billboard advertising their cannabis flower product

Billboards for cannabis marketing are perhaps one of the most underestimated methods of advertising in 2021. This is especially true for local cannabis dispensaries.

Whether you want to let local residents know about the grand opening of your new dispensary or promote your e-commerce cannabis store in major cities across the nation, billboards are still a viable way of getting seen by large numbers of people.

Remember that some cities and billboard owners have particular policies about what they’ll advertise and what they won’t. Find a friendly billboard service that offers spots on high traffic routes in relevant areas like trendy neighborhoods or downtown.

Don’t forget digital advertising, which also needs to be high up on your list of cannabis marketing strategies.

While major search engines and social media platforms are still restricted from running cannabis ads, niche digital ad service providers like Mantis, RevOffer, and Traffic Roots have stepped in to fill the gap for emerging cannabis brands

3. Podcasts and Radio

photo from the wine and weed podcast with steelo brim and chrisThe Wine & Weed Podcast with Steelo Brim and Chris “Christopher” Reinacher

National cannabis brands can find a lot of traction by sponsoring popular podcasts. For smaller local brands and dispensaries, sponsoring a locally based podcast might be a better option.

32% of the U.S. population is listening to monthly podcasts and 54% of people listening say they are more likely to consider buying a brand they heard about on a podcast. 

Don’t forget about advertising your cannabis brand or service on the radio either!

A ton of people still tune in to their favorite stations while at work or driving, and overall radio ads give your brand major exposure.

4. Influencer Marketing

influencer dressed in red and yellow holding a cbd joint in an instagram postAn example of influencer marketing from Tenne CBD and imcannabess

The power that influencers, both macro and micro, have to unlock mega exposure for your cannabis brand should be leveraged to the max. Outreach for collaboration takes some time and you need to carefully select an influencer that can provide the reach you’re looking for.

To get the best return on your investment with social media influencers, be sure to team up with someone that fits your brand identity and target demographic. The best arrangement is to offer them something that is fair and benefits both of you.

5. Blogging and Educational Content

photo of the main blog page from charlottes web

An example of a top-notch CBD blog from Charlotte’s Web

Keeping your website updated with fresh website content and blog posts can benefit your online presence in multiple ways.

First of all, a blog can help your overall website SEO by keeping people on your site, building backlinks, growing traffic, and more. Stocking your blog with educational content can help you connect with customers looking to learn more about cannabis. Therefore, providing them with a valuable resource will help your brand build trust among curious consumers. 

Local brick & mortar dispensaries often have the most to gain from a well-thought-out blog and content writing campaign. By targeting the right topics and keywords, you can build up a valuable blog full of topics that are custom to your local customer base.

Don’t Just take our word for it! Check out this crazy statistic that proves the immense potential a blog can bring to your website.

Companies that blog get 55% more traffic on average – HubSpot

6. Optimize for Local SEO

screenshot of search for san francisco dispensary

An example of the Google Map Pack from the search “dispensary san francisco”

Local Some SEO is arguably the most important aspect of digital marketing for dispensaries with a physical location. Local SEO is the practice of growing the local awareness of your storefront or business by optimizing for Google results.

Local SEO tactics for Cannabis dispensaries include optimizing for the google map pack, location-based keywords, directories, and Google My Business. Google’s local SEO algorithm takes into account ranking factors like backlinks, content, off-site factors, and more.

Ensuring your website is optimized for local SEO will take time and patience, but your profits will thank you.

7. Host Events and Launch Parties

snoop dogg posing with his arms crossed at his brand launch event

Snoop Dogg poses for a photo at the launch event of his Leafs By Snoop brand

Hosting launch parties and events are great ways to market your brand and build hype around any special offerings. You can do this by cross-promoting with another brand, sponsoring events with celebrities, and plenty more.

When done right, a successful event can bring your company new customers, press, backlinks, and maybe even some brand loyalty. 

Take it from Snoop, he is one of the best at using his celebrity platform and persona to advertise and promote brands that reach out to him. Now he just so happens to be marketing for his own brand. 

8. Vendor & Brand Cross Promotion

rows of purple hi fi hops cannabis infused seltzer cans

Hi-FI Hops cannabis-infused hop water by Lagunitas Brewing and absoluteXtracts

Collaborating with a complimentary brand in or outside of the cannabis industry provides a great avenue for building hype, press, and new customer.

A perfect example of a brand collaboration would be the partnership between Lagunitas Brewing and absoluteXtracts. The result is a highly successful Cannabis-infused drink and became one of the first in the industry.

Other ways to cross-promote your brand include launching an exclusive product at a local dispensary, license a celebrity’s likeness for their very own signature products, or work with a cannabis company that offers a service you don’t. The options are endless!

9. Cannabis PR

screenshot of mjbizdaily website home page                                                     Example of a Cannabis company making it into an industry publication

Classic public relations tactics are still valuable ways of building earned media impressions and traffic. This is commonly executed by pitching major publications and news channels that may have a vested interest in sharing your brand’s story.

When pitching to publishers and journalists, we suggest first conducting your research, making sure the request is easy to understand, knowing your audience, keeping the message short and sweet, following up, and providing some sort of value.

PR can also function as a way to uphold your company’s credibility in the face of industry regulations and public sentiment.




Thanks for reading our tips on the best cannabis marketing strategies in 2021. We hope you found it helpful!Get the most out of your cannabis marketing efforts and work with Stoned Root. We help cannabis brands grow from the ground up and are obsessed with getting great results!


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