With the recent legalization of Cannabis, one of the largest issues facing legal cannabis and CBD producers is marketing. Although these products are legal in many different countries and American states, large marketing distribution channels such as Ad Words, Google, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Main Stream Media blacklist or prohibit the marketing of these products or services.
For every rule made: there are two ways around it:
The Creative Way
The Illegal Way
This Article will not discuss any Illegal marketing techniques… However it will comprehensively cover the Best and Most Creative Ways to get around Blacklisted and/or Prohibited Marketing. These are some of the Best Grey Hat Marketing Techniques available anywhere.
NOTE: This Article is not intended to promote the sale, use, or distribution of ILLEGAL substances, weapons, tools, media, or programs. This is a guide for those who cannot advertise LEGAL products or services in the traditional marketing routes: Ad Words, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Main Stream Media)
Step 1: Analyze your target market and where they are located.
Before you start any type of online marketing, you will need to define your customers and research the areas where your potential customers and/or your competitions customers are most present.
For Example: If you are trying to sell a CBD product, you will need to find online communities, pages, groups, or websites where your target customers congregate.
Most common Locations to find your target market:
Step 2: Design Your Objectives.
Before you start any type of marketing you will need to outline the goals of your campaign. Are you looking to gain exposure?, Increase foot traffic?, Increase sales? Gain followers? Build a network? Business two Business sales? Business two Customer Sales?
It is important to understand that for each individual campaign you can only have 1 objective or goal. If you are trying to achieve all of the above, your campaign will be too broad and you will not get the results you are looking for. Create a specific goal per campaign.
SPECIFIC GOALS & TIMELINES
Example: If you are a model, YOU need to decide what are the most important goals you are trying to achieve? Are you looking to build a portfolio of pictures? Are you trying to attract an agency? Are you trying to attract customers to purchase your products? Recurring orders? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. It may seem as if these are arbitrary things but each one of those questions requires a completely different approach to marketing then the others.
Step 3: Develop
Now that you’ve created your objectives and goals, you can move into the development phase for your marketing campaign. How are you going to reach your target audience (Location Of Your Audience)
Top Marketing Techniques For Blacklisted Products and Services
1. Influencer Marketing/ Affiliate:
Influencer marketing utilizes a person or brands online network to increase product or brand awareness. This potentially can make a brand or product explode over night.
Regardless of the location of your audience, finding the best influencer to represent your product or service is important. So important in fact, we wrote a blog covering how to pick the best social media influencer.
2. Grass Roots Marketing:
This age old technique requires a very creative approach but it can be extremely effective. Grassroots marketing is a ground up approach to marketing. Instead of launching a message in you hopes it will get peoples attention. You first get peoples attention then deliver a message. By targeting your efforts to a small group you are aiming to convert them so then can then spread your message to a much larger audience. This is often used by models to gain large followings.
A great example of this is hosting a giveaway. Asking your fans to tag their friends and family for a chance to win something you are giveaway. This allows you the opportunity to expand through social groups and build a tight community of interested people.
Chat bots and social media bots are all the rage lately… There is only one problem; they are extremely frowned upon by marketers. The truth is.. If you are a marketer, you should embrace all type of bots but only agree to use them in an honest way.
In early 2018 many of the social media companies set new safe guards in place to eliminate the FAKE bot trends that seemed to be diluting the social user experience. This purge caused millions of suspected bot accounts to be deleted. At the same time, they rolled out a new algorithm that limited the amount of interactions a single account can have in a single day (likes, posts, comments, dms, follows, unfollows). Forcing a large percent of bot creator to run for the hills. Since then however, there have been new loopholes that have been discovered and the bots are back.
From experience the best and most ethical way to use bots are the following ways.
Bots should only engage in harmless (Non Spam) interactions to obtain attention.
4 Honest Uses For Social Media Bots
Liking Targeted Pictures or Hash Tags to gain attention to your content
Thanking new followers Via DM for following (Short Meaningful Message to start a conversation)
Responding to comments on YOUR product or service page to create engagement.
List Generations to follow-up with potential customers.
4. Direct Marketing:
Direct marketing does exactly what the name suggests. It is the marketing and selling of a product or service directly to consumers through a personal interaction. Using this model, you would manually have to build a personal relationship with your customers by demonstrating and selling products outside of traditional retail. The best 3 examples of direct sales are Duct Cleaning Services, Premium Snapchat Modelling, and mainstream brands like Herbal Life.
Did you know? More than 51% of customers decide to purchase from a direct sales representative.
Step 4: Implementation
At this point you have analyzed whom your customer are and where they are located. Designed the specific goals and objectives you wish to achieve. Developed your action plan on which methods are best suited to reach your target customers. So now it is time to implement your marketing campaign.
This is where you literally just do what you set out to do! Nothing more, nothing less….
Learn about social media bots
Search and find Influencers in your niche
Create a giveaway
Step 5: Evaluate
Once you have completed the previous tasks its time to evaluate them. This is probably one of the most important tasks to complete for the following reasons.
You will be reviewing all your results to see if they were effective.
You will see if you achieved your goals. (Repeat the things that work)
If you didn’t achieve your desired outcomes, you will have to revisit all previous step to see if you can make them for your next campaign (learn from your mistakes).
Brainstorm new ideas for your next campaign.
You Are Now Ready To Market Legal Blacklisted Products!
The reality of the situation is, although you are not allowed to use resources like: Ad Words, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and/or other Main Stream Media outlets. You can still gain great results through implementing the previously mentioned Grey Hat Marketing Techniques. In many situations these techniques are sometimes more effective then main stream marketing techniques because “unmarketable niches” tend to have a stronger community whom share and communicate information more regularly.