Despite the fact that regulations surrounding the cannabis industry are starting to loosen up, conventional marketing channels such as ad networks, search engines, and social media platforms continue to be very strict when it comes to anything related to cannabis. 

There are certain ‘cleaner’ ads which can get past conventional networks, however, these will only work for a very limited time, or as long as you fly under the radar and don’t generate too much exposure. 

The fact of the matter is, regardless of how clean your ads are, if you’re involved in the cannabis industry, be prepared to face numerous advertising obstacles.  

Words are increasingly getting flagged, including the shorthand “canna” and words like CBD, cannabidiol, cannabinoid, etc. At last check, hemp oil or hemp extract and related were still OK to use. The other approach Google has taken to try to discourage cannabis aficionados from advertising is by taking away the option of projecting how your keywords will fare in the Keywords Planning Tool. 

It is important to ensure you avoid getting caught for obvious stuff: “forbidden” keywords in your ad copy, on your landing page, in your URL, in your company name (yes). If you are doing ecommerce, make sure none of the words are on your landing page when you launch. If your company name has words like canna, cannabis, pot, weed or anything like that in the name, forget about it. Once your ads are disapproved just one time, that triggers a manual review, and that one is very hard to recover from.

But there is a bright side to this matter. Stringent ad regulations have opened the doors to new ad networks who specifically target potential cannabis users. Read on to discover which are the best cannabis ad networks right now, and which ones make the most sense for your business.

MANTIS ADS

Mantis Ads – By combining display ads with native and video ads, the Mantis ad network can help you put together a very complex online marketing strategy that most cannabis businesses won’t even dare to dream of. With complex reporting capabilities and intuitive ad campaigns, Mantis can help you increase your website traffic, boost your sales, reach out to old customers and much more. With 500 publishing partners and 35M viewers per month, Mantis is the largest cannabis ad network of the moment and the best part about it is that it has the classic pay-per-click system, so you will be billed when your marketing efforts are working. 

Advantages

  • Complex analytics
  • Pay-per-click pricing
  • The largest network of targeted websites
  • It allows for video adds

Disadvantages

  • Steep learning curve

TRAFFIC ROOTS

Traffic Roots – This network has a decent reach of reputable websites from niches that would otherwise be unavailable to cannabis businesses. The niche audiences targeted by traffic roots are interested in cannabis, but also in music, yoga and sports, so you can reach people who already use cannabis products as well as people who might be open to trying out these types of products. Moreover, despite the fact that this platform is quite intuitive and easy to use, it offers a wide range of advanced features that allow you to segment your audience and tailor your ads for different segments. Last but not least, it offers real-time statistics that help you refine your ad campaigns.

Advantages

  • A large network of targeted websites
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages

  • No content ads
  • No video ads

ADISTRY

Adistry – This is both an ad network and a sales tool. It gives you access to digital, traditional and sponsored ads, and it helps you manage your ads as well as your customers in order to sell more and faster. The tool is quite easy to use, and while it doesn’t offer too many advanced features, it can be a great starting tool for a beginner marketer in the cannabis industry. Moreover, if you are not convinced whether or not this is the right tool for you, Adistry gives you the opportunity to try it for free for 30 days. 

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Free 30-day trial

Disadvantages

  • Lacks complex reporting features

LEAFLY

Leafly – This is the largest resource platform for the marijuana industry. If you have a dispensary, it is essential to get it listed in their dispensary directory as most cannabis users use Leafly to find nearby dispensaries. Leafly is also a great source of informative content for marijuana users, making it a great advertising solution for publishers. Nonetheless, due to the fact that it has such a high impact, Leafly can be quite expensive, so it may be out of the reach of a small cannabis startup company. Aside from Leafly, there are a few other highly popular digital magazines that you can contact directly such as High Times, MjBizDaily.com, The WeedBlog, The Cannabist, Cannabis Culture or MerryJane.

Advantages

  • High impact ads

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Limited advertising opportunities

KUSH CLICKS

Kush Clicks – This ad network doesn’t have an audience as high as the previously mentioned platforms. Nonetheless, we felt the need to include us in our list because it has a decent reach, it is easy to use and it has a great customer service which can be ideal for startups that don’t really know how to set up the foundation of their marketing strategy. The cannabis industry may be new, but it is quite complex, and it is one thing to advertise for recreational users and it is a completely different story to advertise for medicinal users or for the doctor industry. Kuck Clicks can help you identify your target and set up a campaign in less than 72 hours. 

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Great customer service

Disadvantages

  • A small network of websites

ADROLL

Adroll – This network was founded in 2007 on the principle that you could effectively advertise online, even without infinite resources and budget. Since then, we’ve made it easy to challenge established brands and grow your business online. Before we got our start, advertising online was unnecessarily complicated. So we set out to democratize the space so that brands of all sizes could do it. Our team now helps thousands of businesses build their online presence (even from the ground up).

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Great customer service

Disadvantages

  • Slightly unqualified traffic

DANK CITY

Dank City – Owns and operates the largest cannabis social media network with a reach of over 100 million followers across all their social platforms. They also have a subscription box (Daily High Club) that reaches over 15,000 customers every month, a cannabis magazine (Chronic Journal) and a platform for cannabis content creators.

Advantages

  • The responsive and helpful sales team
  • Wide reach and relevant audience

Disadvantages

  • Expensive media campaigns

CANNAIMPACT MEDIA NETWORK

CannaImpact Media Network – Largely focused on curating a diverse portfolio of media sites and influencers. Cultivating cannabis media channels and working with leading publishers allows us to more effectively increase our client’s reach an intelligent and value-added manner. Above all, these partnerships are extremely important because we consistently work towards the same mission: to help empower both cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs. 

We recently announced our partnership with Highlife Media Network. This partnership opens opportunities to build even more impactful cannabis brands for our clients, and introduce them to a highly relevant and target engaged audience. The Highlife Media Network is one of the largest and fastest growing social media cannabis communities in the world, with over 20 million active followers.

Advantages

  • Quick and easy to work with
  • Managed campaigns as well as creative design options
  • Deep understanding of the industry

Disadvantages

  • Minimum advertising spend required

ABOUT CANNAIMPACT

Resourceful and innovative, with a deep understanding of the cannabis industry, CannaImpact works hard, thinks big, and delivers successful results. We are known for needle-moving public relations programs. At CannaImpact we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Each client’s needs are assessed individually and then team members devise smart, proactive brand strategies, public relations, digital media and influencer campaigns that exceed expectations.

OUR PROCESS

Leveraging research, creative and technology, we bring brand design disciplines to the table, to form an integrated plan around each brand. Every plan we present, each call to action we write, we do so by thinking strategically, every day.

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