Can Digital be Used for Marijuana Campaigns?

Yes, it CANnabis! Cannabis is a budding industry and is really starting to grow like a weed as more states start to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Support for legal marijuana is at an all-time high (no pun intended) of 68%, with the percent being even higher among 18 to 29 year old’s at 79%. With more and more states now legalizing marijuana, it is opening the doors for those CBD stores, medical marijuana dispensaries, and smoke shows to start marketing and advertising by using digital since some forms of media are still restricting that type of advertising. Even though many states have decriminalized marijuana, possession and distribution of marijuana is still a Federal crime and radio and TV stations, unlike most other local media outlets, operate with Federal licenses. This now opens a whole new opportunity to promote your business.

Before we dive into the different digital products that can help market cannabis, marijuana, and CBD, let’s talk about what these different products are, because contrary to popular belief, they are not one in the same.

Cannabis refers to the plant and all the products that are derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa. That particular plant contains about 540 chemical substances, like THC and CBD. It is a plant in the hemp family, or the Cannabaceae family, and parts of the plant, including dried flowers and leaves, have been used for medicinal and recreational purposes in numerous forms throughout history. This plant can also be used to make hemp products, marijuana, and CBD products.

CBD stands for “Cannabidiol” and is a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis flower. Unlike THC, CBD does not have the psychoactive effects and is mostly used for relaxation, as a sleep aid, and for pain relief and there are even pet products that use CBD. Another product that comes from cannabis is Cannabinol (CBN). This is also a non-intoxicating compound that is created when THC is aged. This can also be used as a sleep aid and has been found to have pain and inflammation reducing qualities.

Marijuana refers to parts of the plant that contain substantial amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the substance that’s primarily responsible for the effects of marijuana on a person’s mental state. Some cannabis plants contain very little THC and under the U.S. law, these plants are considered “industrial hemp” rather than marijuana.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most well-known molecule in marijuana and this is sought after for its euphoric and psychological effects.

Hemp is genetically distinct from marijuana and has a variety of uses including fiber from the stems, protein from the seeds, and oils from the leaves and flowers. Hemp does not produce high levels of THC, but it can product CBD. It is also regulated very differently compared to cannabis and it’s legal to cultivate and sell under the Agricultural Improvement Act.

Kratom is a term that has is starting to pop up more frequently and this is a supplement that is sold as an energy booster, mood enhancer, and pain reliever. Kratom is an herbal extract that comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree grown in Southeast Asia. The leaves can be chewed, and dry kratom can be swallowed or brewed

Now that we know our CBD’s and THC’s, lets look at the different products you can use to digitally advertise for these goods:

Native Ads
Display Ads
Facebook and Instagram (CBD Only)
Mobile Conquesting (CBD Only)
OTT with Video Pre-Roll
SEO and Reputation Management
Live Chat

Let’s start off with Facebook and Instagram because this is a recent change that Facebook has made where they are now accepting CBD only campaigns. For the creative aspect, you can’t explicitly mention CBD, hemp, or cannabis within the ad, so you have to use words like “naturally derived ingredients”, “plant sourced ingredients” or “100% natural” instead.

Since they are allowing CBD only campaigns, that means any mentions of marijuana, symbols, or graphics will cause the ad to get denied. You also want to use a landing page where the topical CBD product is sold (or even use a non-CBD page). You might be able to get away with landing pages that solely feature edible hemp products, but you absolutely can not have cannabis on the landing page.

Some targeting categories that might be a good fit Facebook/Instagram CBD campaigns are:

Household Income
Life Extension
Health & Wellness
Health & Beauty
Healthy Habits
Healthy Food
Healthy Diet
Healthy Life
Healthy Lifestyles
Natural foods
Natural product
Natural skin care
Organic product
Personal care
Personal development
Quality of life

Mobile Conquesting is another product that will allow CBD only campaigns, but there are a few restrictions to go along with that. If there is a business that is promoting just CBD but also sells vaping products or accessories, it will get denied. For Mobile Conquesting you can target using various strategies like Behavioral Targeting, Geo-Fencing, Geo-Retargeting, Geo-Retargeting Lookalike, a Weather Trigger, or Address Targeting and Address Retargeting, but it will not allow geo-fencing or geo-retargeting around a competitor’s location if they sell cannabis. We can track visits with a Mobile Conquesting campaign, as along as that business only sells CBD. Also following the rules of Facebook and Instagram, the creative for a Mobile Conquesting campaign can’t have the words cannabis or marijuana, it can’t contain pictures of cannabis leaves, and it can’t promote and vaping or smoking products.

Some of the Behavioral Targeting categories available for Mobile Conquesting are:

Acupuncture Chiro
Alternative Medicine
Affluent Shoppers
Age/Gender Demos
Bar/Pub Goers
Big City Moms
Business Travelers
College Stadium
Colleges and Universities
Community College
Live Event Attendees
Medical Centers
Working Moms
Sports Medicine and Injury
Pet Lovers

With Native, Display, Video Pre-Roll and Over-The-Top (OTT) ads, the restrictions are lifted a little bit to allow for more flexibility when advertising for cannabis, and there are also more targeting strategies available. Along with traditional behavioral targeting, you can use artificial intelligence, retargeting, and keyword targeting (not available for OTT). Some of the targeting categories that would be a good fit for cannabis campaigns are:

Music Festivals
Organic & Natural Foods
Outdoor Enthusiasts
Smoking Cessation
Tobacco Products
Vitamins & Supplements
CBD > Vape
CBD > Edibles
CBD > Extracts & Concentrates
CBD > Pet
CBD > Flower
CBD > Topical
CBD > Beverages
CBD > Pill
CBD > Tincture
CBD Purchasers
Alternative Medicine
Back/Neck Pain
Chronic Pain
College Students
Concert Goers
Farming and Agriculture
Feminine Pain Relievers
Green Living
Healthy Living
Live Event Attendees
Marijuana Legalization
Medical Marijuana As Treatment

Native Ad Example:

Display Ad Example:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Live Chat have no restrictions at all, and they are both great products to use for this vertical. SEO is great to use for dispensaries so that when people are searching for certain types of products or remedies to cure certain ailments, that particular dispensary shows up first, especially as more standalone CBD stores start popping up around the country.

Running Live Chat in combination with another product is a great idea because it helps to show that they’re getting leads and conversions from that initial digital campaign.

As I mentioned earlier, using digital as a way to promote your CBD or cannabis business is a great avenue because it allows for various ways to target those that might be interested in the product, the ads can appear in different formats, and certain media outlets aren’t allowed to advertise since they have a Federal license.

The post Can Digital be Used for Marijuana Campaigns? appeared first on Vici Media.

What Digital Products work best for Banks and Credit Unions?

Banking.  So many choices to choose from.  Do you go with a private bank or credit union?  Or do you go with one of the big players with locations all over the country?  Now, there are even online banks.  How do you know where to go?   More importantly, how do they all differentiate themselves?

If you’ve been online at any point over the last 5 years, I’m sure you’ve been targeted with ads for a bank or credit union.  I mean, according to Statista, there are over 5,400 credit unions in the United States, and around 74,000 branches of FDIC-insured commercial banks.   (ALERT… GREAT Prospecting Opportunity).  I’m sure one of those banks/credit unions has targeted you with and ad.  And, if not, then there’s a perfect opportunity to reach out to them and see who’s handling their digital.

Before you do though, you should have an idea as to what products work well for Financial Institutions like banks and credit unions.

There are 3 products that we’ve seen work the best (and most frequently used) over the last couple of years.  They are:

Video Pre-Roll Ads
Native Ads
Social Mirror Ads

We’ll walk you through each of these products, the strategies to use, and why they work for this industry.

Video Pre-Roll Ads

Video Pre-Roll are the ads that you see before the content you are cosuming. For example, if I am on and I click a video to see last night’s game highlights, a video pre-roll ad is going to run before I can watch the highlight video. Video Pre-Roll ads are :15 or :30 in length and can be done with behavioral targeting, keyword targeting, artificial intelligence, and retargeting, and can run across all devices. These ads can be skippable or un-skippable, but that isn’t something that the advertiser is able to dictate, as that is determined by the website in which they are appearing.  Un-skippable ads aid in branding and awareness, and with skippable ads, research shows that people who have the option to skip but don’t, are the consumer who are really interested in your product or service.  So, it makes sense to have your message delivered both ways.

There are four strategies for Video Pre-Roll Ads.

Artificial Intelligence


With Behavioral Targeting, we are targeting people based on previous online behaviors and what they’ve shown an interest in, and Ads run on all devices.   Since, as consumers, we leave breadcrumbs of data about our behaviors online which are compiled into Behavioral Categories, companies can pick and choose which Behavioral Categories they want to target. For Banks and Credit Unions, here are some of the categories that could be used for a digital campaign:

Artificial Intelligence is going to use machine learning to target customers based on who is engaging with the ad, across all devices.  Think of AI Targeting as a funnel, the targeting starts wide and gets narrower as the machine learning algorithm gets more data about who/what is causing clicks and conversions.  The machine learning technology is looking at our overall pacing to make sure we hit our impressions goals and optimizing towards when users are online and engaging.  The system optimizes based on the internet traffic patterns of users for when they are online and engaging.  Looking at device type, browser, what website or app, creative, audience behaviors, how frequently the user has been served impressions, how recently the user has been served impressions.

Retargeting is where we follow people after they leave your website and showing them your 15 or 30-second video pre-roll ad, on other websites and apps they go to, across all devices.  Since only 2% of traffic converts the first time they come to a website, having Retargeting included in your campaign aids in the frequency of seeing your ad.

Keyword Targeting is showing your 15 or 30-second video pre-roll ads on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.  Most keyword lists size are around 75-100, but you can utilize up to 500 keywords within a campaign.



Let’s talk about why Video Pre-Roll Ads work.

Branding and Awareness – Video is on fire on the internet and consumers can’t get enough of it. Using video in your marketing campaign allows you to have the visual (and audio) messaging that you want your potential customers to see (and hear).
Keyword for research on loans and rates – As consumers, we all want what we want, when we want it, for the price that we want it for. When it comes to banks and credit unions, they are all competing against each other to earn business for loans, mortgages and more.  Using Keyword Targeting allows you to specifically have your ad served to consumers researching loans, mortgages, and other products.
Targetability – Being able to target people that are currently in-market for a car or new home, people that have recently moved, college students looking for checking accounts, or even people looking to refinance their home has proven to be a great tool.


Native Ads

Native, whether you’re using video or display ads, go across all devices and they match the look, feel, and context of the website.  Here’s an example as to how ads could vary to match the site/app that they are served on.

Native Ads are effective because people are reading these ads since they are imbedded into the content on the website or app that they are viewing.  Reading the ads requires BOTH hemispheres of the brain, resulting in higher engagement, recall and influence.

When it comes to targeting strategies for Native Ads (both Display and Video), they utilize the same exact strategies as Video Pre-Roll Ads.  These are the 4 again:

Artificial Intelligence


Why  they work

Video can be somewhat expensive at times, so using Native to support the frequency of the message can be cost effective.
Targetability – You can target people that are currently in-market for a car or new home, people that have recently moved, college students looking for checking accounts, or even people looking to refinance their home has proven to be a great tool.


Social Mirror Ads 

Social Mirror ads look like your social media display or video posts but appear on other websites and apps and run across all devices using our targeting strategies.  Social Mirror ads mimic the look and feel of top social media platforms however, the ads appear not on the social platforms, but on thousands of other websites and apps and run across all devices. Each ad links back to the social platform it is mirroring and, has a second call to action button that links to the advertiser’s website!  Ads contain unique social actions related back to the originating platform (for example, the like icon, the heart icon, the pinning icon, the retweet icon… those actions are available). These ads can integrate with all the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube.   Ads can run as display, video or carousel.

When it comes to targeting strategies for Social Mirror Ads, they utilize the same exact strategies as Video Pre-Roll Ads and Native Ads.  These are the 4 again:

Artificial Intelligence


Why they work

This is an opportunity for this vertical (banks and credit unions), that likes using Social Media, to be able to promote freely without the limitations that Facebook and Instagram can have.
Utilizing a carousel ad in the post they are mirroring allows them to promote different lines/offerings (i.e. checking, savings, secured credit cards, etc)
Banks and Credit Unions can mirror LinkedIn posts to target specifically for the commercial side of their business and utilize some of the other available platforms for residential/consumer lines.


There are many products that can be used to promote most industries, and Banks and Credit Unions are no different.  However, from the data that we’ve seen, the best starting points of conversation would lie within Video Pre-Roll Ads, Native Ads (both Display and Video), and Social Mirror Ads.


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