Marketing opportunities abound in the exploding lifestyle categories of beer and cannabis (especially here in Portland). Like any online gold rush, these opportunities come with a myriad of competitors and challenges. Listen to Rebecca and Mark’s experience in growing brands in these segments, and how it might inform your next marketing leap.


Rebecca KelleyContent DirectorLeafly
Rebecca Kelley - Twitter

Mark KnowlesPrincipalThe Growler Guys
Mark Knowles - Twitter

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug; illegal on the federal level and not accepted as a having medical value.

Becuase of this there is little-to-no support for advertising mj in the digital space. Social platforms do not allow paid advertisements, Google doesn’t allow ads or even provide search volume data as the Keyword Planner is tied to ad spend.

Determining an audience is still the first step to marketing in any space. Rebecca Kelley of Leafly describes four buckets of cannabis users that they consider when creating content.

The best form of marketing cannabis and cannabis-related products has been billboards with newspaper a close second. Look for local events that work well with your brand.

Influencers. When trying to gain brand awareness there are no limits to what can be done. Especially, when there are many people actively fighting against the product you are trying to sell, being able to think outside the box is simply a must. Partnering with other companies and in-person meetings are integral to driving app downloads.

Shadiness stand out doubly so grey-hat tactics are completely off limits. Every user counts so make sure their is a flow in information that leads the viewer from their first touch down the rabbit hole to eventually find where they can make a purchase. Leafly uses news stories to show up in Google’s news feeds and they will see a bump in traffic when cannabis related new stories break. Lifestyle content creates opportunities for users in each bucket to read articles that are applicable to them. Informational articles provides content over years; by tackling common search query topics such as ‘How to Pass a Piss Test’ or “What To Do When You High AF.’ By creating series of articles around commonly searched for cannabis-related questions, Leafly can dominate the organic search space and drive more and more engagement and users without having to pay for traffic.

The Growler Guys exploded when they launched their first store/growler station.


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