If you own or help run a business, you know that growing it is tough. Labor, economic, and competitive challenges are around every corner. Now imagine that in addition, your marketing challenge isn’t just defined by how much to spend and where. Imagine that the government and some of the largest advertising venues don’t let you spend money with them even if you want to. Welcome to the legal cannabis industry and the challenges those in cannabis marketing face.

This post is less for those in the industry who already know this and more for the rest of us, because there are a couple marketing challenges and lessons to be learned here for all. First let’s briefly summarize the restrictions we’re referring to and hopefully clear up some confusion and misinformation. For brevity here, let’s assume that all of these restrictions are rooted in the disparate laws regarding marijuana across our country. It’s unlikely this gets cleared up until cannabis is legal nationwide.

Where Do You Go if You Can’t Go to Google?

Google and Bing have significant restrictions around targeting search terms and ad copy related to cannabis advertising. While it is possible to start campaigns, it is very likely that those campaigns will become restricted or paused.  If an account continues to push through campaigns that are restricted, they risk losing the ability to run advertising on the platform permanently.

Same story with social – Facebook and LinkedIn both have broad restrictions against cannabis related advertising and cannabis marketing.  Campaigns may get started, but they run the risk of being flagged, restricted, and cancelled.

So, what other options are there? Well, high quality news sites such as MassLive.com make their own decisions on allowing cannabis related advertising. Approving cannabis marketing is a choice we have made, and this includes display advertising, sponsor content and video advertising.

But there are still restrictions on the creative messaging and this is where the state governments come in. In Massachusetts the Cannabis Control Commission has written guidelines that restrict the use of images such as pot leaves and require a “reasonable” expectation that 80% of the audience of the media will be aged 21 or older. Believe it or not, highway billboards have been meeting this criteria so far, but at least one bill has been created in the state Senate to outlaw this.

It is clear that there are a lot of restrictions in cannabis marketing, but what does this tell all of the non-cannabis marketers? Here’s where the restrictions offer helpful guideposts for other businesses.

1. Effective creative is vitally important

Too often the messaging, images, composition and feel of advertisements are the last elements of the campaign to be strategized. But the cannabis industry can’t show their product, can’t use common language that their potential customers are familiar with, can’t promote their own proprietary brands, and they can’t show ancillary products that improve the experience. Imagine that in your industry.

These restrictions have forced cannabis markers to think strategically and outside of the box on how they can deliver their marketing message. So let’s all commit to using the freedom to design our advertisements as a call to design really, really good ones while using clean, compelling ad messaging; be that through text, video, static, or audio.

2. Know your target. Hit your target

The cannabis industry has age restrictions they must meet and they must jump their customers through hoops ranging from how to pay to how to transport the product home. The result is they need to be laser focused on reaching consumers who are able and willing to navigate the hassles to buy their product. How often do we see advertisements for other products that are reaching consumers who can’t buy the product? This wasted reach is everywhere – fast food restaurant ads in cities and towns hundreds of miles from the nearest location. Cable TV providers advertising in towns that legally only offer their competitor.

Think about your own business. Are you advertising on a medium that you recognize, but actually charges you for a lot of wasted reach? Think about who is really able to be your next customer and laser target them.

Digital marketing is uniquely positioned to help cannabis businesses accurately navigate these challenges. How are you navigating your marketing challenges? Let us know if we can help.

Manufacturing Recruitment Strategy

Worker shortages in manufacturing industry is real. Highly skilled positions remain open as a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. For manufacturers, building and maintaining a robust and skilled talent pool is key for both short-term and long-term hiring success.

Recruitment Marketing as a Relationship Builder, Not Just Candidate Sourcing

Don’t wait to be present until a position is open – consistently position your brand in front of both passive and active job seekers. Consistent branding creates a talent pool who is familiar with your company, benefits, culture and therefore more likely to consider you when looking to make a career change. Top of the funnel marketing tactics such as video and display make your brand presence known.

Build A Connection By Understanding Your Best Potential Candidates 

Develop personas, marketing strategies and campaigns specific to your common open positions. Different positions attract different types of candidates. Understanding the nuances allows you to more directly content with job seekers, to communicate your company story and to welcome them into your culture with a personalized approach. Seek out a recruitment marketing partner with a deep data bench, capable of developing audience segments, media placements and creative to speak directly to specific candidate audiences.

Enhance Your Job Board Presence with Display & Video

Placements on job boards are effective in reaching those actively seeking a position. However, other traditional marketing methods like targeted display and video allow companies to share their full story. More visual formats let prospective candidates see your benefits and experience your culture. Both elements that can cause them to choose you as their next employer – over your competition.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategy

A growing aging population, pandemic burnout and a ramp up of traveling nurse opportunities have put a strain on healthcare recruitment. Nurses are in high demand – with an abundance of employment options to choose from. How does your healthcare facility standout in this mad dash for employment?

Invest in the Community You Serve

Healthcare is essential to the community. Consider supporting the community you serve by sponsoring local events, job fairs and awards to keep your organization top-of-mind. Not only will these positive associations bring your organization front and center, it will also generate positive word of mouth among the community – reaching friends and families connected to potential candidates.

Showcase Company Culture

Give a glimpse of what its like to work at your organization on any given day. Show the people who work there, the halls to be walked and the benefits to be had. Video succinctly communicates positive culture through virtual tours, testimonials and more. Written testimonials and other content featuring current employees lend authenticity to your showcase.

Replenish Talent Pools with New Grads

New graduates are critical in helping to fill staffing gaps and to replenish talent pools. Utilize highly targeted strategies to reach new graduates, while still on campus, where they are spending their time. Hyper local mobile targeting puts your organization front and center among soon-to-be-graduating adding you to their consideration set for post-graduation employment.


Education Recruitment Strategy

Like most categories of business, education providers are facing faculty and staff shortages. Finding experienced and passionate educators and faculty continues to be a challenge. Education institutions should look beyond salary and benefits to larger strategies to drive interest and applications for the upcoming school year ahead.

Build Your Talent Pool with Year-Round Strategy

Primary education recruitment season begins at the end of the previous school year, with many schools starting from scratch every year. Establishing a year-round recruitment marketing strategy, allows you
to reach faculty and staff considering a change throughout the school year, adding them to your talent pool as the year progresses. Having a year-round plan also puts your institution front and center, outside of the more cluttered traditional recruitment period.

Utilize Your Community As A Recruitment Tool

Your community has the potential to be a unique selling point for your institution. Consider highlighting the quality of life – showing prospective employees the community you serve. Community events, local activities, cost of living and more can have pull over prospective employees looking to make a move or to enjoy a way of life your community offers. Partner with local events, local organizations and even your convention and visitors bureau to generate content about your community.

Job Fairs Help Build Awareness of Your Institution

Passive and Active job seekers join job fairs to learn more about prospective districts and institutions. By merely being present, among your competition, you can ensure that your district or institution is in the consideration set for educators looking to make a career move. Both in-person and virtual career fairs provide additional visibility and awareness for your institution.


Warehouse Recruitment Strategy

Warehouses are experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to a shift towards online shopping. As growth continues and timely shipping remains critical, warehouses face a continual shortage of workers.

Tout the Benefits That Make You Stand Out

Warehousing jobs are not historically known for good benefits and upward mobility. With changing demand and increased competition, more warehouse companies are adding long-term benefits and job training to their offerings. As an employer, tout benefits like 401Ks, employer matching and paid training as part of new hire packages. Talk about your openings more as long-term careers vs. short- term or holiday employment for additional appeal.

Get Connected In the Community

Grassroots community efforts and word of mouth tactics still hold strong in warehousing recruitment. Sponsoring local community events and job fairs raises brand awareness in the community, spreads positive sentiment about your organization and jump starts word of mouth. This simple activation makes your organization more likely to be noticed by potential job seekers and considered as a stable, future local employer in a future job search.

Local Jobs, Local Placements

Warehousing recruitment pulls most applicants and new hires locally. Very rarely to companies hire outside of their immediate market. Tap into the local job seeker scene through local job boards, job fairs and other local job posting opportunities. Local job seekers continually use these outlets to find new employment opportunities.


Trucking Recruitment Strategy

Facing an aging workforce and increased competition for new talent, the trucking industry struggles to keep recruitment pipelines full and trucking routes staffed. Trucking industries should look to implement full-funnel marketing strategies to not only attract active job seekers but it keep talent pools fresh with new prospects.

Address Trucking Industry Myths

Increase top-of-the-funnel prospects by introducing the benefits of a trucking industry careers to passive job seekers. Address potential concerns head-on, including hours, mileage goals and living conditions while highlighting employment benefits such as 401K matching, healthcare and time off. Video and written content are both great vehicles to communicate this information.

Stay in Touch with Prospects

Deciding to change careers can be a lengthy process for passive job seekers. Keep your talent pool active with periodic communication about your business, job openings and career benefits. Set up an email calendar, reaching out to a list of emails from those who you met at job fairs, submitted an inquiry or sent a full resume. Frequently post about your culture, the trucking industry and openings to keep your followers engaged.

Job Boards Are Important

Trucking applicants remain tapped in to local and regional job boards. A presence on local job boards and job aggregator sites provide you business with bottom of the funnel presence – reaching those interested in the truck industry and actively applying now.


Professional Recruitment Strategy

Finding outstanding talent that fits your culture is a concern for any business. Make the most of your time and resources by attracting qualified candidates that can hit the ground running and succeed within your organization. Identify quality talent and cultivate your talent pool with leading recruitment marketing strategies perfect for professional businesses.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Tell the story of your business, your history, your employees and more. The more a prospective employee knows about your operations and culture the more they are able to determine whether they are a match for your organization. Office tour videos, employee testimonials and other visuals can help to show daily life within your company.

Tailor Communications to Open Positions

Instead of deploying blanket recruitment ads for all positions in your company, consider developing custom creative and campaigns for each position. Messaging should focus on key benefits and operations of that role, showcase photos and videos of that segment of your business and speak directly to those candidates. Specific communication, drives more qualified applications – increasing your odds of finding a match while building up your talent pool - than general recruitment ads.

Use Job Boards to Reach Active Job Seekers

Job Fairs, local job boards and job board aggregators remain critical bottom-of-the-funnel tactics in securing applications for open positions. While other flashier tactics will fill the top of your funnel, these more nitty-gritty media elements provide a place for active job seekers to seamlessly apply for the positions they want – now.