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Cannabis Marketing Live

Cannabis Social Media – Episode 2

Navigating the Tricky World of Cannabis Social Media Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live. All Puff. No Fluff. Episode #002. Overview I’m Kendra Losee, the host of this all-new Facebook show, where we bring you the brightest, boldest, and badass people, ideas and technologies in the cannabis industry! In this episode, you’ll learn: → Social media […]

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Navigating the Tricky World of Cannabis Social Media

Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live. All Puff. No Fluff. Episode #002.

Overview

I’m Kendra Losee, the host of this all-new Facebook show, where we bring you the brightest, boldest, and badass people, ideas and technologies in the cannabis industry!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

Social media platforms and cannabis 

Identifying your  social media goals

Know what platform is right for your business (and your audience!)

 

Social Media Platforms and Cannabis Marketing

Which platforms have strict guidelines about cannabis on their sites based on their current Terms of Use and Community Guidelines? Let’s find out!

Cannabis Friendly (Organic)?* Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram YouTube Pinterest Snapchat
Strict X X
Flexible X X X X X

*Before we get started, note that this assessment  is strictly my opinion, based on each platform’s Terms of Use and Community Policies

FACEBOOK

Community Standards

We prohibit any attempts by private individuals to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, firearms or ammunition….

[More about firearms and ammunition, then back to…]

We do not allow you to use Facebook’s payment tools to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.

 

INSTAGRAM

Terms of Use

You may not use the Service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose. You agree to comply with all laws, rules and regulations (for example, federal, state, local and provincial) applicable to your use of the Service and your Content (defined below), including but not limited to, copyright laws.

  • We may, but have no obligation to, remove, edit, block, and/or monitor Content or accounts containing Content that we determine in our sole discretion violates these Terms of Use.

Community Guidelines

Follow the law.

Instagram is not a place to support or praise terrorism, organized crime, or hate groups. Offering sexual services, buying or selling firearms and illegal or prescription drugs (even if it’s legal in your region) is also not allowed. Remember to always follow the law when offering to sell or buy other regulated goods.

 

TWITTER

Terms of Use

You understand that by using the Services, you may be exposed to Content that might be offensive, harmful, inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate, or in some cases, postings that have been mislabeled or are otherwise deceptive.

All Content is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such Content.

 

LINKEDIN

Community Guidelines

Be Professional.

We ask our members to behave professionally by not being dishonest or inappropriate.

We acknowledge the value of discussions around professional activities, but we do not want you to use LinkedIn to shock or intimidate others.

It is not okay to share graphic images to shock others, and it is not okay to share obscene images or pornography on LinkedIn’s service.

YOUTUBE

Policies on harmful or dangerous content

While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers might do in response, we draw the line at content that intends to incite violence or encourage dangerous or illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.

Videos that we consider to encourage dangerous or illegal activities include instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result. A video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA), and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a news piece on the dangers of choking games would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be.

 

PINTEREST

Community Guidelines

Regulated goods are products that can cause harm to the owner or people around them when used incorrectly. Many countries have rules and regulations that apply to these types of products.

To keep you and our community safe, we don’t allow the private selling or buying of regulated goods like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, guns, or the sale of products from endangered species. If this sort of activity is reported to us, we’ll remove the content and may suspend the account owner.

Don’t do anything or post any content that violates laws or regulations.

A consistent landing page that matches what’s in the Pin.

Business Policies

You shall not post User Content that violates or encourages any conduct that violates laws or regulations, including but not limited to laws or regulations applicable to your line of business and laws or regulations applicable to advertising.

 

SNAPCHAT

Community Guidelines

Illegal Content

  • Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans.

 

CANNABIS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

 

\\\\\

SOCIAL MEDIA GOALS

Example goals include:

  • Number of followers
  • Engagement (comments, likes, shares)
  • Website analytics for social media referrals
  • Purchases attributed to social media
  • Leads from social media
  • Clicks
  • Video views

 

\\\\\\\

CRITERIA FOR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM SELECTION

  1. Your goals and objectives
  2. What channels are your target customers using?
  3. What channels are your competitors using?
  4. What kind of content do you want to create?
  5. What kind of content creation are you good at?
  6. Which platforms are more cannabis friendly?
  7. How much time/resources do you have to manage your social media?

If you have any questions or would like a social media audit for your business, connect with us!

 

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Intellectual Property Protection, Cannabis Businesses, and IP Laws

What do you know about the correlation intellectual property protection, cannabis businesses, and IP laws? It’s not surprising that cannabis-focused entrepreneurs have trouble getting access to information that would be vital for the durability of their brand. With things changing on the regular, cannabis businesses race to get a hold of reliable information and find […]

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What do you know about the correlation intellectual property protection, cannabis businesses, and IP laws?

It’s not surprising that cannabis-focused entrepreneurs have trouble getting access to information that would be vital for the durability of their brand. With things changing on the regular, cannabis businesses race to get a hold of reliable information and find a way to give their brand and ‘secret sauce’ some level of protection.

Although, the cannabis industry is young and full of promise, it can also be a source of frustration especially when safeguards meant to protect businesses is limited at best. So, what can you do in this situation? We call in an incredible attorney who specializes in everything IP Law.

This is one information-packed episode you do not want to miss!

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The difference between patents, trademarks and copyrights
  • How to select a strong trademark
  • What intellectual property protection can you obtain by yourself (without an attorney)

Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live — All Puff. No Fluff!

It’s hard to imagine just how much the cannabis industry has changed from something done in the shadows to one that has gained a degree of public support. Which is why it isn’t surprising that most cannabis businesses didn’t bother acquiring any level of protection for their brand.

But with regulations slowly evolving, people are starting to take notice and see cannabis as a formidable industry. We can’t help but wonder if the same protections for common businesses can be applied in the cannabis space.

I wanted to get some clarity on this and I bet that you do, too. So, I’m really so excited to see how much we can learn from our guest!!

Getting to know our featured guest

Sheila Gibson is a remarkable patent and trademark attorney and founder of Aura IP Law – which focuses on helping cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs obtain meaningful intellectual property (IP) protection at both the state and federal level. In dedicating her practice to cannabis specifically, she closely monitors federal and state cannabis laws in order to navigate intellectual property barriers to protection for cannabis plants, products, and processes.

sheila-gibson-intellectual-property-protection-IP-law-attorney-headshot

Sheila’s career in Intellectual Property (IP) began when she served at a nationally recognized IP boutique, she also practiced at several top-tier law firms over her first 16 years as an attorney. She has worked with clients in many different industries, such as: agriculture, biotech, medical devices, green technology, sports innovation, and more. Sheila has counseled clients at the research and development stage to startups, to small- and medium-sized businesses to larger publicly traded companies.

She has advised her clients in all aspects of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, branding, licensing, IP transactions, IP agreements, opinion work, due diligence, and product launch.

In addition, having received exposure to all aspects of intellectual property including some of the most complex prosecution, litigation, and transnational issues at her prior law firms, she learned to approach each matter with big-picture thinking that includes an eye toward global strategy and avoiding possible future pitfalls and/or litigation.

Now, free from the constraints of Big Law, she is able use her unique skill set and approach to provide more efficient and tailored legal services for her clients.

Intellectual Property Protection, IP Laws, and How It Can Affect Your Cannabis Business

Intellectual property protection seem to only apply to goods that are lawful and regulated. It used to be limited to industries such as food, fashion, medicine, and the like. Now that the cannabis industry is getting regulated and examined, it’s beginning to crossover into greener pastures. This means that you can get some protections in place to safeguard your brand, products, and services.

Sheila posed a great point during our conversation, if we had the opportunity to protect our brand under the law, then we should consider it – after all, it is a great investment, one that will save you from headaches in the future.

“Why wouldn’t you want to protect your brand right now?”

– Sheila Gibson

What is intellectual property?

Just as there are properties that are meant to recognize ownership of certain things such as land and other similar possessions, Intellectual Property are intangible creations born from the human mind. There are different types of intellectual property and, oftentimes, the degree of protection for each type varies from country to country.

What are the different types of intellectual property?

The beauty of intellectual property and having it categorized into different types is that it acknowledges the value of ideas and how much it can revolutionize how we interact with the world.

Copyright

This is an intellectual property that grants owners exclusive rights to use their original work for a set amount of time.

Ex. books, songs, photographs, etc.

Trademark

A trademark is an intellectual property that uses distinct and recognizable representations a particular person or organization.

Ex. the scent of Playdoh, Apple logo, Christian Louboutin red heels, etc.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets is just as its name implies, they are the secret sauce of how a person or an organization creates or conducts their business. It can be in form of a formula, use of certain instruments, protocols, and other confidential information that have economic value.

Ex. Even though Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both sodas, they have their own distinct flavor – that is their trade secret.

Patent

A patent is an intellectual property protection that gives the owner a legal right to exclude others from making, using, and/selling their invention. Much like how copyright works, a patent is also enforced for a limited amount of time. It’s also worth noting that a patent that has been applied is only enforced in the country where it was granted, to get other countries to abide by this law, you will need to apply in each of the countries or in regional patent offices. U.S. utility patents generally last for 20 years, and once that lapses, the owner needs to file another patent application to keep it from falling into the public domain.

Ex. Spanx and spanx products.

Tips on how to select a strong trademark

Shiela strongly advises against doing the trademark protection process yourself. There are a lot of things to consider and an attorney who specializes in intellectual property protection would be able to walk you through and give you better insight.

  • Don’t register generic terms.
  • It should have an acquired distinctiveness.
  • You can make it suggestive, so people have an idea of what your brand is about.
  • Fanciful trademarks can also work to your advantage, these are made up words that only have meaning when it’s tied to your brand. (Ex. Kodak, Tesla, Pepsi, Adidas)
  • Coincidentally, you can also opt to use arbitrary marks, which is a symbol that has nothing to do with your brand, products, or services. (Ex. Dove, Sharp, Apple)

“This is about competitive edge, we want you to let you protect your name, but we’re not going to let you take language that your competitors need to use.”

– Sheila Gibson

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection Insights

Here are some suggestions from Sheila Gibson about what sort of intellectual property protection you can obtain by yourself and how to know when you need an IP lawyer’s help.

  1. You can file your own copyright protection.
  2. Make sure you include a Ⓒ in your publication, the name of the person or entity who owns it, and the year of when it was first published..
  3. Add markings to your content (e.g. photographs, blog posts, etc.)
  4. Once your copyright has been filed, the next step is registration (a.k.a Registered Copyright). Registering isn’t an automatic process, you need to file it separately and only costs $65. Don’t worry though, the forms are pretty easy to fill out!
  5. You cannot sue for copyright infringement if the content in question is an unregistered copyright. This is why Shiela highly recommends having it registered, especially when the content has artistic value.

“Make sure you talk to an attorney before you disclose. Once you publicly disclose, you start to lose some rights and some abilities to protect it. If you publicly disclose, you lose your foreign right (protecting outside of the US).”

– Sheila Gibson

REACH OUT TO SHEILA GIBSON ONLINE:

KENDRA LOSEE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:


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Cannabis Marketing Live

Top 3 Tips to Cannabis Marketing Success

There probably won’t come a day where we don’t need great marketing insight, especially when dealing with the cannabis industry. With cannabis regulations and processes evolving so often, proactive learning has become an even more indispensable skill. Being in-the-know proves useful especially for newcomers because there’s just so much room for growth in this industry. […]

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There probably won’t come a day where we don’t need great marketing insight, especially when dealing with the cannabis industry. With cannabis regulations and processes evolving so often, proactive learning has become an even more indispensable skill. Being in-the-know proves useful especially for newcomers because there’s just so much room for growth in this industry.

Since we’re on the topic of consistent growth and learning, I think you’re going to find my featured guest’s insight to be timely! Joining me on the show is Lisa Buffo, CEO & Founder of The Cannabis Marketing Association. Lisa is an indomitable force who is passionate about marketing, building, and engaging communities, as well as creating resources for other cannabis marketers. Watch below to hear Lisa’s best tips for marketing cannabis successfully!

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why telling a story is crucial for branding
  • Understanding your differentiators
  • The importance of being proactive about learning about this industry

Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live — All Puff. No Fluff!

I think it’s no secret just how marketing can be a constant challenge for those of us doing marketing for cannabis-related businesses. I mean, there’s so much you need to consider and, honestly, it does get pretty overwhelming sometimes. But don’t worry, friends, there’s always going to be someone ready to share their wisdom — and lucky for us, today I’m talking with Lisa Buffo!

Getting to know our featured guest

Lisa Buffo is a marketer and entrepreneur with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries.

Prior to her work in the industry, Lisa worked for Bizdom and LaunchHouse, technology business accelerators in Cleveland, Ohio, helping bring over two dozen software startups to market.

lisa-buffo-headshot

She is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a membership-based organization focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of re-branding cannabis at the national level. She was named one of 2019’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Cannabis by Marijuana Venture Magazine in 2019.

Lisa has worked in the cannabis industry since 2014. She started working in commercial cultivation where she grasped the important role compliance plays for cannabis companies. She has helped launch 10 cannabis startups for CanopyBoulder, the industry’s first business accelerator in 2015. Lisa is also the Founder & Co-Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee, where she has co-authored the Public Relations Crisis Manual along with the Short Guide to Colorado’s Marketing & Advertising Regulations.

Lisa Buffo is an active speaker, who has spoken at countless industry conferences domestically and abroad. She currently sits on the Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Equity Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association, and as an Advisory Board Member of Cannabis Doing Good.

Pro Tips to Cannabis Marketing Success

These cannabis marketing tips won’t come easy, but they’re going to be crucial to your organizations’ scalability if you pull it off!

1. Tell an authentic story that people can connect with.

Your audience needs to know the purpose behind your actions. With the height of digital information, customers are becoming more and more picky with brands they want to rally behind. That’s because people like to buy from brands that they can relate to in one way or another. After all, it’s human nature to want to connect and nurture a sense of belonging — this is exactly the power your story holds.

Authentic stories have the ability to nudge potential customers to a preferred action – whether it’s a sale, a referral, etc. Sure, you won’t be able to connect with ALL of them, but if you do your best to consistently share your story, treat others (e.g. customers, team members, business partners, etc.) fairly and empathetically, your brand will be more memorable!

Here are good ways to make others more receptive to your story:

  • using your voice in a positive way by supporting a cause that aligns with your brand’s vision and mission.
  • genuinely caring about your customers, your team, and community.

“The basis of marketing is understanding what’s YOUR story and what makes YOU different.”

– Lisa Buffo

2. Identify and understand what your differentiators are.

You know what they say, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” The same principles apply to your brand. You won’t be able to fully deliver if you’re not aware of what sets you apart from everybody else, by understanding your differentiators you become more attuned to how you can contribute to the well-being of your customers and community.

Here are something you need to analyze to gain a better grasp of your differentiators:

  • list a few things that you do better than everybody else
  • what’s something that gets you really excited
  • are you solving any problems
  • what are you willing to commit to doing better than everybody else

Answer these and find the overlap, those are your differentiators.

“Those who are clear about their differentiators are going to have the best shot at connecting with consumers in a way that is authentic. it also gives consumers a way to measure the brand against other brands.”

– Lisa Buffo

3. Learn proactively (learn as fast as you can and as much as you can).

The sooner you can get acquainted with the industry, and reaaaaally understand the regulations and the processes, the better it would be for you because things in the cannabis industry tend to change and evolve a lot. It’s a budding category and we anticipate it to grow bigger and faster as the years go by, so take our word for it — learn as much as you can and as fast as you can. It’s always easier to update what you know than to start from scratch.

Consumers are learning more and more about the industry, the products, and how things work… so we have to take the lead in giving them the most reliable information they need in order to make the best choices. The person who holds the most (accurate) information gets to stay on top of the competition!

“If customers are being industry savvy, then you’ll need to have already passed that level and ramp up what you know.”

– Lisa Buffo

FOLLOW LISA BUFFO ONLINE:

CANNABIS MARKETING ASSOCIATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

KENDRA LOSEE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:


“Your brand story is what helps your audience and customers connect with you — it’s what makes you less intimidating. People who feel safe with you tend to relate to you better.”

– Kendra Losee

“Personally, when I’m introducing people to a new product or when they ask me about it, I always start with the brand story. ‘Hey, this is a great brand… this is how they started, what they do, and this is why I love them.’ You don’t just say, ‘Oh! This product is going to solve your problem.’”

– Kendra Losee

“Whatever we can do from a marketing standpoint to make that as less intimidating to a new user, the more appreciative they’re going to be and the more they’re going to recommend your products — which is ultimately the goal: be recognized, remembered, and recommended in order to grow forward.”

– Kendra Losee

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Cannabis Marketing Live

Podcasts and the Cannabis Industry: How It Can Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy

Podcasts in the cannabis industry are starting to get a foothold and things are getting real interesting! What’s not to love? Podcasting allows you to share your insight. It gives you the freedom to reach out and educate your audience. It’s a powerful medium that provides a safe space for you to show people what […]

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Podcasts in the cannabis industry are starting to get a foothold and things are getting real interesting!

What’s not to love? Podcasting allows you to share your insight. It gives you the freedom to reach out and educate your audience. It’s a powerful medium that provides a safe space for you to show people what your company is all about.

Now, I get what you might be thinking… how do podcasts and the cannabis industry fit together?

To guide us through the wonderful world of podcasting, we have Operations Director of the Super Power Experts (and Dream Queen strain enthusiast) — Justin Recla.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How podcasting (if used properly) is going to revolutionize businesses
  • Podcasting as a broadcast mechanism that can help connect and educate followers and prospects
  • Why podcasts in the cannabis industry are a valuable marketing strategy and how it leads to monetization

Note: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn money if you click the link and make a purchase. Thank you!


Welcome to Cannabis Marketing Live — All Puff. No Fluff!

Podcasting is no easy feat! That’s why we got an expert onboard.

Getting to know our featured guest

Justin Recla is an Army veteran and former counterintelligence agent. Justin’s platform is a testament on how he has successfully transitioned counterintelligence techniques into the business world. Currently, he serves as the Operations Director for Super Power Experts – the #1 Podcast Network for Personal Development and Spiritual Growth. Justin runs the show along with his wife and daughter, where they talk about everything from business to soul work to the divine.

Podcasting allows people that are craving and wanting what you have to offer know where to go and to find it. And when done properly, it’s a phenomenal mechanism for you to be able to educate, connect, and attune your potential clients to who you are and what you do in the world.

– Justin Recla

Podcasting is content marketing

Podcasting builds authority. Much like how people are at awe with folks who have penned their own book, podcasters are held in a similar light. I mean, not everyone can host their own show and make sound good, right?

The advantages of incorporating podcasts into your cannabis business marketing strategy:

Make no mistake, it takes dedication, patience, and consistency to enjoy the benefits of going the podcasters’ route. It usually takes about 3 to 5 years for a podcast to gain traction.

“Podcasting isn’t about beating them in the head with marketing, it’s about building and establishing a relationship with people.”

– Justin Recla

Other key advantages of incorporating podcasts into your cannabis business that Justin mentioned, include:

  • Find Your Voice: Companies find their voice and learn to dig deep into what they do, why they do it, and who do they do it for. Understanding what your brand stands for helps you stay focused and allows you to maintain a level of consistency.
  • Use Your Voice: Business owners have the freedom to use their voice to connect with their audiences in an authentic and unique way without the same constraints as mainstream media.
  • Educate: Companies can be at the forefront of educating their audience.
  • Share: Being a podcaster opens new opportunities in the sense that you can have other experts on your show and you can talk about important issues.
  • Increase Visibility: Podcasting makes it easier for brands to increase their visibility and provide updates to a broader audience.
  • Cost-Effective: It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to start a podcast, which means it is a low-cost marketing and visibility option.
  • Leverage Content: Companies can repurpose the content they record into many different channels – from blogging to social media posts and emails. Repurposing the content you create allows you to increase the lifespan and reach of your content.
  • Monetize it: Depending on how your podcast is set up, you can open it up for paid sponsorships, banner ads, audio ads, and other promotions.

Justin Recla on social media:

Kendra Losee on social media:

More posts on how to improve your marketing strategy:

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