Cannabiz commissioning editor Josie Tutty spoke to The Cannabis Co’s digital marketer Marika Berney about the importance of great copywriting, why word of mouth is so effective and what to do when Facebook shuts down your ad account.

Josie Tutty, Cannabiz: Joining me now is Marika Berney, digital marketer at The Cannabis Co. She has a background as both a copywriter and marketing executive, and now spends her time working on all things digital marketing for The Cannabis Co, which sells everything from hemp flour to cannabis-infused gin to dog shampoo. So welcome, Marika, thanks for joining us.

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Now, that’s an incredible range of products you have there. Do you want to give me a rough outline of your digital marketing strategy and how you incorporate all those different things?

The Cannabis Co’s digital marketer Marika Berney

Marika Berney, The Cannabis Company: Based on those different products, we’ve got quite a different range of customers really. You’ve got people who are looking for some form of natural pain relief, gut health or things like that. And then you’ve got people who have a dog and their dog’s got anxiety problems or itchy skin, so we’ve got quite a range.

In terms of the general digital marketing strategy, because we’re so broad, we tend to focus on that. So the whole idea is communicating the fact that cannabis and, in our case mostly hemp and terpenes, are so widely applicable and so effective and largely quite undiscovered. So a lot of our marketing is really educational based.

Then once we’ve got people in our database as customers or leads, we tend to segment them out into the pet customers, the beverage customers and the lifestyle customers, because they are looking for quite different things. They do cross over, and anyone who’s got a pet is also a human, so they’re all applicable to everyone, but what we focus on becomes quite different in the stories we tell and the testimonials we show and stuff like that becomes quite segmented.

Cannabiz: So what’s the biggest challenge that you have found so far when it comes to marketing cannabis online?

Marika Berney: Facebook. It was a massive shock for me actually, because I’ve come from an agency background where putting up a Facebook campaign or SEM, Google AdWords and display is just natural and you don’t ever have to second guess whether you’re going to have your ads approved. And I kind of jumped into this space, super excited to get into cannabis and all of its amazing health benefits. And it was just roadblock after roadblock.