Paid Advertising
& Pay Per Click

There are several categories of paid online advertising. One of them is called “PPC,” which stands for “pay-per-click.” Compared to traditional advertising and other paid advertising categories, PPC ads are billed per click and not per impression or publication. The advertiser only gets charged if a user clicks on the ad. When somebody sees the ad but doesn’t click on it, the advertiser incurs no cost.

The cost per click is determined by the market value of the search term or “keyword” and works similarly to that of an auction. The more marketers are interested in a particular search term, the higher the cost per click.

Another benefit of PPC campaigns is the ease of tracking. The website visitor either clicks on the ad or doesn’t. It also eliminates the risk of wasting money on ad campaigns that don’t convert. You can also determine a maximum bid for each keyword to control your ad spend.

Why Paid Advertising?

When done correctly, paid advertising is an efficient way to drive more traffic to your website and expose your ads to a large audience. The biggest benefit of paid advertising is the positioning at the top of the SERPs (search engine results page). Even though there are many free tools to optimize your online marketing, a paid ad is often the best way to drive traffic to your website because leaders in your industry are also using similar keywords – You need to remain competitive. A well-strategized Google Ad campaign can help you to stand out from the crowd because the paid ads display at the top even before the #1 industry leader in the organic search results.

So, how does this bidding work for the top listings work? As mentioned earlier, the price is driven by supply and demand, just like in any market. The more marketers are willing to pay for a search term, the higher the value, or the more expensive the CPC (Cost-per-click) for that keyword.

How Google Determines What Ads are Shown at What Position

Therefore, even though paid advertising is more expensive than earned or owned advertising, it is still an effective way to improve brand awareness and increase sales because of the visibility achieved from your priority placing. If you want to consistently rank in searches for local cannabis paid search management is the way to go.

When a user searches for “cannabis oil”, the search engine results page (here Google) shows the following websites:

As you can see it the above screenshot, the sites that pay for the keywords display at the top (marked with the green box “Ad”) before all organic search results. In this example, is the highest bidder for the search term “cannabis oil.” Since 92% of internet users don’t click through to the 2nd page of their search results, it is vital that your company appears on the first page to get traffic. To hit that first page of results for customers looking for local cannabis paid search management is irreplaceable. (

Paid advertisement on websites other than search engines displays at the top, side or bottom of websites. The higher the traffic on the site you’re advertising on, the more expensive the advertising space (see more on this topic below).


Beginner's Guide to Cannabis Dispensary Marketing.

Download our free eBook to to gain a fundamental understanding of what a fully integrated digital marketing looks strategy looks like in the cannabis industry.

Types of Paid Advertising

01. Search Retargeting and Site Remarketing

Retargeting, often called remarketing describes a simple Javascript code that tracks website visitors. The code often referred to as “cookie” or “pixel,” is placed on the website and follows the user through the web after visiting your site:

For example, if a user adds items to a shopping cart but does not end up checking out, the pixel follows the user through the web and communicates to the retargeting provider to display ads. Therefore the ads are only shown to previous website visitors who have already shown interest in your product and are familiar with your brand. A purchase is much more likely to happen than when targeting cold leads who might have never heard of your brand nor have a need for your product. (

02. Programmatic Advertising

Display advertising, also called “banner ads”, are ad creatives designed from combining imagery and copy to capture the visitor’s attention. Your goal is to generate a click and send them through to an optimized landing page for the product or service displayed:

Banner ads are a great retargeting tool. Once your visitor has left your site, the retargeting pixel follows the visitor and displays these ads for the product they recently viewed. Retargeting display ads are an excellent method to stay on the visitor’s mind and encourage them to return to checkout and complete the purchase. It’s also a great strategy to increase brand awareness through multiple points of contact with the user and repetitive visual display. (

03. Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing refers to ads that appear on smartphones, tablets or any other mobile device. With nearly 60% of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices (trends are showing a consistent increase), it is important for you to focus on mobile advertising and optimize your ads to be mobile-friendly. Mobile ad formats, customization, and styles differ from desktop versions which are why ads tailored for mobile are key to implementing a successful online marketing campaign.

Compared to smooth single-session desktop shopping, mobile shopping is interrupted by calls, messages, noises or surrounding environmental distractions. A successful mobile campaign overcomes the barrier of many disruptions mobile shoppers experience and can capture the consumer’s attention over several logins. The challenge is to keep the buyer engaged and to make the purchase as frictionless as possible. For example, shopping cart abandonment on mobile over holiday weekends is nearly 79% on mobile compared to 63% on desktop. Therefore, retargeting campaigns play an even more important role in mobile marketing than for desktop campaigns.

04. Paid Social Advertising

Outside of the paid search management of search ads, social advertising is the next set of platforms you should look into when considering paid advertising.

05. Facebook

Facebook provides the largest advertising opportunity for marketers with 1.49 billion members worldwide and 22 billion ad clicks per year. So, regardless of what industry you are in, your audience most likely hanging out somewhere on Facebook. Which leads us to teach you about one of Facebook’s largest advantages – You can customize your audience by demographics, interests, behaviors, connections, age ranges, languages, locations, etc. Facebook offers detailed target options unlike any other platform making advertisements more effective than ever. You can generate new leads through Facebook ads and put your product in front of thousands of people who would otherwise never come across your brand.

With the Facebook pixel, you can drive effective remarketing campaigns to a tailored audience. For example, consumers who have visited your website but did not end up purchasing or users who added products to their shopping cart but did not end up checking out will see your ad on their Facebook newsfeed afterward. Therefore, you stay in front of your customer which, in turn, increases the conversion rate for sale to transpire (

Compared to other platforms, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive. With only $1 ad spend a day you can get in front of 4,000 people that wouldn’t have seen your products otherwise.

With the variety of ad types Facebook offers, the low pricing, and the optimized targeting, Facebook is a platform you simply can’t ignore when building your digital marketing campaign.

06. Instagram

Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo and video app, is another great social channel for paid advertising. You can buy advertising space on Instagram using Facebook’s self-serve ad-buying tools and targeting. Instagram is a great channel to drive awareness and increase your customer base through visual-centric ads. You should be taking full advantage of Instagram’s highly engaged 600 million users.

Instagram Story ads, a relatively new feature, take up the user’s entire phone screen. However, make sure to format it with a 9:16 vertical aspect ratio for optimized display and keep in mind that videos are limited to 15 seconds. (

07. Linkedin

LinkedIn is another social channel you should take into consideration with its 259 million members worldwide. LinkedIn offers highly targeted advertising options including the ability to target not only by demographic, location, and interests but also by job title, employer, role, and skills. The channel offers more up-to-date and “professional” information about their users and also provides different advertising types. Price wise, LinkedIn is more expensive than Google and Facebook but is found to be more advantageous for narrowly focused reach campaigns. The channel offers two pricing models: CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) with a minimum CPC of $2.

You have a multitude of options when it comes to spending your digital advertising dollars. Choose the right channel for your business and understand that experimentation is key (

08. Other Paid Advertising Networks


An ad network specifically for the cannabis industry, Adistry, is a great starting point for syndicating your campaigns across relevant websites for your dispensary.

Bing Ads

One of the larger search engines, offers PPC advertising through its platform. Unlike Adistry, ads display on websites of a broader demographic. Reach high-quality customers in targeted segments.

Google Ads

considered to be the #1 search engine, also offers PPC advertising. Their keyword research tool is a powerful way to begin building your advertising campaigns.


One of the most trusted brands in cannabis, Leafly, also offers an array of advertising opportunities. From sponsoring a piece of content to guest blogging, to native ads, to featuring your business in their local directory, dispensaries have a multitude of opportunities to advertise with them.


Another cannabis specific digital marketing platform, Mantis offers display, content, and video advertising campaign services.


Massroots, a social media network for cannabis consumers, provides custom campaign strategy services with their team, content marketing, and channel-specific advertising opportunities.


While they don’t have a dedicated page to their advertising offerings, do in fact have a variety of options available for dispensaries. Including, but not limited to, event sponsorship and featured listing options.

Yahoo Search Ads

While many many see Yahoo as irrelevant, there are still billions of searches made on the platform each month and one-third of their mobile users don’t use any other search engine. Yahoo offers native advertising, mobile, video, search, product, and social opportunities.

So, what’s the lesson here? The opportunities for paid advertising are plenty! Do your research, talk to your current customers, and identify the platforms and ads that would be best for your dispensary.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each digital marketing channel.

Given the unique position of the cannabis industry, we’re only covering the digital marketing channels that are permitted to use by ancillary businesses, brands, dispensary owners, mobile applications, producers, processors, and websites. There is a legal gray area when marketing cannabis companies, and you should regularly reference the laws within your state before starting any campaign.


We custom-built our proprietary digital marketing and programmatic advertising platform to help you reach more targets, engage more customers, and grow your sales.

See how our solutions can deliver for your business.

Schedule a call or personalized demo today!

get started