How to Use LinkedIn Ads to Grow Cannabis and Hemp CBD Companies

With so many social media platforms to choose from, I bet you didn’t know that you can use LinkedIn Ads to grow your cannabis and hemp CBD company!

In this episode, we’re going to be talking about LinkedIn advertising with one of the most acclaimed experts on the topic. AJ Wilcox, LinkedIn Ads Expert has run campaigns for cannabis companies with tremendous results. He’s going to share his insights and best practice to help us do the same. 

Don’t miss this exciting episode that could change your entire business!!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • LinkedIn’s regulations around Cannabis and how to navigate them
  • Who should, or shouldn’t advertise on LinkedIn
  • How to use LinkedIn Ads
  • Which ad formats are the most successful

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

Running advertisements can be difficult when you have a cannabis, hemp, or CBD company. But no one could have guessed that there is a goldmine social media platform where you have a higher probability of getting an ad through? We’re talking about LinkedIn. You see, if you’ve already tried other ad platforms, chances are you’re going to pick up on how to use LinkedIn ads pretty easily.

We hope you’re ready for How to Use LinkedIn Ads 101, because this might just be what your marketing strategy is missing!

Getting to know our featured guest

AJ Wilcox is a LinkedIn Ads pro who founded, a LinkedIn Ads-specific ad agency, in 2014. As an official LinkedIn partner, they manage among the world’s most sophisticated advertising accounts worldwide. He also has one of the most dynamic LinkedIn Ad courses available in the LinkedIn Learning Hub. His course, “Advertising on LinkedIn,” has over 13,000 viewers and dives deep into everything you need to get yourself started.

How to Use LinkedIn Ads to Grow Cannabis and Hemp CBD Companies - photo of AJ Wilcox wearing light blue shirt

Globally recognized as one of the top LinkedIn ads experts, AJ manages advertising campaigns for executives and teams around the world. He has presented to about 60+ conventions since founding B2Linked, some of which were Social Media Marketing World, HeroConf, INBOUND, Search Marketing Expo, and Content Marketing Conference.

How to use LinkedIn Ads: Regulations around cannabis and how to navigate them

Before we jump into how to use LinkedIn ads, its worth mentioning how other top ad platforms work and why running cannabis-related advertisements has some marketers shaking their heads.

Google Ads (and similarly, YouTube Ads)

  • Does not allow cannabis keywords. According to Aj, it takes a great deal of caution before you can actually run an ad remotely related to cannabis. So, we haven’t had much luck with Google Ads yet, but hopefully when the regulations change for the better in the future, we can all start reaping the same benefit as other industries!

Facebook Ads

  • Compared to Google’s ad regulations around cannabis, there’s a slightly higher likelihood that your ad would go through on Facebook. Why? Because FB ads go through a manual vetting process. Now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. On the plus side, your ad might go through because the person reviewing it thought it was okay. But there have been times where it ends up declined and your account becomes on hold.

LinkedIn Ads

  • Unlike the first two ad platforms, LinkedIn’s approval process is largely dependent on humans. If they trust you as an advertiser, then your ad usually goes through almost immediately. Another thing is, they don’t just pull your ads right back! Most of the time they can put it in the queue for someone else to review later in case they see something that they didn’t like.

    If your ad ends up declined, then just wait a few hours before sending it again. Ads go through a manual queue, who knows? The next one might be a little more forgiving!

    It’s important to note though, that you cannot run ads directly for cannabis and CBD products directly. What you’ll want to do is highlight the informative side of things, offer to educate to help improve the public’s knowledge so that they trust in the industry.

    Bottomline is LinkedIn ads have a fair bit of flexibility and subjectivity that you can use to run a campaign without a lot of fuss, so it’s definitely worth a shot!

Everything you see Facebook is innovating on, LinkedIn is going to follow suit a few years later, so you might as well know the competition.

– AJ Wilcox

Tips on how to use advertisements on LinkedIn

Make sure you take action now if you think this is something that’s going to be useful for you because you never know when LinkedIn’s regulations are going to change.

  1. Use video ads. It’s a lot easier to communicate your brand message with a 30-second video or a 60-second video, spruce it up with your personality, and get your audience to know, like, and trust you than downloading 6 of freebies just so the audience can get to know you.
  2. Video is a very powerful medium. You really don’t have to spend tons and tons if your goal is simply to engage someone with your video content.
  3. Do not overdo your graphics with too much texts. Remember the purpose of your visual creative lies in its capability to get somebody to stop and pay attention. So, your goal isn’t to convert them with an image.
  4. Your intro should hook people immediately. Keep your message clear and simple!
  5. Skip the blues, grays, and whites because it’s going to drown behind LinkedIn’s background. You might want to try tinges of purple, green, and orange because these standout the most.
  6. Graphics without text overlays feels more organic and trustworthy (text overlays just scream marketer LOL!)
  7. Use targeting wisely and make sure you have got your audience figured out. LinkedIn users can be targeted by their job title, department, level of seniority, company size, industry, skills on their profile, groups that their members of, by company name.

Anyway, don’t wait too long before jumping in the LinkedIn bandwagon! Best to act now and enjoy the benefits now before they put regulations that would make it difficult for you to achieve your objectives, right?

Which LinkedIn Ad formats are the most successful

Sponsored Content

  • Shows up on the news feed as promoted content. These usually consists of a blurb, eye-catching visuals, and a title. You can use a single image or multiple images (a.k.a. carousel), video, and you can even add a form on the “Learn More” segment to keep the reader from having to jump through different platforms or websites.
  • Cost: $8 to $11 a click if someone clicks on your ad on the news feed. The bill kicks in when the someone has viewed the ad for at least 2-3 seconds (LinkedIn $0.20-0.30 per view vs Facebook $0.01-0.02 per view).
  • Aj’s suggested minimum budget: $5,000

Text Ads

  • Only appears on desktop. You can see text ads somewhere in the middle right hand side of the LinkedIn page. It’s also LinkedIn’s cheapest and lowest risk ad format. You’ll be sharing the ad space with 1 or 2 other ad bidders. You probably want to skip over this ad format because no one sees them (banner blindness is real).
  • Cost: $2-$4 per ad click, which means you only pay when someone clicks on the ad.
  • Aj’s suggested minimum budget: $2,500 or less… but has a 0-5% click through rate 2.5 clicks per 10,000 views.

LinkedIn ads are a bit more expensive compared to running ads on Facebook, but since we cannot run the same ads on other ad platforms with the same ease, it is definitely something we should consider.

– Kendra Losee

Dynamic Ads

  • Unlike text ads, you won’t be sharing the ad space with other ads. With dynamic ads, you own the whole thing and you can customize it a bit. You can add a name, company logo, etc.
  • Cost: LinkedIn dropped it to a third of its original price $5-6 per click.
  • Aj’s suggested minimum budget: $2,500 or less… has a slightly higher conversion rate compared to text ads.

Message Ads

These ads go straight to a LinkedIn user’s inbox when they log in. Message ads wait until the user is online before it gets deployed and does not trigger email notifications. Members can get to see 1 message every 45 days. You can send 20-30 messages a day, but looks like a normal message unless the person sending it has done so through an ad. It is, by far, the most risky ad format. Only use this when you have compelling offers such as early access, sneak peaks, and VIP promotions.

Cost: $0.20-0.60 per send… $23-58 per click.

Aj’s suggested minimum budget: $5,000




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