As CBD oil becomes more mainstream and more celebrities, athletes, and public figures openly celebrate the benefits of CBD products, you can be sure you got into this industry at the right time. In fact, Statista.com estimates that CBD consumer sales will reach around $1.15 billion by 2020.
The only downside?
In order to get a piece of that rather hefty pie, you have to advertise online. And between FDA regulations and the restrictions of some major advertising platforms, getting the word out about your CBD brand requires a little creativity and more advanced knowledge of digital marketing.
When it comes to advertising your CBD brand online, the best advice we can offer is to work with a digital marketing agency. An experienced firm understands the ins and outs of online advertising and has access to a wide range of advanced digital marketing tools. They know how to make the most of every online platform and where to find alternative marketing solutions when you’re restricted from promoting CBD products on major advertising channels. And because they do these things, you waste a lot less of your own time researching advertising methods, designing a marketing strategy, and creating content.
But if you prefer to handle online advertising yourself, we’ve still got you covered. Here are some great ways to promote your CBD brand online.
CBD Social Media Marketing
You probably don’t need us to tell you that social media is a powerful way to reach your audience. And because platforms like Facebook allow you to target your audience down the smallest personal details, the ROI for pay-per-click social media advertising can be huge. But here’s the catch:
Most of the major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat won’t allow paid advertising for CBD brands.
The good news is you can still set up a business page and promote your products through organic social media outreach. The disadvantage to organic social media marketing versus PPC advertising is that you can’t pay to get your posts in front of new audiences. To make up for that, you’ll need to put some effort into creating compelling, engaging social media content. Think of the topics that are of interest to your target buyer—whether it’s pain management or an eco-friendly lifestyle—and brainstorm posts, photos, and videos that your audience would find useful.
Also be sure to engage with others on social media. Don’t just respond to all comments on your posts (although that’s important!), but also make the extra effort to comment and share content from buyers and other brands. It heightens your visibility and makes you look a contributing member of a larger community. People like that.
While we’re on the subject of social media, a little influencer marketing can go a long way for a CBD brand.
Influencer marketing consists of paying a social media figure with a strong following to promote your brand. This form of advertising is a great work-around for those platforms that won’t allow CBD companies to run paid ads. Plus, you get the added bonus of social proof. You’ll need to do some research to select an influencer whose brand and target audience align with yours, but more often than not, it’s well worth the effort.
Plus, as you promote your brand, you’ll find yourself limited by FDA restrictions that prevent you from making any medical claims about your CBD products. An influencer, however, can speak openly about what your products have done for them. It’s a powerful endorsement that gets the message out about the effectiveness of your product without violating FDA restrictions.
Content Marketing Strategy for CBD
We’re big fans of content marketing no matter what your brand is, but when you’re working within the limits of CBD advertising, content is especially important. Videos, blog posts, and infographics are a reliable way to get your name out there repeatedly and consistently, not to mention establish you as an expert in your field.
Quality content is especially valuable at a time when curiosity about CBD products is at an all-time high. With SEO optimization and a carefully researched keyword strategy, you can gradually increase the visibility of your website and start ranking higher in organic searches.
Because CBD is such a hot topic, you’d also do well with content syndication. Content syndication is when you share your own content—blogs, infographics, videos, etc.—on third-party websites. This maneuver gives you a visibility boost and helps establish credibility for your brand. That said, you do want to be deliberate about which third-party websites you partner with. Reach out to respected, high-ranking sites, and make sure your content is indexed correctly so the duplicate content doesn’t hurt your search engine rankings.
Email is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but it still delivers a sky-high ROI when done correctly, and it’s a reliable way to build relationships with buyers and drive conversions. Use social media and content marketing to boost your subscriber list, then keep in touch with regular updates. Remember that the key to getting people to open those messages (other than composing a stellar subject line) is to consistently provide information that is of value to your buyers. Think deals and promotions, tips and news related to the use of your products, and content that speaks to your audience’s values and priorities.
CBD-Friendly Paid Advertising
Okay, we covered several options for getting attention without the aid of traditional paid advertising. Now let’s cover the areas where you can still purchase ad space.
There are some CBD-friendly advertising platforms that help you get the word out to buyers interested in products like yours. Mantis, for example, can hook you up with display and native advertising. Adistry is also happy to work with CBD brands.
You can also find a visibility boost through affiliate marketing. With this strategy, you depend on bloggers and YouTubers to give your brand a shout-out through reviews or other references. Then they use affiliate links to connect their audience to your website, and you give them a cut of any sales driven by their content. To get the best results from this method, take the time to research and reach out to bloggers and other personalities who consistently create content geared towards a large audience that is likely to be interested in your products.
Finally, you might look into reaching buyers by sponsoring podcasts or buying ads on podcasts. This can get pricey, but if you take the time to (once again) identify podcasts that align with your brand voice and target buyers, it could be well worth the money.
The Bottom Line
While the restrictions placed on CBD brands mean you have to pull off some creative maneuvering, a CBD digital marketing strategy is like any other in a few key areas.
- You need to know your online customer persona.
- You need to know where to find that person.
- You need to pinpoint the message that carries the most weight with them.
And that’s just the customer-focused aspect of a digital marketing strategy. Every move you make in online advertising should also serve an overall objective and have measurable results so you can figure out what’s working, what needs improvement, and how you can optimize for a higher ROI.
If there’s anything we can do to help you navigate the complicated web of CBD advertising, feel free to reach out anytime. We’re eager to see you succeed and happy to do whatever it takes to get you there.