CBD is a rapidly evolving industry that seems to be moving too fast for marketers to catch up! CBD, or cannabidiol, is “naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm,” according to Health.com. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and is believed to have a number of health benefits – but we won’t go into that here. We’re here to talk about marketing CBD and products containing CBD, because if you’re not fully aware of the do’s and don’ts of CBD marketing, your time, energy and money could be going down the drain. Let’s review the intricacies of CBD marketing so you know what to watch out for. And if you’re a CBD brand looking for a full-service marketing partner, reach out to us at email@example.com.
Educate Through Content
First things first: we recommend building up educational content around your product and CBD. Not only will your brand look more professional, but you can also implement SEO strategies to target long-tail searches. Having a robust content library will do well for gaining brand recognition and social media calendars. Create a blog, post new content regularly, create videos about your product, design educational infographics, etc.
Strategically Use Earned Media and Influencer Marketing
Sometimes, the best way to tell your brand or product’s story is to have someone else tell it for you. In the case of CBD, this may be one of the most effective routes for getting your messages out at scale. Media relations and influencer marketing can be a great way to raise awareness of your product or brand. There are still rules to follow when using a third party to talk about the benefits of CBD, so make sure your messaging, talking points and product claims are clear and easy to understand.
Leverage Other Marketing Tactics
While you may not be able to use the major ad platforms like Google Display Network or Facebook for your CBD company, there are many other digital marketing tactics you can use for your CBD brand.
While Google Display Network may not allow ads for CBD companies yet, there are other platforms that will run CBD-related ads on their network of sites. One in particular is FieldTest.
These are ads you’ll see placed in online publications that are embedded within the content to look like part of the content you are reading, or “native” to the site you’re already on. StackAdapt is a programmatic ad platform that provides native options.
Major media companies, bloggers, influencers and other digital publishers rely on affiliate profits to make money. Why not make your CBD product affiliate-friendly to encourage those influential publishers to include your product in their content? ShareASale, CannAffiliate and Clickbank are all good affiliate programs to explore.
Podcast ads are an advertising format that’s not as regulated as other areas like social media. Seek out the podcasts where you’ll reach your target audience, and then reach out to them about advertising opportunities. There are also ad companies specifically for podcasts, like Midroll, worth exploring if you’re interested in taking the podcast ad route.
Disregard the FTC Guidelines
The FTC is not afraid to hand out yellow cards to businesses who are not playing by the rules when it comes to CBD advertising. As CBD gets more and more popular, you can expect the FTC to pay more and more attention to the marketing from CBD brands. Always take the cautious approach here by knowing what the FTC’s guidelines are, checking each ad and piece of copy in your ads or marketing collateral, and making sure you’re following the guidelines. Check the FTC’s website if you need a refresher here.
Use Ad Partners That Ban CBD Marketing
As we mentioned above, there are several major ad players that simply don’t allow CBD ads that should be avoided. We don’t recommend trying to beat the system, spending time and money trying to upload your ads to Facebook only to have them (eventually) taken down.
Show Consumption of Your Product in the Ad
Whether your product is a CBD-infused food, CBD-based lotion or CBD-infused beverage, it’s important to remember that you can’t show your product being consumed in your marketing materials. 1o8 recently led an influencer marketing campaign for a client in the CBD space, and in the creative brief for our influencer partners, we made it clear that the imagery should not have the product being consumed. This is a simple but crucial rule to follow if you’re responsibly advertising your CBD brand.