Cannabidiol (CBD) has completely disrupted the health and wellness industry. It has also tipped the medical and science communities over in amazement at all the therapeutic and pharmacokinetic benefits associated with the phytocannabinoid.
Today, the CBD industry is also taking the beauty, skincare, and pet industries by storm.
One major element that has added to the phytocannabinoid’s momentum was the amendment made in the 2018 Farm Bill. This amendment is what released hemp and its subsequent CBD products from being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.
In other words, hemp is 100% legal to grow, manufacture, sell, and purchase. This means that all CBD products are federally legal, with the exception of CBD products expressively containing more than the standard 0.03% THC limit.
Not only are CBD products legal, but virtually every type of CBD product you can think of is in high demand. So much so that the CBD industry is projected to rake in $22 billion by 2022.
While the CBD industry has proven to be a success, virtually every CBD company faces the same obstacle: CBD advertising.
Breaking Down the Challenges of CBD Marketing
It would seem unlikely that a legal and otherwise beneficial product would be so difficult to market, yet CBD advertising is arguably the most challenging part of owning a CBD company.
Let’s take a look at what’s holding the industry back in terms of CBD promotion:
While CBD is federally legal in all 50 states and has several proven medicinal benefits, it’s still largely under-regulated and clinical studies are still taking place to determine the phytocannabinoid’s pharmacokinetic validity.
Therefore, before putting up any kind of CBD content, advertisements must follow the strict guidelines put forth by the FDA, which include:
- All health and medical claims are strictly prohibited
- Any information regarding health and CBD in advertisements must be backed up by hard scientific evidence
- CBD itself is recognized as a ”dietary supplement,” and is not regulated by the FDA. Therefore, CBD infused products are prohibited from being formally advertised
The FDA restrictions regarding CBD advertising are rather confusing. Fortunately, as more scientific and medical research surfaces, more CBD restrictions will change.
A Lack of Education
The lack of resources available to educate the common consumer about cannabidiol plus the stigma that still surrounds the plant in its entirety remains quite a controversial issue.
Many people today still confuse CBD with its psychoactive counterpart, THC, which is often the cause for suspicion and outright refusal of agencies to work with CBD companies.
This is why it’s of the utmost importance to provide as much educational material as possible regarding CBD and CBD products to pave the way for acceptance.
Google Ads and Social Media
As of right now Google Ads and most social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram have prohibited the advertisement of CBD products.
Currently, Google Ads will penalize publishers for CBD content, while Twitter and Instagram have been known to ban users for promoting “illicit” content.
As far as social media goes, however, CBD marketers can still use the two platforms to promote brand awareness through educational content and link back to landing pages and product pages.
The legalities surrounding CBD products vary from state to state, and cannabidiol consumers can range among various age groups and demographics. This equates to several different buyer personas that will form your target audience.
Because of this, many CBD companies struggle to define their target audience. They don’t realize that they need to appeal to more than one type of target audience while defining the major factors that lead consumers to purchase CBD.
How to Successfully Market CBD Products
Here’s what we know so far: To appropriately market CBD products, CBD companies must remain in compliance with FDA restrictions, educate their audience, avoid direct marketing over social media (and Google Ads altogether), and define their audience by defining multiple audiences.
Fortunately, not only are there loopholes but there are other forms of marketing that can help CBD companies successfully market their products and create brand awareness including:
Strategizing Your SEO Around CBD
Instead of running a PPC campaign, run a search engine optimization campaign instead.
All you have to do is customize your SEO strategy using the most relevant CBD keywords. When you optimize your content, especially your website and blog content for Google’s search page results (SERPs), you’re creating an inbound marketing path that draws users in as they search for CBD products and information.
The goal is for your brand to rank as high as possible on the SERPs, so Google will acknowledge your website as a relevant, authoritative, and trusted source and so more users will see your page.
Tapping Into Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is crucial to your local SEO efforts and your physical store.
According to recent mobile search studies, more than 60% of all people use their mobile phones to conduct searches, with 56% of those searches falling into the retail category while on the go.
This means that a GMB listing featuring your CBD store while also using relevant SEO keywords can help small CBD business owners bring in more foot traffic while also boosting their overall Google Rankings.
Taking Advantage of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is an excellent way for CBD companies to elevate their brand awareness among the various limiting social media platforms.
Generally speaking, influencers can extend the reach a brand has even further than the brand would be able to on its own as they can target specific audiences, i.e., their followers.
The key is finding the right influencer to help with your CBD promotion.
Hiring the Right Agency
With so many restrictions and the potential for penalization, the CBD marketing world can be incredibly difficult to navigate.
Valux Digital can help your CBD company advertise properly and effectively.
Valux is a nationally recognized marketing & PR agency in New York. Our team has over 100 years of combined experience and knows how to navigate the ropes, whether it’s for a social media campaign or a revamped web design project. Check out our blog or Forbes column for some of our other work here.
Or contact us to learn more about what we can do for your CBD marketing.