CBD Marketing Strategy: 5 Simple Steps to Get Started
The Challenges of Marketing CBD
Compliance and Regulations
While commercial hemp cultivation was legalized throughout the U.S. with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the matter of selling hemp-derived CBD products is still a confusing topic.
To avoid facing any legal repercussions, CBD brands need to ensure that they are adhering by the rules and regulations set forth by the FDA.
With the CBD market growing at exponential rates, it may be easy to think that the market is quickly becoming saturated. However, as more and more people began to explore the properties of CBD the demand only continues to increase, making way for new players to join the industry and even find new and inventive solutions for untapped markets.
The use of CBD has seen an immense increase in the last couple of years. And while studies have aimed to remove CBD from the shadows of cannabis, some are still wary or unsure of what exactly CBD is.
This paves the way for CBD companies to educate consumers through legitimate science and research-backed content marketing. Not only does this serve to help educate consumers, but it will also place businesses in the position of trusted industry leaders.
How to Create Your CBD Marketing Strategy
1. Know Your Target Audience
To best determine where to best market your CBD products, you’ll want to know which markets they best serve.
Rather than just guessing where your products will get the best reception, brands will find that it is best to either use existing data to figure out the top-performing customer demographics or perform a competitive analysis.
Which method you choose depends on what stage of marketing you’re brand is in. For example, those starting out will want to stick with existing data and use it as a launching point, whereas established brands can benefit from competitive analysis.
2. Optimize Your Website
In today’s e-commerce world, a web presence can be the difference between success. To ensure your brand can stand out from the buzz, you’ll want to create a website that works for your unique needs.
Considering how today’s consumer is served up a constant barrage of data and ads on a daily basis, you’ll want to create a brand identity that not just stands out, but also sticks.
This is where knowing your target audience comes in. Consider who they are, and what they’re looking for. Obviously, they want a high-quality CBD product. But what else? What separates your brand? What else can you offer that others cannot?
Develop your brand identity and mission carefully. It should reflect not just your own brand philosophies, but also those of your customers.
Once you’ve developed your brand identity, you’ll want to infuse it into your site, creating a seamless brand story from your product, to your packaging, website, and tone, etc.
One of the best ways to grow your business is to focus on customer retention. You’ll want to attract not just new traffic, but also repeat customers. These are your brand advocates.
A proven digital marketing tactic to keep new or potential customers engaged and thinking of your brand is through “lead magnets.”
These are incentives that encourage web traffic to exchange their email address for some useful content. What this content is can vary greatly based on your brand and target audience.
For example, brands can offer a 15% discount on a first order for customers who sign up for email alerts. Another option could be a piece of downloadable digital content, such as a blog or article or guide that your consumers can get value from.
If you’re attracting customers who are new to the CBD industry, you can create a downloadable beginner’s guide to CBD.
These lead magnets open the doors for you to initiate email communications with your customers, updating them on special promotions, providing them with further tips and tricks, or retargeting them with a strategic email sequence such as a a welcome or abandoned cart email series.
Beware of Restrictions
You may know by now that some digital advertising can be tricky for CBD, after all, you wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t.
However, it can get a bit more complicated than exchanging the word “Hemp” for “CBD” in your ads.
You see, that’s because some advertising avenues such as Outbrain, and even some merchant accounts, will not do business with you if your website talks about CBD or vapes or vapes, or has cannabis leaf symbols.
It is very important that you read the fine print of your merchant account contract to make sure that there aren’t any precautions or restrictions set forth on your CBD website. It is also important that you consider your URL very carefully in order to eliminate any chances of your ads being rejected.
3. Develop a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most affordable and organic ways to drive traffic through your site is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Because of the ever-changing algorithms, this method can be a bit of a trial-and-error situation to get right. But once you do, you will see a really good return on your investment.
Aside from the low cost of SEO (unless of course, you hire an SEO expert), another benefit is that unlike with paid ads, SEO does not abide by the same strict regulations. You still want to stay away from making any medical or unfounded claims due to legal restrictions, but feel free to use CBD-centric keywords to properly execute this strategy.
Keep in mind that SEO keywords will be considered as marketing and advertising materials if the FDA is investigating any health or disease claims, so be sure to stay compliant.
Any good marketer will tell you about the benefits of SEO. Next, you’ll hear about the value that blogs have on your SEO strategy.
Not only can you use blogs as a tool to keep customers engaged with your brand and establishing yourself as an expert in the industry you can also put it to use in amping up your SEO strategy by implementing strong longtail keywords.
This is a part of your site that can be easily outsourced if you need to. One way is to feature guest articles on your site.
Keep in mind that an informative, entertaining, or engaging blog is a sharable one. This can be a great word-of-mouth advertising piece for your brand.
One of the oldest — and most successful — tricks in the book, email marketing goes a long way toward lead conversion, customer retention, and community building.
Whether you’re sending informative letters, updates on coupons and sales, or updates on abandoned cards and new product availability, email marketing keeps you top of mind for your customers.
Better yet, many customers keep a lookout for these communications. In fact, Nielsen reported that 28% of US online shoppers subscribe to store or product emails in order to stay informed.
5. Social Media Marketing
When it comes to a successful CBD strategy, you’ll want to diversify as much as possible. Stick to the tried and true (like SEO and email marketing) but be sure to throw in some fresh new tactics.
One good way to reach your audience is through influencer marketing. One of the fastest-growing segments in the marketing world, this technique allows you to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship with a partner who can promote your brand to their existing audience base.
As of June 26, 2019, Facebook made an announcement that it would be lifting its ban on CBD products. That means that if your audience is on the platform, you can now meet them there.
Of course, you’ll want to take precautions on how you position your product, but you can now join the conversation, engage your community, and connect with your customers on their grounds.
With this platform, you’ll want to focus more on the lifestyle aspect of your CBD brand. Sure, you can promote your products, but do some research on your favorite brands and your most successful competitors. You’ll quickly notice that Instagram is less of a selling platform and more of an aspirational and aesthetic one.
Focus on creating eye-catching and captivating content for your posts, stories, or IGTV. Brush up on the trending hashtags. And be sure to always provide valuable content to your audience.