06 Jul Selling CBD Products? Marketing CBD is Easy…

Ok, it’s not. But that gives you the opportunity to get ahead of the game and start marketing CBD like a pro. Let’s start now!

If you’re brand new to the space, here are a few things you should know about CBD marketing:

  • Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. will not allow you to promote your CBD product on their paid platforms. There are some exceptions to this such as when the CBD solution is topical and you do not have “CBD” or “hemp” in your name. You might squeeze through the approval process. But if your product screams CBD, you will not be able to use the paid promotion tools these platforms offer.
  • Organic is all you have. With the exception of those rare cases, organic promotion is what you will rely on. There are various methods about
  • You have to adhere to the rules. CBD may be legal in all 50 U.S. states and unregulated by the FDA (as of the time of this article’s original publication), but it’s also under close scrutiny. From the manufacturing, testing, packaging and marketing of your CBD product, it is recommended that you go above board to ensure the longevity of your brand.

 

Not quite sure what CBD is… Is it weed?

No, it’s not the marijuana our parents told us to stay away from. While both are derived from the cannabis plant, CBD’s effects are very different from that of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol – the psychoactive compound that gives a “high.”

On the other hand, CBD doesn’t produce a high but instead is reported to clear & focus the mind, relax the body and relieve muscle aches. It is even used in  CBD skin care to relieve acne and inflammation, as well as improve absorption.

 

Back to CBD marketing.

1. Start with strategy.

At SocialCow, we don’t touch a project until we understand or create its strategy. With CBD marketing, it’s especially important to take the time to:

  • Identify your brand’s differentiator, its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your ideal customer groups and create an ideal client avatar [TEMPLATE] for each.
  • Create a map between your ideal customer groups and your products. (a.k.a. marketing plan)

2. Build your website on Shopify.

Website content management platforms are a preference, and we prefer Shopify. Besides a solid platform with all the features and third-party apps you need to run a successful store, Shopify is also SEO-friendly. A platform we do not recommend is Wix. Although you can build a pretty shop on Wix, it has struggled with on-page search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities and you will need SEO.

3. Hire a CBD SEO expert.

Search engine optimization should be started as soon as your product is online. Because Google will not help you share your products on their paid platforms, it’s especially important to have your website rank high organically.

Unless you’re an SEO expert with experience in the CBD industry and are committed to making this your full-time job, your resources are best invested in hiring an SEO expert in CBD. Because CBD is an atypical market, your SEO team will need to analyze your product’s differentiator and optimize for what we call “LHF keywords” (low hanging fruit) while working on the heavier, more searched terms.

For a brand new CBD website, it will take approximately 6 – 9 months to start seeing scalable sales from search engine traffic. This timeline is independent of any other efforts that may put your product in the spotlight.

4. Get social and leverage influencer marketing.

While you cannot run paid ads on Facebook or Instagram, you have the big benefit of people’s curiosity about CBD.

Create interactive content that stands out and educates. Split your content with 80% of value-driven content (educational posts, quotes, etc.) and 20% promotional content. Remember that you are the expert on CBD and it’s up to you to teach your audience in such a way that gets them to trust you enough to try a new supplement or cream.

To grow your network rapidly and steadily, do both organic and paid engagement:

  • Influencer loop campaigns on Instagram can help you gain thousands of real followers within days. It could be as many as 10K followers in 72 hours or you can cap your growth at 1K per campaign to make the growth look more natural. While these will not necessarily be your customers, the consistent growth signals Instagram that your profile is important and can help you reach people who will buy your products by getting you on the Explore page more often.
  • Organic social engagement should be done at least an hour a day to grow your CBD Instagram and other platforms. This process consists of commenting, liking, following and DMing accounts who are already using CBD products. This is NOT the time to be promotional. Engage in conversation and know that not everyone will reply. This is a number’s game!

One of the best uses of social media for CBD marketing is engaging influencers to promote your product. You should be contacting relevant influencers daily. While you may have a budget to pay for the influencer’s post, this is not always recommended, especially for newer brands. You will get more activity out of a micro or small influencer (<100K followers) who is happy to exchange posts for products. We find that we get more engagement and sales out of smaller influencers than those with 500K+ followers.

5. Put your product in people’s hands.

We know. You just invested your time and resources into products to sell them, not give them away for free! Well, not exactly. You should always have a reserve of product that is specifically for giveaways. This includes influencer relations, event sponsorships, giving it to people on the street… whatever it takes to get the name out there. Of course, this should be done strategically. A free product placed in the right hands can be your next $100K order right there.

 

SocialCow is experienced in CBD marketing, from brand and website development to neuromarketing, social content, programmatic ads and more. Schedule your free consultation here now.