Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a sensation for its highly-purported wellness benefits, including reducing anxiety, pain, and insomnia. Since the 2018 Farm Bill passed and legalized hemp production, the sale of hemp-based CBD products has skyrocketed. Unfortunately for the sellers, confusing CBD advertising laws make it a challenge to market their businesses.
Since advertising CBD products come with so many limitations, our marketing team wrote this article for anyone looking for ways they can safely and effectively advertise CBD products online.
What Platforms Allow CBD Advertising?
Most of the big social media platforms and advertising channels have tough CBD advertising restrictions, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, TikTok, and Twitter. These sites don’t allow CBD marketers to directly reference their products in paid ads, but you can advertise your CBD business in other ways.
Facebook and Instagram
Neither of these social media platforms allows CBD advertising. They group CBD products with illegal substances because of the gray area surrounding cannabis laws in the U.S. Your ads won’t get approval if they contain explicit references to ingestible CBD or links to landing pages that advertise them.
However, you can still post organic content about CBD on your Facebook or Instagram profile. Facebook will remove a paid ad that uses the wrong keywords, but the company doesn’t monitor posts the same way.
Like other platforms, TikTok only allows advertisements for topical CBD products. If your ad mentions consumable CBD or shows any drug paraphernalia, you could receive an account ban. If you’re careful with your marketing, you can create short, eye-catching ads on TikTok to capture the massive user base on the platform.
You will not be able to advertise CBD products using Google Ads, and attempting to run ads for your products could result in restrictions on your future Google advertising. The best way to utilize Google for marketing CBD is to prioritize SEO (search engine optimization) on your website. Using the right keywords and techniques can help you get to the top of the results.
Is There a Workaround for Advertising on Facebook and Instagram?
The rules of Facebook and Instagram prohibit references to CBD or any other illegal drugs in advertisements on their platforms, but you might be able to advertise CBD by getting creative. While ingestible CBD products are a no-go, you can advertise “hemp-based topical products” as long as you don’t mention CBD.
The rules for advertising topical CBD products sometimes allow you to link to a landing page that advertises ingestible CBD, which means you might still be able to capture potential customers for your other products.
Influencer ads also get around the rules because the platforms (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) treat them like organic posts. Finding a creator to advertise your products can help you reach a wide audience with your campaign despite the restrictions.
You can create Facebook groups and attract members with high-quality content on CBD products, helping you boost brand awareness. Groups can also help you direct users to your website when you can share blog posts, articles, and other content.
Should You Run CBD Ads on Adult Sites?
Many adult sites don’t have rules against advertising CBD products, and it won’t be hard to find your target audience in the large number of visitors on these sites. Whether you choose to advertise on adult sites depends primarily on your brand, but it remains a viable option for getting your products in front of a wide audience.
The Best Ways To Advertise CBD Products
With paid advertising on the biggest platforms off the table, you’ll need to focus your marketing efforts on other advertising options.
Many companies spend a significant portion of their marketing budget on influencers for a good reason. They can help you build trust with an audience, which is especially helpful in the CBD industry because of the misinformation surrounding CBD legality. Since influencer posts aren’t technically paid advertisements, you can work with creators on sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
When finding a creator to work with, it’s essential to consider their audience and how well they can represent your brand. While reaching as many people as possible is important, finding an audience that will engage with your products is most effective.
Email Marketing Campaigns
You can get your email marketing campaign running by adding a newsletter sign-up on your site. Sending emails with information on deals, coupons, and products can help you retain customers. The restrictions on running ads for CBD products can make it challenging to find new customers, so it’s vital to hold on to your existing ones.
A few tips for creating a successful email campaign include the following:
- Use a well-designed template
- Clearly display information on the CBD product
- Include a call-to-action (CTA), such as “Sign up” or “Buy now”
- Tailor your emails to specific audiences
Display ad campaigns on popular websites can drive a lot of traffic to your CBD company site. You can advertise where your target audience spends time using banners, photos, or even video. The ad can also be a link that goes to a landing page with information on your products.
Native advertising involves placing ads on relevant sites or publications that look like other content from those specific sites. This strategy can help make up for the lack of paid advertising in your CBD marketing campaign. These native ads should appear to your target audience on sites that they frequent and also blend in with the content they enjoy.
With affiliate marketing, a third party advertises your CBD products on their platform, and you pay them a commission per customer that uses their link. Affiliates have a reputation for getting a ton of high-quality leads, so it could be a way to increase brand awareness and revenue.
Creating Content for Your Target Audience
Well-written and researched content on CBD products not only makes you a more reliable brand but also helps with SEO. You can use targeted keywords throughout your content, including blog posts, product descriptions, and website pages. This keyword strategy will help get you to the top of search results, and the high-quality content will help you get conversions.
When writing content for your brand, it’s essential to consider the needs of your audience. What problems are they trying to solve? What can your products do to help them? You can also create articles or blog posts on topics relevant to CBD products.
Things To Keep In Mind When Advertising CBD
CBD’s legal status is still a point of confusion for many people, and it has led to challenges in advertising even after the CBD market exploded. CBD companies have to be careful when marketing their business and products.
Before you launch your CBD campaign, keep the following tips in mind:
It’s Important to Research CBD Advertising Laws
Since the regulations surrounding CBD are different state by state, it’s crucial to know your local laws. You can follow cannabis news and other sources to stay up to date on changes that could affect the rules for advertising CBD products.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized selling CBD made from the hemp plant, but not every state has changed its laws to align with the federal standard. CBD is fully legal in many states, but some states have specific restrictions, such as requiring CBD products to contain less than 0.3% THC (which it does if it comes from hemp).
SEO and Targeted Keywords Can Help Your CBD Brand
SEO might be the number one way you can make up for the advertising restrictions on most digital platforms. Your CBD content should contain target keywords to help boost your rankings in the search engine.
You Should Not Make Medical Claims About CBD
No one except a licensed doctor can give medical advice, so you shouldn’t make unsupported claims when advertising a CBD product. The FDA guidelines prohibit CBD brands from claiming that their products can cure certain medical disorders, no matter the clinical or anecdotal evidence behind them.
Try To Create a Genuine Connection With Your Community
While you may not be able to run campaigns for paid advertisements on every social media platform, you can still use these channels to your advantage. Since the users of CBD form a relatively niche community with a lot of room to grow, you have an opportunity to build a close connection with your audience as you navigate these unfamiliar waters together.
You can produce frequent and engaging content to share with your target community, participate in discussions, and share news about the industry. Creating a genuine bond with your audience will give you insights into the customers’ needs and help you build loyalty.
How To Find the Right Influencers To Represent Your CBD Brand
While picking the creator with the most followers might be tempting, you should think about whether they fit your brand’s image. Even if your product reaches a huge audience, it won’t mean much if the users don’t engage with the provided links. It might be better to choose an influencer who has an active community that fits your brand’s target audience.
Final Thoughts on the Challenges of Advertising CBD Products
The CBD industry is still in its infancy, and many states are still catching up with federal laws. While the U.S. is in this complicated transition period, CBD businesses might struggle to advertise their products, especially on the main digital advertising channels. Hopefully, we’ve helped spark some inspiration for alternative marketing strategies.
At Connective, we’re a leading web design company in Houston with a passion for innovative, audience-based marketing. Contact us with your inquiries at 818-570-5620 or fill out our contact form.