The CBD industry is booming, but there are a variety of complications that make marketing it challenging. Between legality and misinformation, CBD entrepreneurs do not always know the best way to sell their products. If you run a CBD company, you probably firmly believe in its beneficial health qualities, but convincing people that it is not the same as its more infamous cousin, THC, means you have a bit more work to do than other marketers. Demand for CBD for pain relief and other conditions is still high, though, so here are just a few small changes to make in your campaign strategies that will make a noticeable difference:
Don’t make false claims
Let’s begin with an important note: do not make false claims about CBD’s capabilities. You hopefully already know this, but just in case, it doesn’t hurt reinforcing. The CBD industry is unregulated, so there are nefarious companies out there that make false promises. CBD is an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, not a miracle cure. It relieves symptoms as opposed to directly addressing diseases. Most CBD advocates know this, but do not do the unethical thing and catch people new to the industry unawares. It’s also immoral and unlawful to lie about your process, so if you want to be able to tell people that you only grow organic hemp, then you need to do so.
Keep legality in mind
The Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp, so CBD is no longer within DEA purview, but that does not mean it is 100 percent legal. States are free to make their own rules, and the FDA still maintains that CBD as dietary supplements are illegal: many states allow it for medicinal use, others permit it for both medicinal and recreational, and only a few have outlawed it entirely. Keep these differences in mind when you market your products—you do not want to get your customers in trouble, and you cannot advertise CBD oil and other products for recreational use in places where it is only permitted for medicinal use.
Target a niche
You know that every business needs a niche—but wait, isn’t the CBD market already small enough? Isn’t it a niche in itself? Not really: the CBD landscape is more extensive than you know, and it’s only growing. Hemp Business Journal notes that CBD product sales will reach $2.1 billion by 2022, with hemp-derived products contributing $450 million of said market share. There is not necessarily a shortage of potential consumers; but for your marketing and manufacturing efforts, it’s practical to have a specific audience in mind.
Think about who will benefit from your products most. Maybe you want to spread awareness of CBD to medical marijuana users who want to relieve their pain without getting high. Perhaps you can spread awareness of CBD benefits to seniors, people prone to stress, individuals who have trouble sleeping, or someone else. You’ll spread yourself too thin if you attempt to appeal to too many demographics.
Use paid ads when you can
Google, Facebook, and Instagram have banned ads related to CBD and marijuana, so these platforms are not options for paid marketing. However, Twitter allows them as long as you do not make health claims, and many businesses have found YouTube to be an advantageous channel for creating content. Paid advertisements can be effective for putting your brand in front of people, but you’ll need to learn to work with the options you have.
Create informational content
One of the most important things you can do is create content that is both informational and compelling. Many people still misunderstand CBD because they associate it with marijuana, so writing blog posts, designing infographics, producing videos, hosting interviews, composing Q&As, and generating other forms of content that debunk myths about CBD and talk about its benefits while acknowledging its risks (such as the dangers of giving it to children without consulting a doctor, taking it with other medications, etc.) is essential.
Remember to talk about what makes your products different, too. What separates you from the rest of the industry? The best brands have their products tested by third-party labs and post the results online. You might even consider offering free shipping and other perks. Your content should be intriguing, too; no one likes learning if it’s dull, so you have more opportunities to connect with and engage people if you make it fun for them (so use a bit of humor in your videos and make infographics compelling to look at).
Though people have been using cannabis products for millennia, the CBD market as we know it is relatively young, so it can be difficult to navigate. What changes do you plan to make in your marketing strategy?