Marketing CBD products is always a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be.

August 6, 2021

5 minutes to read

Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.

There is a huge gap between the success of CBD as a cosmetic, health and nutritional product, and its perception by the gatekeepers of online social media marketers.

According to a Statista market analysis, the US market for cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active ingredients in cannabis, is expected to reach $ 1.8 billion in 2022, a substantial increase from profits of half a billion dollars reported in 2018.

A quick online search reveals a plethora of products for sale, including hemp oil, moisturizers, CBD infused insoles, muscle rubs, hemp clothing, and plenty of cookbooks and health guides. . The CBD bubble appears far from bursting either, with some projections pointing to exponential market growth through 2024 and beyond.

But, to date, the FDA has approved only one CBD product for medical use (Epidiolex), and its approval guidance pages actively state that “the FDA has not approved any other CBD product. cannabis, cannabis derivative or cannabidiol (CBD) currently available on the market. “

The situation is further complicated by the confusion of CBD with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis that produces the “high” sought by recreational users. Products that synthesize or contain THC are even more heavily censored than those containing only CBD.

This patchwork approach to the acceptability of CBD as a product or ingredient makes it exceptionally difficult to market. Both Facebook and Google will run ads that mention CBD, cannabis, or even depict the famous five-pointed marijuana leaf. No doubt the qualms of these social media giants are due to the egalitarian nature of the web: they cannot easily control the impressions these ads will garner, whether demographically or geographically.

Since cannabis is illegal at the federal level (although licensed for recreational use in 19 states, including California, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, and for medical purposes in all but 14), it is not Perhaps it’s no surprise that tech giants are taking a cautious approach to its advertising. . But that leaves the makers of CBD products with a thorny dilemma – how to make a breakthrough in an increasingly crowded market.

But savvy marketers have found a few approaches that work, including leveraging local SEO and content marketing.

These tips will help you develop an effective inbound marketing funnel that will help you reach a large audience both physically and digitally for your CBD product.

Related: How Cannabis Brands Should Market Gen Z & Millennials

Keep it local

Google My Business (GMB) was launched in June 2014, with the goal of providing a simpler interface for local businesses to “claim” their Google listings and optimize them to appear in more local searches. The approach makes a lot of sense for a brick-and-mortar business selling CBD products in a state that allows it. This way, Google can ensure that local SEO for CBD only works in states where these products are legal.

Marketers can create a GMB account for each point of sale, which takes customers to the nearest store and even offers direct integration with Google Maps. Of course, this approach makes a lot less sense for online stores, where locality doesn’t matter much, but it can still be leveraged for mail order businesses statewide.

Create information driven SEO

A different approach, while necessarily haphazard, is to produce online content that delivers tangible information and data to consumers. Properly constructed and well-written content discussing new trends or CBD products can achieve an SEO breakthrough because of the value they present to readers, rather than being advertising content.

SEO engines optimize content that follows the following guidelines:

  • It constitutes original content, without plagiarism, without spinning (paraphrasing existing content) or word stuffing (using excessively long sentences to supplement the number of words).
  • It is of sufficient length to contain valuable information (at least 300 words).
  • There are high quality backlinks to useful resources.
  • The article answers the questions that users ask themselves, via search engines.
  • The content is well written, with no errors, broken links or typos.
  • SEO keywords are not overused, making text unreadable.

SEO content marketing is a well understood process. In our Valux agency, as experienced marketers with CBD clients, we know that if we can secure links and quotes, our clients’ copy will gain visibility, despite the mistrust of search engines. Press releases, when labeled as such, can be useful as newsworthy content does not fall under algorithmic bans as often as explicit sales content.

In other words: don’t go wide, go deep. To learn more about how to optimize SEO in a tough marketing environment, check out this article.

Find better payment solutions

Another legacy of the troubled legal history of cannabinoids is that payment facilitators can get cold feet when they find out sellers are selling CBD products. This can leave sellers dry with unpaid invoices and little legal recourse for reimbursement.

Given the regulatory challenges inherent in the CBD industry, some companies just don’t want to be associated with it. Unfortunately, sometimes they come to this decision, when they already have substantial adoption by suppliers. For CBD sellers, it’s hard to maintain a pragmatic approach when you frequently have to ask your customers to switch payment providers.

Fortunately, there are payment solutions for smart sellers, and there are more and more of them (market gaps create market opportunities). Even Shopify, while not directly processing payments for products containing CBD, has partnered with two third-party payment processors – Digipay and Pinwheel.

The online marketplace will inevitably give in to both consumer pressure and financial incentives, and additional regulation regarding the labeling and marketing of products will help promote CBD as a respectable product.

For now, CBD marketers have to walk a tightrope as they promote a product that is quickly becoming ubiquitous, touted by influencers as diverse as Joe Rogan, Montel Williams, and Michael J. Fox.

Savvy social media exposure, content marketing, and influencer marketing remain viable and highly lucrative options for companies looking to gain exposure in an ever-growing market.

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