The North American cannabis industry is expected to reach $16 billion by the end of 2019.CBD is one of the most profitable product categories in the industry and is projected to bring in total revenue of $1.6 billion in the U.S. within the next couple of years.As one of the fastest-growing trends in consumer goods, it’s difficult to ignore the growing presence of cannabidiol (CBD).
1. Focus On SEO
Perhaps one of the most organic ways to build your brand on the Internet is by paying close attention to search engine optimization, better known as SEO.
Although this method can be somewhat difficult to execute, the cost is usually a lot lower than it is for alternative methods of advertising.
Hiring an SEO expert to help is often the best way to ensure your money and time are well spent. Additionally, you need not fret about breaking the CBD marketing rules.
However, please be aware SEO “keywords” will be considered as marketing and advertising materials if the FDA is investigating any health or disease claims.
Practicing proper SEO will ensure that you are seen as a trusted thought leader in the nascent industry and will enable web visitors to find your site based on what they are searching online.
2 – Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing allows brands to reach a wider audience on social by tapping into the communities of tastemakers in relevant industries.
Your brand can leverage the trust that influencers have built with their followers to promote your products in an organic way.
Sometimes, picking the right influencers for your brand can be tricky – keep in mind that sometimes influencers with smaller, niche audiences can make better partners for brands than influencers with broader reach, but less engagement.
3 – Affiliate Marketing
Leverage publishers to generate traffic to your website.
Because affiliate fees are completely performance-based, working with affiliate networks offers your brand a low-risk way to generate quality traffic.
Be sure that your conversion and retention strategies are in place, as customers from affiliate partners often present the highest potential customer lifetime value (CLV).
4. Display Advertising
Just because Google has barred CBD ads doesn’t mean that display advertising isn’t possible.
Outside of the Google Display Network, there is a range of platforms available to advertisers looking to access display inventory on websites that will allow CBD-related ads to run on their sites.
One platform clearly capitalizing on the current restrictions placed on CBD ads is FieldTest.
The platform has struck deals with premium publishers across the web and made them available to CBD advertisers through their platform.
From syndicated content to high-end ad placements, using platforms like FieldTest can prove a great way of gaining brand awareness and traffic via premium inventory outside of the Google Display Network.
5. Attend Trade Shows
Word of mouth marketing has always been (and continues to be) one of the most powerful forms of marketing.
Consider attending industry trade shows for an opportunity to meet with other industry players face-to-face, as well as to assess the competition.
Not only this, but at trade shows like World CBD Expo and the CBD Expo Tour, you can also demonstrate what your brand has to offer and get people on your side.
By doing so, there’s a possibility of attracting a new audience and potentially, investment for your CBD advertising strategy.
6. Podcast Ads
Podcast ads aren’t widely used as part of a digital strategy but they are being used by CBD companies to boost brand awareness considering other advertising restrictions currently in place.
Platforms such as Midroll exist purely as a go-between for Podcast producers and advertisers, enabling CBD brands to deliver ads in partnership with podcasts they feel will attract relevant listeners.
Podcast advertising spend is expected to double to $1.6 billion by 2022. 76% of U.K. podcast listeners say they have acted on a podcast advert or sponsorship message. 44% of all monthly podcast subscribers are aged between 18-44, perfect for brands looking to reach a younger audience. CBD advertisers can expect to pay $18-50 per thousand impressions (CPM) for podcast ads.
These ads are measured (and billed) by downloads: how many times an episode that contains an ad is downloaded. Podcast advertising is certainly a unique approach to finding a highly engaged audience. It should be considered by CBD brands who aren’t currently able to invest in brand awareness through mainstream digital advertising channels.
7. Utilize Email Marketing
Another marketing method that should not be ignored is email marketing. Although this is one of the oldest forms of online marketing, it maintains its efficacy at attracting customers from all corners and all walks of life.
Sending coupons and deals to your existing newsletter subscribers/customers is a fantastic way to get the word out about products and improve customer relationships and retention.
The CBD industry continues to spread like a weed through organic channels. With these paid acquisition methods, CBD brands can add fuel to the fire of organic growth, despite extremely limiting restrictions on major digital platforms. As with any paid acquisition strategy, brands should be attentive to data, always testing and optimizing strategies to maximize budgets for ROI.