Despite its popularity, the CBD industry is still, in many aspects, developing, so you’ll need to use a combination of off and online marketing techniques to get your brand recognition, educate your consumers and keep your finger on the pulse of your niche. Here are nine ways to market your CBD brand.
Make Your Brand Stand Out
While it can be argued that you have to specifically research brands similar to yours to study how they market their products (and how you can use their knowledge to your brand’s advantage), in the end, you have to be your own brand. There are three aspects that most CBD brands have in common:
- A third-party lab-tested product, backed by science (and with certificates of analysis attached for each product).
- Most legitimate CBD brands steer away from the “cannabis can only get you high” reputation of the original plant and clearly talk about their products’ low legal THC content. All claims made by the brands are backed by scientific evidence and are usually directly linked so that the customer can verify them for themselves.
- A simple goal is to make your customers feel identified.
You can help stand out by making claims, not illegal medical claims, but unique and substantiated claims about what your product can achieve. For example, suppose you sell CBD vaporizers. In that case, you can claim that your product represents one of the fastest ways to feel the potential benefits of CBD (since the vaporizer has the best bioavailability rate of any method of taking CBD).
Having a diverse product range once you’ve solidified your place in the market is a great idea. If you are successful enough as a brand, you can even expand into selling clothing or accessories.
Some brands even conduct a gap analysis or clinical trial on their product to further differentiate themselves from brands that rely on general studies on “CBD topicals” or “CBD oil” as a substance rather than a refined product. Making distinctive claims about your product is one thing, but having a specialized study about it gives you an edge.
Know Your Unique Value Proposition
Just like making your brand stand out as a whole, your UVP is a way to convey to the consumer why they should choose your product over all similar CBD products on the market.
Consider your ideal customer’s problems, interests, and hobbies and how your product can help them achieve their goals.
Your UVP should be simple, credible, meaningful to your audience, and unique. Once you have a solution to your customers’ problems, CBD marketing becomes much easier. Ads can focus your brand with your UVP in mind, creating something compelling for consumers to desire.
Consider where the CBD you want to sell is grown, the manufacturing or cultivation quirks your brand uses, or even the stellar quality of your customer service. These elements can help create compelling advertising, as long as you have evidence to back it up. In addition, customer testimonials about a specific product and lab reports can help establish public confidence in your UVP.
Finally, test your UVP once you’ve decided what it is. Try using different languages in different ads on different platforms, targeting a range of keywords, and see which works best (compare click-through rates). This is A/B Testing and makes the decision about the final UVP (or changing an existing one) as simple as A-B-C.
Have a Website
Having a website as a brand is just as important as building one. The heart of your online presence should be a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website. Everything from the product to the colors to the font should be tailored to your audience.
The visual elements should be clear and attractive. It should be easy to navigate from one page to another on your website. The category/content titles should be attractive to make your audience stay longer.
Since many people still doubt the legitimacy and legality of CBD. As iconic as the marijuana leaf may seem, putting it everywhere may not help increase consumer confidence. If possible, your home page (which a customer accesses by clicking on your website) should be clear about the potential benefits, side effects, and validity of CBD.
Many brands prefer to have a page dedicated to frequently asked questions about CBD. Other sections of your website should include:
- The store (with optional category pages).
- The ‘About us,’ ‘What we do,’ or ‘Meet the team’ section (contact information for commercial and customer inquiries).
- The blog (articles should aim to answer frequently asked questions in greater depth).
- Product reviews (this can be a footer on all pages of your website or a page of its own, but customers must be reflected somewhere on the web).
- To personalize your customers’ experience, you can even use a chatbot or live customer service to interact directly with digital visitors.
SEO, The Good Way to Grow
The question “Should I use SEO?” is not even a question for most CBD brands or businesses in general. Search engine optimization allows you to explain why your products are worth someone’s hard-earned money. Still, it also allows your brand to become a hub for CBD information, building consumer confidence in your business. These are examples of how you can use SEO are as follows:
- Blog posts (guides on CBD basics, practical guides, etc.).
- Videos (an excellent way to create a parasocial link)
- Podcasts (some sites even offer you the chance to directly convert your blog posts into podcast episodes. In a world where 76% of US podcast listeners have made purchases based on an ad or sponsorship, it’s worth the investment).
- Customer surveys.
- Social networks (yes, this also falls under SEO).
Most CBD brands use blogs to inform and engage their target audience, and an important part of creating a successful blog has good SEO practices. There’s no need to jump in blindly: you can hire an SEO expert to help you and make sure you’re spending your SEO budget wisely.
While you can’t yet make medical claims about CBD, you can provide customers with in-depth insights on how to use your products in their daily lives and routines and give them realistic expectations about how your CBD can solve their problems. SEO can make your brand a trusted leader, bringing scientific knowledge to your audience and attracting them to your website.
Your content should focus on what the reader wants to know, such as Information about CBD (its science and why it can be trusted).
These are a few SEO tips:
- Do your keyword research: tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs can help you determine your content topics. What questions does your audience search for? Which keywords appear more frequently than others? What do search engine results pages (SERPs) are for your chosen keywords, and how can you emulate that content in your own style by adding to it?
- Focus on a few high-volume keywords: Terms relevant to your products, and make sure they are used in your articles, social media, and blog posts. This will signal to Google that your website is a “content hub” for these phrases, where searchers can find a lot of helpful information about those keywords (e.g., “CBD oil”).
- Make sure your blog posts and videos represent what your audience wants to read: For example, you shouldn’t write about the benefits of CBD toothpaste if your target audience is people between the ages of 21 and 30.
- Outsource copywriting, and content creation to the experts: This can save your team time and energy and be an investment in the long-term success of your SEO strategy.
- Post regularly – At least a couple of times a week to improve your online presence and build a long-term readership. You should stay on top of what’s new and update your older posts with the latest findings and data so that new readers will always find the most relevant information on your site.
- Make sure you have your own in-house SEO experts: These people should be in charge of reviewing your strategy and pointing out any issues that arise. They can also help you with backlinking, link building, content review, and more complex SEO tactics.
Software like Screaming Frog, SEMrush, or Kissmetrics can help you examine CBD marketing strategies in real-time. They also help monitor which content topics your readers like the most and write more about them, which translates into more visits, website clicks, and (eventually) sales.
If you don’t monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other relevant analytics in real-time, you don’t stand a chance against more observant competitors. Any marketing spend should be cost-effective, and if it isn’t, you need to examine it.
A key part of any CBD marketing campaign is to set realistic goals, as these will give you something to compare your analytics to in real-time. If something doesn’t work, adapt your plan until you achieve it or scrap the idea. Marketing is about one thing: achieving goals to sell products.
You may even want to keep an eye on what other CBD brands are doing and how you might emulate their strategies, as PrograMetrix’s 2020 report can be very useful in terms of CBD advertising statistics.
Influencer marketing is a great option to sell your brand. These people are specialists in incorporating your products into their lifestyles to resonate with their audience and, in turn, can increase awareness and drive more conversions than paid ads. It is so Successful many companies allocate a big part of their marketing budget to influencers.
Whether you start with a mega-influencer, micro-influencer, athlete, or self-care guru, the options are endless (as are the potential benefits of influencer advertising). CBD oils and cosmetics work best with this type of marketing.
Audiences engage better with influencer posts than traditional ads (which can’t be posted on social media anyway) and provide your CBD brand with a better return on investment (ROI).
Influencers have a built-in audience that your brand can connect with. They know how and what to post within the guidelines of their chosen social media platform, and they probably have their own network of people who would love to advocate for your brand, not to mention the fact that good word of mouth from an influencer can get you more followers for your brand. Here are some numbers that prove it:
- 74% of people use social networks to guide their purchasing decisions.
- 62% of millennials are most likely to be loyal to brands that engage with consumers online.
- 86% of women are more likely to purchase after engaging with your brand on social media, and 53% choose to buy directly because of influencer posts.
- You can apply most of these stats to your brand’s own social media page. Still, influencers are the pinnacle of what social media is all about: they know how to grow and keep an audience. To put this in context, nearly 56% of people rely on the opinion of their close friends to buy something.
This strategy allows you to leverage your existing customer base and keep brand loyalists up to date on your brand’s latest sales and CBD discount codes.
A biweekly or monthly newsletter can serve a similar function to a social media account. It allows you to foster a sense of community between your brand and your subscribers. With a friendly newsletter, you can engage customers and inform them about the latest products, blog posts, and anything else your company does.
While you can have a simple pop-up window on your website that allows the reader to subscribe to your newsletter, many brands offer an additional incentive in the form of a ‘lead magnet.’ For example, providing a free pdf on the benefits of CBD oil in exchange for an email address, or a subscription.
As for emails, they can be easily automated and customized to what the customer wants to see in their inbox on a Monday morning at 9 am. Scheduling software makes sending emails to your mailing list before big events like sales or live video interviews even easier.
Welcome emails after a customer sign up are quickly becoming an industry standard, and some brands are going even further by having customers complete questionnaires and surveys so they can receive the relevant items for their CBD needs via email, meaning there’s no need to bother potential consumers with irrelevant emails or “spam.” If they add an item to their carte and leave it there, you can even email them to let them know so they don’t forget about their purchases!
There are many types of emails you can send to your mailing list:
- Engagement emails help people know about your brand’s latest content and build a relationship with the customer.
- Event Emails: After all the effort you’ve put into building an audience for your brand, you want to be able to also inform them about brand events, Whether it’s a live Q&A session on Twitter or YouTube, an appearance at a convention, etc., you can alert brand loyalists through a curated email.
- Educational emails: These messages aim to bridge the knowledge gap between the brand and the consumer with the latest scientific research, but with a practical approach so that the customer can understand it, which will give them confidence in their next purchase.
- Cross-sell emails and recommendations: If a customer buys a product, you can recommend another product that goes well with the first one. The more personalized the customer experience, the more likely they will buy your product.
- Re-engagement emails: If you’ve noticed that a former customer hasn’t purchased anything in a while, send them a follow-up email.
Word-of-mouth marketing is as reliable as it is old, and there are a thousand ways to promote it within your CBD marketing agenda:
- Customer Service: Building an excellent customer relations team is a worthwhile investment in the everchanging CBD landscape. Although no representative of your brand can claim what CBD can or cannot do for a person’s health conditions, if your employees can add individual attention and value to the consumer experience, it will translate into better reviews and customer retention.
- Trade shows: Attending industry trade shows means you can meet with other brands to partner (or to meet the competition), demonstrate what your brand stands for and make it known on a personal level, and even attract new audiences and new attention to your brand; not to mention the possibility of captivating potential investors.
- Cross-industry affiliations: It’s a fact that not everyone trusts CBD brands. The market has a reputation for having everchanging regulations at the best of times, and it’s up to premium CBD vendors to earn that trust back. Part of this strategy could partner with brands beyond the cannabis industry, such as companies in the fitness or beauty sector, to create unique products that consumers can trust more quickly.
- Affiliate marketing: 81% of brands use affiliate marketing which means it’s probably worth creating a small network of affiliates who really believe in your product and are willing to sell it to more people. Networks like Clickbank, CannAffiliateand ShareASale are all reputable places to start with this type of advertising.
- Public Relations (PR): The right PR strategy can lead to increased brand awareness and engagement. It’s how your brand’s public story is made known to your audience and determines how well it resonates with them. If it can appear in relevant media (magazines, newspapers, websites, etc.) that your target audience already knows and trusts, the brand will be well on its way to establishing itself as a CBD leader with the public.
- Get creative with your sales channels: If your CBD brand is based on the “calming” properties of CBD and comes with an array of aromatic terpenes, why not partner with a local yoga school or meditation, or wellness center. There are endless options for partnering with local businesses as a CBD brand to enhance your own business!
Programmatic and Native Advertising
Native advertising: While traditional ads can make people feel like they’re being “sold” to, a native ad places your brand in the context of everyday life. Instead of unnaturally interrupting the flow of a video or web page, your brand/product is seamlessly integrated into the content. This means that a native ad is generally better received than any other type of CBD marketing. As a CBD brand, it can be challenging to find a way to place a native ad on traditional platforms like Google or Instagram. However, many websites are more relaxed and will allow paid ads for CBD products (within reason and in compliance with the law). Many CBD advertising agencies can help you navigate the often murky waters of paid CBD ads.
Programmatic advertising: This automation tool can optimize ROI through real-time bidding (RTB). Basically, once you know where you can place paid ads, programmatic advertising decides which ads to run, when to run them, and how much you should pay to get the best results. This ensures that your CBD marketing strategy targets only the right people at the best times.
Regardless of how you market your brand, you’ll need a fantastic team of sales reps to manage customer service and brand relationships. These are the trusted people you can send to trade shows and local businesses, who can speak with complete confidence on behalf of your brand and make the personal connections that really make or break a deal.