At the moment of writing, the world is in the middle of a health crisis. As a result, some countries have quarantined citizens within their homes and stopped non-essential work.
As consumers move away from brick and mortar shops to transition online, people who have never purchased online will likely do so now, given they have no other choice.
This especially applies if you’re a CBD brand owner given the fact many people consider CBD oil as a necessity in their day to day life.
So what are the ways you can market a CBD business online?
We asked Ahmed Mir, founder of Nature and Bloom CBD for his input, which we have summarised below:
Marketing CBD isn’t as easy as ABC
With shopping centers shut and CBD eCommerce sales are spiking, there has never been a better time to double down on online sales.
Unfortunately, traditional paid marketing channels such as paid digital ads via Facebook or Google, are out the window for CBD brands.
In short, it’s not permitted. Both Google and Facebook don’t allow for CBD ads. They will reject any ad creatives associated with CBD (although, it appears topical CBD ads are a grey area and sometimes allowed on Facebook).
CBD is legal in the UK, US, and most of Europe. However, currently, there aren’t any regulations explicitly overseeing the sector.
As a consequence, it seems major tech companies are hesitant because they don’t want to be indirectly responsible for advertising snake oil.
So what are the options open to CBD brands?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, meaning organic rankings on search engines.
While paid CBD ads on Google are not permitted, organic listings flourish with the right amount of work. The advantage here is that you can place your brands in front of thousands of eyes without paying per click.
Although, let me be clear – this isn’t a short term strategy and nor is it something you can expect to deliver heaps of result without a lot of work.
Google realizes that there is a flood of poor quality CBD oils on the market today, and it doesn’t want to showcase these brands to those searching on the site.
SEO can be complicated for a newbie, but when getting started it’s good practice to focus on the three things below:
- Develop a website that’s friendly to both Google crawlers and customers. It needs to be simple and easy to understand. Site architecture is essential as it allows Google to index your pages faster, meaning you can start to rank for keywords quicker compared to sites with a poor layout.
- Look at what questions people have about CBD and answer them through highly targeted content on your site. You can use SEO tools like ahrefs or semrush to find out what people are looking for on google related to CBD and create content that answers the query. Mirror what’s already ranking on Google page 1 for the best results (note – don’t copy!). While this doesn’t necessarily convert customers immediately, it builds heaps of trust if your content quality is high.
- Promote your content via outreach and social channels! No one is going to find your new fantastic content unless you promote it, and then people link to it; this is the core basis of SEO.
SEO takes time to yield results so don’t expect anything magical immediately.
It can be 6-9 months before measurable results depending on your budget and ability to learn or hire an SEO.
But don’t give up! While it takes time to build, the great thing is once it’s up and running, its maintenance is much easier.
People live their lives on screens. Social media is addictive and often a place of discovery for people scrolling and finding something that catches their eye.
There are a variety of social platforms you could look at, although the most popular for eCommerce is probably Instagram. Tik-Tok is another interesting and fast-growing one, but its video based.
Creating eye-catching content that isn’t just a rehashed image and helps people is great for building social authority. Again, this takes time as you cannot do paid ads to build a following. Instead, you’re at the mercy of the Facebook or Instagram algorithm!
Nonetheless, you can also work with influencers to promote your product on Instagram or Tik-Tok, leading to a more substantial social following who can reach out to via posts and stories.
Reddit is also an interesting one. Although Redditors are well known for being cutthroat when it comes to salesly tactics.
Instead, add value and later link to your CBD site, but only when relevant, and if it helps answer a query. You can also share links to your content when you have been posting on Reddit for a while, viral content on Reddit is known to gain thousands of views in a matter of hours, kickstarting your traffic to a whole new level.
For some social media sites, hashtags are quite important to consider when posting. Like if you are business is about CBD, you will need to make a research on what are popular and trending hashtags related to CBD on that platform. That way, you will able to grow your followers and brand awareness more efficiently.
Build your email list and then email them!
Heard this advice before? Probably! It’s important though, you own your email list, and you don’t pay anyone to email people on it (well maybe a CRM company).
Email is widely known to have the highest level of ROI, closely followed by SEO.
There’s a reason why emails print money, firstly people need to subscribe to your email list, so they show intent. This means they are already more likely to buy from you than some random person visiting your site from Google or social.
I guess you’re asking, so how do I build my list? The best way is to offer something for an email in return, usually a first-order discount or some form of lead magnet like a guide or something.
You can use software like Klaviyo, which creates pop-ups or sidebars for new customers to your site saying hey want x% off your first order? Give me your email, and it’s a deal!
Stick in there. All CBD business owners are going through this same struggle of finding traffic when we know people would enjoy our products!
Remember, trial and error leads to success, you need to keep experimenting and learning until you find what works.
Once you find it – double down and reinvest until you skyrocket your revenue!