Despite the recent passage of the Farm Bill, CBD still lies in a legal grey-area, because the DEA still considers CBD and industrial hemp a drug. This results in major advertising networks, such as Facebook and Google, preventing CBD from being advertised on their platforms.
As there is a surge in the number of businesses launching CBD products, it is more important than ever to advertise and differentiate your products from the competition.
While Facebook and Instagram are the largest social media networks and an important advertising avenue, there are still options for businesses to grow via social media advertising. The most important first step is to identify why your product is unique and who your target audience is. From there you can follow these steps to reach your audience.
1. Create a brand story outline
Once you have decided to start selling CBD oil online, you need to figure out what your brand story is. Are you trying to target young professionals that are eager to solve their anxiety, but are averse to stoner culture? Or are you aiming to sell to health fanatics that want to replace medications with natural remedies? Whatever your goal is, this will be the basis for your brand story.
After you nail down the goal for your brand, flesh out what your brand and target customers stand for. If you are looking to appeal to young professionals, you likely want to focus on being professional, clean, and optimized.
Whereas health fanatics will care more about wholesome treatments, the adverse effects of pills, and eliminating toxins from their life. As you flesh out what your brand story is, look at your competitions to ensure that you differentiate yourself from them and look to your target customers for suggestions about how to be more specific.
2. Draft your customer journey
Creating a successful advertising campaign involves drafting a customer journey ahead of time. What will your customers be doing when they run into you online? Are they scrolling on social media, looking for a particular kind of content, or seeking out CBD oil for sale? Thinking through this initial stage of the customer journey will help you have a genuine interaction with them.
From there, you want to think through what you need to do to get your customer from that initial interaction to the point of sale. As you cannot run a social media ad, this will mean creating a brand presence on Facebook, Instagram, and other networks.
Then you need to make content that makes them connect with the brand and want to utilize the CBD oil to solve a problem in their life. Finally, there needs to be a conversion from aspirational consumer to closed sale. Each of these steps can then be monitored for success.
3. Develop value-creating content
As you begin to develop your social media presence and target your customers, think about how you can create content that will offer value to your audience. Developing value-creating content will lead to higher engagement and a larger chance of organic sharing and discovery. Types of content to think about here include informational, cultural, and interactive.
Informational content helps teach or show your customers something they would not have otherwise known. Cultural content is enjoyable and relatable; something your customers would want to appear on their newsfeed. Finally, interactive content is a giveaway or feedback post that asks for your audience to take an action and receive a reward.
4. Utilize a cross-platform approach
As you develop your audience on social media, you will likely begin to have followers on some platforms that are not on others. In order to maximize following and audience exposure to your brand you should utilize a cross-platform approach.
This means you want to get your audience on one platform to follow you on other platforms as well. For instance, run a content series on Twitter to get followers to like you on Facebook in exchange for a discount code.
Furthermore, you do not want someone who follows you on 5 platforms to be exposed to the same content five times. This means while you should have some content blasted on all of your platforms, you should have certain content styles that are specific to certain platforms. Utilizing a specific Instagram post style that is recurring or a Tweet style can help.
5. Understand your limitations
While utilizing a content marketing approach on social media allows you to avoid the bans from social media ad networks, it will come with some restrictions.
For instance, many social media platforms will allow you to run generic ads for your brand, but will limit any content that specifically references medical benefits or what CBD does. These restrictions will loosely stretch into the content you create as well.
Platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest, which do not have ad network bans, will be opportunities for growth, but you need to research their ad guidelines before beginning.
These guidelines will vary with time as well. From before the Farm Bill was passed to after, guidelines changes with the updated legal environment. Finally, since marijuana is still considered a drug, you will need to make sure your products are hemp-sourced and have less than 0.3% THC.
Marketing your CBD oil on social media can come with some hurdles but if done properly can be advantageous for differentiating your brand. Start with understanding what your brand is and who your customers are. After that try to leveraging a variety of unique content approaches to engage with customers.