For the majority of businesses, social media is an easy, cheap way to market their products and services. However, the CBD business faces some unique challenges in this realm.
Although more and more states are legalizing marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) products, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Google still do not allow advertisements for these products, even though CBD is legal in some form in nearly every state.
This is a major challenge for CBD organizations, since Google and Facebook alone account for 57 percent of all U.S. digital advertisements. Since you’re not able to blatantly advertise these products on social media (unless you’re looking to be shadow banned), you’ll have to get a little more creative with your advertisements. Here are six ideas that have worked for other CBD .
1. Make Videos
While video advertisements might raise red flags on Facebook and Google-owned platforms, there’s no harm in making a few informational videos. You can simply inform your target audience of the benefits of CBD products, letting them make their own decisions about your product advantages.
You can also create videos that address the controversy surrounding CBD, as they do on www.cbdcentral.com. Inform consumers of the difference between CBD and marijuana, both in substance and law. This can go a long way into breaking down knowledge barriers surrounding your product.
Along with videos that teach about the uses of CBD, focus on creating testimonials. For example, Mood has invested heavily in video marketing in order to further the promotional reach of their brand without infringing on advertising restrictions. Their website is filled with testimonials for CBD gummies from Mood CBD, along with other products. These are also posted to their social platforms.
These videos are not specifically labeled “advertisements,” so they won’t break social sites’ terms of service agreements. However, they serve a far better purpose—spreading word-of-mouth marketing, the most effective promotion.
When customer testimonial videos are posted to your social account, you’ll generate social proof, which gives your brand authority while drawing more consumers to your products and services.
2. Influencer Marketing
A partnership within the same or a complementary industry can significantly increase brand reach. You’ll get your products in front of new faces likely to make a purchase. You’ll also get an endorsement from someone who’s well-liked and respected, which goes a long way for your consumers. Influencer marketing is one of the best strategies for organic growth.
It can be somewhat tricky in the cannabis industry, however. Along with the potentially high expense, endorsements aren’t as straightforward for these products. However, if you screen your influencers carefully and work closely with them throughout the campaign, your efforts should be successful.
3. Brand Ambassadors
Similar to influencer marketing, brand ambassadors can help spread the word about your products while increasing consumer knowledge about the benefits of using each product. Typically, a brand ambassador is a happy customer that posts about your brand.
Generate brand ambassadors through your loyal customer base, offering an incentive to those who share the good news about your products. If customers truly like your products and you have a good incentive, this campaign will produce tremendous growth.
4. Focus on Content
Go back to the basics of good social media marketing and you’ll learn quickly that content is the most important factor of all when trying to connect with your audience. If you post high-quality content that provides value for a hyper-specific audience, everything you post will be promoting your product, even if it’s not a paid advertisement.
Build a strategy of posting regular, high quality content on a schedule that your audience can follow. Include a variety of content mediums, like video, blog posts, infographics, memes, Stories, and more. Some of this content should be of your own making, but it’s perfectly acceptable to pull content from other, supportive sources as well (avoiding direct competition, of course.)
Post this content when your consumers are online. Social media algorithms prioritize posts that were recently shared, so your target audience is more likely to see it if they’re online at the time of posting. Do market research to determine when your clientele is most active and create a schedule accordingly.
5. Build a Multi-Platform Presence
Developing a strategy across multiple platforms will significantly extend your brand reach as well as afford you more options for advertising your products and services.
Facebook, Instagram, and Google are among the most effective advertising platforms, but they’re not your only options. Brands might have more luck posting ads on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Before posting on any channel, carefully review the terms of service agreement for businesses. It should state the platform’s stance on cannabis products, so you can avoid legal trouble and/or being banned.
6. Connect with Customers
Research indicates that more and more consumers are turning to social media for customer service. About 80 percent of consumers engage with brands on social media on as many as seven social platforms per customer. This shows a significant interest in social connection, which you can use for the benefit of your organization.
What’s more, social customer care is becoming the preferred method of communication. More than half of consumers say that they prefer messaging brands on social channels to resolve an issue above all other communication types.
Most importantly, research from Twitter shows that customers who connect with brands on Twitter are willing to spend 20 percent more when they receive a direct communication from a brand on the platform. They’re also 30 percent more likely to recommend that brand to others.
This research clearly points to the necessity of using social media for greater customer connection. Spend time on the platform responding to comments, commenting on follower pages, posting content your customers want to see, and providing excellent customer service. Promotional content is almost unnecessary with a sublime customer-company connection.