The CBD market is booming with no signs of a slowdown. In 2018, the industry was valued at $1.04 million and is projected to reach $16.32 billion by 2026. Plus, the average consumer has been warming up to hemp products for some time, with 40% of U.S. consumers 21 years and older now being open to trying CBD.
With consumers giving huge kudos to the substance’s abilities â€” including anxiety and pain relief â€” it seems that this non-addictive, non-psychoactive derivative will continue creating opportunities for those that sell. All of this points to a wave of new “cannapreneurs” entering the field and, therefore, an increased need for effective marketing techniques. Check out these five marketing tips for keeping your company on top of the canna-craze:
This is definitely a top priority because, without FDA compliance, marketing efforts for CBD will be completely useless. Although the 2018 Farm Bill declassified “hemp-derived products” as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, Uncle Sam is still keeping the CBD industry on a pretty tight leash. Brands run into issues with the FDA when it comes to making disease or health claims without data from a reputable source.
Currently, the FDA states that: “Cannabis and cannabis-derived products claiming in their marketing and promotional materials that they’re intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases…must go through the FDA drug approval process…before they are marketed in the U.S.”
Without being FDA-approved, product claims must remain general, using language such as “may help” or “has been used for,” rather than “cures” or “treats.” For claims that are more definitive, the FDA emphasizes the need for “sound science and data.” With organizations such as the Center for Medical Cannabis Research continually expanding our knowledge of CBD’s effects, being totally accurate and transparent will become an easier feat for brands.
In addition to meeting FDA compliance, being transparent is a huge necessity for attracting new customers. Because older generations still see hemp and CBD as being affiliated with recreational marijuana, the market still feels taboo for some customers. To extend a brand’s customer base and grow the market as a whole, brands must dedicate themselves to developing trust for the product and the companies supplying it.
One way to develop this relationship with audiences is through gathering and promoting customer testimonials. If customers can see themselves reflected in the customer base, possibly with a review that expresses their concerns, the product and market become increasingly approachable. Also, gathering testimonials allows brands to promote their product’s capabilities while remaining compliant with the FDA. Prospects can gauge the effectiveness and overall customer satisfaction without brands having to deal with the headache of FDA legal requirements.
Differentiate Your Brand
This is the fight brands in every industry are up against. With relative ease, brands can be launched online, and competition is growing every day. To fight oversaturation, new CBD companies must ensure that their claim to fame is more than existing in this exciting new industry.
Use your marketing to touch on the specific features that distinguish your brand from others in the industry, whether it be your product or execution. For example, Feals offers a CBD subscription plan, while other brands like Diamond CBD and Coalition Brewing offer CBD coffee and beer, respectively. Each explicitly defines their niche in the CBD market with a unique off-shoot within the industry.
If you are offering one of the more common products, such as gummies, oils or ointments, distinguishing your brand in its presentation can be another route to increasing brand awareness. Beboe and Lord Jones are two CBD brands that stand out from the crowd based on their glamorous packaging and appeal to luxury buyers. Take advantage of evolving market segments, whether it be mothers, beauty lovers or pet owners, and market your brand to connect with a niche population. Rather than trying to attract the whole CBD-curious pool, you differentiate yourself by marketing your brand as a specific demographic-friendly option.
Use Alternative Digital Marketing
CBD brands of every size have likely encountered the industry’s roadblock of social media advertising. Platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Google have been slow to adopt an up-to-date stance on CBD. Currently, Facebook only allows topical hemp to be advertised on the site, and any other mention of CBD in an ad’s copy or image risks the content being flagged and removed. Although platforms are slowly making changes, alternative sources for digital marketing are the current go-to for CBD brands â€” two of the strongest options being SEO and shareable content.
Although Google was rumored to be in the testing phases of CBD ads this summer (which it later denied), brands have taken to perfecting their SEO strategies as an effective marketing effort. Because the industry is so young and CBD use has yet to become totally commonplace, brands can take advantage of the need for increased information among consumers by staying on top of market trends and target keywords.
A great way to attract clicks while providing this vital education is by creating shareable content, whether articles, videos or podcasts. Develop a blog page on your website that answers FAQs and demystifies CBD to make consumers more comfortable while providing your brand with ample opportunity to be seen while users do their research.
Know The News And Regulations
Currently, the industry remains in flux, with legalization and shifting social norms surely altering cannaculture and its economy. Although the Farm Bill posed huge wins for CBD companies, we’re still seeing systems remain slow to change.
Being successful in the cannabis industry requires brands to keep up to date on current events and laws while being able to pivot as changes come through the legal system. Our consumers will be ready to spend on this exciting industry as soon as they see a headline, so let’s be sure we can give them what they want.