We’ve discussed how the hemp market is expected to explode in the coming years, and CBD is a major catalyst to those projections. The rise in CBD sales can be attributed to the “2018 Farm Bill” passed by Congress, and the diminishing stigma surrounding hemp products.

Therefore, as CBD consumption is permitted, successfully reaching customers is becoming more difficult as the market continues to crowd. Coupled with paid advertising question marks, finding the right avenue to market your product is somewhat hazy.

With 2019 shaping up to be the biggest year in CBD sales, obviously, some tactics are working to connect businesses and consumers. Field analysis has found that roughly 40 percent of adults over the age of 21 are willing to try CBD products, with findings profiling college-educated females, over the age of 35, to be the biggest consumer group.

This provides us with two takeaways:

  1. New customer potential remains largely untapped
  2. CBD marketing campaigns need to be equally attractive to savvy female audiences

Now let’s break into what (successful) CBD marketing trends we are seeing.

1. Email Marketing Usually Provides a Good ROI

Email marketing remains one of the lowest barriers to entry for advertising, as all that is needed is a few subscribers and an inbox. It has been estimated that it is five times more expensive to land a new customer than to retain an existing one. With that data in mind, staying in the front of a customer’s brain requires touchpoints, and arriving in their email inbox a few times a week is a perfect strategy.

Undoubtedly, some email subscribers will remain grossly unengaged as one time customers, however, many will take notice of your emails, even if they do not take direct action from the campaign blast. Filling these weekly emails with interesting blog links, product announcements, and reviews, in addition to customer reviews and FAQ’s can aid in keeping CBD customers within your ecosystem.

So email marketing cliff notes:

  • Helps retain a touchpoint with customers
  • Delivers relevant content to their consuming habits
  • Requires low maintenance and a positive ROI

2. Public Relations is a Big Part of CBD Advertising

Having a relationship with your audience is vital to any business. As we enter a new decade, we are seeing a very “familial” type of public relations form between consumers and producers. Gone are the days (for the most part), of buttoned-up PR campaigns that strike an almost “ignore-the-man-behind-the-curtain” type of tone, and a “yeah-let’s-grab-a-beer-after-this-tweet” voice seems to be running wild. While this type of PR is effective, it doesn’t work for every audience, therefore feeling out the right personality to resonate with your consumers.

Moving into why PR is such a successful CBD marketing trend centers around its educational role. CBD is a hemp product, and it is true that the stigma is starting to vanish, but consumers still require information to make their decisions. The 40 percent of adults that said they were open to trying CBD products is only going to do so after better understanding the product. This results in PR campaigns needing to disseminate information that explains CBD in a factual manner.

As hinted in the introduction to this blog, consumers are more educated than ever before. Winning over customers is boiling down to logic — “why do I need this product?” “what will it do for me?” “how is this product made?” Great, so you know you need to educate your audience, but how is this being done? Current CBD trends illustrate that use of social media influencers, press release, and blog sites, in addition to working with digital journalists covering CBD related stories, can be possible ways of reaching customers.

3. Content Production is a CBD Commandment

With PPC advertising being somewhat of a grey area, CBD companies are pushing hard on the organic side. Frequent, high-quality content is an effective way to drive natural traffic to your website.

Blogging is one way to create buzz around your CBD company. Nearly 7 million searches for “CBD oil” occur every month. While the opportunity to capture some of those potential customers remains high, converting content into web page views takes work. Web surfers are looking for answers as quick as possible. Therefore, when developing your CBD content, you need to keep the goal of answering the consumer’s question at the forefront.

We are seeing significant traffic gains from various CBD companies that produce insightful query-based blogs. Some blogging topics that have large search volume behind them include:

  • Physician’s viewpoints on CBD
  • Federal laws surrounding CBD use
  • Long-term health impact of CBD use
  • Independent study results for CBD benefits

Another way to organically funnel leads to your site is through video. This medium is the biggest player in content consumption in the past two years. People love visual stimulation, and especially with a product like CBD, you have the ability to build a large catalog of educational content. YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the internet, and we don’t think enough hemp-related companies are taking advantage of YouTube SEO to generate more site visitors.

Here is a great outside source on how to start ranking your video content.

4. CBD is All Over Social Media

This trend probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Every industry is utilizing the power of social media. With the big platforms like Facebook and Instagram still having paid ads banned for CBD products, organic is going to be your go-to route again. However, the CBD and cannabis community on social media is robust and growing.

Several companies have almost exclusively used social media as their main driver of lead generation. With virtually no cost and the ability to reach billions of users, social media yields a great ROI for CBD companies. We wrote a blog that breaks down our tips on how to advertise cannabis on social media, those same tips can be applied to CBD, we’ll link it here (ADD link to the corresponding blog).

One closing note on social media marketing for CBD, keep in mind the biggest consumer group of CBD products. College-educated women over the age of 35. What type of content aesthetic, and voice will resonate with them?

5. Ad Placement in New and Old Mediums

The final trend we want to highlight is paid ad placement but in the non-traditional sense. Since major platforms like Google and Facebook are turning away marketing dollars from CBD companies, other platforms are sucking up this loose revenue.

Until the Google’s of the world relax their advertising policies, CBD companies are trying to reach customers through podcasts, display ads in apps, native advertising on high traffic websites, billboards, and more. So this one is up to you, and a bit of a market testing theory, “what digital and non-digital mediums are your audience paying attention to outside of Google, Facebook, etc.)

Since you don’t want to be burning money, we recommend adding some type of promotion code for customers that come from these types of mediums in an effort to track the lead flow generated from these marketing methods, which can sometimes be difficult to know your true ROI.

Need Help Advertising Your CBD Products Online?

Elevato Marketing is a full-service digital agency specializing in cannabis advertising. With a team of experienced professionals, we are ready to help connect your products with the right clients. Contact us to see how together we can benefit your business!