BUSINESS TRAINING: 3 PLACES I LIKE TO ADVERTISE
Advertising options are one of the biggest challenges a CBD business faces. Knowing where to effectively spend your marketing efforts is an essential part of a successful brand.
Where Can You Advertise A CBD Oil Business?
3 Ways I Market My CBD Companies
When Congress passed the Hemp Farming Act making it legal to produce hemp and hemp based products, you could practically hear a collective roar of excitement nationwide. Literally hundreds, if not thousands of small businesses were created in the run up to legalization with the hopes that the day would come when they could operate normally and safely. And here it is! Or is it?
Some are predicting that the CBD sales will top $22 billion in the coming years. Grabbing a piece of that very lucrative pie is very attractive to many entrepreneurs. Unfortunately it’s not going to be as easy as you think. Or as it should be.
Yes, hemp is legal. No, you cannot advertise on our platform. That’s basically the position most of the big advertising networks have taken regarding CBD. The 2 largest advertising platforms, Google and Facebook may come around eventually but for now, CBD is not allowed.
Amazon is huge and effective way to sell CBD oil but only for a small handful of companies. To be approved by Amazon (as opposed to flying under their radar under until you are caught and deleted) you are required to add your CBD products to the Supplement and/or Health and Household categories. Both of these categories are “gated” by Amazon. Gated categories are notoriously hard to get approved in. Add to that, Amazon does not allow CBD products. Only “hemp” products are allowed. It’s confusing I know.
If your packaging, website, or marketing materials refer to your products as “hemp” you might have a shot. If you use the term “CBD” to refer to your brand or products Amazon will not allow you to use their services to sell your products. Even if you do your best to create a product just for Amazon that is 100% marketed as “hemp oil” there’s still no guarantee you’ll get approved. All that being said, if you think you have a shot at getting listed on Amazon go for it. The top “hemp oil” brands on Amazon are selling very well according to the data.
So with the “Big 3” not really available as options, where can an honest CBD company advertise in 2019? As an experienced digital marketer, it can be frustrating not being able to use some of the most effective tools in my toolbox. I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to crack the CBD advertising code. I’ve found methods that are very effective, some that kind of work, and others that are a total waste of time.
Here is a list of 3 different ways to advertise your CBD oil company and generate sales that I have personally used and am still using today. Focus on mastering these 3 platforms and you’ll be off to a great start.
Instagram is incredibly popular and a great way for brand to showcase their products. Every CBD brand I launch is supported by an IG page and influencer advertising campaign.
Since IG won’t allow you to traditionally advertise a CBD brand, advertising on Instagram is done by regularly creating great content, and partnering with solid influencers and micro-influencers. When used correctly, Instagram is a very effective marketing tool for both increasing brand awareness and generating sales.
Social media companies including Instagram limit the number of your followers who see your posts. Creating quality content that people enjoy and share is a way of getting around those limitations. The most successful CBD pages on Instagram have people talking about them and reposting their pictures and videos. Stick to a content schedule and create/post unique content that your followers look forward to receiving. Reposting popular content that you find searching hashtags is not enough. You need to be creating your own unique content.
Social media is about being social. Engage with your followers. Make sure to follow and comment on their posts. When they comment on one of your posts, reply to that comment. Interacting with your followers not only helps them get to know you and your brand better, it shows all the other people viewing your post that you are a real person and not just a faceless brand online. Trust me when I tell you this makes a difference.
Working with influencers on Instagram is one of, if not the most effective way of advertising a CBD brand online. I’ve had varying levels of success depending on the influencer but for the most part, influencer marketing has been very good for me and my CBD products. Finding the right influencers to work with takes time. Just because someone has 65,000 followers doesn’t mean they are a good fit for your brand. Take the time to deep dive into their page and look at their content and followers. If everything looks good and you think they’d be a good fit, reach out and say hello, Introduce yourself and explain what it is you need help with. Chances are they’ve been contacted before.
Building an email list is something you should be doing from day 1. If you’re not, start right now. I could spend hours teaching you the ins-and-outs of email marketing but I’m going to save that for it’s own guide. For now, I’m going to break it down as easily as I can so you can start building your email list today.
This is how it works. You create a free offer, drive traffic to that offer, then collect emails for people that sign up to receive your free offer. Once you have someones email address, you strategically send them more free content. After establishing yourself as a trusted resource, you email them an offer to buy your CBD product.
As long as you don’t “burn” your list by sending too many emails or by constantly sending offers to buy your products, you’ll be able to use your list to generate sales and launch new products for years. Provide value and provide it often in order for your email list to trust you enough to buy when you ask them to buy. I use the 10:1 method where I try and send 10 valuable and helpful emails before I ask for the sale.
If you think about it, I’m sure there’s at least one business that you don’t mind receiving emails from. Whether it’s because you really like their products or you find value in the information they send you, you enjoy hearing from them. When that same brand sends you an email recommending a product, that recommendation carries a lot of weight. In fact, it carries so much weight that it convinces a percentage of readers to make an immediate purchase. And that’s how email marketing works.
- Create a free offer that requires someone to ad their email to receive (Ebooks work well)
- Drive traffic to your free offer by linking to it from your IG page bio
- Save the email address for the people that signed up for your offer to create your list.
- Send 10 useful and interesting emails to your list. One or two emails per week.
- After 10 helpful emails, send an email recommending a product (That you happen to sell)
- Repeat step #4
- Send an email that reviews a new CBD oil (That you happen to sell)
- Repeat step #4
There are no set rules regarding how often to email your list or how soon to send an email asking for a sale. One thing I can guarantee, if you just ask, ask, ask, instead of give, give, ask, members of your list will unsubscribe and you’ll back to square 1.
The best thing about an email list is that it cannot be taken form you. Social media is great but you are borrowing their platform. If for whatever reason, and this happens all too often, IG or YouTube, or whomever decides they don’t like your page they can and will delete it without warning. It’s happened to me numerous times resulting in hundreds of thousands of lost brand followers. It stings, and it sucks, but its in their Terms of Service that I (and you) agreed to when we signed up.
With your email list, just about the worst thing that can happen is users unsubscribe from your list. Usually that’s the result of an offensive or misguided email and is an easy fix. I’ve been working with and growing the same email list for 10+ years and will continue to build it as long as I’m running a CBD business.
YouTube is the second largest search engine online behind Google and is a VERY effective platform for marketing a CBD business. Similar to Instagram, success on YouTube requires you to create quality content on a regular basis. It’s not rocket science but it’s harder than you think.
The “trick” is to have so much well ranked content on YouTube that when millions of people are searching for anything CBD related, your video (or videos) ranks on the first page of search results. To do this, you need to be creating and uploading videos to YouTube regularly. Minimum of 1 video every week.
If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, hire someone who is. If you don’t know what kind of videos to create, go to the source. Jump on YouTube and search keywords like “cbd oil” or “cbd gummies” and see what types of videos are on the first page. Are they CBD oil product reviews? Are they fan videos? Are they brands producing videos promoting their products? Take what’s working so far and expand on it.
Make sure that no matter what type of content you produce for YouTube that you do it on a schedule. YouTube users love it when a channel they follow has an upload schedule that they stick to. One of the worst things you can do for your YouTube channel is take a break. Once you launch your YouTube channel it’s an ongoing battle that you wage trying to keep it updated with good, relevant content. Again, trust me when I tell you that it’s with it. I’ve built three different 7 figure brands on the back of YouTube. It’s where all of the most inquisitive traffic is looking for answers.
After 90 days of posting on Instagram, harvesting emails from your free offer, and creating YouTube videos you will have a solid base of traffic. What you do with that traffic is entirely up to you. The important thing is, you’ll have options.
Marketing a CBD brand in harder than is should be but definitely not impossible. Take the time to study Instagram, Email Marketing, and YouTube so that when you do launch, you know exactly how to use each platform. There is enough information online about each one that you should be able to educate yourself or your team on how to best utilize them to help your brand.
I hope this guide helps you understand each of the 3 types of marketing a little better. This is a high level break down of each. Eventually as you gain more experience and understand each platform better, you will come up with more efficient and effective to use them.
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