How to Market CBD Effectively for Great ROI

If you’re a CBD e-commerce business, you’re well aware of the challenges you’re facing when it comes to marketing.

Last year, the DEA clarified their position that cannabinoids are in fact not illegal. With the more recent passage of the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD is legal for commercial usage as long as the THC percentage is below .01%. As optimistic as our team at Huck is about these changes and clarifications, we know that there is a long path to true marketing freedom.

So, where can’t you advertise?

Facebook won’t.

Instagram won’t.

YouTube won’t.

Twitter won’t.

Google won’t.

So, what’s left then?

Comparison Shopping Engines give eCommerce merchants ability to attract new customers and increase online sales via product focused image ads. Google and Bing have provided challenges in the area, as well.

Our team at Huck has a vendor partner that has had amazing return for the CBD clients we’ve worked with. They have a secret sauce when it comes to CBD and shopping and have delivered great Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) for companies in this category. They have also been able to “sneak” CBD onto other more visible networks, even though this could go away at any time.

Display Prospecting is another viable network for advertising. There are some DSP networks (**cough** Google Ads **cough**) that won’t allow the advertising of CBD products. However, our network of vendors include ones that can create and host some pretty awesome content.

Similar to display, we also recommend Native Advertising as a top-of-funnel strategy to increase brand awareness.  The difference between native and display is that native advertising follows the natural format and function of the user experience.

A Forbes study projected that Native Ads are 25% more likely to be viewed than display banners. Additionally, native ads registered an 18% higher lift in purchase intent than banner ads according to ShareThrough. While native ads may not yield impressive ROAS numbers, it has proven to have been a valuable touchpoint along the buyer journey.

We know that not every visitor who comes to your site is going to make a purchase . Remarketing allows us to reconnect with potential customers, targeting them within 24 hours of their site visit, utilizing various promotions (i.e. % off or free shipping). Even though Facebook remarketing is out, there are display networks that can be utilized.

What about email?

Email is another great marketing tool for CBD, especially if you have a healthy list.

Depending on your product portfolio and customer buying habits, look for opportunities to segment your lists into different categories, so that your customers can receive messages that at least appear to be tailored just for them.

Consider how email can fit into all touchpoints of your customer’s journey.

  • Are they in the pre-funnel stage and just hearing about CBD? What questions do they have about the product?
  • Are they aware of the category or your brand already? Do they understand the difference between CBD, hemp, and marijuana? Do they understand how its used or what its used for?
  • Are they in the research and consideration stage?
  • Are they ready to purchase? What other stresses or anxieties do they still have about your product? Do you have an abandoned cart program? Can you target those consumers with a discount? How is your shipping process or product availability?
  • Have they purchased the product already? What did they think? Is there an emotional connection to your brand? What other products in your portfolio can you cross-sell? What will it take to turn them into an advocate for your brand? Build loyalty with useful, targeted messages, education, offers and other interesting tidbits to encourage repeat purchases over time.

Even though you might feel restricted in your marketing efforts, there are still several routes you can go that can deliver amazing ROI. Our team at Huck can get your e-commerce CBD business setup or train your marketing team on these best practices. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.