How to Promote CBD Ads on Facebook? Tips for Best Practices
You see it everywhere: CBD gummies, CBD sleep aides, CBD supplements and oils, or anything CBD you can imagine with any kind of shelf life.
TIPS TO PROMOTE YOUR CBD ADS ON FACEBOOK
- Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
- What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
- Promoting CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
- Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
- How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
No longer some kind of “hippie” product, CBD has made its debut on multiple stores shelves, on Amazon and elsewhere across the web and globe. So WHY on , (or some choice language) is it so difficult to promote CBD ads on Facebook?
The answer, of course, lies in the Facebook advertising policy.
You see, it wasn’t until the 2018 Farm Bill that Cannabis and CBD was even recognized as a non-illegal product, but even with the introduction of the bill, Facebook has yet to update their ads policy, leaving us with only a small and specific subset of ads that make it past the checkpoint.
Thanks to it being incredibly difficult to get anything through the ever watchful eye of Facebook, we decided to make it easier on everyone and create a guide detailing EXACTLY what you needed to do to get those CBD ads rolling on Facebook.
Ready? Let’s roll.
Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
If you sell CBD products, the answer is yes, but for the more technically-minded individuals reading, allow me to explain.
A study done in mid 2019 revealed that a whopping 40% of individuals ages 18-29 have used CBD at some point in the past or were current users.
It also found that 15% of individuals aged 60 and older had also tried or were current CBD users.
This means that on average 64 million Americans have tried or are currently using CBD.
And 75% of the businesses with CBD as an offering are owned by women.
In addition, 40% of Americans are interested in trying CBD.
With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that businesses are getting in on the hype. However, when it comes to MARKETING CBD, things get (a lot) more complicated.
It’s no surprise either that the BEST place to market CBD products is online. 1) Because the population that happens to be the biggest users spend a majority of their time plugged in online and 2) it’s the perfect platform for getting in front of your buyers in the most thumb-stopping way possible. Literal magic.
The thing is, even with the internet playing a key role as the leading CBD sales channel with over 60% of the whole market being online, CBD business owners like you have a million hoops they’re required to jump through when it comes to CBD advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
And that’s where we come in. Let’s get your CBD ads rolling!
Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
While it’s not exactly contraband anymore, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around CBD as a health or food related product, which can make it difficult for advertisers to use native advertising placement.
What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
In short, Native ads on Facebook are ads that blend in and reflect the content around them.
Native ads exist within the news feed on both Facebook and Twitter, as well as a select other few websites and apps.
Yes, Native ads are often criticized as a medium for social paid advertising because it can feel as if the network or advertisers are deliberately deceiving users into believing that the paid advertising placements are actually organic content.
But the truth is that consumers are actually pretty comfortable with both the practice and the concept with a few exceptions:
- They need to be from trustworthy brands
- They need to be relevant
Because CBD ads can benefit from being sandwiched between other health and medicinal posts, it can be difficult to get wording and imaging that is approved to use on the Facebook platform.
CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- List GENERAL benefits for CBD products and ALWAYS avoid making medical claims, especially serious ones. However, if you need a work-around, you can cite medically-backed sources like those found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine and/or the National Institutes of Health. Both are great options.
- The Farm Bill requires each State to submit its own hemp regulation plan so that it can be approved for sales going forward. Unfortunately, not all States have done this yet, so pay attention to your local laws.
- Building trust with consumers should always be your priority. You can do this by testing for contaminants, proving the quality of your CBD, being locally sourced or even calling for lab-results that can properly showcase the CBD percentages in your products. This is a good step to take now, but it’ll also play hugely in your favor at the point that CBD is fully legal.
- While you CAN advertise CBD on Facebook, you CANNOT mention the products in your ads.
- Refrain from using CBD within a domain name.
- If needed, you can create a new Facebook account. Leave any CBD-related promotion or information off of the page.
- This is complicated, but you’ll need to find creative ways to describe your products to your customers.
- CBD images are currently allowed if they don’t mention CBD.
- Target audiences who have an interest in “hemp oil”
- Replace “CBD” with “Natural Plant-Based Remedies” anywhere in your ad creative and copy.
What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
Double check that your landing page does NOT mention CBD oil. If you need to, disconnect any correlation between the landing page and your main website. If it says CBD, it can be crawled by Facebook ad bots and it will be rejected.
If you have a track record when it comes to rejected ads, this could play against you when it comes to getting CBD ads approved.
Sometimes, improving your chances could be as easy as having an agency with a good track record publish your ads. Other times, this can look like taking a break from CBD and hemp related advertising and focusing on something else for awhile.
Remember: when it comes to hemp ad policy and CBD and Facebook ads, you run the risk of having your account deleted whenever you get rejected. You can combat this by making certain that you’re doing what we described above: focusing on other things when possible to keep your track record positive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just in case we’ve been amiss in answering all of your questions around CBD Facebook ads or hemp advertising laws, this section is just for you.
Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
The short answer is “yes!” CBD ads, while tricky, are still very doable- and we would know! We’ve promoted CBD products for a multitude of our clients with great success. All it takes is following the rules and best practices we’ve described above, and making sure we’re being attentive to other ads as well to keep the spotlight off of any and all rejected ads.
And yes, sometimes even when you follow every rule to the letter, your ads will be rejected. You can combat this by asking for a review or discussing with a Facebook partner.
Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
Just like with any other CBD topical product, the answer is yes. Just don’t make serious medical claims and/or mention CBD in the ads at all. Opt for words like “Naturally derived ingredients” or “plant sourced ingredients” instead.
Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
With hemp becoming medically and fully legal across the US, there’s been increasing pressure for Facebook to open the gates when it comes to their CBD ads policy. We believe that given time, Facebook is going to cave and make our lives a little easier.
How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
When it comes to what you can post on Facebook organically, there are much fewer limits, making it totally acceptable to market CBD on your business page.
You’ll be able to utilize the words “CBD” and “Hemp” in your copy, as well as include it in your ad creative.
Because this is the case, any standard social media marketing blueprint for business will do when it comes to making a plan for CBD marketing. However, we’d still recommend not making medical claims for the moment.
Looking to learn more? Join our Facebook social media marketing group or read more incredibly insightful social media paid advertising information HERE.
I am a native of New Orleans, LA with a passion for social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and making new connections. I enjoy the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and brands everyday.
CBD Advertising: 6 Ways To Promote Your CBD Brand
Since the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, which legalized the production of hemp for the first time since 1937, cannabidiol (CBD) has become one of the hottest trends in consumer goods. From topicals and gummies to sports drinks and tinctures, CBD has spawned a $1.9 billion industry in the U.S. alone.
That success is not without its own marketing challenges, however. Although cannabis is now legal in 19 states, it’s still illegal at the federal level. As a result, from an advertising perspective, it’s treated much the same as guns, tobacco, or gambling — rigorous restrictions or outright bans apply.
It doesn’t help either that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any product containing CBD other than Epidiolex. As a result, CBD brands are prohibited from making any medical claims about the effectiveness of their products, even when supported by anecdotal reviews or peer-reviewed studies.
Overcoming Cannabis Marketing Challenges
Given that the major digital advertising channels like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Amazon, and — most recently — Snapchat and TikTok do not allow CBD brands to run paid ads, the only viable option to get your message out and differentiate yourself is with valuable organic content supported by strong SEO strategies , beautiful branding, interactive websites, user-generated social content, and earned media. That’s not a bad strategy either. By investing in expert-led, educational content that references authoritative sources (.edu, .org, etc.), brands can quickly rise up the search rankings.
But these only go so far. While effective, these channels are becoming saturated, and brands are missing out on the growth-accelerating power of paid acquisition, leaving a booming industry to wonder: Where can you advertise a CBD brand?
Can You Advertise CBD on Facebook and Instagram?
Although it is possible to post organic CBD content on both Facebook and Instagram, neither platform will allow any ads that feature references to CBD, cannabis, marijuana, or hemp. Remove any explicit references to these and there is a chance that your ad will be approved, but even then, it is not uncommon for Facebook to reject campaigns that comply with its policies.
Facebook has lifted its initial blanket ban and will now (in theory) allow ads for CBD topicals but not ingestibles. Bear in mind, however, that Facebook crawlers will also search the domain and can block ads that link to pages promoting the sale of ingestible CBD products.
The most successful brands will either focus on the lifestyle and well-being aspects of CBD rather than its sale or will work with influencers to create educational content that evades the ban. Others will take a craftier approach and scrub a second domain of all references to CBD, which can link to the sales page once Facebook approves the ads.
Can You Advertise CBD on Google?
No joy here either. Google does not allow ads that promote the use or sale of cannabis, CBD, or hemp. To circumvent this rule, brands should focus on educational content that draws visitors to a landing page in the same spirit. At this point, the brand can then be retargeted with ads or emails that link to a sales page. Except yet again, there is an obstacle to overcome here too.
New Challenges for SMS Retargeting
Since May 2021, several SMS platforms have started terminating services for cannabis companies , effectively imposing a ban on SMS marketing and retargeting for CBD brands. The bigger carriers, such as T-Mobile, now require companies to register for approval, with severe fines for unregistered traffic.
Brands who don’t want to fall afoul of Federal Communications Commission, CAN-SPAM, and Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations should strip all references to CBD and cannabis from their text messages, implement a double opt-in and STOP-to-opt-out option for subscribers, and remember to block any outgoing campaigns to states where cannabis isn’t legal. As with PPC advertising, a potential work-around is to link to a site that has been stripped of cannabis-related content, but many will find that this rather neuters the quick and frictionless nature of SMS in the first place.
Clearly, CBD advertising is a complex, nuanced undertaking. One solution is to outsource your marketing to an agency with a hive mind of expert marketers constantly developing creative strategies to navigate exactly such situations. But if you’re going to attempt to do it yourself, here are six ways you can effectively advertise your CBD brand and products, despite limitations on major platforms:
1 – Influencer Marketing
There’s no shortage of high-profile celebrities who have jumped on board the cannabis bandwagon, but even lesser-known figures who typify the CBD lifestyle can make a big impact. Influencer marketing allows brands to reach a wider audience on social by tapping into the communities of tastemakers in relevant industries. Your brand can leverage the trust that influencers have built with their followers to promote your products in an organic way. Sometimes, picking the right influencers for your brand can be tricky — keep in mind that sometimes influencers with smaller, niche audiences can make better partners for brands than influencers with broader reach but less engagement.
2 – Affiliate Marketing
It hasn’t taken long for some hemp manufacturers to become big CBD brands, and the sector overall continues to settle into clearly defined niches. That landscape supports affiliate marketing, through which publishers generate traffic to your website. Because affiliate fees are completely performance-based, working with affiliate networks offers your brand a low-risk way to generate quality traffic. Be sure that your conversion and retention strategies are in place, as customers from affiliate partners often present the highest potential customer lifetime value.
3 – Native Advertising
Ostracized from search engine and social media advertising, many brands are naturally consolidating their efforts in communities where CBD fans are already gathering. Native advertising is a form of advertising, typically within a digital publication, where placements look like relevant content. By placing your content into publications like Civilized , with millions of active readers of all shapes and sizes, you can leverage their audiences to grow awareness for your brand.
4 – Content Syndication
Similar to native advertising, content syndication is another great way to leverage your content to drive brand awareness. Platforms like FieldTest can help republish your content on relevant third-party sites, allowing you to put the right content-based advertisements below or near similar articles. Relevant is the key word here, and it’s important to work with a syndicator who understands the various CBD subcultures — so that your pet CBD, for example, doesn’t end up alongside something like fitness or medicinal marijuana content.
5 – Out-of-Home
Billboards. Sounds old-school, but it works. This traditional form of marketing presents a great way to grow awareness and move products in specific retail locations. The drawback? It can get expensive. Bear in mind, too, that an out-of-home CBD ad is not like a soda or clothing ad. You’ll need to know the local and state laws (e.g., no placement near schools or places of worship), and should steer clear of marijuana-derived CBD or ingestibles.
6 – Podcast Ads
Marketing your brand to dedicated podcast listeners is another great way to boost awareness, especially as CBD graduates from a product to a lifestyle culture. Though it can be expensive, placing ads into relevant podcasts associates your brand with personalities their listeners trust.
The CBD industry continues to spread like a weed through organic channels. With these paid acquisition methods, CBD brands can add fuel to the fire of organic growth, despite extremely limiting restrictions on major digital platforms. As with any paid acquisition strategy, brands should be attentive to data, always testing and optimizing strategies to maximize budgets for ROI.