CBD Products & Online Marketing
In my previous posts I focused on presenting information about CBD, such as the differences between CBD and THC, CBD products, benefits and side effects of CBD, and CBD for pets.
In this last post I wanted to inform you about the difficulty of advertising CBD products online and present you some alternatives.
If you own a CBD company or you are working for one of them, you might know that paid advertising of CBD products on Facebook and Google is prohibited. Instagram is owned by Facebook, so you don’t have better chances, as the same policies apply there as well.
Facebook ad policies prohibit the sale of “illegal, prescription, or recreational drugs” and have sorted CBD in this category, although it is not classified as a drug.
Google ad policies list CBD in the “Unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements” category and prohibit entirely their advertisment.
A violation to these policies can lead to a page or account ban, which is something that no one wants and especially companies.
Is there anything you can do about it?
Here are some tricks to advertise CBD products on Facebook:
- Create a new Facebook account and don’t mention CBD or cannabidiol anywhere on the page.
- Do not include the term CBD in the domain name of the landing page.
- You can buy a new domain specifically for the landing page to sell your CBD product.
- Remove any CBD-related keywords from your website.
- Find a creative way to explain your CBD product to your consumers, by replacing “CBD” with “Natural Plant-Based Remedies”, “Naturally derived ingredients”, “plant sourced ingredients”, etc.
- Create a Facebook ad that doesn’t mention or show anything related to CBD.
- Focus on the benefits of your product, without mentioning CBD in the ads at all, and don’t make serious medical claims.
- Target audiences with an interest in “hemp oil.”
Facebook has relaxed their CBD advertising policies and you can advertise topical hemp, linked to landing pages featuring topical CBD and hemp products.
Here are some tricks to advertise CBD products on Google:
- Create a new Google Ads account to use specifically for advertising your CBD product. If you run into problems, then it won’t affect your other Google Ads campaigns.
- Use the “paid search ads“ feature to set up your campaign.
- Select keywords relevant to your product, such as “CBD”, “CBD oils,” hemp,” etc.
- When writing your ad, make sure you not directly saying it’s CBD. Try to make a more vague description of your product.
- Develop a landing page that your ad will take consumers to. Just like in the ad, don’t openly promote your CBD products on this page.
If you don’t want to risk it with the tricks mentioned above, here are some alternatives to advertise CBD products online:
Google Shopping Ads
You need to use Google Ads platform to set up and manage your CBD advertising for Google Shopping ads. If you set up your campaign correctly your CBD products will be displayed when a customer uses Google to search for CBD products.
They can appear in the main search engine results page or under the shopping tab.
Focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a great way to increase targeted organic traffic to your website. By practicing it properly, it will enable web visitors to find your site based on what they are searching online.
A successful SEO strategy, can consistently bring in organic traffic to your CBD website for years, providing a steady flow of sales and increased brand awareness.
Although email marketing might seem outdated, it is one of the most effective channels you can use.
Make sure to send out newsletters to build interest in your products regularly. Keep emails short and add a bit of a story to keep things interesting. Sending coupons and deals to your existing newsletter subscribers is a fantastic way to get the word out about products and improve customer relationship and retention.
This marketing strategy is now an established form of online marketing. You can use people who have the power to influence your target audience, through their posts, or stories.
Influencers can sell your products directly and increase the visibility of your brand, but they are not allowed to make any health claims.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based approach. Similar to influencer marketing, it allows you to use other people for promoting your products. Affiliates use their own efforts to market your brand or product on their site.
Businesses and brands reward affiliates for each sale they make or customers they bring in.
I would love to read your comments! Let me know if you liked my awareness campaign.
Thank you for following my posts! Until next time!
Hello everyone! My name is Vasia and I am coming from Greece. I am an OBM master student and my goal is to become a digital marketing expert! Living in Basel, I enjoy walking by the Rhine river and having BBQs with friends. For the upcoming weeks my goal will be to raise awareness on a relatively taboo topic. Follow my posts to find out more!
Google Is Testing the Waters for CBD Ads With Trial Program, CBD Retailer Says
Chilyo, which sells cannabidiol items, says participating brands can pay to advertise — but can’t say ‘CBD’ in text
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is taking steps toward ending its prohibition on advertising for cannabidiol products through a trial program that allows select companies in the budding hemp sub-industry to purchase ads on its platform, according to one CBD retailer that was asked to participate.
Shedrack Anderson, co-founder of the CBD-infused skincare line Chilyo LP, said Thursday that Google approached him to be part of a “trial realm” of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal. He declined to say when Google made its overture or how many other CBD retailers are in the program.
Advertising on Google is currently prohibited for companies selling products containing CBD. The tech giant lists cannabidiol under its unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements for its ad platform, so CBD brands have to rely on search engine optimization to appear higher in search engine results.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson reiterated that CBD ads are prohibited on its platform, and denied the existence of a trial program.
Under the program, Anderson said Chilyo has been able to submit ads for review for a number of Google’s platforms, from paid search to YouTube, but there are some restrictions. Advertisements for CBD can’t use the word “CBD,” for example. Anderson said Google encouraged him to use phrasing such as “full-spectrum hemp” on his all-topical products instead.
Google is also heavily monitoring Chilyo’s website, Anderson said, such as watching click-throughs. He declined to say how long the test program would run.
CBD has exploded in the U.S. marketplace: It was valued at $1.9 billion in the United States last year by the cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics and forecast to reach $20 billion by 2024. That figure balloons to $45 billion when combined with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products.
But there is confusion over the legality of the hemp derivative: Approved cannabidiol drugs are listed under the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances, even though the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the federal ban on industrial hemp.
Google is not alone in its strict policies on CBD advertising. Facebook Inc.’s Community Standards don’t mention CBD, but the company doesn’t allow for the sale of marijuana or non-medical drugs, and media reports have said that CBD advertisements have been taken down on the social media network. (Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, shares these policies). Amazon.com Inc. doesn’t allow CBD products on its site.
Google’s revenue has suffered recently, posting 17 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2019, its slowest pace since 2015. Google is expected to be the world’s largest digital ad seller this year, making up 31.1 percent of global ad spending, or $103.73 billion, according to eMarketer .
How To Run Fully Compliant CBD Ads On Facebook And Google
It’s not a secret to anyone who is working in CBD or cannabis that stringent government regulations make it tricky to advertise these kinds of products. Facebook, Google, Bing, and many other major social media and search platforms prohibit cannabis advertising because they consider it as a recreational drug. As an agency, we were able to advertise CBD on Social Media and Search Engine platforms, and we’ll show you how in the later sections. Jump to explanation .
Disclaimer: Do take note that advertising on Google and FB without the right experience and knowledge can put your website or account at risk. We will not be liable for any loss or damages that you may incur as a result of following our advice here.
Below we will discuss the best practices in making compliant CBD ads on any platform.
The Best Practices For Making Compliant CBD Ads
Because of CBD’s continuous federal classification as a Schedule I drug , online advertising rules now are managed by state cannabis regulations, so they differ according to where you operate your business. It can become confusing if you’re planning on running online advertisements visible to consumers across different states.
As luck would have it, most cannabis bills are almost the same as those that have been approved successfully before them. Meaning, there are only a handful of widely applicable rules no matter where you’re going to display your CBD oil product ads. Generally speaking, cannabis advertisements encompass the same major provisions for ad copy, such as:
- No recommendations for wellness or medical benefits.
- No topics that could refer to kids (cartoons, comics, etc.)
- No false or deceptive claims, as well as those made about the products of the main competitors.
- No testimonials or endorsements.
- No product emissions.
- No raising prices, potency accusations, or special offers.
- Ads for infused items must claim “ For Adult Use Only.”
Our Top Trade Secret: 4 Basic Elements Of Compliant CBD Ads on Google and Facebook
On every platform, few regulations differ. Each network is much more challenging than others. But if you follow these four main contributing factors and do the right thing on each, you’re going to have an excellent, compliant advertisement campaign on these networks. In this video, one of our founders, Simon Jordan, shows us the top 4 elements of reliable and compliant CBD Ads.
1. Ad Copy
The copy of the ad is highly valuable. There are certain keywords that you are not allowed to include, such as “CBD,” because you need to adhere to the rules of each network. A mention of CBD or CBD-related keywords on your ad copy or anywhere across your whole ad campaign will cause your ads to be banned.
This includes what images you’re using and what you intend to convey. The creatives are not a big deal if it would just follow the regulations of every platform. Your creatives should also not contain CBD in it.
3. Landing Page
This is vital because it’s where most marketers fail to manage. Your landing page will redirect the audience to your website. In all likelihood, you won’t be able to run compliant advertising directly into your website because of having disallowed keywords.
Whether that’s a Facebook algorithm, Google algorithm, or Bing’s, they’re crawling the information on your website’s landing page, and they’re finding things that are not compliant. Those ads aren’t permitted to run, or maybe they can run for a bit but eventually get disabled.
Make sure you check the source code because FB or Google algorithms crawl the source code and if they find CBD or CBD related keywords your ad will be disapproved.
You can run an ad all of your CBD products for as long as everything else is in accordance. If the other elements are in place: your creative, ad copy, and landing page is compliant, the CBD products shown are not going to trigger the algorithm.