In recent years, federal legislation in the U.S. has made CBD more accessible than ever before. Shoppers can now find CBD products in almost all major retail stores, from CVS to Abercrombie & Fitch. You've probably even seen a few of your friends advertise CBD products on their social media pages. Thankfully, the expansion of CBD availability is not just limited to brick & mortar retail.
Online store owners are also taking advantage of CBD’s growing popularity and accessibility with dozens of new CBD brands launching every week. Entrepreneurs are selling CBD infused candy, drink mixes, tinctures, and even pet treats - all online. You can even launch a CBD brand without holding any inventory through CBD dropshipping.
Despite this, most of the popular advertising platforms, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Snapchat, don’t allow brands to advertise CBD products.
Although some platforms like Facebook have somewhat relaxed their guidelines, brands still cannot directly advertise CBD products.
So, how can you advertise CBD products and brands online with the current restrictions on mainstream advertising platforms? Read on to discover the best alternatives for CBD advertising that might work for you.
Although Google has prohibited CBD ads, there are still a broad range of advertising channels that permit display advertising for CBD products.
FieldTest is an example of a platform that’s taking advantage of the current restrictions imposed by giving businesses an opportunity to advertise across their network of established sites.
Mantis Ad Network is another display advertising platform that offers self-serve display, video, mobile, and re-targeted ad campaigns.
Alternative advertising channels like FieldTest are great for building brand awareness and generating site traffic when the Google Display Network is unavailable to you.
One way to leverage popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram is through influencer marketing. While you can’t run paid advertisements through their native platforms, you can capitalize on the organic and engaged following of social media influencers.
Influencer collaborations allow for the opportunity to reach a wider audience through these influencers. Not only can they promote your products, but their influence also helps establish trust and familiarity between your brand and their audience.
Success with influencer marketing depends greatly on working with the right influencers. Remember that follower count does not always equate to a good fit with your brand. Influencers with smaller audiences can be a better choice if the audience is in the right niche.
Native Advertising is a type of digital advertising where ad placements are placed within a publication’s content so as to not interfere with the user’s experience. The ad is typically embedded in the content or may serve as the content itself.
This strategy usually involves working with third-party sites to publish sponsored content. As an advertiser, you’ll likely be billed based on CPM or CPC.
Many native platforms do restrict the type of content that can be promoted, but there are ways to work within these restrictions without violating them. For example, being featured in a popular publication like Forbes, with its millions of readers, can build awareness for your CBD brand and generate traffic to your site - even if the sponsored content does not directly promote a CBD product.
If you’re looking for a low-risk way to advertise your CBD brand without investing a lot of money upfront, affiliate marketing is a great option. One reason CBD dropshippers love affiliate marketing is because affiliates earn their commissions based on performance - typically a percentage of sales they refer to you. Working with affiliates helps build qualified traffic as well.
Many CBD businesses work with large affiliate networks today, including Clickbank, ShareASale, and CannAffiliate.
Podcast ads are less common than the other strategies listed above, but they are still utilized by CBD retailers to increase brand awareness in the midst of the restrictions in place.
There are a number of platforms available that connect podcast producers with brands interested in advertising. Midroll is one of these platforms.
If you decide to advertise your CBD brand on podcasts, you can expect to pay a CPM of $20 - $50. This is the advertising cost per 1000 downloads of the podcast episode with your ad in it.
Consider podcast ads as a unique strategy for getting your CBD brand and products in front of a highly engaged audience while mainstream platforms continue to restrict your advertising capabilities.
Despite the restrictions traditional advertising platforms have in place, there are still a number of ways you can advertise a CBD brand online. Whether it’s a native ad campaign or partnering with an influencer, find where your target audience is and get creative when thinking of ways to reach them.
Hopefully, as regulation and public perception of CBD changes, so will the restrictions currently in place on platforms like Facebook and Google.
Until then, focus on creating valuable content and establishing your presence on social media alongside any advertising campaigns. You never want to rely solely on paid advertising in this industry, so investing in organic growth will go a long way as well.