Legislation still seems to lump CBD products in a gray area with some room for advertising on social media everywhere but significant marketing platforms. Trying to grow a CBD business from the ground up has become somewhat of a challenge as opposed to most products advertised online. The highly anticipated Farm Bill passed, which broadened the legal definition of hemp to include hemp-based CBD. What the bill did mainly was reclassifying CBD from marijuana to its own entity. However, in some states, the stigma of recreational drug use is associated with CBD. Hence, the restrictions brought upon with this stigma.
For small businesses in the CBD space looking to grow their brand, the new Farm Bill pushed marketing for CBD online in the right direction. Consumers are also relishing in the fact that CBD products will become more readily available in stores. But, unfortunately, the rules and regulations have yet to reflect this new reclassification, and CBD advertising remains in the old model, limited advertising capabilities.
Major traditional marketing platforms such as Facebook and Instagram restrict paid ads on their apps. Until these platforms catch up to current legislation, specific products will continue to be inside this gray area of marketability. Products like CBD oral drops or CBD topical creams will have two different restrictions applied regardless that they are both derived from CBD. To make matters more complicated, there is still no universal resource that agrees upon what the regulations should be. It’s an eternal mystery on when an ultimate ruling will surface.
For the time being, here are three best practices to help keep your next campaign from being banned online.
Focus on application and not ingestion
Facebook is not keen on showcasing CBD as an ingestible product but leans more towards topical applications. Topicals such as CBD oils and creams will have no trouble as paid advertisements. Brands that offer these products should use this opportunity as a lead generation for their other line of products, as well. Leverage what you can sell into what you can not promote.
Promote CBD advocacy
Regardless of legislation or how crafty marketers are with ad development, Facebook has been caught mistakenly flagging CBD marketing on social media that were technically acceptable by their rules. The problem is Facebook not understanding hemp-derived versus marijuana-derived cannabidiol. State by state regulations suffers the same problem. It may be best to avoid promoting these products altogether and adopt a different approach to marketing CBD.
Rather than focus on the product, build brand awareness, and promote CBD advocacy. Tell a compelling story highly regarding the use of CBD. Explain why you, as a brand, believe in the everyday use of CBD products. The line is typically drawn on the products, not on promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Affiliate marketing with other CBD influencers
Link-building is achievable through other social CBD influencers who are open about their marijuana and or CBD use. The goal is not to build a link with every influencer, though. When creating your list of potential influencers, try to align these people with your brand or image. Beauty influencers for your skincare line or moms who rely on CBD for treating their child’s anxiety. Consider the angle you are going for in building your brand or marketing attempts.
CBD online requires more work
Until the current major marketing platforms catch up with the new Farm Bill, developing ads that do not have the potential to be flagged will be difficult. CBD businesses have to be more cautious with how they design ads to avoid being taken down. Focus on a healthy lifestyle, avoid paid ads for ingestible products, and build relationships with other people that share a likeness to your brand. For now, these three practices are the best option for promoting CBD on social media.