Alex Bider is the CEO and Senior Internet Marketing Consultant at 2Marketing.com.
Building a CBD business in 2020 and beyond is a challenge that more and more entrepreneurs are answering. CBD marketing is tricky because of the laws and restrictions put in place by both the government and marketing platforms such as Facebook and Google.
CBD branding is equally as delicate — it’s important to differentiate your company from others, but you must do so without creating brand assets that could violate guidelines, laws or regulations (both state and federal).
Those are just a few of the complications that come with putting a CBD business together. If you think you’re up for the challenge (or better yet, if you’ve already answered the call), this guide will help you navigate the basics of CBD branding and marketing.
I’m passionate about helping CBD brands succeed. In leading a marketing agency, I’m always ready to help CBD brands navigate the mess of restrictions when it comes to marketing and selling CBD products. Based on my experience here are the basics that CBD brands should consider.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main parts or components of the marijuana plant. However, unlike its psychoactive and hallucinogenic cousin THC, CBD does not cause any kind of “high.” There is a large amount of anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD could have a myriad of health benefits, which we seem to still be skimming the surface of as more scientific research is needed. Although it is early days in terms of CBD for medical use, many people find it beneficial for treating many different ailments.
Current Laws And Regulations
The legality of selling and marketing CBD products is difficult to nail down. The official word from the Food and Drug Administration is that legality depends on how the product is packaged, branded and marketed. For example, CBD cannot be packaged or branded in a way that could be construed as appealing to minors, and cannot be sold as part of food products.
When it comes to platform-specific regulations, most of the big players like Facebook and Google simply do not currently allow CBD advertisements.
The Difference Between CBD Marketing And CBD Branding
Marketing is the art and science of telling a company’s story to the right audience in the most effective way possible. Branding is the practice of building that story along with the company’s assets, such as logos, business cards, webpages and so on. When broken down into those simple terms, it seems fairly clear that this isn’t a chicken-and-egg situation. It’s important to have strong branding for your CBD company before you put a lot of effort into marketing.
Questions To Ask Before Getting Started
Before getting into either branding or marketing, it’s important to know the answers to a number of questions. These include:
• Who will be your main target audience (i.e., age, geographic location, etc.)?
• What main problems does your audience hope to resolve with CBD?
• Will you target existing CBD users or those who may be interested in CBD?
• Where will you sell your products, and what are the laws and regulations there?
Answering these questions is important to your success because without the answers you’d essentially be shooting in the dark. Once you have a clear picture of who your ideal customers are, why they’ll be interested in your products and any relevant regulations, you’ll be ready to start building your brand.
Modern CBD brands would be wise to move away from the association with cannabis and “getting high.” For one thing, CBD has nothing to do with getting high; for another, that notion may turn off some people who would otherwise use CBD products. In my experience, CBD branding is done best when it appears soft, accepting and comfortable.
This makes a lot of sense; after all, many people have turned to CBD to soothe pain and anxiety. So, how can you use your branding to share your company’s unique message with the world?
CBD Marketing Basics
Once you have your brand assets figured out, it will be time to find ways to share them with your ideal customers. Your branding may need to include:
• Brand positioning (who you are and what you do and why)
• Brand promises (what you’ll deliver to your customers)
• Brand assets (e.g., colors and fonts, stationery and business cards, designs or images, and internal templates and standard operating procedures)
An easy and free way to start marketing your brand is by creating your social media accounts. Make sure they use the same name (or if that’s not possible, similar/linked names) and employ your brand assets to their fullest potential. You can market CBD organically on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, so picking two out of those three may be a good way to begin.
Focus On Branding First
While CBD marketing and branding are both important, building a strong brand will ensure that you get the most out of the money you put into marketing.
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