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What you Need to Know about CBD Marketing in 2021

Edmund Laal MF
August 11, 2020 |

What is CBD?

From having a casual recreational connotation to becoming an ingredient that gave way for a hugely competitive market on a global scale, Cannabidiol has always been in the news and now for the right reasons. Abbreviated as CBD, it ranks as one of the key medical marijuana components that is directly derived from the cousin of the marijuana plant, the hemp. 

The Marketing Trends Of CBD Between Now And 2024

Unlike its counterpart THC, it is non-psychoactive and has no sedative effects, giving way to its legalization and a market segment worth553.7 million USD currently. Definitely worth catching your attention right?

Owing to its anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD products are widely used in the sectors of hair care, cosmetics, skincare, and healthcare. 1 in 7 adults is in the consumer circle of CBD, while on the other side 31% of the millennials use CBD products for anxiety and other mental constraints. With this rapid inclination, the market is forecasted to reach a value of 20 billion USD by 2024

The big question now is not about your decision to venture into this. The opportunities are obviously bright with the market growth projected to increase at a rate of 33.5% each year. The question for most enterprises and sellers remains as to how to curate the right marketing strategy for their product and how you’ll go about with marketing your product. 

Wait, If It’s Already Popular Why Do You Need To Actually Market Your CBD Product?

The surge in the market is so huge that there is a new product developed each second at every corner you look at. In such a competitive landscape, branding yourself to be credible and building yourself a loyal following is important if you want to keep augmenting your profits in this space. After all, it’s not only about surviving, it is primarily about thriving.

Because Branding Is Like Breathing, It’s Basic! 

Now that you know about how much of a market appetite there exists for CBD, you go on with creating a brand yourself taking the first step. How long will you market your product within just your peers? Your contacts might exhaust sooner or later. You have to proceed to crack the global crowd that is looking forward to using it. And for that, you’ll have to make your brand strategy memorable and definitely worth catching an eye with the right target audience  Here is where your marketing efforts come into play!

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CBD Advertising And Its Restrictions 2021

The ad restrictions you should be aware of before jumping in head first!

1.  Facebook And Instagram Showcase A Subtle Yet Firm Restriction

With the CBD market blooming on the sidelines, the calls for a ban from the critiques are equally on the rise. Hence, the tech giants including Facebook are in silent opposition restricting any ad promotion activities of CBD on their platforms including Instagram. 

However, there is no exclusive mention of the ban on CBD product advertising. Facebook’s company policy enforces prohibitions against drugs & drug-related products and their regulated goods policy prohibits the selling or purchase of non-medical or prescription drugs and marijuana. Facebook’s advertising policy also poses restrictions on recreational drugs, so any posts without paid distribution on its channel are also at risk of being taken down.  

There’s no discretional public mention of CBD, which allows us to take a seat on the side of hope for these restrictions becoming a tad bit lenient in the coming future.

2.  Google Ads Are A Plain No To The Face

Google ad policies have been quite clear and trying to even slightly meddle with it will lead to a ban from the platform altogether. The healthcare and medicines section of their policies clearly lists CBD as an example of banned pharmaceuticals and supplements. Hence, any ad campaign linked to a landing page with even the term CBD or cannabidiol will be disapproved of.

3.  Bing Ads? It’s No Again!

If you turn to knock on the doors of Microsoft after being driven away by Google, you’ll still find yourself ending up on the sidewalk without any improvement. The restricted and disallowed content policy of Bing wraps the CBD industry as a whole. Even if your ad gets approved, it only gets to run for a brief period before Microsoft disables the campaign without any notice.

The Solutions You Can Adopt For Marketing Your CBD Product

1.  Twitter Ads 

Even with twitter drugs and drug paraphernalia ads policy in place, the ad platform will cut some slack for your ads if you’re running it in the United States or Canada. However, these come with their own restrictions.

For The US, The Following Conditions Apply:

  • The advertisers must receive a license in prior from appropriate authorities and the CBD brand should also be pre-authorized by twitter
  • The target range will also be allocated a license to promote in prior and it cannot exceed these boundaries
  • Only legal CBD products are allowed to be advertised and can be targeted to people who are above the age of 21
  • There is also a geographical restriction and you cannot target the states including Idaho, Lowa, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Virginia

 And The Conditions For Advertising In Canada Are As Follows:

  • The advertisers should get a license from Health Canada and should also be pre-authorized by Twitter
  • Only branding content or informational promotions will be allowed, you cannot directly sell your products
  • Must receive a license for targeting a range in prior and ads can only be targeted to the people aged over 18
  • Brand endorsements, testimonials or any positive sales promotions are prohibited

2.  CBD Ad Networks

Just because google advertising is off the list, we can’t completely ignore considering display advertising. Native advertising has been progressive these days where your paid content is made to match the look and feel of the published editorial site. Some of these providers are open to CBD advertising with their own regulatory measures in place.On the other side, there are ad platforms like FieldTest, Mantis, and Outbrain which facilitate the placing of your ads on their partnered premium publisher sites. The reach of all these platforms is lesser than that of Google and Facebook, but it gives your brand considerable visibility nevertheless.

3.  Online CBD Magazines

Online magazines are an alternative to print ads that communicate information to the client base through digital means. There are a handful of these magazines that allow you with CBD advertising. You can explore these forums and use them for your branding activities through careful placements. Pick your spot and do strategize putting out educational content with subtle promotions without making it directly relating to sales. This might just do the trick for you!

Don’t Forget, There Are Some Of The Organic Solutions Too!

1.   A Functional Website

A study states that 88% of the users wouldn’t return to a website if they encounter a bad user experience. An attractive website interface with properly embedded CTAs, quick load times, and a responsive nature that works flawlessly on all devices is the edge by which you’ll stay ahead in the curve in the market over your competitors. A user-friendly interface can improve your website’s conversion rate by 200% and a better UX design can potentially yield conversion rates up to 400%. This is such a gold mine of an opportunity that can help your business conversion escalate by multiple folds.

2.  Effective SEO Practices

Thankfully you don’t have to compete with any paid promotions in google search when it comes to CBD. SEO thus becomes important as it is the only way to guarantee your top spot on the search listings. 63% of shopping occasions begin online. Hence, if you’re lost among the last few pages of Google, your business might as well become completely buried there in no time. Even with the legalization of CBD in many countries, the prescribed drugs are not generally available over the counter in most places. The customers are hence left with the only option of searching for them online. With the right keyword optimization efforts and educational content generation, you can rank for the right searches. This will increase your brand visibility on a huge scale.  Put in your best efforts to show up on top when your customers search for you almost always and you’ll grow in no time!

3.  Content Marketing

There are a lot of questions that are circulating around the common crowd on the pros and cons of CBD and medicinal marijuana products. This right here is an opportunity you can tap into.

 Keep generating a lot of educational blogs, answer FAQs on public forums, and also keep updating content regularly on your site. The more fresh content you get in, the higher are your chances to rank on search engines. Integrate properly research keywords into these contents without risking keyword stuffing. Try the areas of guest blogging on popular sites and online forums with anchors text that link back to a relevant page on your website. Also, write articles that will catch the attention of online magazine platforms. All of these efforts, interlinked with proper SEO practices will help improve your domain authority and keep you on the first page of the search results. Additionally, they also improve the trust factor among your audience as you keep educating them in the right direction, giving you a win-win situation.

4. Brand Visibility

CBD still comes with a lot of complications and restrictions. If your brand is recognized with a positive outlook, it will give you an edge like no other. You’re more likely to retain a customer base that will keep preferring you over and over.

Brand visibility can be the most powerful message of all which will encourage and motivate your customers to have a positive outlook of your products by understanding their innate attributes. A proper functional website is where you’ll need to start your groundwork. A few customer testimonials on your homepage might do the magic for you, making you the most trustworthy one of the lot. With the right digital strategies, SEO efforts, and affiliate marketing ventures, you can stand out from your competitors. Not to forget, there are also going to be at least a few negative perceptions of people on your brand. Through an effective ORM strategy, you can find opportunities out of this chaos and make yourself heard more!

5. Maintaining Lasting Relationships

Acquiring customers is just one thing. Retaining them and being their preference for any of their future needs is a whole other context that can take your business places. A study states that increasing your customer retention by just 5% can boost your profits by up to 95%.

 Conducting surveys, asking out for feedbacks or constructive criticism, sending out newsletters, carrying out email marketing campaigns, strategies for remarketing by offering discounts for engaging customers are some of the efforts that can help you maintain a healthy relationship with your target crowd

6.  Affiliate / Influencer Marketing

Globally, 81% of brands rely on affiliate marketing. There are a lot of these marketers who can make your CBD product reach the crowds of their network database in a lot of innovative ways and they persuade them tactically to make their purchase decision. 

On the other hand, influencer marketing is also gathering a lot of attention these days. The word-of-mouth pandemic is relied upon to bring about a frenzy in the market for your products. Unfortunately, this happens to be one of the costliest advertising sectors. You can try this in a different way by relying on the customers that have used your products. These testimonials can be used on your social handles or your websites which might help your brand better.

7.  Email Marketing

Email marketing is by far the best communication cycle that you can get going with your clients. Instead of sending a commercial message about your products, try curating each and every corner of this mailer to make it look personalized. Let this look like the voice of your brand itself.

Engaging newsletters, educational blogs, how to use manuals, events intimation, answering questions that are trending in the industry, and offering your existing customer base with discounts and coupons are some of the ways you can go about it. It will also help you retain your clients for a longer time.

Most Importantly, Stay Informed.

Having just a vision to build a brand that stands as the market leader is not enough. You’ll have to get into the hustle day in and day out to sniff any opportunities or disasters that are possibly coming your way. Always be on the lookout for any changes in the legal regulations or any progress on the advertising front.

However, you don’t have to keep refreshing the new sites for this. Google notifications come in handy for this. Search for in your browser. Type in a search term for CBD that you want to track, you’ll find a preview of the results below. Specify how often you’d like to receive these alerts. And bam! You’re done. It’s how simple it gets. With each new page indexed for your search term, you’d receive a mail.


True marketing efforts lie in finding opportunities where others see only troubles and restrictions. It takes a little bending over backward, but the effort is going to be worth it. Make your approach focus less on sales and more on being informative enough that will make your brand remembered. Look out for ways that will make you stay a step further than everyone else. Give every new digital venture a trial. Learn from the errors and keep going forward. It’s through other people’s efforts, failures, and success stories, you can create strategies that are progressive. Speaking of which, here’s a Case Study of one of our successful CBD clients with detailed insights on the market, advertising trends, and SEO campaigns that have given us solid results!

Edmund Laal MF

Edmund Laal MF is an avid digital marketer with expertise in SEO and lead generation for 5 years. He is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing Professional, who believes that learning is a continual process. He aims at understanding the intricacies of digital marketing strategy and works towards that.

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