CBD Marketing: How to Grow Your CBD Brand

The CBD (cannabidiol) market has corresponded dramatically with the changes in regulations in the US and Canada, with estimates of a market size growth up to $1.9 billion and $2.3 billion in each market, respectively. 

This blooming market is already saturated. Marketing managers know that promoting a CBD brand is a challenge beyond funding an extensive advertising campaign or applying common cannabis marketing strategies

Businesses are looking ahead to invest in their brands and grow their reputation as a foundation for their CBD marketing strategy. This article explores four techniques to help you grow your CBD brand in this competitive market. 

1. Boost your brand identity

Brand identity is the outward expression of a brand, including its name, communication, and visual image. Elements like your trademark, logo, color palette, and style guide all construct a brand identity perceived by your customers. 

When you first started marketing CBD products, you may have had some blurry ideas of what your business would be like, what kind of products or services you intended to offer, and who your customers would be. As your business grew, you better understood your targeted audience.

The CBD market is changing quickly as customer awareness increases, and regulations are revised. For these reasons, throughout your journey to develop your CBD brand, you need to upgrade your brand identity accordingly. 

How can you tell if your brand needs an update at all?

There are several key questions you will want to be answered. The responses will expose problem areas that you will want to address. 

  • Do customers associate my brand identity with something other than my intentions? For example, customers associate your brand with feeling high, while your core value is about pain-relief and relaxation. 
  • Does my website scare off visitors? If conversions to your landing pages are high, visitors tend to leave quickly; that is an alarm alerting you to a bad first impression. 
  • Are my visuals poorly perceived? Visuals are the logo, infographic styles, or colors of your website and images. Do they look dated? Neglecting modern design trends generally won’t leave the right impression. 
  • Is my brand voice not heard? When you recognize that people are not reading through your product descriptions any longer, it is a sign that your content message is poorly communicated, or your customers are not informed adequately about product effects. 
  • Why are my new offerings not selling? You may have a problem with product design and presentation when new products, premium offers, and special editions are not selling well. 

Each element of your brand identity (name, logo, colors, typography, photography, iconography, web design, and motion media) will have to be evaluated against the main criterion of a strong brand: distinction from competitions, memorability in the customer’s mind, scalability with business growth, cohesiveness with other brand elements, and easiness to design. 

The following steps may help you update your brand identity: 

  1. Review brand strategy. Revise your brand vision, mission, and values.
  2. Run a brand survey. In such an audit, you gather feedback from different stakeholders on how they perceive your brand identity. 
  3. Rewrite customer personas. Update descriptions of your target audience based on your experience and knowledge of their demographic and psychographic information.
  4. Research competition. Identify your competition’s brand values and find out how your brand identity can be distinguished from theirs. 
  5. Visualize words and start redesigning. All previous steps leave you with a creative brief full of written ideas. Together with your team, begin brainstorming sessions to develop draft ideas for all visual elements to forward to designers. 

2. Update your SEO strategy

A strategy for search engine optimization (SEO) is a tricky marketing task in an industry becoming saturated with content as in CBD marketing. 

You may have started with an SEO plan that helped your brand rank on Google, but keywords change with the marketplace. Some keywords that you used to rank for may have become more competitive; in turn, your ranking has decreased. Additionally, new keywords may have emerged since you created your CBD SEO strategy that you could now use to improve your ranking.

To update your SEO strategy, consider the following: 

Perform an SEO audit to ensure that:

  • Your focus keywords are used and placed correctly.
  • You update with new content containing highly searched keywords.
  • Your website speed is not affecting your Google ranking negatively.
  • Your meta titles and metadata are effectively written with the right length, message, and keywords. 

Focus on a niche market

When the market gets saturated, the right approach is to find a business in a niche market. As you gain experience with clientele, you can run data analysis, combine it with market research, and then decide which niche market best suits you. In the CBD market, there are several approaches to breaking down market niches: 

  • Product type: oils, pills, vapes, creams, or edibles
  • Dosages: 300, 600, or 1000mgs
  • Applications: pain relief, reduction of nausea, relaxation, smoking cessation, autism, etc.
  • Location: state-wide, city-wide, even district-wide
  • Demography: female, male, and age groups 

Expand social media presence

Despite the restrictions made on social media ads, companies can still have a functioning account posting neutral content, creating traffic, and increasing their Google rank. Try other, new social media platforms to market your products, don’t overlook options such as LinkedIn, YouTube, or TikTok, to reach your targeted audience. 

For more information, check this detailed guide on cannabis social media marketing

Focus on long-tail keywords

Keywords consisting of multiple words are specific and targeted and have lower competition than shorter, more general keywords. The keyword “CBD oil,” for instance, has a search volume of 752,000 per month. But according to Ahrefs, you would need 681 backlinks to rank among Google’s top 10. This is an enormous hurdle unless you have a huge website like Leafly or Healthline.

On the other hand, to rank for the long-tail keyword “CBD oil and alcohol,” you need only two backlinks, and it has a good search volume of 1500 searches per month. 

3. Invest in quality content 

CBD marketing in the digital sphere is eminently dependent on content quality. The quality of the content influences your brand image and determines whether it is perceived as credible or suspicious. Also, the volume and the standard of your content can boost or ruin your Google ranking. Moreover, you can’t generate organic social media reach without sharing creative and engaging content. 

Yet, the question is, how can you create content that supports a successful CBD marketing plan? 

  • Research relevant keywords: Tools like Google Keywords Planner or Ahrefs allow you to explore keywords that are relevant to your business and audience, learning in the process what your customers are Googling. 
  • Transform keywords into inquiries: Try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to help create content. For instance, take a keyword like “CBD oil side effects” and formulate questions based on that search. “Is CBD oil dangerous?” or “Who should not use CBD oil?” or “What CBD oil side effects affect women over 40?” Knowing your audience demographics can help you develop relevant questions. 
  • List of blog posts with answers: Once you have done your keyword research, it is time to get creative. Try coming up with a list of titles for articles that cover your customer’s relevant inquiries. Then assign one focus keyword and several secondary keywords to cover in each article.
  • Create scientifically-backed articles: Finally, you can begin writing. If you want to be unique and trustworthy, hire professional writers with a scientific background who can generate a stream of solid articles with credible answers to searched inquiries.
  • CTAs and cross-linking to create relevance: Try to produce multiple articles covering the same topic from different angles, increasing your website’s relevance for focus keywords. Then make sure to cross-link your articles with one another and always use a Call-To-Action (CTA) to redirect readers to relevant articles on your website to keep them engaged as long as possible. 

4. Use native advertising 

Native advertising differs from traditional advertising in that it is not disruptive and doesn’t look like an ad. Native ads are generally embedded in the content or are simply paid content. Many people trust a website’s content over ads. Because trust is essential in CBD marketing, native ads work well in this market. 

A report showed that native ads are an ambiguous model, with almost 50% of respondents clueless of what they are, which explains why the click-through rates in native ads are considerably higher than in traditional ads. 

Using native advertising in CBD marketing is still bound by the regulations governing Cannabis advertising. Yet the technique offers the flexibility needed to overcome these restrictions if you manage to apply some standard practices:

  • Sponsored content: Some blogs and magazines have managed to build traffic based on a similar target audience. Use the most relevant and popular articles on these websites to sponsor and link readers to your website. 
  • Recommendation blogs: Many bloggers and influencers create recommendation articles, where they list their favorite brands, make brief comparisons, or review different products. This is an excellent way to push your brand into the spotlight. 
  • Referencing as an expert: In this case, your brand is presented naturally when it gets mentioned on another website as an informative reference for statistics or testimonials. Suppose you manage to generate original and unique content that can be back-linked to a blog with your targeted audience. In that case, you can secure an immediate impression and a competent conversion to your businesses. 

The bottom line 

What we learn here is that marketing CBD oil or marketing CBD products, in general, is not a one-time thing but rather a continuous, recurring process. 

You probably have invested time and money into creating a solid brand identity, an SEO plan, native ads, and generated multiple attractive blog posts in the past. To sustain a growing brand, you need to repeat this process regularly. 

The key to a successful CBD marketing plan is to focus on up-to-date quality content. You will want to regularly revise your brand identity, update focus-keywords, and invest in smartly placed native ads to attract new traffic to your website. 

Don’t forget to share this article!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related articles