Although the December 2018 passage of The Farm Bill legalized the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp at the federal level in the US, CBD brands continue to face restrictions on advertising of their products. Digital advertising of CBD brands on Facebook, Google, and Instagram remains limited as each of these companies provides strict parameters on what can and cannot be advertised online.
Despite these limitations on the use of digital advertising, many CBD brands put in creative effort to market their products through billboards, event marketing, pop-up stores, brand ambassadors, and radio ads. This article takes a closer look at some of the first successful CBD marketing campaigns and how brands have shifted their efforts in a COVID-19 era.
Brands including CBDistillery, Charlotte’s Web, Evo Hemp, and Recess have found ways to gain favorable media attention and connect with consumers. How did they do it?
The CBDistillery brand, owned by Balanced Health Botanicals, made a splash in July, 2019 with the launch of its Gimmick-FreeCBD campaign that featured a 7-billboard display in New York City’s Times Square. CBDistillery continues to grow strongly through its mission to bring affordable and high-quality CBD to the masses and its direct-to-consumer approach.
The campaign calls out gimmicks such as CBD-infused toilet paper, condoms, and laundry detergent as compared to CBDistillery’s own gimmick-free products. (With over 3,000 CBD companies in the space, CBD businesses are pressured to stand out).
Through humor, CBDistillery asks consumers to look beyond marketing tactics that use the term CBD to sell products and to instead seek out trusted and established hemp-derived CBD brands – such as its own – that offer high quality and share third-party tested lab results. The cross-channel campaign also included social media, radio, emails, direct mail, and select advertisements as well as its own microsite at GimmickFreeCBD.co.
Charlotte's Web pioneered hemp-derived CBD in the US and has become the number one CBD brand through word-of-mouth and social media as its core group of passionate advocates helped spread the story of Charlotte Figi and others who have benefited from CBD.
On October 2, 2019, Charlotte’s Web unveiled its Trust The Earth campaign in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One created a huge mural featuring a hand holding a hemp plant and the call-to-action “Trust the Earth” above “Hemp for Natural Health”. The company’s first national CBD advertising campaign combined out-of-home (OOH) ads with a microsite (trusttheearth.com), and digital content.
Source: Charlotte's Web
The accompanying videos for the Trust the Earth campaign ask viewers to trust in plants and nature in caring for ourselves and “that every American deserves access to the highest quality hemp extract available”.
Evo Hemp, a hemp foods company that also makes CBD snack bars, lotions and tinctures, is using the power of cinema and videos to educate consumers about US-grown hemp and CBD.
The company’s co-founders Ari Sherman and Jourdan Samuel are featured in filmmaker Josh Hyde’s new documentary “American Hemp”, released in August, 2019 on Amazon Prime and other major streaming outlets. Hyde shows the challenges faced by the hemp industry as he follows farmers, Sherman and Samuel, and state regulators through one year in the Colorado hemp industry. In the film, Evo Hemp partners with Alex White Plume of the Oglala Lakota Tribe to create the first Native American hemp products in the US.
In addition to participating in the documentary, Evo Hemp uses its YouTube channel and the Evo Hemp Academy section on its website to educate consumers about all aspects of hemp through videos on topics such as hemp growing, CBD, hemp smoothie recipes, and terpenes.
Recess, the maker of CBD and adaptogen-infused sparkling waters, reached New York City creatives and Instagrammers by opening up the Recess IRL (In Real Life) pop-up store in New York City’s NoHo district in February, 2019. The pastel-painted, neon-lit store is aimed at helping visitors relax or be creative by encouraging posts on Instagram.
Source: Gotham Magazine
Recess Founder and CEO Benjamin Witte described to CNBC the design philosophy of the store as: “In this space I want you to feel like you are walking into Instagram … or walking into a billboard.” The Recess IRL store provided busy New Yorkers with a space to take a recess and break away from day-to-day worries with a lounge area, a space for local comedy performances, floral design workshops, and happy hours. The Recess store provided an experiential way to spread the Recess message of staying “calm, cool, collected.”
How CBD brands are leveraging digital marketing during COVID-19
Despite the lifting of shelter-in-place orders, a resurgence of COVID-19 combined with continuing worries of contracting the coronavirus has kept many consumers at home. While the coronavirus pandemic has reduced consumer store visits and limited live sports and other in-person events, CBD companies have risen to the challenge of marketing during a pandemic by leveraging digital advertising platforms like social media, podcasts, affiliate networks, and other partnerships.
Pre-COVID, we saw CBD companies had been using a wide variety of marketing vehicles including athlete ambassadors, influencers, event marketing, educational workshops, billboards, alongside digital ad campaigns. Following the outbreak, CBD companies were forced to shift to online marketing initiatives completely.
Companies such as cbdMD, Recess, CBDistillery, and Veritas Farms continue to use their marketing budgets on digital strategies to capture shopper attention - and for good reason. According to Brightfield's CBD Consumer Insights, online CBD purchasing grew 123% from Q1 to Q4 of 2020. Additionally, 52% of CBD consumers now report shopping for CBD online, making it the top purchase channel.
Buying CBD during a pandemic: How consumer trends are shifting
With fewer leisure options available during the coronavirus pandemic, podcasts have emerged as a popular way for consumers to entertain themselves and for CBD companies to reach CBD consumers. According to podcast measurement company, Podtrac, US weekly podcast download growth for the comedy and sports categories was up 45% and 35%, respectively, from August 19, 2019 to August 23, 2020. cbdMD has been a sponsor of leading podcasts – “The Joe Rogan Experience”, Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert”, and “Your Mom's House with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky” since October 2019.
In its earnings call on August 12, 2020, the company stated that the podcast vertical led to a 45% uptick in revenue in the quarter ended June 30, 2020 as data allowed them to identify the podcasts that drive web traffic and e-commerce conversion. For cbdMD, popular sports commentator and comedian Joe Rogan is able to reach men who are interested in sports and are likely to use topical CBD products for post-exercise relief.
Sponsoring podcasts where the host reads a commercial about a CBD brand along with a promotional code is not the only way to take advantage of podcasts. On June 10, Balanced Health Botanicals, owner of the CBDistillery brand, introduced its “CBD Movement Podcast” as the latest extension of its #CBDMovement, which aims to provide education about CBD and accessibility to fairly priced, high-quality CBD products.
The CBD Movement Podcast features in-house experts Emily Loss (Manager of Influencer Relations and Sponsored Athletes) and Majid Boroujerdi (Vice President of Brand and Consumer Insights) who interview scientists, cultivators, government officials, and CBD pioneers. This presents another way for CBDistillery to educate listeners and create brand loyalty.
The company also introduced a rebrand for CBDistillery in May 2020. They brought an updated design to the brand website and introduced new consumer-friendly packaging to provide better education about the benefits of CBD.
Instagram and influencer marketing
With in-person events on pause for the foreseeable future, Instagram allows CBD companies to provide fashion and flair and access to “live” events. Recess received extensive press coverage of its previously mentioned Recess IRL pop-up experience. Recess IRL brought creatives together for cocktails, mingling, and workshops in a pastel, Instagram-worthy space while allowing the company to gain brand awareness in spite of advertising restrictions on Facebook and Google.
Through the pandemic, Recess continues to use its Instagram page to promote the brand’s narrative of offering an antidote to modern times with surrealist imagery where cans of Recess are personified using memes and cultural reference points.
The addition of three new flavors in May 2020 (Black Cherry, Blood Orange, and Coconut Lime) are providing more flavor personalities for the company’s fans to interact with. Its recent launch of a Realitywear line of comfortable t-shirts and sweatshirts allows the company to offer both physical and digital experiences. They’ve injected fashion into the company’s marketing which encourages their biggest fans to spread the “calm, cool, collected” message.
A case study: Veritas Farms
Prior to COVID-19, Veritas Farms had been using event marketing such as sponsoring Miami Art Week 2019 with live music, art, and their own life of CBD-infused cocktails to promote its brand among affluent, health-conscious consumers. The brand held more ad space with a billboard campaign in New York City’s Times Square that ran from November 11, 2019 to January 5, 2020.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the company decided to leverage e-commerce and social media with an initiative called Yoga Flow Sessions on their Instagram Live, in partnerships with influencers. The Saturday Yoga Flow Sessions invited Miami yoga teacher India Turkell which allowed Veritas Farms to reach yoga devotees who were unable to attend in-person yoga studios. In addition, working with influencers Morgan Alexa (in a paid partnership) and Lizzy Dela (affiliate marketing) – who represent active glamour – allowed the company to leverage these women's’ social media followers.
Veritas Farms Hemp Oil Tincture.
Source: CBD Network
According to its 10-Q filed on August 18, 2020, Veritas Farms was able to achieve online revenue growth of over 150% from January 2020 to April 2020. By leveraging multiple social channels, launching an affiliate program, and further upgrading website content, layout, and improving site speed Veritas Farms found success despite CBD ad restrictions and the initial challenges of the pandemic.
It is crucial for CBD companies to prioritize initiatives that reach consumers where they are spending their time. With almost 38% of CBD market sales forecasted to take place online in 2021, e-commerce is poised to continue being the largest channel for CBD purchases.
Whether it is partnering with podcast hosts and influencers, focusing on content marketing, providing a stream of live events on Instagram, or upgrading a website; Investing in digital marketing efforts can help companies increase their number of website visitors, conversion rates, and ultimately the brand loyalty of CBD consumers.
What is the target market for CBD? ›
Who are your target customers? Older or younger people? Men or women? According to recent research, US adults between 25 and 35 years of age use CBD oil or similar products more than those in other age groups.How Social Media advertise CBD? ›
- Use keywords and hashtags. Social media platforms can operate like their own microcosms within online communities. ...
- Post regularly. ...
- Diversify your content. ...
- Make use of influencers.
Some examples of networks that allow the promotion of CBD products are Taboola, Outbrain, MGID, and RevContent. Just make sure you read through the requirements and restrictions of each ad network to ensure ad approval.Can you advertise CBD on Facebook 2022? ›
So what is (and isn't) allowed? Facebook is still prohibiting ads featuring or leading to landing pages for ingestible CBD. Advertisers can direct traffic to landing pages that feature ingestible hemp and topical CBD. However, the ads cannot specifically feature those products.Where does CBD sell the most? ›
|Characteristic||Sales in million U.S. dollars|
CBD statistics by age
- 20% of people ages 18-29 use CBD.
- 16% of people ages 30-49 use CBD.
- 11% of people ages 50-64 use CBD.
- 8% of people age 65 and older use CBD.
Ostracized from search engine and social media advertising, many brands are naturally consolidating their efforts in communities where CBD fans are already gathering. Native advertising is a form of advertising, typically within a digital publication, where placements look like relevant content.How do I promote CBD products on Facebook? ›
Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads? Just like with any other CBD topical product, the answer is yes. Just don't make serious medical claims and/or mention CBD in the ads at all. Opt for words like “Naturally derived ingredients” or “plant sourced ingredients” instead.Is selling CBD profitable? ›
CBD stores can be highly profitable, with data showing that companies are seeing net profit margins of above 40%. The industry is expected to reach $20 billion by 2024.Is CBD a drug? ›
Since CBD is an approved prescription drug, it can't be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. CBD can only be included in "cosmetic" products. But there are still CBD products on the market that are labeled as dietary supplements.
Why is CBD legal now? ›
The short answer is the levels of THC. Legal hemp plants and cbd-infused products must have a THC level of 0.3% or below. If the THC levels are above 0.3% it is considered illegal marijuana.What does CBD mean in business? ›
abbreviation for central business district: It's a short stroll to the central business district (CBD).How do you promote CBD on Instagram? ›
Below is the summary of how to promote CBD on Instagram:
Never use the term CBD in your posts. Avoid targeting any specific age group. Share informative posts that do not indicate that you are selling CBD. Provide health tips, especially discussing health conditions in which CBD can help, but do not mention CBD.
Although drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, and tobacco are banned from advertising on TikTok in TikTok ads. Since CBD stems from the cannabis plant, which is federally illegal in the United States of America, TikTok considers CBD a drug and bans the advertising of CBD on its platform.How big is the CBD industry? ›
|Market size value in 2022||USD 6.36 billion|
|Revenue forecast in 2030||USD 22.05 billion|
|Growth rate||CAGR of 16.8% from 2022 to 2030|
|Base year for estimation||2021|
There are a few reasons why CBD is becoming so popular: It does not produce a high like THC will, so it is considered legal just about all states. There is some evidence that CBD may be helpful for various health conditions, although more research is needed. CBD is relatively affordable and easy to find.Who is buying CBD? ›
So – who is buying CBD and why? According to recent research, Americans between the ages of 25 and 35 use CBD more than those in other age groups. Users of CBD are those who consume cannabis with low or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with no psychoactive effects.Is CBD declining? ›
Market share for the top 20 CBD companies shrank slightly during the first quarter of 2022, from 18.9% to 18.5%. Brightfield attributes the slight change to supply-chain issues and slowing consolidation. E-commerce will remain the top sales channel for CBD in 2022, at 39.2%.Is CBD a growing industry? ›
The Global Cannabidiol (CBD) Market Size was estimated at USD 551.20 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 3154.20 million by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 28.30% during the forecast period.Is CBD good for joint pain? ›
Using CBD products, like CBD oil, can help some people manage chronic joint pain. It may be a viable alternative to other substances used to manage pain, like opioids or immunosuppressants.
Can you advertise CBD products on Google? ›
Google, too, has a policy that prohibits CBD advertising on its platform. Even after the 2018 Farm bill passage, many states are yet to develop an excellent regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD. As a result, Google doesn't allow CBD advertising on its platform.Where can I find CBD influencers? ›
CBD influencers can be found on many social media platforms, including:
Can you sell CBD on Facebook? In short, no. Facebook Marketplace does not allow customers to buy or sell CBD products on their site. They also prohibit you from advertising your products as those containing CBD. This means you'll need to sell your CBD products through another platform or on your own website or blog.Is CBD allowed on Facebook? ›
While Facebook's advertising policies don't explicitly prohibit hemp or CBD, if you've ever tried to run an ad yourself, you know how difficult it can be to get approved. In 2021, Facebook and Instagram have become more lenient, and CBD brands have been able to get away with a lot more.Can you advertise CBD on Pinterest? ›
Drugs and paraphernalia
We will allow ads for topical hemp seed oil products in the United States that contain negligible amounts of THC and no CBD and make no therapeutic or medicinal claims.
What it costs to start a CBD business. It's been said that CBD entrepreneurs should expect to invest upwards of $70,000; but this is a subjective estimate! Depending on your goals and the scale of your business, an investment in the six to seven figure range might be more realistic.Is CBD a good investment? ›
The rising awareness CBD among the general public and its effectiveness in pain management and various other treatments is propelling the industry's growth. According to a report, the CBD market accounted for approximately $12.8 billion in 2021, and is estimated to grow by roughly 21.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2028.Which states consume the most CBD? ›
Regions That Buy Or Consume The Most CBD
The data shows that western states dominate the leaderboard — with Colorado and California topping the chart.
Studies have shown that CBD can alter the flow of blood in the brain. In reducing the flow of blood to the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, a person's sense of anxiety is also reduced.Does CBD affect your eyes? ›
cannabinoid in marijuana. pressure of the eye (IOP) and risk of glaucoma. (THC) showed CBD spikes the pressure in the eye. Ciliary muscle involved in the flow in and out off fluid, influencing pressure.
What are cons of taking CBD? ›
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability, according to Harvard Health Publishing. CBD can also negatively interact with coumadin/warfarin and grapefruit juice. Again, it is crucial to speak with your doctor before starting and CBD products.Is CBD drinks legal? ›
Cannabidiol, or as it's better known CBD, is a legal cannabinoid (chemicals found in cannabis) and can be sold in the UK. It's not the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high, called THC.What state is CBD legal? ›
The following states have legalized CBD, some only for specific medical purposes: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.Is CBD oil addictive? ›
As cannabidiol is non-psychoactive, it's not addictive or habit-forming in itself. However, people may smoke marijuana to get medical benefits from cannabidiol and develop a habit. The safest course for getting the medical benefits of marijuana is to use CBD oil by itself.What's another word for CBD? ›
|Trade names||Epidiolex, Epidyolex|
|Other names||CBD, cannabidiolum, (−)-cannabidiol|
Health & Beauty CBD Business Opportunities
- CBD cosmetics. ...
- Sell CBD supplements and medication. ...
- CBD spa. ...
- CBD bath lotions and soaps. ...
- CBD tinctures and topicals.
So, yes, you can start a CBD business on Instagram if you understand the limitations and know the right way to do it. Just avoid a direct mention of CBD, and focus on soft selling. It means creating posts related to health conditions in which CBD may help—using the term Hemp instead of CBD.Can you talk about CBD on social media? ›
The truth is, as with other digital platforms, Instagram will not promote cannabis. However, as with Facebook, you can advertise hemp-based topical products only on Instagram. The only catch is to avoid mentioning CBD in your ad content, whether on your landing page, product labels, or your e-commerce page.Can influencers promote CBD on Instagram? ›
Yes, influencers can and do promote CBD on Instagram; however, this does not mean they are allowed to post and advertise CBD on Instagram.Is it legal to advertise CBD products? ›
Google Ads' advertising policy states they do not allow the promotion of CBD because it is viewed as an unapproved pharmaceutical and supplement. Much like running a campaign on Facebook, you still can advertise CBD on Google Ads as long as you do not explicitly sell the CBD of your CBD brand.
Can I sell CBD on YouTube? ›
Again this is because CBD is derived from cannabis which is federally illegal within the United States of America, so YouTube considers CBD products an illegal drug that is regulated and is not eligible for paid promotion of any kind.Can you sell CBD on TikTok shop? ›
Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia are prohibited from sale on the TikTok Shop platform. This includes but is not limited to: Illegal Drugs, chemicals, and raw materials.Is CBD profitable in 2022? ›
It is expected that U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) will reach around 1.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, which would represent a significant increase from around half a billion U.S. dollars in 2018.Who is the target market for CBD products? ›
Who are your target customers? Older or younger people? Men or women? According to recent research, US adults between 25 and 35 years of age use CBD oil or similar products more than those in other age groups.Why is the CBD market growing? ›
Cannabidiol Market size accounted for USD 12.8 billion in 2021 and is estimated to grow with 21.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2028. Rising awareness of health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and its effectiveness in pain management & various other treatments is propelling the CBD industry growth.Who are CBD customers? ›
Women use CBD slightly more than men: 52% of CBD consumers are female, according to Brightfield Group. CBD products popular with women include oil cartridges/vaping, topicals and tinctures. In contrast, the top three CBD products men consume are oil cartridges/vaping, gummies/candies and tinctures.Who is buying CBD products? ›
So – who is buying CBD and why? According to recent research, Americans between the ages of 25 and 35 use CBD more than those in other age groups. Users of CBD are those who consume cannabis with low or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with no psychoactive effects.Is the CBD market saturated? ›
Do you see any opportunities to differentiate yourself or to better serve your target audience? Because CBD is an overly saturated market, your goal should be to identify and fill the gaps, whether that means disruptive pricing, packaging, or even offering local availability.Is CBD allowed on TikTok? ›
Although drugs, controlled substances, alcohol, and tobacco are banned from advertising on TikTok in TikTok ads. Since CBD stems from the cannabis plant, which is federally illegal in the United States of America, TikTok considers CBD a drug and bans the advertising of CBD on its platform.Is selling CBD products a good business? ›
Can you make money selling CBD? Absolutely! More and more people are every day. From starting your own brand to dropshipping to affiliate marketing to retail, CBD has many lucrative business options.
Is CBD a drug? ›
Since CBD is an approved prescription drug, it can't be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. CBD can only be included in "cosmetic" products. But there are still CBD products on the market that are labeled as dietary supplements.Why is CBD popular? ›
The top touted benefit of CBD is pain relief, but mental health benefits are important to millennials, with 67% believing that CBD helps reduce anxiety, 46% say it helps with depression and 41% say it reduces PTSD symptoms.What are the 3 types of CBD? ›
CBD products come in three forms. Full-spectrum CBD has all the components of the cannabis plant, including up to 0.3% THC. Broad-spectrum CBD has all of the components of the plant except THC. And CBD isolate is pure CBD with no other compounds from the cannabis plant.Is CBD drinks legal? ›
Cannabidiol, or as it's better known CBD, is a legal cannabinoid (chemicals found in cannabis) and can be sold in the UK. It's not the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high, called THC.Is CBD oil expensive? ›
Quality CBD oil drops cost between $0.09 – $0.17 on average, with $0.05 on the low end, and premium oils costing upwards of $20 mg per mg. Usually, high-potency oils will be less expensive per mg than low-potency extracts, although the bottle itself will cost more in total.Is the CBD market growing? ›
The market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16.8% from 2022 to 2030. Increasing awareness regarding the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), changing consumer opinion, and the attitude toward CBD products are some of the key factors driving the demand for these products.Why is the CBD market growing? ›
Cannabidiol Market size accounted for USD 12.8 billion in 2021 and is estimated to grow with 21.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2028. Rising awareness of health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and its effectiveness in pain management & various other treatments is propelling the CBD industry growth.How fast is the CBD market growing? ›
Cannabidiol (CBD) Market Size 2022 with CAGR of a CAGR of 28.30% in 2028, covers the entire Coved Situation, focusing on market values, demand, trade and prices by country and product.Can you market CBD on Facebook? ›
CBD companies could advertise if no mention of “CBD” was in the ad or where it links to, including videos, images and landing pages. In 2021, Facebook eased its rules further to allow “hemp-based topical products” to proclaim what they are: nothing ingestible.
Again this is because CBD is derived from cannabis which is federally illegal within the United States of America, so YouTube considers CBD products an illegal drug that is regulated and is not eligible for paid promotion of any kind.
Can you sell CBD on Google? ›
Google, too, has a policy that prohibits CBD advertising on its platform. Even after the 2018 Farm bill passage, many states are yet to develop an excellent regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD. As a result, Google doesn't allow CBD advertising on its platform.