Marketing any product has its challenges, so it probably won’t come as a surprise that marketing a product containing CBD, which has only been legalised in recent years, will require careful consideration and a particularly strong communications strategy. Here are five tips you should keep in mind when embarking on the journey.
- Differentiate yourself
This year sales of products that contain cannabis extracts are expected to more than double, due to the stress and continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The industry estimates the market will reach £690m this year, which is more than double the £314m that was achieved from sales pre-pandemic in 2019. It is clear to see that competition is growing – everyone wants a slice of the pie and you’ll need to find a way to come out on top without simply shouting the loudest (which will most likely prove costly and ineffective).
Know what your product has that the rest don’t. Define your target audience (here’s some advice on how to do that), put yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself why they’d buy your product over one of the hundreds of others out there. Once you know what the unique advantages of your product are, use them in your messaging.
- Build a killer website
If your brand were a book, your website would be its front cover. Even though there’s no guarantee that a good-looking website will sell quality products, your site is your first opportunity to make an impression, as it’s the first place a customer will go to find out about you. Customers are likely to make a snap judgement about your brand, particularly when there’s so much choice available. You need to ensure they have no reason to write your product off.
Have a clear purpose or mission and maintain a consistent brand identity (look and feel, tone of voice, colour scheme). The way you communicate with your customers is key to your differentiation. Create a blog and use it to add value. Show potential customers that you are an industry expert and a credible source of knowledge. Keep the content relevant to your target audience. The more someone trusts you as a brand, the more likely they are to trust what you’re selling.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on Google Analytics to learn about your user demographic and optimise your site accordingly.
- Be transparent
With all the legal restrictions and general uncertainty surrounding CBD, it’s vital that you build credibility by being transparent about your legal licences, terms of service, and privacy policies. Make it known to your consumer that you’re adhering to the official UK laws on CBD and educate them about what companies without medical licenses can and can’t claim. Build trust by being open and dispelling the myths around CBD.
- Build your PR strategy
When trying to navigate the confusing and restrictive world of advertising CBD products, you’ll soon realise you may need to explore other avenues to get your brand noticed. A multi-pronged approach is the way to go, and PR should be a central component of your strategy. Earned media is a great way to build credibility amongst consumers who are concerned about the safety of a product they’re putting into their body. Furthermore, given there’s a legal grey area surrounding the CBD industry, press coverage can really help to position your brand as a safe and reliable choice.
Influencer engagement, when executed well, is another PR strategy that can positively impact the reputation and desirability of your brand. Don’t make the mistake of picking an influencer solely for their popularity; a massive but unengaged audience may improve your impressions but will be less likely to convert to sales. Consider micro-influencers, who have a smaller but much more engaged following, often resulting in increased website traffic and a stronger return on investment.
- Capitalise on digital marketing
70% of online marketers say that SEO is better than PPC for generating sales and 75% of people don’t click past the first page when searching on Google. Meaning SEO is vital to your success. Develop a content strategy that focuses on keywords relevant to the CBD industry, optimise your URLs, include trustworthy links on your site and get other reliable websites to link to yours. Affiliate marketing is another way to drive relevant traffic to your website – this can be done via influencers or a dedicated affiliate advertising network. You might also want to consider building up an email database to retain customers once they’ve entered your site, provided you’re careful to keep content relevant and engaging.
Social media is a no-brainer for any brand, but given restrictions around advertising, it becomes even more important for the CBD industry. Your social pages should contain high-quality photos and videos, relevant hashtags, and content that’s optimised for that channel. Remember, quality over quantity – it’s always better to manage just one or two channels effectively than use them all and try to do too much.
If you’re launching a new CBD product or want to grow your brand’s share of voice, our award-winning PR team can help take your business to the next level. Get in touch with us today.