Marketing Specialty Cannabinoid Products

Now that you’ve chosen the specialty cannabinoid products that you want to sell, you need to figure out how to market CBD products. There are special guidelines for CBD products, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with them prior to spending budget on any type of marketing.

You have your CBD products that you want to sell, and while you could wait customers to discover it on your shelves and purchase it on their own, it’s a much better idea to market your product. After all, you can have an exceptional product, but if no one knows about it, they can’t buy it, right? 

Yes, you will get some word-of-mouth sales from customers that are big fans of your product, but you need more than just a few sales. Marketing your products, whether you opt for purchasing direct from a US based CBD manufacturer or creating your own private label CBD products, will be the best way to get on the radars of potential customers.

Marketing for specialty cannabinoid products is similar to marketing any other product with some distinct exceptions. Knowing these exceptions is critical to your success.

Before You Market, Know This

With the passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and the growing interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, the United States Food and Drug Administration has issued regulations for cannabis, cannabis-derived products, and cannabidiol. You must be mindful of what you can and cannot say when marketing these products.

In your marketing, whether it’s an advertisement in the local newspaper or a picture on Instagram, there are certain words and statements that you cannot use, including but not limited to:

  • Treat
  • Treatment
  • Therapeutic use
  • Helps treat 
  • Helps

You also need to avoid making claims about medical use of any kind, and you cannot state that it cures or treats any diseases or illness (e.g., you cannot state that a CBD product is a treatment for cancer). Since CBD is an approved drug and not an “Investigational New Drug,” you cannot market it as a:

  • Dietary supplement
  • Food additive
  • Food product

Finally, another consideration is the use of CBD products with pets (e.g., cats or dogs). If you are going to market CBD products for use in pets, you should follow the same guidelines you would when marketing products for general consumer use.

The guidelines presented above are not all-inclusive, and it is crucial that you have a full understanding of the US FDA’s regulation of these products prior to marketing them. 

While adhering to these guidelines set forth by the US FDA will initially be one of the more challenging aspects of marketing specialty cannabinoid products, you will become more familiar with the “do’s” and “don’ts”.

Ready, Set, Market

After you have a full understanding of the US FDA’s regulations for marketing CBD products, you can begin the process of marketing. There are various channels through which you can market, many of which are cheap or entirely free to use; so even if you don’t have a big marketing budget at the beginning, you don’t have to wait until you save some money to start marketing. 

Additionally, there are distinct types of marketing content that you can produce. You’ll want to make sure you have a variety of types of content across various channels to “cast a wide net” and capture as many potential customers as possible.

Types of Content

If you frequently peruse the Internet or have at least one social media account, these types of content should be familiar:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Emails

Other types of content that you can create include eBooks, webinars, and case studies. Not all types of content will be the appropriate choice for various reasons (e.g., budget/resources, time, goals/objectives). It may take some time to figure out what content works best for you in terms of how well your audience (i.e., current and potential consumers) respond to your content.

Now that you have the idea of what type of content you’ll need to create, we can review the channels through which you can distribute this content.

Marketing Channels

There are the traditional methods of marketing, such as taking out a print advertisement in a local newspaper or magazine or posting a flyer up in the store of your window. And while that type of marketing can be effective for some businesses, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t focus a lot of your efforts in the digital space. 

A 2021 forecast shows that approximately 155 minutes will be spent on the Internet via mobile device on average per day per person. That’s roughly two and a half hours online. You are more likely to reach your target audience online through channels such as social media or even on digital advertisements on newspaper websites. That’s why you should consider these three online channels:

Channel: Social Media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat)

Publish This Content: Photos, videos, infographics

With over 2.6 million monthly active users on Facebook alone, the world is literally at your fingertips when it comes to social media. You can engage with your customers in so many ways. Host a Q&A session on Facebook Live, announce a limited time sale on Snapchat, or promote a new product with an eye-catching photo and clever caption on Instagram. While you can pay to advertise on these sites, you can get a lot of traction from just posting alone.

Channel: Company Website

Publish This Content: Photos, videos, infographics, blogs, podcasts

If you don’t have a website, consider getting one! It will help in terms of search engine optimization when people search for your business or its products online, and you can post a ton of content to serve as resources. Have a gallery full of product photos, post videos that share product information, or write a blog that covers topics that most interest your customers.

Channel: Email

Publish This Content: Emails including photos, videos, and/or infographics

People get enough spam email or email that isn’t worth their time, so make sure yours has a purpose. Use email to announce an upcoming sale or promote a new product. You can even publish a newsletter with information in which your customers will find value. That way, every week, bi-week, or month that you send out your newsletter, they will be reminded of your business and products.

There are more channels that you should consider using, such as search engine optimization and pay-per-click; a well-rounded marketing strategy is made up of a variety of channels. You likely won’t do everything “right” the first time, especially if you’ve never tried to market a product before. As you start to publish content and focus on specific channels, keep an eye on the data: It will tell you where you need to make tweaks to perfect your marketing.