In recent years the legislation around CBD usage in the UK and the rest of Europe has relaxed, but legislation that governs advertising CBD products has been slow to change and adapt. This is because, in most cases, it is controlled by American, rather than UK law.
In alignment with federal law in the US, companies such as Google and Facebook classify CBD is a ‘dangerous product’ and as such, limit advertising on their platforms. This holds true for almost every ad platform including Amazon, Pinterest and Twitter, leaving CBD brands with only a handful of options.
How Are CBD Companies Restricted?
Paid channels including Google’s Adwords and Facebook Ads are not available for brand promotion or to drive traffic. In fact, the restrictions are so extreme that if your store sells Non-CBD products as well as CBD products, but advertises only Non-CBD products, it is likely that your account will still be shut down by both Google and Facebook Ads.
Rather than viewing these restrictions as a negative, it should be seen as an opportunity to get creative and build a solid brand that doesn’t rely on paid traffic. Focusing on creating relevant content, leveraging social platforms and building relationships within the industry is a good long-term strategy for sustainable, ongoing traffic growth. This is in comparison to paid traffic which is an ongoing cost and leaves you at the mercy of advertising platforms and shifting terms and conditions.
What Options are Available for CBD Companies?
There are a number of alternative ways to drive traffic to your website if you are a CBD company. Similar to non-CBD companies there are opportunities to grow your blog, contribute to other sites within the niche, work with influencers, establish a podcast, and to tap into engaged social media audiences.
Create Content on Your Blog
This is effective for the same reasons that it works for non-CBD companies. Firstly, there is the opportunity to rank for longtail keywords which will bring new visitors, relevant to your website. And once the content is up, provided it is evergreen (not time-sensitive), you can enjoy new traffic at no cost. Secondly, it is something that can be promoted to your followers. Once the content is on the blog, share it with everyone that might be interested. This includes your mailing list and followers on social networks.
To Establish Yourself as an Authority
A blog is especially important as there is a growing market for and interest in CDB products. By providing high quality, reliable content you can position your company as an authority in the niche and convert interest visitors into clients.
For SEO Purposes
Articles that target relevant search terms can drive traffic to your site as they look for alternative ways to treat their symptoms.
To Bring Customers Back to Your Site
If you are building up a following on social media or your subscriber email list, you need to give them reasons to come back to your website. Relevant, high-quality content that addresses their issues or concerns is a powerful way to engage with your followers.
Youtube is an exciting opportunity for CBD brands because it’s free to share videos, and the reach of the platform is second only to Google. On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day worldwide and, in the UK, it’s the second most popular platform after Facebook with 79% of online adults using the platform. CBD companies can post videos on the platform, sharing about the products that they sell and how to use them. Stay away from sales talk, and rather focus on why the products are effective, what they can be used for, and how to use them properly.
Outreach and Features
Collaborating with businesses within your niche is a good way to get the word out about your company. By tapping into new audiences, you can reach prospects that haven’t heard about your brand but are interested in the type of products that you offer. A feature on a niche-related blog is effective because, for this to work, it is important that there should be a good overlap in your target demographic.
The benefits of brand visibility and the potential to reach customers on social media without any risk of getting your account shut down makes influencer marketing one of the best ways to market CBD products. Through influencer marketing, CBD brands can reach customers that are highly engaged and are interested in health and wellness products. In addition, an unbiased third-party review goes a long way to convincing people that don’t know your brand to buy. This thinking is based on research showing that 90% of consumers trust recommendations made by others (even if they don’t know the person) over brand content.
Influencers also create user-generated content that you can use on your brand’s website and social networks. An influencer partnership (or brand advocate) has the ability to drive a stream of regular traffic to your website and social pages and is easily measurable so you can see whether the partnership if working for you.
Establishing a Podcast
Podcasts are quickly growing in popularity as they’re an easy way to access information. And because podcasts are available on your phone, they can be listened to during a commute, at home making dinner or as a way to find new information without having to spend time on a computer.
While the idea of podcasting is still relatively new in Europe, the continent is fast catching up with this American trend. In Sweden, for example, podcasting has grown by 36% in just two years, and in the UK 23% of adults have listened to a podcast, with 76% taking action following an ad or sponsored message. This points to exciting opportunities for CBD companies, both as a host of a podcast as well as the potential for effective advertising.
This tactic is an often neglected, but very powerful way to generate traffic. It is a time-consuming approach but offers several important benefits. These include the ability to interact ‘one-on-one’ with potential clients and at the same time, position yourself as an authority in the niche. The content may also rank for long-tail keywords as well as adding value for SEO as most forums allow you to link back to your site in your profile.
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind:
- Forums should be relevant and have some existing CBD topics that you can contribute to
- Focus on providing quality content and don’t be spammy
- Start new threads because people are most likely to read the first post
- Post regularly to keep generating traffic
Useful forums include Quora and Reddit, although smaller, niche health forums with existing CBD conversations may also be a good place to contribute.
The restrictions on CBD sellers mean that many of the ‘quick wins’ are not available, such as advertising on Facebook and Google. But for companies that are willing to be a bit creative and put a long-term traffic strategy in place, the sky is the limit!