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Advertising, Marketing

If you run a CBD company, you got in on the business at the right time.

The CBD industry is poised to explode in America. With the country-wide legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, loads of entrepreneurs have already begun to dip their toes in the extremely profitable world of CBD products.

Touted as some kind of wonder drug, CBD appears to work wonders on various medical conditions, both physical and mental. Unfortunately, CBD still suffers from a reputational association with its psychoactive counterpart, THC. 

For that reason, the need for CBD advertising has never been greater. Today, we’re going to discuss how to market CBD products online so you can take your CBD business to the next level.

Products that help with anxiety, depression, inflammation, and even epilepsy shouldn’t make people skeptical. Fortunately, we believe that better CBD advertising can change that. Here’s how to do it.

First Of All, What Is CBD?

If you’re looking at getting into the CBD industry, here’s what you need to know:

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one component of both the hemp and cannabis plants. As stated above, it seems to be a powerful substance for treating many conditions, so it’s been turned into an extremely profitable industry. The CBD oil sector is expected to be worth in the neighborhood of $20 billion by 2024.

That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t had its struggles. Because it’s so new and studies are still being conducted, most of the evidence of the benefits of CBD is anecdotal. This restricts CBD companies’ ability to advertise the way they’d like to, but there’s still a lot of optimism associated with this magical little substance.

For those that have a stake in CBD already, you know about these struggles. Let’s talk about how you can better advertise your CBD company to take it to the next level.

Finding the Best CBD Advertising Strategies

CBD advertising is a little bit different than in other marketing areas. You have to be smart and crafty to advertise your CBD products the right way. It’s all about understanding the challenges and coming up with interesting ways to move past them.

The Problem Thus Far

There are a lot of challenges when it comes to advertising a new CBD product. Here are a few:

  • Not that many people really know what CBD is or what it does. Until the public is better educated on the facts, you have to factor this lack of knowledge into your advertising strategy.
  • The public won’t know much about CBD, let alone accept it as the powerful substance that it is until research uncovers more about its benefits.
  • Despite that, the market is getting crowded.
  • There are massive branding issues for a lot of CBD product manufacturers.

Content Marketing

Developing a great content strategy for your CBD company is among the best ways to find your audience. You’ll notice with other CBD product companies that they take great care in explaining why their products are beneficial through their blog.

Since many of your prospective customers aren’t going to understand what CBD is or does, it’s important that you explain it to them. You want to have a regular stream of engaging and interesting CBD-related content coming from your company. If you establish yourself as an authority on the matter, you’ll see a boost in traffic and sales.

Social Media & Influencer Marketing

Building trust with your audience is also paramount when marketing a semi-foreign substance. You can do this by building a good following on social media and showing them the ins and outs of your day to day operations.

Giving them a peek behind the curtain will help shed light on an industry that has been closely associated with cannabis, which doesn’t have a great reputation. The more you can post about how you extract CBD oil, how you add it to your products, and how using the products is completely safe, the better you can build that trust.

To grow your social media following, you can try out influencer marketing. Since you’re likely going to start with a younger audience, it’s good to find new customers over social media. If you can’t gain their trust on your own, use the clout of someone with their own following to give you a hand.

Not only will this bring in new people, but it can help you build your brand.

Brand Building

Let’s deal with the issue of market crowding. Since there are so many new CBD companies popping up, and we’re sure to see more in the coming years, you’re going to have to take your branding to another level. Building a great brand that can both attract current CBD users and people that are thinking about using it is crucial.

Part of it will come from a great social media feed combined with a solid content strategy. If your website and socials have a great look and a consistent, powerful voice, then you can really establish your brand as a force to be reckoned with in the world of CBD.

Take a look at some other CBD companies and you’ll notice that they all have a similar vibe to them: vaguely medical, naturopathic, or associated with cannabis. If you can break the mold a little bit with something unique, you can get ahead of the competition. But, you have to make it work.

CBD Specific Marketing Pros

There’s no doubt that CBD advertising is a completely different beast than advertising for any other kind of company. The unique challenges that it presents are daunting for most digital marketing professionals, but not us. If you want to advertise your CBD company the right way, use marketers that understand the industry on a deeper level.

At Forge Digital Marketing, we specialize in CBD-specific influencer marketing, social media marketing, web design, SEO, and brand identity design. You don’t have to do the whole digital advertising thing on your own, hire a company that can help you promote your CBD products the right way.

Explore CBD Marketing Tactics here.

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Advertising, Branding
When I was but a child, perhaps about six or seven, I didn’t care what brand I wore. My mother, also, didn’t care what brand I wore. I’m not insinuating that I was a walking fashion disaster – I was not. I was simply decked in obscure, on-sale brands. However, I imagine when I have children of my own I will need those specific shoes from that specific company, honey.
    So while the generation past preferred benefits to personification, my generation has come into the branding world with a giant sledgehammer and completely re-written the rules. With the rise of social media comes the rise of brand identity. Marketing is an ever-changing game, and right now, it’s all about identifying with the product. Okay but people out there still want something that will benefit them, right? I mean, c’mon – we all know that the “in” brands fall apart one year into owning them.
    Not so fast –

Truly successful brands build a strong brand identity and a reputation for quality. Here’s a few that did just that:

Patagonia

College campuses beware – young, handsome collegiates will be wearing Patagonia’s brightly patterned, incredibly obnoxious fleece for years to come. It’s become a symbol across America everywhere that says, “Yeah, I’m involved in Greek Life” or “Yeah, I’m a stoner with a trust fund and a penchant for sleeping outside.” But, all joking aside, Patagonia actually does it job. Really damn well. Patagonia’s quality makes it a reputable choice for all age groups. If that college boy ever finds himself on a mountain, his fleece will keep him warm. That’s the magic – it’s a versatile piece that can serve as a stylish accessory or to do as nature intended it to: climb a freakin’ mountain.
   

L.L.Bean

Another product that has taken the youth by storm and yet never seemingly worn in any of the conditions it was made for: L.L.Bean. Many of LL Bean’s Duck Boots orders are going to people who will never hike or climb in them. Cue the sad music. I’ll wait. Yet with every stitch, LL Bean screams quality. It means that if your feet step off the concrete for a second and you find yourself grizzly-bear watching in Montana, those trusty stylish boots will do their thing.
   

VANS

Those canvas skate shoes sure make you feel edgy when you put them on. Trust me on this., I buy Vans;, I feel like Tony Hawk. Have I ever touched a skateboard? Um… no. However Vans has been around a long, long time, and while they’ve done a good job with their new designs appealing to young people and becoming “hip” once more – they also do their, you know, job. I like to daydream up scenarios where somebody throws me a skateboard and I’ve got these bad boys on. I just hop on and I’m a master. I do a sick 360 flip and everyone cheers. My trusty Vans save the day and I win the skateboarding competition.
  I digress.
So… What’s the Lesson?
Quality is a powerful tool for a product. It’s great to be known for the quality or the performance. Pair this with a strong brand identity and you’ve got a winning combination. If a consumer can a) buy a product as an expression of their identity and b) see that it actually serves a purpose beyond fashion, the consumer now has a brand that can satisfy both needs. It’s a yes from me!
    Do you have a great product or service but struggle to convey its benefits to your customers? Are you looking to build a brand that better resonates with your target audience? Hit us up today for a free consultation. We’d be glad to offer advice and strategic tips to getting your quality brand in front of your perfect people 🙂 Talk to us! http://www.forgedigitalmarketing.com
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Advertising, Branding
Today we’re covering the all an important concept in Advertising: The Brand Gap. Huh? Excuse me? What in tarnation is that? The Brand Gap could be defined as bridging the gap between creativity and strategy, a.k.a what you think your brand is and how it’s actually perceived by potential customers and brand loyals. How you view your marketing strategy will play a significant role in how your product sells. Don’t believe me? Think of all the brands that failed miserably because they failed to recognize their brand aura. Instead of focusing on what the consumer has decided they are, they ignore this and choose their personality themselves. You might be saying, “Ok that makes no sense – we, the marketers, decide what our brand wants to be known for.” You may think that advertising professionals sit up in ivory towers rubbing their hands together, waving magic wands and declaring that their brand is now a cool/funny/edgy brand with one clever piece of copy. Well, that isn’t exactly how it works. http://giphy.com/gifs/crystalstarr-l0ExpNqEegk5eVW2A Word of mouth can be the silent killer of many a product – how the consumer sees your brand aura, how they talk about your brand, controls your image more than you would like to think. The first lesson of bridging the brand gap is realizing that your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what the consumer says it is. (Gulp) Okay, enough words. I know how much you all love pictures. A good visual example of brands that have crossed the Brand Gap and become “charismatic brands” are: Bridging the brand gap | McDonalds These are the brands in America that we can’t live without. Maybe you think to yourself, “Um, I’m SUPER healthy, I can DEFINITELY live without McDonalds. Or Coke. Also, if you aren’t from Kansas are you sure you own a tractor?” The point is that you know these brands, they are familiar to you, and you can identify what they stand for. On a smaller scale, such as local advertising, being the “go-to” coffee shop in town could be considered a charismatic brand. http://giphy.com/gifs/season-1-episode-8-showtime-3ohfFE19LpU939JqHC So the question is, do you have what it takes to capture a consumer’s heart as well as strategically orient yourself as an essential part of their lives? A great way to start building your customer base is through TRANSPARENCY! WHAT? Here’s an article to prove it. Want to make advertisements that will help you become a charismatic brand and bridge that brand gap? Check out this one. http://giphy.com/gifs/80s-chappelles-show-kazoo-kid-4nI8xTsPdwhs4
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Advertising, Marketing
I won’t try to sugarcoat this: staying fit in America is hard. It’s like clawing yourself out of a deep pit of fried foods, endless ice cream and oodles of full fat coffee drinks. It’s no easy task. Many of us, myself included, fall back time and time again. There’s about a 50/50 chance I’m either valiantly running miles around the track or spooning to the bottom of a Ben and Jerry’s. There really is, on any given day, an equal chance for both of these outcomes. Don’t test me. This is why marketing “Fitness” is so hard. We are all bandwagon fans. How do you switch the consumer from seeing the gym, or your fitness class, a piece of equipment, et cetera, as “sometimes, occasionally, not really, not my thing” to “a daily practice, part of the routine, in my schedule” ?

Go digital

This one is very important. These days, everything is online, and a product’s online presence is almost as important as its physical one. A nicely designed website and social media campaign goes a long way. I’m not going to purchase your fitness product if I can’t find any information about it online, or even worse, the website is a hot mess. (Sorry, website.) Better yet? Get yourself an app.

Get those testimonials

I really like before and after pictures, and it turns out I’m not the only one. I like reading about how a person’s life completely changed after using a product. I mean, this person was a real mess, right? And then they use this new product and in a month they have an awesome job, lost twenty pounds and are having terrific luck in the stock market. Every product, especially when it comes to the fitness industry, needs to bulk up on its brand trust. Testimonials are a great way to do this. If you’re confident in your product, it shouldn’t be an issue gathering a few testimonials to drive home that you can be trusted.

Invest in photography

You know what doesn’t catch someone’s eye? A grainy iPhone shot of your product propped against a white background that could (although not confirmed) just be curtains. It’s worth it to get a few great shots of what you’ve got. If someone asks you what exactly it is that you’re selling, wha-BAM! you whip out a photo of your product in action. It’s so moving that people are crying as they pull out their check books.

Understand that launching a new fitness product is hard work. Take the time to create a kick-ass website and a message for yourself. Invest in photos that represent the product as it should be, and what it can become to your target audience. As a culture, we have gravitated towards the “feel” and “aesthetics” of fitness. The sleek, fresh new styles that we incorporate into our digital lives (think FitBit) and physical (those sleek new Nikes you have your eye on) have replaced the epic era that was practical red jumpsuits and sexy sweatbands. A website, message and compelling photography will help propel your brand into the spotlight. Ready to get started with those sweet photos? Check out this post on how to take better pics for your online business.
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Advertising, Creative, Marketing
Hi there! We need to talk. I couldn’t help but notice that your advertising is falling a bit flat these days. Don’t get defensive just yet: this happens to more companies than you might think. You fall into the same old, same old pattern that everyone is doing and eventually our fearless consumer can’t tell (or simply doesn’t care) that your product is The Best Product Ever!™ because they cannot for the life of them distinguish you between all the other noise they’re hearing on the daily. Look, buddy, I’m not even going to ask you how you got into my office. I don’t have the budget or creative genius required for high-profile advertising – I’m just trying to get my message out there! Fear not, I have good news. You don’t have to be a genius or have a huge budget to put forth some truly stellar work. Unfortunately, your refusal to believe that there are better ideas out there on the creative horizon are holding you back. Let me show you how to cut the cord and banish boring advertising copy to historical archives (where it belongs.)

Push a few boundaries.

I’m not talking about deciding to litter your copy with profanity or calling out your competition or any number of ways you may take this tip and twist it into an excuse to behave badly. I’m talking about playing on words – and to stop taking yourself so seriously! Geez! The last thing you want to do is cause an uproar and have your consumers clamoring at your office doors for an advertisement copy that brought you and your coworkers to tears (it was just so funny, you didn’t mean any harm!) a week ago. There is a very fine line between tongue-in-cheek-advertisements and now-society-hates-you copy that could land you, and your product, in hot water. This advertisement is clearly labeled towards the younger demographic but it’s also a clever play on words. It pushes a few boundaries but it offers a delicious alternative to America’s Favorite Pastime (wait, I thought that was baseball?). Make the consumer smile and shake his head. I need some camaraderie in these copies! Walk the fine line of pushing a few boundaries in your copy and you will reap the benefits.

Make ‘em cry

Okay, you say to me, I see where you’re coming from – but my product can’t be sold like that. I’m selling baby diapers, wrinkle cream, life insurance! This leads me to the second tip of the day: resonate with the consumer by going the sentimental high road. I’m a firm believer that if you are making the target audience laugh or cry you’re doing a good job. People remember the things that make them laugh, and the things that make them cry. https://youtu.be/Cjq50t_-JFo I have sobbed in public places due to the MetLife Hong Kong commercial. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. This is of course a large-budget kind of execution, but the sentiments are the same. If you can get your advertisement to resonate with the consumer you will not soon be forgotten. Advertisements that preach happy, generic smiling faces are advertisements that make me yawn, what else is around for me to look at? Here I believe is a two in one: pushes some boundaries with the imagery but also catches the eye and makes a person think about what the advertisement is really trying to say. They may stop, be intrigued, and want to learn more. If you are trying to speak upon the dangers of emotional abuse by showcasing a happy child who has already worked past their abuse, your audience will not be so captivated. After all, that child is safe and happy now, so why should they worry? Another cool example of hitting the sentimental button in a consumer’s brain.

Guerilla Marketing

This is easily one of the best, low-budget, high-recognition advertising strategies out there. And trust me when I say, it certainly won’t be boring. If you’re anything like me (and I hope you are not) when you first heard of Guerilla Marketing your initial thought was: What the hell is Guerilla Marketing? In which case my ever-patient professor went on to explain it and all was made clear. Therefore in this same knowledge-sharing spirit, let me explain Guerilla marketing to you. This is Guerilla marketing: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fimages%2Fmr.clean-urban-marketing.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fblog%2Fws%2F2014%2F09%2F22%2Fguerrilla-marketing-examples&docid=ITbQopbSaxkNXM&tbnid=sVC_qo5kUxXSiM%3A&vet=1&w=600&h=399&client=safari&bih=696&biw=788&q=Guerilla%20marketing&ved=0ahUKEwiH8ZqX6dHRAhVn6IMKHZSnAfwQMwitASgAMAA&iact=mrc&uact=8 This is Guerilla marketing: http://favbulous.stfi.re/post/1278/80-creative-ads-campaigns?sf=yoklopo And this is Guerilla marketing: Guerilla marketing is essentially displaying some ingenuity when it comes to your advertisements and the environment around you. It’s difficult to find advertisements more engaging than the ones Guerilla marketers come up with. Consider where your target demographic frequents and scope the area out. Now for the fun part: making use of those spaces.The park bench is now an advertisement, the floor you walk on, the wall you lean on. It’s hard to ignore. For a low budget campaign, Guerilla marketing can be a cost-effective option that reaches a lot of foot traffic. I hope with a little creative elbow grease you can finally ditch the boring advertising copy you have burdened yourself with and enter into the world of actually surpassing your sales quota. Alright, I know, a little harsh – but a good marketer recognizes that the world is saturated enough as it is with flashy advertisements. An advertisement that can make a person stop for even two seconds and think – “Huh” – is a brand that is on its way to success.
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