Ep 15 | Marketing Tips in the CBD World
Now one thing that I love, and we've talked a little bit about, is testimonials. I've been saying a lot about how we can't really talk about ourselves, we can't really talk about our products and the benefits we've seen. But we can talk about our customers experience. Or better yet have them talk about their experience. And we do this in a lot of ways.
Sami here – guest hosting. You might remember me from Episode 8 when I interviewed Ryan and answered a bunch of your questions. I'm excited to be coming to you more and more as a host on this podcast and create content for you. I know we have quite a few of you that are starting your own businesses and wanting to get into the industry in one way or another. I thought I would come to you and talk to you about what it's like to be in marketing in the hemp/CBD world. There are a ton of challenges and amazing benefits so I wanted to talk to you a bit about marketing in the CBD world.
How the 2018 Farm Bill “changed” things
In 2018, you could grow hemp legally nationwide as long as it was 0.3% THC or lower. This was a big deal in opening up the market to be a bit more active. That being said, it still wasn't necessarily available nationwide. There are still some states that aren't hemp friendly which has created some issues. And it also put CBD under the jurisdiction of the FDA. There are lots of things that come into play there when it comes to marketing product.
There is still a struggle with banking, software, companies, in separating hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD. These obviously have varying levels of THC. Even if you're creating a THC free product or one from legally produced hemp, we wanted to bring this to your attention.
In any form of healthcare or health and wellness, it's always important that you don't make claims. This is the same in finance. And this isn't necessarily a legal thing, although it does come into play with CBD products. It's more so that you don't want to come out saying, “our product delivered these results and you can have it too.” When it's something that hasn't been evaluated by the FDA then you can't make a claim for it. And it's a quick way, in the marketing world, to get yourself into a whole lot of trouble. So we don't want to do that.
It's also important to include an FDA disclosure on a lot of things. We have it on our podcast when we're talking about benefits. We have it on our website and packaging as much as necessary. Having a disclosure that says that the FDA hasn't evaluated our product and individual results may vary. I'm not a lawyer so get your disclosure checked by your lawyer. Don't take this as everything you need to do.
Another way it's getting tricky is that a lot of software companies are struggling to separate cannabis and hemp-derived products. Different states have different rules so its tricky to separate things out.
Make sure the software companies that you're using in your business are hemp/CBD friendly. This isn't just credit card processing. It's also what you use for your email marketing and the platforms you use for scheduling. Just make sure they're hemp friendly so you don't find out that they're not and they lock you out of your account. We're hoping this will change things sooner rather than later but just be aware.
When it comes to social media – make sure you pay attention to their rules and regulations.
You don't want your account to be locked out. Facebook has come out saying that cannabis/hemp companies can have business accounts. You can put content out there and feel ok about it. Just don't make claims.
You also can't operate a store through Facebook and Instagram. You'll need to do that through your website or brick and mortar. You can't sell through their platform.
This is true even for merch. At Freedom Hemp Co we don't sell our merch via Facebook and Instagram because it says ‘hemp' on the product.
We don't run ads on social media.
There are people running ads with certain keywords but we feel better about waiting till they are hemp/CBD friendly so we don't get our ad account flagged. We believe the tides will change!
We love testimonials!
We share our client stories on our podcast so they can share their experience. This also includes a disclaimer. It connects with you on a personal level and shares what someone with your symptoms that has benefited from CBD. This keeps us away from “diagnose,” “treat,” etc.
Another thing we do is affiliate marketing.
You can get in front of new audiences with people sharing your product that they already love in front of people that are in their world. The commission you pay for those affiliates is part of your marketing budget.
If you've been wanting to get involved in the CBD market, than being an affiliate of products you already love can be a great way to add additional income. Or even better, be part of what pays for your CBD product you're already purchasing.
We believe in authenticity.
There is so much misinformation about CBD. So be truthful about the product you're repping and promoting. Don't mislead your customers. It's not just about the bottom line, it's about longevity and being transparent about what it is you're selling.
If you have any questions, leave them for us in the Hemp School Podcast private Facebook group.
Time Stamped Notes
(0:46) Sami is guest hosting
(2:34) How the Farm Bill of 2018 “changed” things
(4:36) Include an FDA disclosure
(5:12) Not all software companies are CBD friendly
(6:43) Utilizing social media
(8:06) Running ads on social media
(10:24) Affiliate Marketing
(12:16) Be authentic
FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding CBD have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of CBD products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. The Information that you will find on our website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.
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Each week, we’ll bring you the latest news, educational resources, and testimonials in regards to the hemp and CBD industries from our team, stable of experts and people just like you.
We believe strongly in the benefits CBD has to offer for your health and the impact farming industrial hemp can have on farming communities.