CBD Advertising: How To Advertise A CBD Brand In 2021

Millions are spent in CBD advertising every day.

I know it’s hard to tell with so many CBD advertising laws, but it’s happening. This is good news. Even with all of the regulations, it means the space is still ripe with opportunity. In fact, it’s arguably the best time to advertise your CBD brand online.

Of course, you can’t use many traditional methods to do this.

So in this article, we’re going to go over all the ways to effectively do CBD advertising without getting in trouble with the law or messing up your standing with any ad network. This includes understanding of regulations, channel strategy, examples, and way more.

Let’s talk about it…

CBD Advertising Regulations 101

Unlike most other industries, it’s not the competition that makes CBD hard to sell. It’s the strict laws and regulation that make it hard to even acquire any ad space in general.

Right now, medical marijuana is allowed in 33 out of 50 states, plus Washington DC. In addition to that, there’s also the Farm Bill that passed in 2018. It still contained strict rules, but at least it allowed for hemp to become legal at a federal level.

Yet, it’s still a very grey area with no straightforward answer in sight.

On top of that, many ad networks are still a bit iffy on CBD. Some networks like FB have started to allow CBD, but only under very specific conditions. In other words, things are still very confusing for the average CBD business owner.

We haven’t even gotten to health claims either, which you should stay away from.

With all of that said, there is still opportunity in the CBD advertising space. All you have to do is understand how to properly use every channel to promote your product legally.

CBD Advertising On Facebook

Facebook is the most popular ad network these days for DTC brands. For the longest time though, they had an all out ban on everything even remotely hemp related.

Today, while things are still a bit iffy, they allow topical CBD products now.

Here’s how I suggest you go about it though…

  • Create a new FB ad account for your CBD brand. Remove any mention of CBD on it.
  • Buy a new domain specifically for the landing page to sell your CBD product
  • Feel free to use CBD images, but stay away from any copy related to CBD
  • Explain the benefits of your product without mentioning CBD
  • Create FB ads that don’t mention or show anything CBD related
  • Target audiences who have an interest in hemp oil and more

Doing this minimizes your chances of getting the Facebook hammer. This includes topical CBD products as Facebook still wants you to stay away from saying anything CBD related.

CBD Advertising On Google

Google is by far the biggest ad network in the world. Luckily, it’s possible to advertise your CBD products there too.

  • Create a new adwords account specific to CBD and CBD advertising
  • Use the paid search ads feature while keeping everything else the same
  • Select keywords and match types for things like CBD and hemp
  • Write your copy by implying CBD, but not directly saying it’s CBD
  • Develop a landing page that doesn’t directly sell CBD

If you notice, there’s a pattern here starting to form. The main thing is to imply what your product is CBD, but don’t actually say it directly. Otherwise, that’s when you get into conflict with an ad networks terms and conditions.

CBD Advertising On Youtube

Youtube is owned by Google, so they’re going to have many of the same terms and conditions, if not the exact same ones. This means the trend of not directly promoting CBD in your ads and landing pages will need to go on. However, there is an alternative strategy you can try.

Youtube influencers.

Youtube influencers are of some of the highest ROI influencers you can ever hire…

  • Youtube videos can make sales for years after you’ve paid for them
  • Youtube videos are generally more influential than short form videos
  • Youtube videos end up having more natural call to actions

Best of all, you don’t have to worry about any terms or conditions. Yes, the influencer still can’t make any health claims and stuff, but they can directly sell the CBD product. This makes for much more direct response friendly promotions.

So if you sell CBD, it’s more than worth it to build an army of influencers who can promote your product. 

CBD Advertising On Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook. This means you still have to deal with their terms of conditions. Again, this includes staying away from saying anything related to CBD, whether it’s on your ads or your landing pages.

With that said, like Youtube, influencer marketing is probably a better option.

More specifically, you want to work with influencers to do swipe up stories. Doing so…

  • Allows you to be seen on Instagrams highest engaging feature
  • Get the most out of your sponsored content through direct response
  • Is more influential than a Instagram image or video

Again, your influencer can’t make any health claims. But they can directly sell CBD and its features. So if you can’t have 100 Facebook ad sets selling your product, replace it with 100 Instagram influencers all telling their fans to swipe up to buy your product.

CBD Advertising On TikTok

TikTok advertising is extremely new and extremely promising, but not for CBD. In fact, they have an extremely strict anti-drug policy, which includes CBD. So it’s going to be a hard “no” when it comes to selling your wares there.

With that said, TikTok offers something no other channel does…

The world’s most engaging feed.

On TikTok, anyone can become an overnight sensation. You can film a TikTok video today and have 1,000,000 views on that video by the end of the week. Likewise, you can hire a cheap TikTok influencer who can also experience the same.

Of course, nothing is a guarantee.

With that said, this is probably the most interesting channel to test if you’re a CBD brand. Either you can start a health related TikTok or you can give tons of free products to TikTokers who then promote your product for you. Regardless of the route you take, TikTok’s algorithm will help you do things other social media channels won’t let you do. 

CBD Advertising On Snapchat

If you’re a CBD brand looking for an ad network that access CBD advertising without all of the bobbing and weaving, then Snapchat is your place. For now, they’re the only network that has directly allowed blatant CBD ads.

The catch? You still can’t have THC in your products.

You also still can’t make any health claims and your ads have to be age gated. These are mild restrictions compared to what you need to do to run Facebook and Google ads.

Besides this, it just comes down to creating compelling ad creative.

This means creating Snapchat ads that gain attention, increase desire, and leads to outbound clicks. For example, there’s no reason why you can’t hire an Snapchat influencer to create a quick review video with a strong CTA and then run it as an ad.

Not only do you get the benefits of “authentic” influencer marketing, but it ends up being cheaper than paying the influencer to post on their feed.

CBD Advertising Examples: Honest Paws

I know it’s hard to come up with CBD advertising concepts when it sounds like almost everything violates terms and conditions. But I promise you, it is possible. You just have to be creative about it.

One great example of this is Honest Paws.

Notice anything?

There isn’t a single mention of CBD, hemp, marijuana, or anything else. Instead, Honest Paws uses benefit driven words like “calm” and “wellness” to replace any CBD claims. There’s also no visual representation of CBD anywhere either.

Now check out their landing page…

On the PPD, they casually mention hemp oil.

This is a bit of a grey area, but obviously Facebook is allowing it. The important part is that their ads are as compliant as possible.