If you've ever asked can you advertise CBD on Facebook the answer is yes! Just follow these simple rules to get your CBD ads approved on FB. Want to advertise your CBD brand on Facebook? Here's a deep dive into all things Facebook marketing & CBD, from the restrictions to the workarounds. Promoting CBD ads on Facebook can be difficult when you’re not used to jumping through hoops. We make the process simple and easy. Click to learn how-to!
How Can You Advertise CBD On Facebook?
With increasing competition in the hemp-derived CBD marketplace in the USA, UK, and other EU countries, CBD marketers are asking, can I advertise CBD on Facebook and other social media platforms like Instagram, and TikTok.
Facebook advertising for CBD is an important channel for every CBD company so it’s understandable that new CBD companies are focusing on social media.
However, while it is possible to advertise CBD on Facebook, and we have managed several ad campaigns on Facebook for many of our clients, Facebook marketing, or more specifically, Facebook advertising just won’t work for some CBD companies.
This doesn’t mean that CBD companies should avoid marketing on Facebook. Social media is really just a necessary evil for CBD companies – and cannabis companies as well.
Your brand must have significant visibility on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and maybe Twitter, for one purpose only – PR or public relations.
The most effective way for companies to market CBD on Facebook and other social channels is to use the platforms for PR in order to create brand awareness, product trust, and to educate potential customers with the “features & health benefits” of your products.
But what about CBD advertising – can you advertise CBD on Facebook?
In terms of Facebook advertising for CBD, there is an alternative for some companies to market CBD on Facebook using Facebook & Instagram ad campaigns for prospecting & retargeting.
That’s right! It is possible to advertise certain types of CBD products on Facebook and on Instagram.
Below, we’ll outline how to advertise CBD on Facebook effectively and as per Facebook’s own advertising policies.
Can You Advertise CBD On Facebook?
Yes, you can advertise CBD on Facebook, but…
In order to get your CBD ads on Facebook approved, your campaign needs to be set up in a certain way to be accepted and effective for the long term, with no worries of being banned, shut down, and/or thrown in Facebook jail.
The reason a unique campaign set up is required as opposed to using a standard Facebook campaign set up has to do with the way Facebook views Hemp, CBD, THC, and Cannabis/Marijuana.
To keep this super simple, I can sum it up like this:
Facebook’s advertising policies do allow for the advertising and promotion of hemp-derived CBD topical products only, as long as these products and the website that they are sold on have no mention of the word CBD (or THC, cannabis, marijuana).
To be clear, you can advertise hemp topicals, creams, lotions, salves, sport sticks, and other CBD products that are applied to the top of the skin and are not to be ingested in the body, i.e. eaten, swallowed, chewed, or taken orally.
The challenge is that you will need to build additional infrastructure – i.e. an additional e-commerce website or an e-commerce landing page – that has absolutely no mention of CBD, THC, or any other cannabinoid.
I’ll break down the process that your CBD brand should take in order to successfully advertise CBD on Facebook.
How To Advertise CBD on Facebook
So, how can you advertise CBD on Facebook and not get banned?
The first thing to understand about getting CBD ads approved on Facebook & Instagram is that Facebook’s advertising policies actually do allow you to advertise CBD on Facebook – if follow the process we outline below.
For context, let’s clarify the confusion.
Facebook’s advertising policies make no mention of CBD, but a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Verge that CBD companies are not allowed to post ads mentioning CBD or ingestible hemp.
The source also notes that Facebook says that using paid CBD advertising to promote posts that mention CBD or ingestible hemp products is also not allowed.
According to digiday , Facebook has now relaxed its outright ban on advertising CBD products.
Therefore, CBD companies are now allowed to run ads for topical hemp-derived CBD products, only, across Facebook & Instagram.
To be clear, you can run CBD ads on Facebook that link directly to “clean” landing pages that feature topical hemp-derived CBD products like lotions, creams, salves, and roll-on’s/sport sticks.
BUT, there’s another but! Keep reading to find out what that is.
Remeber – No Mention of CBD!
Here’s the “other but”…
You will need a separate e-commerce website or a new e-commerce landing page that only features hemp-derived CBD topical products, has no mention of CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids, and does not have a link back to your “main CBD website”.
Note – the Facebook ads can not be linked to a site that contains any CBD products that are labeled as “CBD” or that are ingestable (oils, gummies, capsules, pills, flower, vapes).
The new e-commerce website or landing page that your ads are linked to must have no mention of CBD anywhere on the website or in any of the metadata, SEO title, slug, image alt tags, or page meta descriptions.
The site needs to be “clean” of the word “CBD”.
The word CBD should be replaced with the word “hemp”. This includes the product labels that are featured on this new e-commerce website or landing page.
Our Process For Advertising CBD Products on Facebook
We recommend the following process which will allow you to advertise some of your CBD products on Facebook & Instagram. We feel this process is relatively simple and effective. We’ve used it several times in the last 12-month to advertise CBD on Facebook for some of our clients.
1. Create a “Clean” Landing Page – CBD Free
The first step is to design and develop a new e-commerce landing page on a new domain/URL that does not have the word “CBD” included.
It’s super important to note here that this landing page must be an e-commerce landing page. The online sale has to take place on this new domain/URL and landing page, and not on your “main” CBD website.
There can be no link from this “clean landing page” to your “main” company website.
Your digital “infrastructure” will now be two-fold.
1. You’ll have your main/original CBD website (“main site”) which will be used for everything but your CBD Facebook advertising.
- This will be the website that you focus your CBD SEO strategy on and the site where you publish your CBD blog content.
2. You’ll have a new domain/URL and e-commerce landing page (“clean site”) which will be “clean” from the word CBD.
- You’ll need to replace the word “CBD” with the word “hemp” everywhere, including the SEO metadata and the product labels for products featured on this page.
If there is any mention of CBD anywhere on the landing page your Facebook ads will likely be disapproved immediately or within the first 3 days of your campaign going live.
2. How To Optimize Your “Clean” Facebook Landing Page For Conversions
In order for this landing page to be effective, it should be designed & optimized for both online sales as well as email capture. The page should be optimized for these two conversions.
Why? Simply because the data shows that not everyone who visits your website from a Facebook advertisement (or any advertisement) will make a purchase on their first visit.
Optimize For Email Capture:
Conversion rates for online sales are typically around 2%-5% are considered “good”. ‘
So if each visitor isn’t going to purchase, we highly recommend optimizing for capturing their email address by creating a compelling offer that they just can’t refuse.
This way, even if you don’t get the sale from their first visit, you’ll have their email address which can be used to retarget users with CBD advertising campaigns on Facebook in an effort to get them to return to your website.
Or, you can send potential customers relevant emails to their inbox, in order to get them back to the site to complete the purchase.
Optimize For Online Sales:
In order to optimize your new “clean” landing page for online sales from your CBD Facebook ads, you need to consider several user experience (UX) factors like page load time, ease of navigation, mobile friendliness/responsiveness, on-page copywriting, and calls to action.
In addition to the items mentioned above, in order to effectively optimize your CBD facebook advertising for website conversions/online sales, you need to ensure you have created sufficient brand awareness and trust.
We feel the latter should be priority number one. Focus on creating brand awareness and trust, first, and then focus on increasing online sales.
We feel this is the best CBD Facebook advertising strategy because our experience shows us that people will not typically buy a new wellness product like CBD from a brand/website that they do not know of and trust.
However, once any potential customer finds a CBD brand that they trust, they are much more open to purchasing from that brand.
Optimize Your CBD Ad Campaign Set-Up:
If you’re starting any CBD advertising on Facebook we highly recommend starting with a prospecting campaign, i.e. an awareness campaign, where the focus is on creating brand awareness and trust.
Your focus metrics will not be sales revenue but instead, key performance indicators should include engagement factors like:
- Ad Impressions or Video Ad Views
- Percentage of Ad Video Watched
- Engagement Rate
- Clicks to Website
- Cost Per Ad Engagement
- Cost Per Click
- Time Spent on the Website’
- Average Number of Pages Viewed
- Bounce Rate
- Emails Captured
- Online Sales
These prospecting/awareness ad campaigns will target the top of the funnel and create awareness of your brand and your products to target people that have never been to your website before.
The goal is to build a list of people who have engaged with your CBD ad on Facebook or Instagram and then to start retargeting/remarketing campaigns to target all the potential customers who came to your site from the Facebook ad but didn’t purchase, and get them back to the site to complete the sale.
Once you’ve run your prospecting/awareness ads for 30-60 days, you should start your first retargeting campaign and use 2 new custom audiences.
Optimize Your Custom Audiences:
To help increase online sales when advertising CBD on Facebook, we recommend you start using custom and look-a-like audiences for your retargeting/remarketing campaigns that target folks who’ve already engaged with your CBD ads on Facebook and/or have been to your website recently.
You can create a custom audience populated with only people who have engaged with your CBD ads and/or have visited your website from Facebook ads or any other source (organic search, direct referral, other social media).
You can also create a look-a-like audience that Facebook will create for you. They build a brand new audience of millions and millions of other Facebook users who are similar to those who have already engaged with your CBD ads or have visited your website in the past.
This CBD Facebook advertising strategy provides you with a highly qualified, “warm/hot” audience that you can serve customized CBD ads to in their feeds on Facebook and Instagram.
Your focus metrics for these campaigns will be focused on customer acquisition and online sales revenue. Key performance indicators should include acquisition factors like:
- Engagement Rate on Ads
- Cost Per Ad Engagement
- Clicks to Website
- Cost Per Click
- Online Sales
- Cost Per Online Sale
Is There An Alternative To Advertising CBD on Facebook?
Yes, there are actually TWO amazing alternatives to advertising CBD on Facebook and each is a CBD marketing tactic that you should consider for your brand.
- Programmatic Display/Banner Advertising & Retargeting
- Google Search Advertising
Programmatic Display Advertising:
Programmatic display advertising for CBD allows you to have priority ad placements on some of the world’s most popular websites.
Google search advertising allows you to target people who are actively searching to buy CBD products online. These people have the intent to purchase.
A simple definition of programmatic advertising by Digital Marketing Institute is: “The use of software to buy digital advertising”.
The great thing about using this tactic is that CBD advertising is allowed!
We feel programmatic display/banner advertising is a great alternative to Facebook advertising because the advertising tools are the same as what Facebook offers.
So instead of targeting people on Facebook or Instagram, where you have to go through the extra work outlined above, with programmatic display ads for CBD you can target people on popular websites, create custom and look-a-like audiences, and retarget all website visitors, just like you can do on Facebook.
In terms of costs, display advertising is less expensive than Facebook. We typically recommend a minimum media budget of $50/day per campaign for display ads, and with Facebook ads for CBD, we recommend a minimum spend of $75/day.
The best part is that you can get started with CBD advertising, creating brand awareness, product trust, and increasing traffic to your website much faster using programmatic display ads as opposed to CBD ads of Facebook.
We’d highly recommend this CBD marketing tactic for all CBD brands who aren’t interested in creating a new, clean, “hemp” site that only sells topicals.
Google Search Advertising:
We have been using paid search ads on Google to advertise CBD for many of our clients since 2018!
While Google may say that they do not allow for CBD ads, that’s only partly true.
It is possible to get Google Ads approved on their search network but there is a strict process that CBD advertising agencies and CBD brands must follow.
At this time, Google does not allow for CBD advertising on the Google Display Network or on YouTube.
As for the Google Shopping Network, at this time, they do not allow for CBD product ads in North America, BUT, we have had success running CBD ads on the Google Shopping Network in the EU.
You can check out some of our case studies for CBD Google ads to see what we’ve been able to do using this channel. Here’s a case study on Google Search Ads for CBD in the UK and another case study on Google Ads for CBD in the USA.
We Can Help You Advertise CBD Online!
If you’re interested in using Facebook & Instagram to advertise your CBD products and you’re able to invest in the additional infrastructure required to get your ads approved, we can help you with professional and experienced CBD campaign management.
If programmatic display is something you’d rather try, we can help you get started right away.
We’re also able to advertise CBD on Google search so if social media advertising isn’t for you, we can still help you craft an effective CBD advertising strategy using search ads.
Please email us to request a quote or call us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.
Facebook Marketing in the CBD Industry
How can your business straddle the line between what CBD content Facebook does and doesn’t accept? There are a number of ways. Despite harsh marketing restrictions on cannabidiol, there are ways for your brand to gain attention on the social media platform without using PPC ads.
When it comes to selling CBD on Facebook, there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Unfortunately, Facebook’s guidelines can be fairly vague when it comes to CBD. Despite being a rapidly-growing industry, CBD has yet to properly shake off the stigma associated with illegal (recreational) cannabis.
In fact, CBD itself has different potential effects than the plant from which it is derived. This has led to an increasing number of countries legalising CBD oil and other supplements- as well as an ever-expanding target market of loyal consumers who are keen to see whether the compound can positively affect their wellbeing and suit their lifestyle.
While CBD is a fan favourite across the wellness industry, the fact remains that there are still many hurdles for business owners to jump when it comes to marketing their CBD products. While many other businesses can find their niche in the wellness industry and efficiently market their products using social media, many platforms forbid the paid advertisements of CBD.
Today, we will be taking a deep dive into Facebook’s CBD regulations- does Facebook allow cannabidiol to be marketed on their platform? What rules should business owners consider on the road to creating a fully-fledged marketing plan for social media? We will also have a brief look at some alternative social media platforms and other ways to market a CBD brand that may be more worthwhile in the long run than Facebook advertisements.
What Does the Law Say About CBD?
Let’s get one thing straight: CBD is legal, as long as products meet specific standards (which can differ from country to country and state to state). In the UK and throughout much of the EU, CBD products must contain no more than 1mg of THC (the intoxicating compound found in cannabis) per product. CBD products must also be derived from the hemp (cannabis Sativa) variety of the plant. The best CBD products come with a certificate of analysis (COA) that verifies precisely which plant compounds (also known as cannabinoids) are present in the product.
When looking at CBD advertising laws, the rules are also fairly murky. As a general rule, brands cannot make any outlandish health claims about their products. CBD cannot be said to cure serious illnesses or symptoms of various ailments.
In the UK, CBD is generally considered to be a supplement for wellbeing and general health, and must be marketed outside of a medical context.
Facebook Advertising Policy
When most brands talk about advertising on Facebook, this refers to the reasonably straightforward practice of producing an ad campaign full of sponsored posts on Facebook’s website, which will appear as part of targeted posts as potential consumers scroll through their feed.
However, this is not the case for CBD, which is (for the most part) not allowed to be traditionally advertised on the platform. Businesses can still post about CBD; however, paid advertisements are out of the question. Recently, the platform has decided to loosen its guidelines around certain hemp products, which we will discuss shortly. However, for those businesses which specialise in non-topical products, it’s worth looking into certain advertising alternatives.
So, what does Facebook say about CBD in particular? Nothing. The truth is, Facebook’s advertising policy is relatively vague, and only mentions’ illicit products’ (which can include supplements for adult use, like CBD).
As part of this, paid ads must not include references to, or promotions of, any illegal or misleading products- particularly where health and wellness is concerned. As CBD is derived from cannabis (a plant that is not yet legal on a federal level in the US, where Facebook is based), Facebook doesn’t allow it to be promoted on the platform.
While this might initially seem easy to work around- after all, CBD isn’t the same thing as cannabis- Facebook’s internal guidelines essentially prohibit hemp products from being seen on their sponsored posts. As the platform is based in the United States, their rules regarding illicit substances extend to those businesses that are not registered in the US- meaning even European CBD companies must comply to the rules of their platform.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the line for advertising CBD on Facebook. As the legal situation surrounding cannabidiol continues to develop, it’s likely that Facebook may relax their attitudes towards paid advertisements as well.
While Facebook hasn’t yet made their specific policies towards CBD public, it’s essential to do your research when it comes to how they have treated CBD brands in the past. By inadvertently breaking the rules, your business can quickly find itself prohibited from posting, or altogether banned from the platform. As such, making the wrong post on Facebook can be a waste of valuable marketing time and budget for your brand.
A Promising Future
As of 2019, Facebook has loosened their grip on advertisements for hemp-derived products by allowing topical hemp products to be advertised on their platform- under strict regulations, of course.
Thanks to this change, advertisers can direct potential customers to landing pages featuring hemp-based skincare and potentially CBD. However, as Facebook prohibits ads featuring ingestible CBD, the landing pages for topical hemp products should also not feature any mention of the compound.
Of course, this can be quite a problem for CBD brands whose websites showcase their products effectively! Unfortunately, it is one issue that must be either avoided (by not using sponsored Facebook ads in the first place) or dealt with directly (which may be easiest for skincare-only CBD brands).
However, the fact that Facebook is beginning to relax their regulations at all can be taken as a good sign of the future. It is widely speculated that these guidelines will continue to relax across all social media platforms, mirroring the broader scope of CBD acceptance across the world.
How Can You Market CBD on Facebook?
Of course, as with most rules, there are ways to get around Facebook’s CBD ban- especially considering the fact that they’re slowly opening their doors to the compound. While there is always a risk of CBD brands being penalised, here are a few ways to help ensure your Facebook marketing efforts are rewarded:
- If you mention CBD in your Facebook advertisement, you are only allowed to drive the traffic to an educational page through a Learn More call to action. It doesn’t stop there, you need to make sure your educational page also complies (Facebook scans this too) – NUOPTIMA can help out with this.
- This means you can’t drive high intent conversion traffic from Facebook to your website if you refer to your product as CBD!
- If you instead call your product Hemp, you are allowed to drive traffic to a shoppable page. There is a fine line you will have to walk if you’re driving traffic for ingestibles vs topicals. This is also something NUOPTIMA can help you with.
- There are also other clever ways to acquire the email addresses of users interested in CBD without pushing traffic to shoppable pages initially, such as quizzes and well crafted landing pages.
Keep in mind is that Facebook’s approval process for paid ads is largely automated. So, their bots will thoroughly inspect every aspect of your ad, from the images to the text and landing page (including the contents of your website) in order to decide whether or not the ad should be approved according to Facebook’s internal guidelines.
However, we have noticed when advertising CBD or Hemp, your ad is more likely to go through a manual approval process. If you push too many uncompliant ads live you can risk your account being banned. In this case, working with an agency is highly beneficial, you get the benefit of their experience and access to experienced Facebook reps which can pre-approve adverts.
It’s important to note that, even if your advertisement doesn’t include mention of the word CBD, the landing page it redirects to on your website also cannot mention the substance. This can present quite a problem for those brands who use ‘CBD’ in their name and general product identity- and this problem is, for the most part, still ongoing. Some brands create a new website for the sole purpose of selling their topical hemp products, and some brands have managed to effectively negotiate with Facebook to work around this ban. In contrast, others prefer to forgo paid Facebook advertising altogether and instead go via an alternative (which we will discuss shortly).
Can You Advertise CBD on Facebook?
Yes! Facebook is one of the most popular advertising platforms on the internet. The key to success is to understand how to channel the correct intent traffic to the correct landing page.
The Best Strategies for CBD Advertising on Facebook
Considering how incredibly secretive Facebook is about their guidelines, it’s no surprise many CBD brands are eager to figure out how to properly utilise the platform within their marketing strategy. There are several ways to do this without being overtly banned from the platform, such as targeting keywords like ‘hemp oil’ rather than explicitly mentioning CBD throughout your marketing content.
Native ads are simply those that appear to be average posts on the platform: they aren’t sponsored posts, but they are typically made with the intent to sell a product. Because they aren’t paid advertisements, it is generally okay to mention CBD in these sorts of posts.
As a general rule of thumb, these types of posts aren’t overly ‘sales-y’ and instead focus on a potential benefit of CBD or a way to fit the compound into one’s daily routine. Be sure to stay compliant with general CBD marketing laws, such as avoiding making medical claims, in all your content.
Take care to make valuable content for your customers, as Native ads don’t always lead to conversions- but they can lead to an increased perception of authority and trust in your brand. In turn, this can translate to more leads and conversions in the long run.
Build trust by educating consumers on the importance of third-party lab testing, as well as what your CBD products may be able to do for them.
While common advice says to create a new Facebook account separate from your brand to run non-native ads, this may not be advisable for those CBD business owners who are looking to increase brand awareness via Facebook marketing.
Be Patient and Build Organic Traffic
Most business owners- especially in the CBD industry- will be familiar with the concept of search engine optimisation (SEO). However, many are unfamiliar with the nuanced ways that SEO changes between platforms- Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have different algorithms. Therefore, there are various ways that content must be produced to rank highly in search results.
This means that certain factors must be given more attention than others when it comes to Facebook marketing and CBD- target keywords may be different to the ones on your brand’s website, for example.
It’s vital to be patient when building organic traffic on your Facebook page- many brands make the mistake of ignoring the platform’s guidelines for the sake of gaining CBD-related traffic quickly, when, in actual fact, this can result in a permanent ban from Facebook for your brand- which is obviously not worth it in the long run!
Create a Separate E-commerce Site to Showcase Your CBD Topicals
As CBD and hemp cannot be mentioned anywhere on the landing page your adverts redirect to (which is an issue for most brands who value transparency), many create a landing page that is separate from their site (but which may redirect users to it) as part of their Facebook marketing strategy.
In this way, you can still run paid ads on Facebook, and may still be able to direct potential consumers to your actual website- or have all the traffic from Facebook land on a secondary, topical-focused webpage. While this won’t expose customers to your entire range of non-topical products, it is still likely to increase the conversion rate of your campaign.
While this may still end with your page being flagged and your advertisement being rejected, as long as you have not mentioned CBD or hemp on the page, if you are willing to go through the appeals process, this will likely be overturned.
Another option is to create a compliant page on your website and then edit it after approval, but considering this may impact your overall SEO (and result in action from Facebook if you are found out) this may be riskier than it’s worth.
Avoid Explicitly Mentioning CBD
While non-sponsored posts discussing CBD aren’t entirely banned, there is still a risk that your business’ posts could be ‘shadow-banned’ (a phenomenon wherein a social media platform will unofficially refuse to show your content on the news feeds of your followers).
As with paid advertisements, Facebook has an automated vetting process for the majority of its content. Using bots to ‘read’ each post on the platform, posts that do explicitly mention a taboo topic like CBD can be suppressed. Likewise, any landing pages your posts link to should also avoid mentioning CBD, hemp, or cannabis.
As an alternative, many CBD brands use terms such as ‘plant based wellness’ and ‘organic, natural supplements’ to sidestep Facebook’s censorship. It may even be worth hiring a Facebook advertising agency with a proven track record in the CBD market, simply to avoid having to alter your website or product pages too much to suit the platform.
Focus on Your Brand, Not Your Products
While it may not seem like the best strategy to avoid talking about your products in advertisements, for the sake of staying on Facebook’s good side, it may be worth simply making your campaign more about brand awareness.
This can mean directing potential customers to a page on your website that doesn’t mention CBD, and that instead focuses on brand values and wellness (with some links to pages that may discuss your actual products). Indeed, you may even use paid ad campaigns to drive more traffic to your blog than your products.
Of course, this is not always likely to expose potential customers to your full range of CBD products. However, such a strategy may still lead to conversions in the long run, and may undoubtedly increase overall brand awareness.
If your website is optimised, you may give potential customers the option to sign up for email alerts and other marketing materials where your brand can discuss CBD products more openly than via Facebook ads.
Facebook Advertising Policies in 2021 and Onwards
While there is (of course) no guarantee that Facebook’s CBD advertising guidelines will change anytime soon, the common consensus is that their attitude will continue to change in proportion to legal attitudes in the United States, UK, and rest of the world.
As the stigma against CBD continues to transform into acceptance, it’s likely that many of the internet’s most popular digital advertising platforms (such as Facebook and Google Ads) will follow suit.
Other Ways to Advertise CBD Online
Luckily, until current guidelines change for the better, there are many other ways to market your CBD brand online. Facebook should never be your only advertising option!
Optimise Your Website with the Best SEO Practices
Every business owner knows the importance of maintaining a good online presence- which means that many are also looking to optimise their website using SEO. Essentially, SEO involves complex skills like keyword research, content creation, and web development to improve a website’s rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).
By making sure your website is best positioned to answer customers’ questions about certain topics, you may organically rank higher than other brands in your niche. SEO is generally deemed to be one of the best ways of non-paid marketing at the moment- which also means that many competing CBD brands will also be using it as a leading part of their marketing strategy.
While this can increase the challenges presented by a progressively oversaturated market, there are many ways that your brand can effectively compete with the competition- and outpace them. One way is to hire specialist SEO experts who are experienced in the CBD industry.
As discussed earlier, a good website is vital for any business- especially in the CBD industry, where SEO is a massive part of marketing. One thing that can vastly improve a website is the option for customers to sign up to your email list or newsletter- this can mean that they are notified about new products, sales, items they forgot about and left in their basket, and more.
By closing any possible communication gap between you and your potential customers, email marketing can be extremely effective- and free, for the most part.
Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Two similar (but distinct) types of marketing take place through affiliates and influencers. Both involve a partnership between your brand and someone with a large social media following, and the involvement of an affiliate link somewhere in their content.
Affiliate marketing takes place on a larger scale, while influencer marketing allows for your brand to target a more specific (and often more loyal) niche. You may provide such partners with a unique link to your product, or a discount code for their followers to use. In this way, your business can leverage their considerable following to gain both more brand awareness and more customers.
Make sure you do your research on any influencers, micro-influencers, or affiliates you choose to work with. Their online audience should be reasonably similar to your target market.
Market Your CBD Brand on Social Media
While Facebook’s ban on paid ads for CBD is mirrored across other social media such as Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), Twitter and Tiktok, it is still vital to maintain a brand presence on these platforms. While most social media platforms are subject to the typical CBD marketing laws seen in the United States, EU, and the UK, it is still generally acceptable to post about the potential benefits of your products (as long as your posts are within legal and community guidelines).
Working with influencers who have already found a large following on their respective platform can also serve brands in good stead when they are just starting out. This is primarily due to the fact that influencers are masters of capturing attention online, and many are experts on what they are allowed to post within their niche- without any inconvenient bans on their profile!
By making your social media strategy more about brand awareness and how your products can improve a person’s lifestyle (and less about the products themselves), you can safely cultivate an organic following on a variety of different platforms.
There are a variety of different social media platforms outside of Facebook and Instagram (such as Linkedin and Youtube) which may suit your target market and brand skillset more than others. As such, it’s worth doing the research to see what social media apps and hashtags are most frequently explored by your target market before you begin to form any long-term strategy.
While PPC and other forms of paid ads on social media are extremely common, this is not the norm for the majority of the CBD industry. It is possible for your brand to maintain a presence across Facebook and other social media, but this must be done carefully in order to avoid being permanently banned from the platform.
While this may seem difficult, it’s important to remember that the future of the CBD industry still holds much promise- and the same holds true for advertising CBD online.
Facebook does allow you to advertise CBD, provided you comply with their conditions. You can mention CBD but only if you drive traffic to an educational landing page. You can mention Hemp instead and drive traffic to a shoppable page. You also have to make sure you don’t make any wild health claims. To be successful you should work with an agency to drive the correct intent traffic to the correct page, otherwise you could risk your account getting banned and wasting lots of ad spend.
You may increase brand awareness by simply posting about your products in a native way, as part of non-paid, non-sponsored posting. Likewise, you may wish to enlist the help of an influencer, start a community page, or take other action as an alternative to PPC ads.
Facebook owns Instagram, which means that their guidelines are much the same as their parent platform. There can be no paid advertisements for CBD on Instagram. While certain topical hemp products may be allowed (and their attitudes to CBD are likely to relax in the future), a better way to build a brand presence on Instagram is via native or influencer marketing.
In order to start selling CBD online, there are several things you have to do first, like: Obtain a business license and relevant licenses to sell CBD; Build a website and populate it with content; Advertise your products in a variety of ways (such as through SEO content and influencer marketing); Build a relationship with suppliers, customers, and others who will keep your business afloat; Ship orders to customers once you have fulfilled them.
There are many ways to market CBD online, such as: Email marketing SEO content and blogging Affiliate and influencer marketing Social media marketing
Depending on where you are, how well-established your brand is, what type of CBD you sell, and who your supplier is, the profit margin on CBD products can be anywhere from 20-40%, with many citing that their profit margin is somewhere above 30%.
Most people who buy CBD are curious to try the cannabinoid for its purported effects on overall wellness, such as when it comes to relief and rest. The majority of those who take CBD are in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Most younger consumers are eager to try CBD as part of their mental health and self-care routines, while older consumers are more curious about CBD for relief.
By: Alexej Pikovsky
Alexej is the Co-Founder and CEO of Alphagreen Group, a global acquisition and incubation organization specialized in the health and wellness industry. He began his career in investment banking at Nomura before moving on to become a founding member of Delin Ventures, a venture capital arm investing in leading technology companies and VC funds. Alexej acquired board-level experience as an investor for a large-cap private equity fund before founding Alphagreen in 2019. The firm initially focused on CBD markets and then expanded to focus on all products related to pain, sleep, and anxiety management. The group leverages his interest and involvement in tech-enabled services and background in venture funding to deploy a ‘hybrid aggregator business model’ which helps brands to scale both locally and internationally. They achieve this through their own distribution channels, data science, growth agency and extensive external omni-channel network.
Want to advertise your CBD brand on Facebook? Here’s a deep dive into all things Facebook marketing & CBD, from the restrictions to the workarounds.
What is Direct To Consumer and how can businesses improve their DTC programs
How to Promote CBD Ads on Facebook? Tips for Best Practices
You see it everywhere: CBD gummies, CBD sleep aides, CBD supplements and oils, or anything CBD you can imagine with any kind of shelf life.
TIPS TO PROMOTE YOUR CBD ADS ON FACEBOOK
- Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
- What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
- Promoting CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
- Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
- How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
No longer some kind of “hippie” product, CBD has made its debut on multiple stores shelves, on Amazon and elsewhere across the web and globe. So WHY on , (or some choice language) is it so difficult to promote CBD ads on Facebook?
The answer, of course, lies in the Facebook advertising policy.
You see, it wasn’t until the 2018 Farm Bill that Cannabis and CBD was even recognized as a non-illegal product, but even with the introduction of the bill, Facebook has yet to update their ads policy, leaving us with only a small and specific subset of ads that make it past the checkpoint.
Thanks to it being incredibly difficult to get anything through the ever watchful eye of Facebook, we decided to make it easier on everyone and create a guide detailing EXACTLY what you needed to do to get those CBD ads rolling on Facebook.
Ready? Let’s roll.
Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
If you sell CBD products, the answer is yes, but for the more technically-minded individuals reading, allow me to explain.
A study done in mid 2019 revealed that a whopping 40% of individuals ages 18-29 have used CBD at some point in the past or were current users.
It also found that 15% of individuals aged 60 and older had also tried or were current CBD users.
This means that on average 64 million Americans have tried or are currently using CBD.
And 75% of the businesses with CBD as an offering are owned by women.
In addition, 40% of Americans are interested in trying CBD.
With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that businesses are getting in on the hype. However, when it comes to MARKETING CBD, things get (a lot) more complicated.
It’s no surprise either that the BEST place to market CBD products is online. 1) Because the population that happens to be the biggest users spend a majority of their time plugged in online and 2) it’s the perfect platform for getting in front of your buyers in the most thumb-stopping way possible. Literal magic.
The thing is, even with the internet playing a key role as the leading CBD sales channel with over 60% of the whole market being online, CBD business owners like you have a million hoops they’re required to jump through when it comes to CBD advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
And that’s where we come in. Let’s get your CBD ads rolling!
Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
While it’s not exactly contraband anymore, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around CBD as a health or food related product, which can make it difficult for advertisers to use native advertising placement.
What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
In short, Native ads on Facebook are ads that blend in and reflect the content around them.
Native ads exist within the news feed on both Facebook and Twitter, as well as a select other few websites and apps.
Yes, Native ads are often criticized as a medium for social paid advertising because it can feel as if the network or advertisers are deliberately deceiving users into believing that the paid advertising placements are actually organic content.
But the truth is that consumers are actually pretty comfortable with both the practice and the concept with a few exceptions:
- They need to be from trustworthy brands
- They need to be relevant
Because CBD ads can benefit from being sandwiched between other health and medicinal posts, it can be difficult to get wording and imaging that is approved to use on the Facebook platform.
CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- List GENERAL benefits for CBD products and ALWAYS avoid making medical claims, especially serious ones. However, if you need a work-around, you can cite medically-backed sources like those found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine and/or the National Institutes of Health. Both are great options.
- The Farm Bill requires each State to submit its own hemp regulation plan so that it can be approved for sales going forward. Unfortunately, not all States have done this yet, so pay attention to your local laws.
- Building trust with consumers should always be your priority. You can do this by testing for contaminants, proving the quality of your CBD, being locally sourced or even calling for lab-results that can properly showcase the CBD percentages in your products. This is a good step to take now, but it’ll also play hugely in your favor at the point that CBD is fully legal.
- While you CAN advertise CBD on Facebook, you CANNOT mention the products in your ads.
- Refrain from using CBD within a domain name.
- If needed, you can create a new Facebook account. Leave any CBD-related promotion or information off of the page.
- This is complicated, but you’ll need to find creative ways to describe your products to your customers.
- CBD images are currently allowed if they don’t mention CBD.
- Target audiences who have an interest in “hemp oil”
- Replace “CBD” with “Natural Plant-Based Remedies” anywhere in your ad creative and copy.
What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
Double check that your landing page does NOT mention CBD oil. If you need to, disconnect any correlation between the landing page and your main website. If it says CBD, it can be crawled by Facebook ad bots and it will be rejected.
If you have a track record when it comes to rejected ads, this could play against you when it comes to getting CBD ads approved.
Sometimes, improving your chances could be as easy as having an agency with a good track record publish your ads. Other times, this can look like taking a break from CBD and hemp related advertising and focusing on something else for awhile.
Remember: when it comes to hemp ad policy and CBD and Facebook ads, you run the risk of having your account deleted whenever you get rejected. You can combat this by making certain that you’re doing what we described above: focusing on other things when possible to keep your track record positive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just in case we’ve been amiss in answering all of your questions around CBD Facebook ads or hemp advertising laws, this section is just for you.
Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
The short answer is “yes!” CBD ads, while tricky, are still very doable- and we would know! We’ve promoted CBD products for a multitude of our clients with great success. All it takes is following the rules and best practices we’ve described above, and making sure we’re being attentive to other ads as well to keep the spotlight off of any and all rejected ads.
And yes, sometimes even when you follow every rule to the letter, your ads will be rejected. You can combat this by asking for a review or discussing with a Facebook partner.
Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
Just like with any other CBD topical product, the answer is yes. Just don’t make serious medical claims and/or mention CBD in the ads at all. Opt for words like “Naturally derived ingredients” or “plant sourced ingredients” instead.
Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
With hemp becoming medically and fully legal across the US, there’s been increasing pressure for Facebook to open the gates when it comes to their CBD ads policy. We believe that given time, Facebook is going to cave and make our lives a little easier.
How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
When it comes to what you can post on Facebook organically, there are much fewer limits, making it totally acceptable to market CBD on your business page.
You’ll be able to utilize the words “CBD” and “Hemp” in your copy, as well as include it in your ad creative.
Because this is the case, any standard social media marketing blueprint for business will do when it comes to making a plan for CBD marketing. However, we’d still recommend not making medical claims for the moment.
Looking to learn more? Join our Facebook social media marketing group or read more incredibly insightful social media paid advertising information HERE.
I am a native of New Orleans, LA with a passion for social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and making new connections. I enjoy the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and brands everyday.