The CBD market shows no signs of stopping. The global CBD market is expected to hit a whopping $3.5 billion USD in 2021 with a projected 20% year-over-year growth for the better part of the next decade.
Quick market expansion and a rosy outlook have led to many new entrants and a more competitive CBD market. And as many of them find out, you can’t sell CBD without marketing CBD. Effectively marketing your products in a crowded marketplace can be a tough sell, especially with the many restrictions placed on cannabis advertising.
But we think we may be able to help. Here’s what you need to know about how to market CBD oil in 2021 and beyond!
CBD Marketing Obstacles
In today’s highly regulated cannabis marketplace, promoting your CBD oil can be tricky. Thanks to strict marketing rules and a competitive market, CBD brands may have a tough time getting their brand and products out there. There are several obstacles that CBD brands will likely face when deciding how to market CBD oil in 2021.
How to Market CBD Oil: Regulations & Restrictions
Legal regulations have made marketing cannabis products more difficult than most other retail products. These regulations limit the way that cannabis products can be promoted and place restrictions on where they may be promoted. Additionally, rules and regulations can differ from state to state. So it’s extremely important to understand exactly what is permitted in each state you market your products to, and that you adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
Apart from regulations on physical advertising, rules and regulations surrounding marketing tactics like content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing have also made it harder to promote CBD products.
For example, your content must not make any claims that are not FDA approved, and certain social media platforms like Twitter have restricted the advertising of cannabis products. These kinds of digital strategies are still the go-to for cannabis brand promotion, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t limitations.
Poor Marketing Strategy
Another obstacle that many CBD brands face is just having a bad marketing strategy. Not understanding the industry or the value of digital marketing can put your brand at a disadvantage. When you partner with a team like Foottraffik, you wipe out that obstacle and replace it with years of expertise.
Branding in a Crowded Marketplace
As the market continues to grow with new entrants, competition is expected to heat up, making branding and positioning crucial factors in establishing and growing a successful CBD brand.
Branding in a crowded marketplace (or one that is rapidly becoming crowded) presents its own set of challenges. Positive differentiation is key to succeeding in a crowded market. Your brand must clearly communicate to potential customers exactly why they should buy your product. Competing on price typically leads to a race to the bottom, so effective brand and product differentiation are crucial to establishing your CBD brand and growing a loyal customer base that will keep coming back for your products. Having a bland generic brand in a competitive marketplace is a recipe for disaster.
How to Market CBD Oil: Getting Your CBD Oil On The Shelf
It doesn’t get much easier when it comes to promoting your brand directly to dispensaries or vendors. Long gone are the days when dispensaries would stock just about any product they were offered. Nowadays you’ll have to put in some legwork in order to convince a dispensary to carry and associate with your CBD brand. Here’s what you need to know about getting your CBD oils on dispensary shelves.
Reach Out To Dispensaries
The quickest way to get your product on dispensary shelves is to directly reach out to dispensaries. But it isn’t quite as easy as making a phone call and delivering your items. You’ll have to promote your CBD oil to dispensary vendors in much the same way that you would a customer. Keep in mind that dispensaries are out to make a profit for themselves, not to help your brand, so there has to be a good reason why they would want to stock your CBD oil.
Differentiation and price are two key factors when it comes to whether or not a dispensary will want to carry your products. A product that offers little in the way of positive differentiation at an unattractive price point is unlikely to get picked up. But a differentiated brand/product that is being offered at a price point that the dispensary finds attractive (for both its customers and its own revenues) will have much more success.
Is your CBD oil made with a tastier oil base? Is it strain-specific oil instead of just a blend? Does it offer more mg of CBD per dollar than other brands? Find out what makes your products special and capitalize on that differentiation to convince vendors to stock them. Provide samples, know your product well, and communicate clearly to dispensary vendors why you think carrying your product will benefit them.
Attend Trade Shows
Even if you’re not reaching out to vendors directly, you can still connect with them. One way to do this is by attending trade shows and networking face to face. Word of mouth continues to be one of the most powerful marketing mediums and trade shows are an excellent opportunity to get the word of mouth about your brand out there.
Trade shows don’t just give you an opportunity to connect with people, they are also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what makes your brand and products so great. Trade shows can be a great tool for promoting your products and their benefits directly to dispensary vendors and other industry personnel.
Establish A Solid Online Presence
Deciding to carry a specific brand or product on their shelves is a big decision for a dispensary manager. Don’t expect them to accept your sales pitch on the spot. Any experienced vendor worth dealing with will take the time to do their homework. And the first place they’re going to look is online.
Having an attractive and well-built website that clearly communicates your brand identity and promotes the positive differentiation in your products will go a long way towards making a good impression. Your online presence can be augmented with active social media accounts that have active followers engaging with your content and your brand. Demonstrating the value of your brand and products through your online presence can be a great way to impress dispensary managers and other vendors.
Keep Your Ears Open
Laws change all the time, especially in new and untested industries like legal cannabis. As cannabis sales and use become more mainstream and popular, it’s quite possible that federal, state, and local laws could change.
It’s important to keep your eyes and ears open for any changes or developments that may affect the way you do business. Keep an eye on the cannabis news space for new developments. Sources like Marijuana Business Daily, Canna Law Blog, and Green Entrepreneur can be priceless tools for keeping up to date. And, of course, don’t forget to check the Foottraffik blog too!