Q: I just started selling CBD. Can I advertise on Facebook and Instagram? Where should I advertise?
A: Congratulations on entering the CBD marketplace. It is definitely a fast-growing market that is expected to reach anywhere from $15-$20 billion in the next five years, according to some estimates. When it comes to advertising, you have to be aware of the limitations and restrictions imposed by social media. Also, you need to identify how risk-averse you are and identify your comfort zone because there is risk involved in advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
You will see sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram promoting CBD products. However, these companies have found workarounds and have spent a lot of time, energy, and effort on winding around the rules by not mentioning CBD and hemp in their advertising, creating landing pages with no references to CBD or hemp, or not linking company websites to their ads.
Facebook and Instagram share the same unfriendly CBD policies. Sponsored CBD ads are rejected because they violate the two companies’ advertising policies which ban “illegal products or services.” The one and only exception are that Facebook and Instagram have recently allowed CBD topical ads. These topical ads cannot be linked or associated with any other product or website promoting other CBD products. Companies spend a lot of time creating workarounds that do not guarantee approval. You need to ask yourself: “Is the effort worth it?”
Definitely have a social media presence! You can have a Facebook and Instagram page for your company to share products and promotions with your followers. Regularly and consistently add content to your social media pages. Interact with your followers and other companies. Build a strong social media presence but, evaluate the risks and benefits of creating and running sponsored ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Avoid Google Ads
We do not recommend spending your advertising dollars and time on Google Ads. CBD is on the list (in black and white) of pharmaceuticals and supplements that Google Ads does not allow. You may say, “I have seen a few Google Ads that mention CBD.” Companies do find workarounds, but if caught, they will be permanently suspended from Google Ads. This is our recommendation, but, you do you!
Advertising is important to increase sales and brand awareness. Here are some advertising ideas outside of Facebook and Instagram:
- Start small and grow big: contact your local news station to promote your new line of CBD products, find local publications to advertise in or contribute material that will draw customers to your store and products.
- Partner with companies that offer “perks” to their members and create a discount specific for these members
- Create digital ads to run on websites that have a similar customer base, explore podcasts to promote your store and products.
- When the time is right, hire a PR firm.
Jenny Dembiec is Founder and Owner of RxCOMMEND, a premium CBD brand found at www.RxCOMMEND.com and @RxCOMMEND. Her passion is to help people feel and live better. Being in the healthcare field for 20+ years and receiving her MBA, she set out to provide the most effective CBD products while uplifting the CBD industry into a respected treatment option. Jenny’s goal is to spread correct, medically-based information on CBD to help companies and customers thrive.