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How to Legally Promote and Advertise Your CBD Business on Online

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Discriminatory ad policies implemented by advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook leave CBD oil brands with few social media marketing choices. One of the most interesting topics in the beauty industry right now is CBD oil. The cannabis extract has made its way out of sketchy head shops and into trendy beauty counters – with claims of transparent, safe skin scientifically backed up. On a recent trip to Indie Beauty Expo, we have seen CBD oil reinforced eyelid serums, body lotions, and hair care products. The brands and customers are catching on quickly.

But the legal cannabis market remains difficult to navigate, amid widespread legalization and forecasts on a par with the dot-com boom. So, how to advertise CBD online? This is an important question when we talk about the online marketing of CBD oil. Digital advertising is one of the biggest hurdles which CBD oil brands must conquer.

Medical Marijuana Start-Up

A CBD oil or medical marijuana startup requires all the hardship and effort of launching any other business. However, the heavy lifting today may well be worth it tomorrow in a burgeoning industry expected to experience exponential growth. Those that started early on and endured the hardships, many are now reaping the benefits of years of hard work without hefty profits.

The following points will help you on how to start:

· Complete Research on the legal aspects of the industry in your state

· Training

· Passionate team

· Funding

· Marketing of your medical marijuana medical store

So like any other venture, you must complete research and grasp a solid understanding of the industry. But in the CBD and medicinal marijuana business, there is an extra layer of in-depth research and comprehension of local policies and regulations.

The Challenge Advertising CBD E-Commerce

No business can be successful without advertising, promotion, and letting your target audience know that the business exists. The CBD industry is no different and has some significant challenges. And although you can now have a CBD store on top e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, business owners still cannot advertise with ease as their fashion apparel and other retail contemporaries.

CBD e-commerce advertising is an important tool for reaching its customers. And remaining afloat is a must for any e-commerce company. Digital ads are an important marketing tool missing from the tool belts, for CBD oil brands. The main players in the digital ad market are Google and Facebook. CBD e-commerce advertising is a reliable way for brands to drive traffic to their websites, enabling them to rapidly and affordably scale up. Sadly, both Google and Facebook (which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp) identify CBD by the DEA as a "harmful product." For now at least.

As a result, any account advertising CBD products can (and will) be shut down by those platforms. About every ad network – including Amazon, Pinterest, and Twitter – has similar limitations, leaving CBD brands with few choices.

Those discriminatory ad policies have curtailed industry-wide e-commerce revenues. 97% of cannabis startups are expected to fail during their first year, relative to just 20% of all small companies. The red tape has workarounds. Another choice is to use a network of cannabis adverts. These smaller platforms permit CBD brands to run display ads on websites for pro-cannabis use. Regrettably, display ads (almost) often have lower click-thru rates than social ads d search ads. This means more valuable ad dollars for fewer outcomes.

Here are a few methods to reach your CBD business target audience online


Some advertisers turn to cloak. Cloaking is a type of advertisement that directs all web traffic to a landing page and diverts other web traffic to a different page. Advertisers do so to direct users to a landing page which is consistent with their guidelines. And it is not recommended to cloak. Manually cloaking advertisements are tedious, charging for a cloaking service is costly, and violating the rules of a network runs the risk that you will be shut down, but it is not illegal.

E-mail Marketing

The fact is that e-mail marketing is still very effective and actually, in some instances, far more profitable than social media and search engine advertising. Here are the facts then we will get to some tips:

  1. Personalization is super effective: Most B2B (55%) and B2C email marketers (69%) are effective at maintaining consistent, relevant, personalized communications with prospects and customers. Sixty-three percent of B2B email marketers segment marketing efforts by industry, region, topic, or vertical to avoid any unsegmented email campaigns.

  2. You check email more than social media?: According to a study by HubSpot, 99% of consumers check their personal emails every day. This is 17% higher than social media accounts.

  3. E-mails relating to hobbies get opened and clicked: The most opened emails relate to hobbies, with an open rate of 27.35 percent. A good open rate is 10% to 15%, anything over 20% is outstanding when building a successful sales funnel for your business.

The fact is e-mail marketing is an effective tool to get the right in-front of your CBD business target audience. You spend less money and energy building campaigns and it is a closer 1-on-1 relationship that the owner builds with their consumer. Now here are the tips

  1. Do not purchase an e-mail list: Purchasing a so-called "target list" is one of the best ways to destroy your brand before you get started, especially with a tight community. And the CBD so-called "weed" community is very tight due to the stigma of using marijuana has held over the past 70 years or so. Build and cultivate a list. This will build your brand equity with a profitable target audience through trust, and it's hard to earn trust but easy to lose it.

  2. Create a "Persona" before sending the first e-mail: A target audience is more than just knowing where your audience members live. Here are 5 things the best target customer profiles, also called "personas" will have - (1) Why they are interested in the product, (2) What they do for a living, (3) Their level of knowledge about your products, (4) Where they prefer to shop for anything, and finally (5) Are they active on social media or have a large network. A customer persona removes a lot of guesswork and helps you tailor your e-mails to be more effective.

Social Media Groups

So you cannot advertise on social media, dang! But those are paid ad campaigns. You can "advertise" and "promote" for free. After building your business page on Facebook, and if you don't have a Like Page then you can learn how to build a Facebook Like Page very easily. After making the page then create a group. Facebook groups are the most underestimated tools in marketing today and probably costs the least amount of investment outside of time spent. But think about it, if you are going to spend time and money on paid ads, just spend some time to build a successful group, use the money to either hire a social media manager or reinvest into your business.

When it comes to generating engagement and leads, I have seen marketers using Facebook groups as a strategy to increase referral traffic, but this is not the best way to fully leverage the power of groups. If you promote your Facebook groups correctly, they have the potential to generate direct leads and even sales. All you need is a high engagement rate where people share, discuss, respond, and start buying from you – and it's all for free! If you need to learn how to create your own Facebook Group, click here

Influencer Marketing

Social media influencers reach highly targeted and highly active consumers through influencer marketing – without the red tape or the possibility of being shut down. Influencers in the holistic health and wellness room are some of the early adopters and biggest brand supporters-– Willing to purchase, seek to promote great all-natural items which will make them feel their best. So, CBD business owners that are not taking advantage of influencer marketing are truly missing out on their best opportunity to build relationships with their consumers.

Acting with influencers also often produces a better ROI compared to digital ads. With digital ads, the brand appears as they click via social media in the stream of a potential consumer. The message from your brand interrupts the social media experience of this individual, and typically gets ignored. (The typical Facebook ad click-through rate is around 1 percent and display ad click-through rates are much lower. Ouch!)

But through influencer marketing, the brand appears in a potential consumer stream as they connect through their favorite accounts. The message from your brand blends seamlessly into the social media experience of that person, and it gets noticed. (The average micro-influencer interaction rate is around 10 percent.)

CBD social media influencer marketing is a cost-effective method to grow your business. Growing brand awareness and reaching potential clients on social media is a successful way to expand.

  1. CBD marks will hit highly dedicated consumers interested in health and wellness products.

  2. Trusted, influencer feedback from third parties. Evidence shows that 90 percent of customers trust other people's opinions, including those they do not know, about brand material.

  3. CBD social media influencers produce user-generated content that you can leverage from social networks within your brand.

  4. CBD social media influencers' relationships will push a steady stream of true followers to social networks within your brand.

Finally, one of the best reasons to use social media influencers is because you can easily manage your spending. Paying per post, using an affiliate link to track conversions, and paying per conversions are surefire tactics to get the most bang for your buck and build a relationship with a trusted personality of your target audiences community. If you don't know where to find influencers and how to vet them, there are places to find influencers that are vetted and their reach confirmed. So you can put your trust in the influencer that you hire from platforms like this one

Final Words

Marketers projected years ago that the media climate would be more navigable for the legal cannabis industry. Unfortunately, not much has changed. Although we are waiting for Facebook, Twitter, and the rest to get along with the times, influencers are opening new doors for CBD oil brands to meet their social media customers.

Interested in learning more about how to promote your CBD business legally? Attend my webinar on Eventbrite! I have a whole series prepared for the Weedpreneurs of the world. Look forward to seeing you there.


In case you missed it, I hosted an entire webinar on this topic with more information that you can use to get your CBD brand in-front of all the right people from day one. Check it out on YouTube. Comment and share it with your peers!


I devote my professional life to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners reach their goals. So stay in touch by dropping a comment and connect on IG and Twitter!

I'm Ehren Muhammad, Founder of EMPro, Ltd

Let's connect!

Instagram: EhrenMuhammad

EMPro, Ltd - Branding & Digital Marketing

We Help Brands Grow

Chicago, IL

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