CBD Advertising: Why It’s a Tricky Situation

Unlike most businesses and wanna-be-businesses, Google and Facebook won’t gladly accept most CBD advertisers, so what are your options?

Here’s a look at the best options to promote your CBD products, brands and ancillary services.

Affiliate Advertising

Affiliate Ads – This is a performance-based type advertising that allows you to outsource marketing. Affiliate partners drive traffic through referral links, and earn commission from sales they refer.

In-house affiliate programs can be started with free software, but difficult to manage successfully.

Serious CBD advertisers either have a dedicated in-house affiliate management team, or contract all the tricky bits to affiliate networks. Affiliate networks that accept CBD advertisers are Shareasale, Impact and CJ.com

Joining a network that offers affiliate tools like coupons and datafeeds can be the difference between no traffic and success.

Native and Banner Ads

Native Ads & Banner ads – These types of ads are sold on either a per-click or by impressions. Not all networks allow CBD advertisers, the ones that do include:

  • Mantis Ad Network – Easy to use Cannabis-specific native advertising network. Recommended.
  • Puff Network – Self-serve advertising network for Cannabis brands.
  • Traffic Roots – CBD & Cannabis-specific banner advertising network.
  • Taboola – Native ad network with huge audience and accepts some CBD advertisers.
  • Outbrain – Like Taboola, this is a self-serve native ad network that accepts some CBD advertisers.

Social Media

Although Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other big social networks do not accept CBD advertising directly (eg: CBD brands can’t buy advertising on social media) — you can still use social media to build accounts for your business.

But, you’ve seen CBD ads on Facebook you say? Some CBD advertisers have found workarounds to get their CBD-related ads approved on Facebook, they generally don’t last long before getting removed.

To get their CBD ads approved, crafty marketers avoid using the word “CBD” at all, and sometimes employ chatbots. I don’t recommend using workarounds, but if you are interested, here are is an example video tutorial on youtube.

Influencer services can be found on Fiverr and IZEA.

Google My Business

As mentioned, Google won’t take CBD brands advertising dollars — however, CBD businesses can (and should) still register with Google My Business (GMB) to help promote their business.

Google My Business is free. You can learn about it at: https://www.google.com/business/

Other Media Buys

Popular websites and apps often have advertising packages of banner ads, sponsored content, newsletter and social media exposure. Finding the right audience for your brand is key.

Another advertising opportunity is through print media buys through magazines and trade publications.

Examples include: HighTimes & Cannabis & Tech — however, non-cannabis related magazines might fit with your brand better.

SEO and Content Marketing

Finally, the most difficult form on online advertising: SEO and Content Marketing. This generally means creating relevant content (blog posts, infographics, etc) and getting that content to appear in search results.

Unless you are *very* experienced at SEO, you’ll have a difficult time ranking your CBD-related websites in search engines like Google or Bing — the competition is just too tough. There are many SEO agencies willing to take your advertising budget, be sure to vet and pick one that specializes in Cannabis and CBD.

If you have some experience with SEO and content marketing, and just need a hand you can look at services such as Fiverr or Upwork to find and hire freelance SEO’s that specialize in CBD marketing.

Why Is CBD Advertising Not Allowed in So Many Places?

Even though CBD has been completely legal in the United States since 2018 many big online publishers like Google and Facebook list CBD as a banned product, and don’t allow it’s advertising on their platforms.

Why? Though, impossible to speak on behalf of these companies, and hemp-derived CBD is not a controlled substance in the US, it is most likely because CBD is a controlled and/or regulated substance in many countries. And outright ban saves a lot of grief dealing with granular, constantly changing international laws.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *