Maximizing Awareness of your CBD Brand with Influencers, Gifting and More!
Overcome the hurdle of not being able to “advertise” your CBD or THC brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest by gifting or paying influencers to do it for you.
Let’s say you’ve just launched your CBD or THC brand and you’re excited to start reaching a broad audience and driving traffic and sales on your site. You think to yourself: the best places to advertise to millennials and Gen X are social networks, but you’re immediately “not approved” or rejected when you try to advertise, because of social networks advertising policies limiting CBD and absolutely not allowing THC advertising on their platforms. What next? Consider influencers + gifting. In this article, we’re breaking down some of the many ways to get your product in the right hands, in the hopes of them getting you in front of the right audiences.
The bottom line: if you get creative, you can absolutely use social as a tool to get yourself in front of the right audiences. Read on for our tips!
Gifting to Lifestyle Influencers + Celebrities
While there are no guarantees, some of the early players in CBD and THC made entire marketing and social strategies out of gifting (sometimes called surprise and delight), like The Lord Jones. They were successful at getting their products in the right hands at the right time (before the CBD boom we’re currently in) and as a result, emerged at the forefront of the high-end, high-quality CBD movement. By getting themselves in front of powerful voices like Kristen Bell and Busy Phillips, the
y were able to get free publicity with very little cost of entry. From there, they’ve made it a point to seed product for events (more on that below). The downside to this strategy is you’re definitely NOT guaranteed any support from the giftees, but more often than not, if they try it (and like it), they’ll share about it in their IG stories.
Gifting to THC/CBD Influencers
A quick search on Instagram, and you’ll find hundreds (if not thousands) of THC influencers. These people exist in a community of other THC enthusiasts and are followed by other THC users, often living in the states that have recreationalized marijuana or have medical access. They typically share the latest brands, devices, and tools they’re using (or have been gifted) to other consumers like themselves. Because they’re THC (vs. CBD) influencers, their audiences are already primed (and not afraid) to know about and try CBD.
Seeding to Micro and Macro Lifestyle Influencers
Another approach if you’re looking to reach a more mainstream audience is to seed your product to micro and macro-influencers. What is the difference you ask? Well, micro-influencers have a smaller (typically 10K-50K) audience size, vs. macro-influencers who go from around 50K to 500K. Once you’re above 500K, you’ve entered celebrity influencer status.
We love this approach (and have found it successful with so many of our client brands) because you’re reaching an audience that may not be primed to know what CBD is about, but who follow these influencers because they trust their taste. We find that especially micro influencers (but macros too!) tend to have a loyal and engaged audience who are looking to the influencer to recommend products across all areas of their life (fashion, beauty, food, wine, and more!).
We also love this approach because, when done correctly, your product seeding should yield some sort of social support, which you have the power to negotiate before you send them anything (CAN WE LINK TO INFLUENCER MARKETING ARTICLE). This is great because you can ask for content that will serve you and your content needs as well – like unboxing content, lifestyle shots, video/boomerangs, and more! You may not be paying them for their social love, but you can offer them a percentage of sales from a discount code or affiliate link or if they’re small enough, they may be willing to do it in kind in exchange for a decent sized amount of gifted product (maybe several products in your brand line).
Getting your Product in Goodie Bags
Finally, we love the approach of getting your product into goodie bags from events, panels and more. Companies hosting events, summits/offsites, panels, book launches and more are always looking for products to include in gifted goodie bags for attendees – so why not yours! To do this, we recommend reaching out about a specific event (ideally related to your product(s)) and asking them if they’re planning to include a goodie bag for attendees. If the answer is “yes,” why not offer to send them product for inclusion in the goodie bag. This absolutely does not guarantee that you’ll see any lift from what you gift, but chances are if they use and like your product, the word-of-mouth value will outweigh the cost.
You may be frustrated the typical ad channels aren’t available for your CBD brand (it is 100% legal after all!), but the good news is: there are so many options for getting your product in the right hands and in front of the right buyers to have an impact. Not sure where to start? We can help with that! Reach out firstname.lastname@example.org!