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The ABCs of CBD: Emphasizing Education for Informed Consumers

The CBD market is like an intricate puzzle — filled with rapid growth, shifting regulations and an array of products. In such a transformative environment, advertisers often find themselves at the crossroads of opportunities and challenges. But here’s the deal: in this vibrant, yet nascent arena, merely pushing a product isn’t enough. 

Today, the gold standard for brands is to educate and meet consumers where they are. If you don’t, they’ll be happy to tell you, and it’s not always pretty. Given the labyrinth of state-specific laws and varying CBD and cannabis product regulations, education needs to be paired seamlessly with complex compliance.

With platforms like Meta, Twitter’s “X” and other companies drawing a hard line on CBD advertising due to nuanced policies, where does one begin? Blending education with targeted advertising is one approach that marketers can take to strike a chord with the right audience in this restricted digital landscape.  

Deciphering the Enigma of CBD

Derived from hemp, CBD has gained the spotlight for its potential wellness benefits. Yet, the industry is still in its infancy, making it a hotbed for myths, misconceptions and an insatiable curiosity.

Brands must dance delicately on the edge — promoting CBD’s promise without overstepping legal boundaries. Also, as a parent and being in the industry, it’s crucial that our labels and packaging are targeted towards adults – and not designed to look like a kid’s candy bar. 

Forbes estimates the CBD market will rocket to a whopping $19.5 billion by 2025, boasting a CAGR of 37%. Such growth suggests not just a massive opportunity for brands but a heightened duty to demystify the CBD realm for consumers.

Tailored Education: The Heart of Engagement

Every CBD consumer is on a unique journey. While some are mere beginners, tentatively exploring, others are seasoned users, well-versed in its myriad benefits. The answer to engaging all these audiences? Customized educational content that speaks their language.

Dive deeper, and you’ll find products like edibles and topicals are governed by their own set of rules. So, brands, take heed: your advertising blueprints need differentiation, brimming with clarity on usage and effects. And let’s not forget about those QR codes, third-party test results or essential details like the producer’s name and date of manufacture — these are the badges of transparency in today’s market.

A revelation from a Consumer Reports survey (2019) highlights that roughly 26% of Americans have sampled CBD once. But here’s where it gets intriguing: by 2024, this figure is predicted to escalate to 35%.

This only amplifies the need to cater not just to the intrigued but also to the potential CBD loyalists. After all, in order to build a sustainable business model, you’ll need to reach consumers who want to come back and enjoy the product on a more regular cadence. 

Remember, consumers crave clear product descriptions. I’ve come across several products whose benefits remain a mystery, deterring trial. Clarity is the key, whether you’re promoting relaxation or an energy kick!

Targeting the Inquisitive: Crafting Resonant Messages

Understanding your audience is an art. Beyond the surface-level demographics lies a deeper quest to gauge their CBD awareness and interest level. With astute audience-targeting tactics, brands can fine-tune messages that resonate, ensuring engagement and fostering long-term relations.

A revealing chat at the recent Cannabis Drinks Expo in Chicago highlighted the lingering stigma around CBD. Many Americans still wrestle with doubts about its efficacy and safety. Herein lies the golden opportunity: through precise advertising, brands can address these uncertainties, offering clarity and bolstering their credibility.

Trust-building: The Key to Longevity

In the CBD world, advertising with integrity is non-negotiable. Steer clear of audacious health claims and prioritize in-depth, lucid content. Use videos to expand your brand awareness, with shoppable links to product landing pages (PLPs) that give you space to engage that audience on a deeper level or subscribe for your more regular updates. 

Consumer interactions with brands are no longer linear. The era of solely banking on a TV commercial isn’t the route to success. Consistency across multiple channels, be it ads, websites, emails, or sales pitches, is the bedrock of trust and loyalty – and it must be consistent. 

To Wrap Up

The CBD advertising playbook is continually being rewritten. It’s crucial to stay in tune with current news as well as FDA updates. To thrive, brands must be nimble, prioritize consumer enlightenment and leverage astute advertising solutions. As the green tide rises, those who master this trifecta will undoubtedly stand tall in this exhilarating marketplace. And believe me, it will be exhilarating.  

Author

  • Lauren White is a professional marketing and brand executive with over a decade of experience and a passion for digital, retail, and e-commerce strategy in the consumer products industry. As Director of Client Partnerships at VDX.tv, Lauren has played a pivotal role in driving the success of high-profile premium CPG brands – specializing in the beverage alcohol and CBD category. Lauren is a founding member of Tech Up for Women and plays an active role in the Alliance for Women in Beer. Contact info: lauren.white@vdx.tv

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