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Influencer Marketing for CBD Brands

David Morneau

By David Morneau
6 min READ | Apr 9 2021

Influencer Marketing for CBD Brands

Cannabidiol products are gaining increasingly more momentum lately. However, there’s still a lot of controversy around them, explaining the strict legal marketing regulations.

Experts agree on one thing: this strategy can increase your profit, brand awareness, and brand recall. Choose the right influencers, and you’ll get massive reach.

Read this guide to find out more about the pros and cons of influencer marketing for CBD brands. We’ll discuss some legal background, plus how to pick the right influencers and channels.

Keep reading below!

The Advantages of Influencer Marketing for CBD Brands

CBD Brands have seen a massive boom in the last few years. Micro-influencer marketing is an excellent way to promote these brands because:

  1. They can go around some strict advertising rules regarding CBD. That way, you can reach your audience seamlessly.
  2. Influencers tell your brand’s story. Thus, they can transform your brand into a relatable entity so that more people will connect and engage with it. Besides, storytelling leads to increased brand recall and customer loyalty.
  3. Influencers can educate your audience. When marketing such a sensitive product as cannabidiol, you need to analyze its pros and cons openly. These cons include possible adverse effects. Conversely, influencers are trustworthy and relatable. They can pierce through the current rhetoric to ensure your customers get the whole story.

Add PR to the Mix

If you want to reap all the advantages above, you’ll have to put together a sound plan. Often, that means adding PR to the mix.

Here’s why:

PR isn’t limited to a catchy slogan or jingly tune. Public relations efforts build transparency around your brand. Thus, you’ll become a credible and trustworthy partner for your customers.

Besides, PR can go around common advertising laws that are a problem, particularly for CBD brands.

Remember: 50% of Gen Z-ers and Millennials buy products recommended by influencers.

The Risks of Influencer Marketing for CBD Brands

Before moving forward, let’s review some risks of influencer marketing for CBD brands.

This subject is sore because CBD has medicinal uses. So, you need trustworthy influencers with a reliable background in this area. Ideally, you’d look for medical experts such as medical journalists or even physicians. Influencers who are continually researching and practicing healthy living are reliable options as well.

What happens if you choose the wrong influencer?

Your entire marketing effort will spiral into an abyss that doesn’t stare back. Nietzsche would be proud.

Joke aside, selecting the wrong people means losing credibility and money, plus the very high possibility of never recovering.

But here’s another risk:

Some states and platforms don’t allow CBD-related content. Ask your legal team to research all these restrictions because otherwise, you’ll face legal consequences.

For instance, did you know that California-based cannabis brands can’t highlight any health benefits on their packaging?

Thus, the crucial question is:

Is it legal to hire influencers that promote CBD products?

The short answer is yes, but you want to be careful about how your influencers discuss your products. Luckily, Facebook, Insta, and YouTube don’t prohibit CBD marketing. Phew!

Now, all you have to do is choose the right influencers.

Choose the Right Influencers

You want influencers that can create thumb-stopping content that sells. You also need people that can work creatively around rigid regulations and limitations.

We already told you that the best CBD influencers ideally have medical backgrounds or are archetypes of healthy living.

During our research of CBD brands, we’ve discovered a secret. It’s what makes all these CBD marketing campaigns tick:

Your influencers should present your CBD products as essential – even defining – for customers’ lifestyles.

Basically, their content says, “You don’t have to get CBD to live healthily, only if you want to live extremely healthily.”

Influencers should engage their audience through this offer customers can’t refuse. Here’s how:

  • Ensure your influencer has a focused target with whom they interact
  • Ask them to show people how your CBD products work (how-to videos, before-and-after stories, etc.)
  • Produce content that talks about side-effects as well as advantages

How do you find CBD influencers?

  • Use the influencer search tool on Instagram.
  • Manually search for influencers using relevant CBD hashtags such as #cbdskincare or #cbdpainmanagement. Ensure your influencers have at least 10,000 followers and score good vanity metrics (conversational comments, tags, and shares.)
  • Try inBeat for free.

Top Examples of CBD Influencers

1. Tommy Chong symbolizes counter-culture because he’s been saying that hemp flower is exceptional since before Millennials were born. Tommy Chong has had cancer twice, and he believes that CBD saved him. Thus, he appears very trustworthy.

2. Michelle Ross from Big Brother 11 has a not-so-secret real life: she’s a neuroscientist and expert in mental health. Her reputation, credibility, and expertise reflect upon the CBD products she promotes. Besides, Michelle Ross claims she has effectively used CBD in the treatment of her chronically ill patients.

3. Sanjay Gupta is CNN’s chief medical expert. He can attract an audience of skeptics because he was against marijuana use too. However, thorough research has convinced him of the benefits of CBD products and hemp flower. He also caters to his audience of skeptics on their favorite channel: public interviews.

4. Vaping Kamea is the queen of beauty, self-love and wellbeing. She promotes a well-balanced lifestyle that includes the use of CBD. She addresses younger hipster Millennials and older Gen Z-ers through professional photos.

5. Rachna Patel is another medical doctor who uses an excellent strategy to promote CBD products. Thus, she uses her YouTube channel to discuss the pros, cons and uses of CBD products.

Choose the Right Channels for CBD Influencer Campaigns

As you can see from the examples above, you need to select the proper channels for your audience. Thus, you need to figure out first:

  • Who your audience is
  • Where they’re at
  • What suitable influencers are already popular on those platforms

For example, medical experts that address skeptics or older generations may have more success on YouTube, magazines, or even TV interviews. Conversely, the younger, chill audience is likely on Instagram and Twitter.

You can also try:

  • Gift guides
  • Press events
  • Article features
  • Other social media besides Instagram
Warning: The majority of social media platforms don’t allow paid ads to CBD products, especially in edible shape.

Influencer Marketing Is A Double-Edged Sword

As you’ve seen from the article above, influencer marketing for CBD brands is a double-edged sword. It’s challenging to market your products transparently when the legal intricacies are, well, intricate.

However, people have cultivated and used cannabis for millennia. Even so, the medical community and the world, in general, don’t embrace CBD products with open arms.

Here are some “fun” facts:

  • You can’t market your CBD products in California unless your audience is 71% adults.
  • Google, Instagram, and YouTube don’t allow advertising for “illicit” substances.

Even so, you can still distribute content on these platforms if you’re careful about it. Choosing the right influencers for your audience and your products will bring your brand:

  • Increased awareness
  • More sells
  • A powerful tool to set yourself apart from the competition
You have to plan your strategy carefully and take into account a myriad of factors. That’s why it’s best to work with a professional agency, like inbeat.agency

Try inBeat below. Our database of influencers is free.

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