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3 Marketing Strategies CBD Brands Should Use to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Last updated: 09-16-2019

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3 Marketing Strategies CBD Brands Should Use to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

escapejaja | Adobe Stock
3 Marketing Strategies CBD Brands Should Use to Stand Out in a Crowded Market
A flurry of CBD brands, consumers’ confusion about available products, strict regulations and platform restrictions make for monumental marketing challenges, but solutions are available.
Interviews & Opinion
CBD products are all the rage right now, and if early indicators hold, it will remain this way for the foreseeable future. CBD products claim to offer relief for everything from pain to inflammation, treatment for anxiety disorders and a myriad of other ailments. Because of the multiple uses, CBD has caught the attention of today’s consumer. This has resulted in a flurry of CBD brands flooding the market and has made breaking out of the brand noise feel like the Wild West. Add to this consumers’ confusion about the seemingly similar CBD products available for sale, and you have one monumental marketing challenge on your hands, while also navigating the regulatory environment, platform restrictions and other limitations CBD brands already face.
What’s a CBD brand to do? Here are the top three strategies CBD marketers should use to stand out from the crowd.
1. Get Grassroots
The digital marketing landscape is tricky for CBD brands. At present, Google, Twitter and others do not allow CBD brands to engage in paid advertising. That means that CBD brands need to get creative.
One of the best opportunities is for CBD brands to focus their efforts offline and connect with potential customers via experiential marketing. Festivals, farmers markets, outdoor expos, health and wellness retreats and hyper-local events provide the perfect outlet. This grassroots style lets your CBD product speak for itself by being explained, tested, smelled, tried and consumed.
This approach also provides interesting and authentic photo and video fodder for social media marketing. Images and videos of real people trying your CBD product which artfully capture their natural expressions and honest feedback can be priceless on social media. It also provides an opportunity for user-generated content, which is equally beneficial for capturing your customers’ trust. A little raw and genuine content can go a long way in separating your brand from the competition. More than that, all of this provides valuable, customer-centric content that engages and informs your target audience. 
Get your booth, tabletop and outdoor gear ready and go after it!
2. Be Influential
It’s no secret that influencer marketing works, and influencer partnerships should be a top priority for CBD brands. An ideal approach is to seek influencers who can help tell your brand story through insightful blogs and articles. Influencers who are also bloggers have a loyal readership and are skilled in the art of storytelling. That makes them not only a great resource, but also a worthy investment.
Influencers could discuss their personal issues with pain or anxiety and explain how CBD helped to offer relief. To keep the cost down, CBD brands would be wise to use micro-influencers who have smaller follower counts but tend to have more loyal and engaged followers. This is also a clever way of utilizing unique and original content marketing tactics through digital platforms to expand your brand’s reach and engage new audiences.
If you haven’t thought of using influencers, it is time to give this marketing opportunity a try.
3. Social with a Purpose
To be honest, most of the time, I’m underwhelmed with brands on social media. They tend to feel too much like non-distinct copy-cats of other brands. However, I recently stumbled upon a CBD brand that is doing many things right on social media: SundayScaries.
First, the company has aligned its brand with a higher purpose through cause marketing and social issues, which resonates with more and more consumers. In fact, according to the Cone/Porter Novelli Study , 77 percent of Americans feel a strong emotional connection to purpose-driven brands. Specifically, SundayScaries has partnered with The Trevor Project and donates $1 from each sale of its jerky product to provide intervention and suicide prevention for youth within the LGBTQ community.
Second, SundayScaries appreciates the native environment of Instagram. It is clear that the company put a great deal of thought into the curation of images on its Instagram page.  SundayScaries speaks to the creativity and aesthetic nature of Instagram users. Its brand page feels distinct from other CBD brands. Plus, the company’s fun memes add an element of levity that captures the brand’s essence.
While SundayScaries’ engagement rate could use a little work, the company has been clever in using contests with complimentary brands to increase its engagement and reach. One area of improvement would be for SundayScaries to begin writing and distributing interesting blogs or articles which concentrate on the lifestyle interests and needs of its customers. This will afford stickiness on SundayScaries’ website while providing another connection point on social media.
Other CBD brands take note: SundayScaries’ methodology shows that there are many organic opportunities to improve your visibility, engagement and reach on social media.
The truth is that some of the limitations to CBD marketing will gradually go by the wayside as platforms determine how best to support this growing industry. Still, there is no time like the present to increase the exposure of your CBD brand by following these simple tips. After all, the Wild West only lasts so long.
Shahla Hebets has held executive management positions in media companies specializing in ecommerce, pay-per-click (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO) and other forms of digital marketing and advertising. With over two decades of experience developing digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, Hebets founded Think Media Consulting in 2016 with a focus on helping healthy lifestyle brands grow. She lives in Denver, Colo., with her husband, two children and dog. Her new book, What’s Working Now? YOU-Centric Marketing is available for pre-order on Amazon and for purchase at all major booksellers on Sept. 24, 2019.
News
Denver, CO, Sept. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- PRESS RELEASE -- Helix TCS, Inc. , a provider of critical infrastructure services to the legal cannabis industry, finalized its previously announced acquisition of Amercanex, a B2B wholesale marketplace that leverages blockchain technology and is capable of facilitating wholesale cannabis and hemp transactions between licensed businesses on a global scale. Upon the closing of the transaction, the company has already made significant progress towards integrating the technology with its leading seed to sale, dispensary point of sale, and government traceability technology, via subsidiary BioTrackTHC.
"We believe that our government and commercial clients will benefit from a real-time B2B wholesale exchange marketplace that integrates directly with their required government traceability system at the regulatory level, and with their seed to sale tracking software at the business level," said Zachary L. Venegas, executive chairman and CEO of Helix TCS, Inc."As legal cannabis and hemp industries take shape, the potential for an integrated platform of critical infrastructure services will be massive, and we have the perfect vehicle to deploy that platform via our dominant market share."
"It's very exciting," said Amercanex CEO Steve Janjic. "The Helix ecosystem is precisely the place for this platform to have maximum impact on the industry."
In 2016, the company also acquired Cannabase, the largest and oldest B2B wholesale marketplace in Colorado, which will play a critical role in the company's strategic initiatives. By incorporating a wholesale B2B marketplace into BioTrackTHC's vertically integrated seed to sale tracking and dispensary point of sale software, the company will be in a unique position to collect data points from the entire cannabis supply chain. Currently, the company holds government cannabis technology contracts in 10 U.S. states and territories, operates in over 2,000 locations across the full-vertical, and was identified by a third party as the largest provider of dispensary point of sale software based on sheer market share.
State by State: California
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PRESS RELEASE-- Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (IIP) , the first and only real estate company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: IIPR) focused on the regulated U.S. cannabis industry, has announced that it closed on the final parcel of a four-property portfolio in southern California, which comprises approximately 79,000 square feet of industrial space in total.
The purchase price for the southern California portfolio was approximately $17.3 million in the aggregate (excluding transaction costs). Concurrent with the closing of the purchase, IIP entered into a long-term, triple-net lease at each property with a subsidiary of Medical Investor Holdings LLC (d/b/a Vertical) for continued operation as licensed cannabis cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and distribution facilities in accordance with California regulations.
As the pioneering real estate investment trust (REIT) for the medical-use cannabis industry, IIP partners with experienced medical-use cannabis operators and serves as a source of capital by acquiring and leasing back their real estate assets, in addition to offering other creative real estate-based capital solutions.
“We are thrilled to add Vertical and its strong management team to our tenant roster,” said Paul Smithers, president and chief executive officer of IIP. “With its breadth of cannabis brands and highly experienced team, Vertical is well-positioned to capitalize on the tremendous growth of the California regulated cannabis industry in the many years to come, and we look forward to continuing to support Vertical and its long-term growth initiatives.”
Vertical is a multi-state operator licensed for cannabis cultivation, extraction, manufacturing and distribution in California and cultivation operations in Arizona and Ohio, with an extensive portfolio of branded cannabis products. Vertical’s management team has decades of experience in starting, building and running businesses in the alcohol, agriculture, consumer product goods, distribution, entertainment, food healthcare and medical industries.
“This strategic transaction with IIP allows us to unlock our capital tied to our real estate and redeploy those proceeds into the tremendous opportunities we see ahead in the cannabis industry, in California and beyond,” said Bill Sutman, CFO of Vertical.
Smoke Wallin, vice chairman and CEO of Vertical Wellness, added, “With our vertical integration in California and the strength of our brand portfolio across all form factors, we believe our brands will emerge as the preferred products across a broad spectrum of retail customers and target consumers. We look forward to exploring additional ways to partner with IIP as a real estate capital partner as our company continues scale our operations.”
As of Sept. 12, 2019, IIP owned 30 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, totaling approximately 2.2 million rentable square feet (including approximately 685,000 rentable square feet under development / redevelopment), which were 100-percent leased with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 15.9 years. As of Sept. 12, 2019, IIP had invested approximately $287.2 million in the aggregate (excluding transaction costs) and had committed an additional approximately $98.8 million to reimburse certain tenants and sellers for completion of construction and tenant improvements at IIP’s properties. IIP’s average current yield on invested capital is approximately 14.5 percent for these 30 properties, calculated as (a) the sum of the current base rents (after the expiration of applicable base rent abatement or deferral periods), supplemental rent (with respect to the lease with PharmaCann LLC at one of IIP’s New York properties) and property management fees, divided by (b) IIP’s aggregate investment in these properties (excluding transaction costs and including aggregate potential development / redevelopment funding and tenant reimbursements of approximately $98.8 million). These statistics do not include $40.0 million that may be funded in the future pursuant to IIP’s lease with Trulieve Cannabis Corp. at one of IIP’s Massachusetts properties or the additional $4.0 million which may be requested by PharmaCann LLC at one of IIP’s Pennsylvania properties, as the tenants at those properties may not elect to have us disburse those funds to them and pay us the corresponding base rent on those funds.
State by State: New Mexico
A task force charged with evaluating the regulatory options for legalizing adult-use cannabis in New Mexico has voiced support for a traditional licensing structure for businesses as opposed to state-run cannabis companies.
The Cannabis Legalization Working Group—which has been commissioned by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and is made up of lawmakers, cabinet secretaries and members of the state’s medical marijuana industry—endorsed the traditional licensing system during a Sept. 10 meeting, according to U.S. News & World Report .
This structure aligns with New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, which also allows licensed private businesses.
Part of the working group’s recommendation includes barring local governments from being able to ban adult-use cannabis sales within their jurisdictions, according to U.S. News & World Report, although cities and counties would still be able to establish zoning restrictions.
The working group plans to give Lujan Grisham a recommendation in October, after its last meeting on Sept. 25, and Lujan Grisham has announced plans to add cannabis legalization to the agenda for next year’s legislative session, according to U.S. News & World Report.


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