The use of cannabidiol (CBD), such as CBD oil and hemp, is still a relatively new sensation; therefore, it can be difficult to creatively and effectively market your start-up if you do not have a large budget. True, when you have a new industry (like the cannabis industry), you do not necessarily have as much competition. However, this also means that it takes more effort to get your product out there, including the explanation of why someone would even want to use a product like medical cannabis, and what it will do for them. This particular subject will likely require extra convincing as to its uses and benefits, as not everyone believes in it. When you are trying to make it big in an industry with these challenges, a large marketing budget can most certainly be beneficial—after all, you want to try and get as much information out about your product as possible, by using as many different sources as you can. But what if you want to launch your CBD start-up with a limited budget? You may simply not have the required funds or are not willing to invest a large amount of money into an industry that is still relatively new. Either way, let’s take a look at three ways you can creatively market a CBD start-up with limited funds.
1. Use Social Media
Utilizing social media is the cheapest and most effective way of promoting any new business and spreading awareness. However, businesses promoting or selling CBD or any product that is related to cannabis like CBD oil, medical marijuana, and other CBD products, will have trouble advertising in the traditional way most companies will advertise on social media. After all, marijuana is still seen by millions as an illegal drug and don’t separate it from the THC products, even though it can help alleviate chronic pain through pain management, Parkinson’s disease, Dravet syndrome, and myriad other illnesses. Therefore, you will not see an ad promoting the use of CBD on any Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest post. This is due to the fact that, even though cannabis use is widely beginning to legalize in the US and Canada, it is still not legal everywhere, and it still considered to be a sensitive topic all over the world. A social media platform is not going to be particularly open to a product like marijuana that might be legal in one state, province or country, and not another, as they need to protect themselves legally, which is more than understandable. So, how do you get around this? Influencer marketing is a great place to start. This may mean sponsoring or providing free products to a YouTuber or a blogger. There is a large amount of both large and established companies and small start-ups that are jumping on the social media influencer bandwagon, and for good reason. Having said this, statistics show that even if CBD-related products were authorized to be posted on Facebook, it still may not be worth your time to do so, at least compared to the benefits of engaging in influencer marketing. The merely posting a photo or an ad on a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram is still effective; however, the growing effects a social media influencer can have on a product or service cannot be argued. Whether or not you are aiming to advertise your CBD product through a social media platform or specifically through social media influencers, make sure you are promoting your product on as many different platforms as possible. This is especially true given the sensitive nature of cannabis. If for one reason or another your ad gets taken down on one platform, you still have plenty of others to fall back on.
2. Create Your Own Blog
While promoting your product to and engaging with already established bloggers is a fantastic idea, why not create your own blog? This can either be connected right to your own website or separate, with links referring to your products and services. Many of your potential consumers really do not know what CBD even is, and what it could do to benefit them. Again, due to the nature of where it comes from, it can be seen as a controversial and/or sensitive topic. Therefore, it is important to take this extra step to educate people on what your product is, and what it has the potential of doing. Explain what you’re selling and what you’re trying to achieve. Get the word out there and turn your readers into consumers. Designing and maintaining a blog does not have to be in any way expensive. If you have a flair for writing you can most certainly write your posts yourself, and it can be a great addition to your marketing plan. In addition to well-written articles about your product, what your company is about, and possible articles about CBD in the news today, make sure that your blog is visually appealing and well laid out. There is nothing worse for a reader than clicking onto a blog that either has way too much going on—to the point where you don’t actually know where the article is—or is just bland and bleak looking. Optimize your blog with simplicity, a well-chosen font, and relevant, eye-catching photos, and you’ll be on your way to attracting new consumers in no time.
3. Pitch Articles to Other Websites
While you’re typing away, spitting out spectacularly written articles for your own blog (or, you know, at least ones that are pretty good), why not write a few for other websites? Again, even if you, yourself, are not a writer, consider paying a freelancer to write a few key articles for you. Even if you have limited funds, this can certainly still be in your price range, and definitely worth the investment. Pitch some articles about the use and benefits of CBD to other (on topic) websites, and refer them back to your own products or websites yourself. I am, of course, not referring to trying to promote your products on a competitor’s website—that would be a waste of time! However, there are most certainly websites that are created for educational purposes, when it comes to the promotion and use of CBD and they likely are looking for articles about the very product you are promoting. Whether they are willing to pay you for your articles are not, this can certainly be a great investment for your start-up business.
As you can see, there are certainly ways to begin to make an impact on your CBD start-up, spending very little money. If you are willing to be creative and put some time and energy into marketing yourself, there is no reason why limited funds should stop you.