Rethinking CBD Advertising With Display

The Cannabidiol (CBD) market has taken off in the United States and across the world in recent years, and competition has grown online. While most traditional brands look to paid media to reach new consumers and grow their business, CBD companies are forced to navigate a murky media landscape filled with regulations and restrictions. 

Advertising policies across Google, Bing, and Yahoo can make it next to impossible to market CBD products on search, and paid social advertising is just as difficult. However, brands can find success with display advertising alongside a unique approach. While marketers have to look outside typical advertising platforms and tools, such as Google’s popular Display & Video 360, there is still ample opportunity to connect with your target audience online to drive traffic and conversions.

Getting the Foundation Right

The key to effective CBD advertising is targeting. There are a variety of reasons that people seek out and use CBD, so it’s important that you have correctly defined and understood your audience segments. Some may need a sleep aid, while other consumers are looking for an anxiety remedy for themselves (or even a pet). With the spectrum of use cases, it’s all about showing the right person the right message.

Segmentation and targeting can be tricky since each use of CBD has multiple target audiences. For example, joint pain relief can be relevant for both older adults and retired athletes, but the messaging needs to be tailored for each specific group.

Accompanying creative must also be chosen carefully, as certain imagery will only be applicable to particular segments. A 34-year-old may be turned off by a brand that advertises “arthritis relief” alongside a picture of an elderly couple, and instead looks for a product that better aligns with their needs and demographic.

Tailoring your creative by segment makes your ads more relevant (Source: Unsplash)

Following Through on Targeting

There are different ways to ensure your target audience is seeing the right advertising. Establishing separate landing pages for each use of your product, such as relaxation and sleeping, helps keep your message to each segment clear. 

With properly-set logic in your campaign, users will be directed to the corresponding landing page that details the relevant benefits of your product. Consumers seeking pain relief won’t be confused by promises of a better sleep, making the buying experience more straightforward and streamlined, thus increasing conversions.

Leveraging creative capabilities is also an effective method to protect your brand image across segments. It may be tempting to generate and use a single set of creatives across your campaigns to save time and money, but you sacrifice a degree of personalization that drives traffic and sales.

Data-driven creative, powered by your first-party data, helps you display relevant ads that speak to a consumer’s specific needs and mindset, putting your product in the perfect context. The success of your creative strategy is dependent on the quality of your data, so it’s essential that your website is tagged correctly and any platforms work in unison.

Maximizing Conversions

With the foundations of your targeting strategy in place, you can look to several effective methods for maximizing your conversions. Retargeting is an important component of any display campaign, as it keeps your brand top-of-mind and encourages consumers to return to your site. Highlighting new sales/offers or showing items left behind in a cart can entice users on the fence to click that final ‘Place Your Order’ button, especially if your retargeting is based on the specific use(s) they are interested in.

The placement of your ads can highly influence the success of your campaign as well, and certain websites perform better than others. Categories that are aligned with the various uses of CBD products tend to do well, such as personal care and beauty. Placements are also effective on recreation and shopping sites, as users are already in a browsing and purchasing mindset. 

With the influx of new competition in the CBD market, retaining repeat customers is just as valuable as winning new ones. In addition to typical retargeting, sequential and time-based strategies allow you to advertise to consumers when they’re expected to finish their products and start looking to replenish. Catching these users at the right time makes them more likely to return to your brand after a positive experience, which can also help you improve your ROI.

CBD advertising isn’t straightforward. Regulatory hurdles make it difficult for brands to find an effective solution, but there are still opportunities to promote your products and reach new customers online. With the right display advertising strategy, you can navigate this confusing landscape and improve performance, beating out the competition.