Despite the legalization of CBD, there are still restrictions on how to advertise marijuana products in the US.
For small CBD businesses, the best strategy is to promote cautiously and creatively, so you don’t enter the bad books of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) while converting the crop of customers you need.
What better way to accomplish this goal than to use CBD native ads?
In this piece, we have broken down everything you need to know about native ads, how they work in the weed industry, and the top three native advertising networks to consider for your CBD business.
Read also: CBD Industry Predictions For 2020
What are native ads?
Native adverts are paid ads that go perfectly with the feel, function, and form of the website or social media page it appears on.
As a way to expand potential customer reach, native ads are used for advertising to people who already consume CBD products and are open to more discoveries. For example, collaborative content, sponsored videos, and social media posts are examples of native adverts.
Therefore, instead of upsetting user experience or instigating irritation among users, the idea of native advertising is to capture the attention of an engaged audience while they are still on the site.
If you aren’t getting the customer reach that Facebook, Google, and other content marketing techniques provide, these marijuana advertising networks might be of help to you.
What makes up a native advertisement network?
Three players make up a native advertisement network:
- Supply-side players
- Demand-side players
- Technology platforms
1) Demand-side players: This refers to the businesses and companies that need native adverts. They may be traditional media publishers like Bloomberg, ESPN, or small startups like CBD business. Demand-side players usually have one of three goals of using native ads:
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost sales
- Improve customer engagement
2) Supply-side players: These are the audience you are trying to reach with your native ads.
3) Technology platforms: This refers to the adhesive that holds the demand-side and supply-side players together. They include:
- Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Search engines like Google and Bing
- Content discovery sites like Taboola, Mantis, and Outbrain.
Advertising options for CBD businesses
Read also: How to Start a CBD Business
1) Advertising Cannabis Products with Taboola
Taboola is a native advertising platform that CBD businesses can use to market their products. The site claims to assist in promoting brands and reach the marijuana customers you’ve always wanted by putting your services, products, and messages on the leading websites online.
It partners with the industry leaders to get this job done easily, while also ensuring your brand’s safety with verification, viewability, and fraud services.
Here are some other features that the marijuana advertising network promises to provide:
- Sophisticated target options: Taboola claims to help you target your audience, in detail, by their operating system, location, and even device.
- Control of campaigns: The site promises that businesses will have the autonomy of starting and pausing campaigns, as well as for deciding on their settings.
- Comprehensive reporting: Another service it promises to provide is detailed reports of strategies that are working for your business.
- Flexible goal setting: Taboola claims that you’ll be able to set whatever goal you want for your business.
Taboola does not explicitly state that you cannot use the platform for advertising CBD products.
On the list of restricted products, services and content, medicine and supplements are the closest to marijuana. It states that health claims and mentions may not be used in such campaigns, which is in line with the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines for marijuana businesses.
You might need to modify your content to advertise medical marijuana products. Still, Taboola is a site that you should consider using to help your business reach customers that will purchase your product or services.
2) Advertising Cannabis Brands with Outbrain
Another native advertising platform that CBD businesses can use to market their products, services, or content is Outbrain.
With a goal to create a trustworthy feed that connects people, marketers, and channels, Outbrain has been one of the leaders in its industry.
The world’s top media brands like MSN, Sky News, Hearest, and even CNN use this advertising network.
Currently, it claims to reach out to more than a billion people on products, content, and services that might interest them, which is one of the reasons CBD business owners use the platform for native advertising.
Here are some of Outbrain’s guidelines on the products and businesses it can promote:
Your content, product or service should not promote:
- Illegal, recreational and prescription drugs
- Tobacco-related products like hookahs, vaporizers, cigarettes, and cigars.
- Herbal supplements that produce the same effect as illegal substances
Allowed content: Your content, product, or service may promote CBD products. However, the THC should be below the acceptable percentage in the country where it is legal. For the US, 0.3% is the acceptable THC content for CBD products.
Outbrain might be the platform to consider if you need to put native ads and increase your sales, brand awareness, or customer engagement for your CBD business.
3) Advertise Cannabis Products with Mantis
The third native advertisement option for CBD businesses is Mantis. When compared to Taboola and Outbrain, it has a smaller marijuana advertising network. However, it claims to provide similar features as the big names in the native advertising niche.
Mantis states that it is one of the pioneers of ad tech on its homepage, and promises to deliver contents, products, and services to the customers that need it through its native advertising strategies.
The platform’s network consists of more than 500 websites, and Mantis claims that this number is increasing.
Mantis is one of the few platforms that explicitly state that it can help you advertise cannabis content to products. However, it suggests that sponsored content should be the foundation of your cannabis marketing strategy.
There are only a handful of restrictions on what you can promote on the site.
How to pick the right native advertising option for your CBD company
There’s a wide range of native advertising options for CBD businesses, so how do you know which option is best for you? Here are a couple of factors to consider before choosing a platform:
1) Scale: This refers to the number of your target audience the platform reaches out to.
2) Tracking: It helps if you don’t have to track the KPIs by yourself. So, a factor to consider when getting a native advertising platform is if it tracks your KPIs and whether you can get access to it.
3) Compatibility: This factor explains how well a native advertising network integrates with software and hardware solutions like operating systems and devices. As you’ll be targeting your audience by these solutions, compatibility is an essential factor to keep in mind.
4) Service: This refers to the self-services and management support that a platform has.
5) Network Quality: This refers to the type of pages and websites that the platform deploys to reach your customers.
How to build CBD native ads
Fitting native advertisements into your business can be confusing, especially if you don’t the process. Here are the steps to follow when creating a native CBD ad are:
1) Set your campaign goals
Like in every other marketing technique, the first thing to do in building a native ad strategy is to set goals for your CBD business. You need to be clear about what you intend to achieve with the ads and ensure that they are specific. For example, knowing how many customers you want for each product is a precise and achievable goal. Your goals should also have a deadline.
2) Define your audience
People use CBD products for many reasons, so the next step is to define the audience you are targeting with your native ads. Again, it is not enough to keep things generic. Target your audience by location, gender, age, buyer intent, and even device.
3) Choose the right publisher
You probably have other aspects of your CBD business to cater to. So, you can outsource the job of choosing publishers to run your adverts on.
4) Identify relevant content
Your CBD content is the core of your native advert strategy. Therefore, it has to be appealing and relevant to your customers. At this stage, it helps to stop thinking like a business owner or advertiser and put yourself into your reader’s shoes. What would they like to see?
There are three types of content to consider using:
- Informative and Educative content that drives brand awareness (top of the funnel)
- Lead-generative content (middle of the funnel)
- Sales driving content (bottom of the funnel)
5) Build Creatives
After identifying the content for your campaign, the next thing to do is create your ads. Make sure you use thumbnails and titles but experiment with other elements of digital marketing.
6) Allocate spending
Cost-per-click (CPC) is how much you spend every time someone clicks on any of your campaign elements. Ensure you set a spending limit and define the ideal CPC for your CBD products, so you don’t break the bank implementing your native advertising strategy.
7) Test and track your results
The job is not completed when you build and set your native advertising strategy. The final result is what really matters, so ensure you track whether you are meeting your campaign goals or not by using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to get a quantifiable value.
Types of Native Adverts
There are six types of native adverts, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau:
- In-Feed Units: These promote content within the index of an article. So, readers will see not only the original content of a gallery or stream but also the sponsored ones from a business. In-feed units appear like any other content on the site, and they can be written by the sponsoring advertiser or the publisher of the article.
- Custom ads: These are contextual adverts that don’t fit the specific format of the information on a website or page. Therefore, advertising your CBD oil on a healthcare website is a custom advert.
- Promoted listings: Businesses use promoted listings to feature sponsored posts on their category page. These listings do not have editorial content but are made to blend with the products listed on a site. For example, pushing your CBD tinctures to the first tincture page of a B2C website is an example of a promoted listing.
- In-adverts with Native Element Units: In-adverts with native elements are similar to standard ads, but they are more relevant to the publisher. For example, your CBD business may publish your unique technique for making sploofs on a site where different other methods are published.
- Paid-Search Ads: Paid-search ads are native adverts that are similar to promoted listings, with the only difference being that the listings appear top of the search results.
- Content Recommendation Widgets: These are call-to-actions at the end of articles on a website. They allow businesses to leverage the publisher’s audience in selling a product or service.
FAQ about Native Advertising for CBD businesses
Q1. Are there laws or principles guiding native adverts?
In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines that it expects business (including CBD businesses) to follow. The body is clear that native adverts should not be deceptive to readers.
Q2. Should I disclose that my content is a native advert?
You must ensure that your native ads are identifiable as adverts by customers. It must not mislead them about its commercial nature.
Native advertising has become popular among advertisers and publishers because it satisfies both party’s needs.
In the cannabis industry, CBD native ads have been instrumental in reaching out to more customers than what other techniques provide for businesses.
We’ve highlighted three of the top native advertising options to choose from, as well as every other thing you need to know about the form of advertising.
We’re here to help you grow, so use one of the platforms we’ve listed above to expand your CBD business and get more customers that are interested in your product.