CBD Facebook Ads or CBD Google Ads? How Do I Choose?

cbd facebook ads vs google search ads for hemp cbd products.

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CBD Facebook Ads or CBD Google Ads: 5 Factors To Consider Which Platform is Best For Your Strategy

So, you have a limited budget for CBD advertising management and daily media fees. Which is better for your company ROI, CBD Facebook Ads, or CBD ads on Google Search? Here’s how to make the most effective choice for your hemp CBD marketing strategy.

One of the most common questions we get as a cannabis and CBD marketing and advertising agency is typically related to paid advertising/paid media on Google or CBD ads on Facebook.

Where should we focus our limited media spend:

Google Search Ads for CBD or Facebook CBD Ads?

Either that or, Can you advertise CBD on Facebook in 2020 or Can you now advertise CBD using Google Ads – Search, Shopping, & Display?

The conversation usually then develops to discussing Hemp CBD advertising on Facebook and which advertising platform is best for their brand. The answer is really simple.

The fact is, one isn’t “better” than the other and there really isn’t a “better” comparing the two because each one does things very differently.

Choosing which channel should be strategic because people use Facebook much differently than they use Google, and this should be reflected in your CBD advertising strategy for each platform.

For example, when it comes to “better”, the better questions are:

  • Which is a better fit for my budget?
  • Which one is a better fit for the product landscape I’m in?
  • What stages of the buyer journey am I targeting?

These are important questions when it comes to CBD and hemp marketing strategy as Google and Facebook are both proven performers in CBD advertising because they’re able to serve targeted advertising to the majority of internet users 24-hours a day.

In this article, we’re going to discuss social media CBD advertising on Facebook and CBD search advertising on Google.

We’ll outline 5 factors to consider when choosing to use Google or Facebook or your CBD advertising or to consider using both platforms for strategic reasons.

Read on to learn if Google search advertising for hemp & CBD, or social media CBD advertising on Facebook, is the best solution for the growth of your business.

competition playing-games. cbd facebook ads vs google ads for cbd hemp products.

1. The Hemp CBD Industry & Your Competition

The first factor to consider when planning your Hemp/CBD advertising strategy is the industry standard cost per click (CPC) that you will be charged, on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, each time someone clicks on your ad.

There is a free tool that you can use to find this information – Google’s Keyword Planner. However, this free option does have some limitations, especially with the CPCs for cannabis, hemp, and CBD related terms.

Our CBD advertising team uses paid tools like SpyFu and SEMrush to get CPC data on profitable keywords and to analyze the competition who are also bidding on these popular keyword phrases.

If you don’t have access to these paid tools but see the value in this data, we can certainly help you with that! Contact us to discuss our SEO packages.

Here’s an example of what needs to be done in this step. Let’s say you want to show up at the top of a search results page whenever someone searches to buy CBD online and use one of your competitor’s brand names.

Branded terms are super expensive. In our experience, CBD related search terms like “medterra cbd oil”, “buy medterra cbd oil online”, “purekana cbd oil”, “purekana cbd oil USA”, etc., can have average CPCs of $18-$25+ USD.

So, if this is part of your strategy and you need to bid on these terms, but you don’t have a super-insanely huge media budget, you’re going to have look at other CBD/hemp advertising options outside of Google.

Let’s do the math and say you did have a large media spend with a daily budget of $500/day and your average CPC is $25, you’re only looking at 20 clicks/day.

In order for this to be successful, you – or your CBD advertising agency – would need to generate hundreds, if not thousands of impressions to learn what keywords, ads, and landing pages are working best (i.e. most profitable) for you.

This is totally possible and is actually what our CBD digital advertising team does daily, however, it will take you a long time to get there when you have a smaller budget and are bidding on expensive search terms.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use Google search as part of your CBD advertising plans. You could change your strategy and choose less expensive, non-branded, and purchase intent related keywords to bid on.

We’re running Google search ad campaigns for many of our hemp and CBD clients and are seeing average CPCs from $2.96-$8.00 for the following purchase intent related keywords:

If the above doesn’t work for your budget, you may need to start thinking about Facebook ads as an option.

Remember that while it is possible to get CBD ads approved on Facebook, and we have done this before, it still is a challenge and may require additional infrastructure (new social profiles, a landing page on new domain, etc).

However, as always, there is still another solution for running CBD, hemp, and/or cannabis ads outside of Google and Facebook.

We call this programmatic display ad/or video advertising on popular websites. This channel actually allows us to run these ads as long as certain FDA related guidelines are maintained.

man using a calculator to analyze cbd industry USA. facebook advertising for hemp cbd products.

2. Your CBD Digital Advertising Budget & Acquisition Costs

We could have put this step as step 1 as before you start spending any money on CBD and hemp advertising, you’ll want to be very clear on your numbers.

The most important number to be clear on is what you can afford to pay to gain a customer via Google, Facebook, programmatic display ads, or any other form of paid advertising.

We call this your CPA – cost per acquisition.

If you don’t confirm this number you’ll end up spending a lot more of your media budget on any platform with no direction. Here’s an example of how this breaks down.

If you can afford to spend $20 to acquire a customer, but you’re spending $10 to get someone to your website, that means you have to convert half your visits just to break even!

Unfortunately, that’s a high number of conversions and an unrealistic expectation. In fact, average conversion rates for CBD are running around 1.5%-3% in some cases, and above 5% in others.

The pro-tip here is to take a look at your full budget which should include monthly management fees for the CBD advertising agency or freelancer managing your campaigns, as well as your daily media spend for each platform.

My advice is to work from highest intent backward: maximize your retargeting first (Google ads + programmatic display advertising), and then move the leftover funds into higher in the funnel (SEO & blog content marketing).

Implementing a strategy like this in your CBD/hemp marketing plan will ensure you get the best ROI possible and help you reinvest further back in the customer journey.

notepad with goals for cbd advertising on facebook social media or google search ads. cbd advertising company USA Canada.

3. Define The Objectives For Your CBD Advertising Campaign

So now that you have figured out your full marketing budget and you’ve considered your paid competitors and the average CPCs to expect with hemp CBD advertising, you then need to consider your goals – what you’re hoping to achieve from this CBD advertising strategy.

We’ve found most of our clients have the following goals for their business:

  • Amplify Brand Awareness
  • Accelerate Demand For Your Products
  • Generate High-Quality Leads
  • Increase Online Sales

Take some time to review your goals for CBD advertising and align them with your marketing budget.

If your goal is to amplify your brand awareness or generate demand for your CBD hemp products, Facebook ads may be more economical for you.

However, if you’re looking to increase sales and generate high-quality, “warm” leads (i.e., email capture), then Google Ads might be a better choice for your business.

Google ads always work well to target this middle-to-bottom section of the sales funnel simply because we target people who are actively searching online, using purchase intent related keywords, to buy what you’re selling.

They have a much higher intent to purchase than other site visitors.

While all this sounds good, before you make a decision and get started you’ll need to get back to the goals and budget and consider your overall CBD advertising spend.

Just FYI, in my experience, I’ve seen lower cost per conversion (i.e., cost per lead, not sale) from Facebook Ads. However, these leads seemed to be “colder” than leads from CBD Google ads.

It might cost you 2x as much using Google Ads but do typically these leads convert at a higher rate because of the user’s purchase intent.

The key to manage all this is to have an experienced CBD advertising agency do campaign setup, regular optimization, as well as to analyze the math & data all the way through the campaign to your ultimate objective to find the more profitable channel/platform.

group of businessman walking. cbd facebook ads agency. cbd conversion funnel.

4. Understand The Stage in CBD Buyer’s Journey/Marketing Funnel

This factor is HUGE. if you’re unfamiliar with the user journey and building an effective CBD website conversion funnel, check out this article that outlines our conversion funnel approach to CBD marketing.

The best way to choose if CBD google ads or Facebook ads for CBD is best for you is to fully understand where the CBD customer is in their buyer journey to purchasing CBD online.

If you understand their stage in the conversional funnel you’ll effectively be able to decide which advertising platform to use to advertise your CBD products.

If you have some decent brand awareness and online sales are your main focus, you’ll want to target CBD users, or people interested in using CBD, at the moment they are looking to purchase the product.

Therefore, Google search ads are the ideal platform due to the high-level of purchase intent from your audience.

However, if you need to build brand awareness and ongoing consideration in the buyer’s evaluation process, Facebook Ads, or programmatic display ads on popular websites, can help you target the right people who have a current or unknown need for you CBD products.

In fact, this is the perfect example of why you want to use both Google and Facebook in your marketing plan to fuel the growth of your CBD advertising strategy.

Sometimes, Facebook ads for CBD are more challenging to get ad approval than are Google ads.

In that case, we suggest using both google ads and programmatic display advertising on popular websites, as our 3rd partner programmatic partner allows for cannabis and CBD advertising so ad approval is not an issue.

Programmatic advertising, like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms is an ideal marketing channel to use to create brand awareness, build the size of your retargeting/remarketing lists, generate leads, and increase online sales.

The point here is that your target customers are all in different stages of the buyer journey to purchase CBD. Some need information and education.

They need brand awareness to trust the company they deal with. They are in the awareness stage at the top of the funnel/journey.

It makes no sense to target that top of the funnel audience with offers to buy your hemp CBD products because they aren’t looking to buy just yet.

This is why it’s important to capture them at this stage so that when they are ready to purchase, they buy from you.

Target the top of the funnel with Facebook Ads and/or programmatic display ads on popular websites so that you can build an audience of “warm” people who are in the evaluation stage pop their journey/your funnel.

Give them time to warm up to you, trust your products, and build a relationship with your brand.

Target the middle of the funnel, that is, people in the evaluation stage of their journey and the middle/”war” stage of your funnel, with compelling offers using Google search ads.

This is the ideal way to get your advertising in front of the right people who have the intent to purchase your products online.

Long story short, my recommendation is to use Facebook CBD ads & programmatic display ads for demand generation and use Google Ads for demand fulfillment.

group-of-friends-in-the-park. hemp advertising on google or facebook? Which is better for my hemp advertising strategy.

5. Your Brand Recognition for Hemp/CBD Products

This factor may not be as important for your brand as some of the other factors listed above, but this one is certainly worth noting especially if you have a relatively new CBD company or hemp oriented business.

The simple fact is, if your company is new and you have a new website, you are most likely going to be less successful with CBD advertising campaigns on Facebook or on Google search.


Because your competition is made up of not only other new CBD companies but also the mature & established CBD companies.

So even if you’ve made efforts for building brand awareness, there’s stiff competition for exposure and lucrative CBD ad placements on Facebook and Google search.

So based on this challenge, when users see your ad (a company which they do not recognize) and your competitor’s ad (one they do recognize), your competitor’s paid CBD advertising campaigns (on Facebook or Google) will most likely see much more success (i.e., higher click-through rate).

There’s certainly something to be said for full-on brand awareness campaigns that target the top and the middle of the funnel. People at this stage of the CBD buyer’s journey are looking for a brand they can trust.

They need to know about your brand in order to trust your brand enough to purchase form you.

Make sure you consider your company’s position in the marketplace when determining if Facebook ads for CBD or Google search ads for CBD is your best option.

You might find that your step 1 is to focus on building reputation and recognition of your CBD brand through hyper-targeted Facebook ads, as well as via programmatic display advertising on popular websites, to start.

Once you’re able to create enough brand awareness, as well as a larger retargeting/remarketing list, you can add Google Ads into your CBD advertising strategy to increase your reach, website traffic, and online sales.

data from a hemp advertising campaign on facebook.

We Can Help You With Your CBD Advertising on Facebook & Google

Are you ready to target the top of the funnel with a CBD advertising plan designed to create brand awareness and trust on Facebook?

Do you like the sound of easy ad approval and getting started right away with programmatic display advertising designed to create brand recognition and build a positive brand reputation for your CBD products?

Are sales your number one priority right now? Then you should discuss Google search ads for CBD with us asap, as an alternative to using Facebook ads for CBD.

Call us today for a free 30-minute phone consultation or email us to schedule a call or request a quote.

We’re Ready To Help You Grow!

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