CBD Display Ads: 6 Tips For Effective CBD Advertising & Retargeting

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Everything You Need To Know About CBD Display Ads

You can and should use CBD display ads in your CBD marketing strategy to target customers in each stage of the buyer journey because this tactic is one of the most effective for new and existing Hemp & CBD companies in the USA, Canada, and the EU.

What are CBD display ads?

Display ads for hemp & CBD products are image & video ads shown to your potential customers as they browse websites, apps, connected TV devices.

In more basic terms, they are any digital ad format outside of paid search ads.

The best news is that there are plenty of third-party platforms that permit CBD advertising across North America and the EU.

CBD marketers and CBD advertising agencies like us, ColaDigital.ca, use display ads across the entire buyer’s journey for the following goals:

  • Developing & increasing brand awareness & trust for new CBD companies
  • Promoting specific CBD products
  • Promotional sales & special discounts
  • Educational blog content

All CBD display advertising can be static, animated, or video-based. These types of ads are often associated with top-of-funnel marketing (awareness stage), where making a group of targeted people aware of your brand is paramount.

In this article you’ll learn more about how to use CBD display ads, things to consider when running CBD display campaigns, and I’ll list a few recommendations on why & how you should incorporate them into your CBD advertising strategy to drive both immediate revenue and long-term branding.

analytics for cbd display ads campaign. cbd SEO advertising agency coladigital.ca.

When Should You Use CBD Display Advertising?

All the time. CBD display ads have value across the entire buyer journey – all stages of the sales funnel.

  1. Top of the Funnel – Awareness Stage
  2. Middle of the Funnel – Evaluation Stage
  3. Bottom of the Funnel – Purchase Stage
  4. Very Bottom of the Funnel – Delight Stage

While the traditional customer sales funnel may be a little different these days, for the CBD customer, I feel it’s still super relevant and super helpful to think in terms of the traditional funnel stages because it’s completely logical, especially for CBD products.

It also helps you and your CBD advertising agency to define tactics, strategy, and KPIs.

Case in point, here’s a slide I often find myself updating when educating clients on the benefits of a full-funnel approach.

Note that there are display components at each funnel stage.

image of cbd sales funnel conversion funnel from cbd advertising agency coladigital.ca
Click image for larger version

How To Use CBD Display Ads – Breaking Down Each Stage

1. CBD Advertising for the Awareness Stage

Display ads for CBD products are an ideal tactic to use to target top of the funnel potential customers who are in the Awareness Stage. Successful CBD companies will use CBD display ads in prospecting campaigns to target prospective customers in this stage.

A prospecting campaign can be defined as targeting people who are interested in CBD and who have never been to your website before as opposed to a CBD retargeting campaign that specifically targets people who have been to your website but have not completed a purchase.

CBD display ad components should include programmatic display/banner advertisements, Native ad placements, and/or OTT (video streaming) platforms.

These ads are often purchased at a lower CPM or CPC than for example Google Search ads for CBD.

The goals for prospecting campaigns using CBD display ads should be to develop and increase awareness/trust in your CBD brand & product line, and not increase online sales, simply because the users who see and/or click on your display ads have never been to your website before so chances of a sale from this group are super slim.

A sub-goal for the above is to build the size of your retargeting/remarketing list of website visitors. See more on this in the Pro Tip below at the end of this section.

Keep in mind that a secondary goal for CBD display ads in the awareness stage which is equally as important as the primary goals listed above is engagement by prospective customers with the display ad and/or your website.

For example, you can run 2 separate prospecting campaigns. One targeted to amplify brand awareness and trust, and the second to encourage click-through and website engagement.

In order to optimize this strategy effectively, you need to ensure that you utilize specific and targeted ad creative for each CBD display ad banner in each prospecting campaign.


The biggest advantage of using CBD display ads is that through the use of a simple piece of code implemented on your website by your CBD advertising agency, you’re legally able to collect user data from everyone who visits your website, regardless of how they got to your site – organic search, social media, email marketing, direct traffic, referrals or paid advertising.

This means you’re able to create a valuable retargeting/remarketing list of people to target with customized CBD display ads in future retargeting campaigns.

Remember, this list is full of people who have already been to your CBD website (i.e have some brand awareness) and may have started to develop some brand trust and be ready to purchase given the right incentives.

Therefore, driving traffic to your website through programmatic display advertising, and all other traffic sources, allows you to grow the size of the list of people who visit your CBD website and get them back to your website to purchase.

Bottom line – growing the size of your retargeting list is a goal that is just as vital as the goals listed above. Every new CBD company should have this goal at the top of their list for phase 1 CBD marketing.

customer evaluation stage image. cbd display advertising agency.

2. CBD Display Ads for the Evaluation Stage

Using CBD banner ads on popular websites in the Evaluation Stage should be a no-brainer. Is your CBD company using display/banner ads for retargeting and bringing users back to your website to either complete the purchase or develop more trust with new customers?

This is the point where all your CBD advertising efforts in the Awareness Stage to drive traffic to the website, increase brand awareness/trust, and increase the size of your retargeting list come to fruition!

At this point, your CBD display ad targeting will generally include some indicator of purchase intent, either in a prospecting or retargeting capacity.

For example, our third-party CBD display advertising partners allow us to create custom audiences and look-a-like audiences (just like Facebook & Google platforms) based on the data collected from your website visitors.

With this ability and data, we’re able to implement retargeting campaigns which serve customized CBD display ads to people who visited your site and haven’t yet made a purchase.

If someone was on your site and looking at the CBD oil products, we’d serve them customized display ads on websites they visit after your site, showing them the CBD oil they looked at, ad copy extolling its benefits, and a compelling discount offer to purchase.

These tactics allow your brand to remain top of mind to the prospect and potentially increase sales while you continue to develop and grow brand awareness/trust because they keep seeing your brand/product advertising on other websites.


When running retargeting campaigns to CBD consumers in the Evaluation Stage, don’t forget to “keep your hopper full” and continue to run prospecting campaigns to drive new people to your website.

It doesn’t make strategic sense to only target the middle of the funnel and stop targeting the top of the funnel. The key to successful retargeting is to have a large retargeting list size which means always being focused on growing the size of your retargeting list.

Typically, our CBD advertising agency recommends you start your first retargeting campaign once your list size is made up of a minimum of 3,000-5,000 unique users. Even then I sometimes recommend waiting until that list grows to 10,000 unique users.

From a cost perspective, it’s much more expensive to run a retargeting campaign to a list with 5000 unique users than it is to run a retargeting campaign to a list with 10,000-15,000++ uniques.

man buying cbd online. cbd display advertising services company.

3. CBD Ads For Conversions – The Purchase Stage

Finally, you say! Now we can talk about sales!!

Generally speaking, CBD display ad prospecting campaigns fall off here because most display ad impressions are served to users who have expressed a high level of CBD purchase intent.

For example, retargeting campaigns are in full force in this stage serving display ads to people who abandoned their shopping cart or visited other highly valuable product pages on your site.

4. Sell More CBD in The Delight Stage

Your current CBD customers can be a treasure trove of new CBD business for you, from brand ambassadors to new customer referrals.

CBD display advertising is an excellent way to stay relevant to existing customers so when the time is right, you are the first CBD brand name in their consideration or recommendation set.

Remember – display advertising for your CBD products is a pivotal component at any stage of the funnel.

How to Measure & Optimize Your CBD Display Ads

Measuring display ad performance for CBD campaigns can be tricky for companies focused on short-term, revenue-based key performance indicators (KPIs), given that a bulk of display ads are used at the top of the funnel.

Unfortunately, there is no “short-term revenue” when it comes to CBD marketing or advertising.

It takes time to sell CBD because it takes time to create brand awareness and product trust for any CBD company.

 1. Map Out Your KPIs

In order to effectively measure the success of your CBD display ad campaigns, we recommend using the following key performance indicators for each type of campaign.

We choose these KPIs because they include both the activity and engagement on the ad/ad level as well as the activity and engagement after the click and on your website.

KPIs for Prospecting Campaigns

  • Total impressions of each display ad
  • Total clicks on each ad
  • Average CPM
  • Average CPC
  • Total website visits from ads
  • Average time spent on the website from each ad
  • Average number of pages viewed by each user from each ad
  • Total number of leads/emails captured

KPIs for Retargeting Campaigns

  • Total impressions of each display ad
  • Total clicks on each ad
  • Average CPM
  • Average CPC
  • Total website visits from ads
  • Average time spent on the website from each ad
  • Average number of pages viewed by each user from each ad
  • Total number of leads/emails captured
  • Total online sales


2. Redefine Success

As mentioned earlier, CBD display ads are most effective (and most cost-effective) when used to target the top of the funnel – the awareness phase. Pre-click KPIs are often used as the goal to saturate a target audience with enough reach and frequency to build brand awareness.

In other words, success isn’t, and shouldn’t, be measured by sales, which would take place post-click, after the prospect clicks the ad and lands on the client website.

Therefore, these are additional KPIs to consider that will make the impact of CBD display ads blatantly obvious. Here are four:

  • Brand search impression lift.
  • Organic & paid search CTR lift.
  • Direct visitor lift.
  • Unattributed lead lift.

After the click, there are quite a few squishy conversion points that can be used to bridge the top and bottom of the funnel.

As a CBD business owner, ask yourself, “Outside of the end conversion/sale, what other user behavior indicates that someone has an interest in my CBD products?

What indicates a highly qualified target prospect with the intent to purchase CBD?

How do I know we’re getting the right targeting from our CBD advertising agency?”

I love when our clients ask themselves these questions or ask them to us.

These KPIs show success outside of online sales:

  • Website engagement – How long was the customer on the website? (e.g., >60 seconds and shows intent).
  • Article views (URL contains + 75% page scroll depth) – How much of the article did the user see/read/scroll?
  • Newsletter subscriptions – Email’s are as good as gold. If someone gives you their email address, they are a warm/hot lead/prospect.
  • Social icon clicks – These can lead to increasing your social followers and grow your brand awareness and trust.
  • Key page views – Are people looking at brand info pages like your About Us page or are they looking at product pages and product information?

On the flip side, what is a negative intent signal? A bounce within 5 seconds of landing is one example.


Leverage Your Tech Stack to Measure Display Ad Success

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? If you didn’t measure the key performance indicators from your CBD display ad campaigns using display ads or other paid tactics did the campaign even happen?

We are a data-driven CBD advertising agency and tend to measure the effectiveness of each and every tactic we use in your CBD display ad strategy, and you should be doing the same.

CBD Analytics platforms, ad platforms, marketing automation tools, CRMs, tag managers, data enrichment products, and other tech stack components each bring something to the data table in terms of data analysis to tweak your CBD display advertising strategy.

If your company has not made significant investments in building its tech stack – or more importantly, understand how to analyze and glean strategic information from the data you’re collecting, it’s not too late to start.

The first step is to find out what’s in your CBD tech stack and how you can leverage the analytics provided by each tool. For example, here are the tools that we use in our tech stack for CBD display ads and other paid/organic tactics:

  1. Analytics: Google Analytics for data on everything from website engagement to audience data to campaign conversions.
  2. Search Ad Platforms: Google Ads & Bing Ads for paid search advertising.
  3. Display Ad Platforms: Criteo, Brandzooka, and/or Outbrain for CBD products, GumGum,, Mantis, and/or Traffic roots for Cannabis/THC products.
  4. Marketing Automation: Klaviyo and or MarketoTag Managers: Google Tag Manager for everything.
  5. Heat Maps: CrazyEgg and/or HotJar
  6. Data Enrichment Products: Clearbit
  7. Tag Managers: Google Tag Manager
  8. Reporting: Google Data Studio and/or Searchmetrics

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How To Get Started With CBD Display Ads Now

If you see the benefits of using CBD display ads for your business, we can help you with experienced & professional managed services and CBD advertising strategies.

We have run advertising campaigns for several CBD companies in the United States, Canada, and 5 countries in the EU, and can certainly create and execute a customized display advertising campaign for you.

Please contact us by phone for a free 30-minute consultation or email us to schedule a call.

We’re Ready To Help You Grow!

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