How To Advertise CBD on Facebook & Instagram
With increasing competition in the hemp-derived CBD marketplace in the USA, UK, and other EU countries, CBD marketers are asking, can I advertise CBD on Facebook and other social media platforms like Instagram, and TikTok.
Facebook advertising for CBD is an important channel for every CBD company so it’s understandable that new CBD companies are focusing on social media.
However, while it is possible to advertise CBD on Facebook, and we have managed several ad campaigns on Facebook for many of our clients, Facebook marketing, or more specifically, Facebook advertising just won’t work for some CBD companies.
This doesn’t mean that CBD companies should avoid marketing on Facebook. Social media is really just a necessary evil for CBD companies – and cannabis companies as well.
Your brand must have significant visibility on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and maybe Twitter, for one purpose only – PR or public relations.
The most effective way for companies to market CBD on Facebook and other social channels is to use the platforms for PR in order to create brand awareness, product trust, and to educate potential customers with the “features & health benefits” of your products.
But what about CBD advertising – can you advertise CBD on Facebook?
In terms of Facebook advertising for CBD, there is an alternative for some companies to market CBD on Facebook using Facebook & Instagram ad campaigns for prospecting & retargeting.
That’s right! It is possible to advertise certain types of CBD products on Facebook and on Instagram.
Below, we’ll outline how to advertise CBD on Facebook effectively and as per Facebook’s own advertising policies.
Can You Advertise CBD On Facebook?
Yes, you can advertise CBD on Facebook, but…
In order to get your CBD ads on Facebook approved, your campaign needs to be set up in a certain way to be accepted and effective for the long term, with no worries of being banned, shut down, and/or thrown in Facebook jail.
The reason a unique campaign set up is required as opposed to using a standard Facebook campaign set up has to do with the way Facebook views Hemp, CBD, THC, and Cannabis/Marijuana.
To keep this super simple, I can sum it up like this:
Facebook’s advertising policies do allow for the advertising and promotion of hemp-derived CBD topical products only, as long as these products and the website that they are sold on have no mention of the word CBD (or THC, cannabis, marijuana).
To be clear, you can advertise hemp topicals, creams, lotions, salves, sport sticks, and other CBD products that are applied to the top of the skin and are not to be ingested in the body, i.e. eaten, swallowed, chewed, or taken orally.
The challenge is that you will need to build additional infrastructure – i.e. an additional e-commerce website or an e-commerce landing page – that has absolutely no mention of CBD, THC, or any other cannabinoid.
I’ll break down the process that your CBD brand should take in order to successfully advertise CBD on Facebook.
How To Advertise CBD on Facebook
So, how can you advertise CBD on Facebook and not get banned?
The first thing to understand about getting CBD ads approved on Facebook & Instagram is that Facebook’s advertising policies actually do allow you to advertise CBD on Facebook – if follow the process we outline below.
For context, let’s clarify the confusion.
Facebook’s advertising policies make no mention of CBD, but a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Verge that CBD companies are not allowed to post ads mentioning CBD or ingestible hemp.
The source also notes that Facebook says that using paid CBD advertising to promote posts that mention CBD or ingestible hemp products is also not allowed.
According to digiday, Facebook has now relaxed its outright ban on advertising CBD products.
Therefore, CBD companies are now allowed to run ads for topical hemp-derived CBD products, only, across Facebook & Instagram.
To be clear, you can run CBD ads on Facebook that link directly to “clean” landing pages that feature topical hemp-derived CBD products like lotions, creams, salves, and roll-on’s/sport sticks.
BUT, there’s another but! Keep reading to find out what that is.
Remeber – No Mention of CBD!
Here’s the “other but”…
You will need a separate e-commerce website or a new e-commerce landing page that only features hemp-derived CBD topical products, has no mention of CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids, and does not have a link back to your “main CBD website”.
Note – the Facebook ads can not be linked to a site that contains any CBD products that are labeled as “CBD” or that are ingestable (oils, gummies, capsules, pills, flower, vapes).
The new e-commerce website or landing page that your ads are linked to must have no mention of CBD anywhere on the website or in any of the metadata, SEO title, slug, image alt tags, or page meta descriptions.
The site needs to be “clean” of the word “CBD”.
The word CBD should be replaced with the word “hemp”. This includes the product labels that are featured on this new e-commerce website or landing page.
Our Process For Advertising CBD Products on Facebook
We recommend the following process which will allow you to advertise some of your CBD products on Facebook & Instagram. We feel this process is relatively simple and effective. We’ve used it several times in the last 12-month to advertise CBD on Facebook for some of our clients.
1. Create a “Clean” Landing Page – CBD Free
The first step is to design and develop a new e-commerce landing page on a new domain/URL that does not have the word “CBD” included.
It’s super important to note here that this landing page must be an e-commerce landing page. The online sale has to take place on this new domain/URL and landing page, and not on your “main” CBD website.
There can be no link from this “clean landing page” to your “main” company website.
Your digital “infrastructure” will now be two-fold.
1. You’ll have your main/original CBD website (“main site”) which will be used for everything but your CBD Facebook advertising.
- This will be the website that you focus your CBD SEO strategy on and the site where you publish your CBD blog content.
2. You’ll have a new domain/URL and e-commerce landing page (“clean site”) which will be “clean” from the word CBD.
- You’ll need to replace the word “CBD” with the word “hemp” everywhere, including the SEO metadata and the product labels for products featured on this page.
If there is any mention of CBD anywhere on the landing page your Facebook ads will likely be disapproved immediately or within the first 3 days of your campaign going live.
2. How To Optimize Your “Clean” Facebook Landing Page For Conversions
In order for this landing page to be effective, it should be designed & optimized for both online sales as well as email capture. The page should be optimized for these two conversions.
Why? Simply because the data shows that not everyone who visits your website from a Facebook advertisement (or any advertisement) will make a purchase on their first visit.
Optimize For Email Capture:
Conversion rates for online sales are typically around 2%-5% are considered “good”. ‘
So if each visitor isn’t going to purchase, we highly recommend optimizing for capturing their email address by creating a compelling offer that they just can’t refuse.
This way, even if you don’t get the sale from their first visit, you’ll have their email address which can be used to retarget users with CBD advertising campaigns on Facebook in an effort to get them to return to your website.
Or, you can send potential customers relevant emails to their inbox, in order to get them back to the site to complete the purchase.
Optimize For Online Sales:
In order to optimize your new “clean” landing page for online sales from your CBD Facebook ads, you need to consider several user experience (UX) factors like page load time, ease of navigation, mobile friendliness/responsiveness, on-page copywriting, and calls to action.
In addition to the items mentioned above, in order to effectively optimize your CBD facebook advertising for website conversions/online sales, you need to ensure you have created sufficient brand awareness and trust.
We feel the latter should be priority number one. Focus on creating brand awareness and trust, first, and then focus on increasing online sales.
We feel this is the best CBD Facebook advertising strategy because our experience shows us that people will not typically buy a new wellness product like CBD from a brand/website that they do not know of and trust.
However, once any potential customer finds a CBD brand that they trust, they are much more open to purchasing from that brand.
Optimize Your CBD Ad Campaign Set-Up:
If you’re starting any CBD advertising on Facebook we highly recommend starting with a prospecting campaign, i.e. an awareness campaign, where the focus is on creating brand awareness and trust.
Your focus metrics will not be sales revenue but instead, key performance indicators should include engagement factors like:
- Ad Impressions or Video Ad Views
- Percentage of Ad Video Watched
- Engagement Rate
- Clicks to Website
- Cost Per Ad Engagement
- Cost Per Click
- Time Spent on the Website’
- Average Number of Pages Viewed
- Bounce Rate
- Emails Captured
- Online Sales
These prospecting/awareness ad campaigns will target the top of the funnel and create awareness of your brand and your products to target people that have never been to your website before.
The goal is to build a list of people who have engaged with your CBD ad on Facebook or Instagram and then to start retargeting/remarketing campaigns to target all the potential customers who came to your site from the Facebook ad but didn’t purchase, and get them back to the site to complete the sale.
Once you’ve run your prospecting/awareness ads for 30-60 days, you should start your first retargeting campaign and use 2 new custom audiences.
Optimize Your Custom Audiences:
To help increase online sales when advertising CBD on Facebook, we recommend you start using custom and look-a-like audiences for your retargeting/remarketing campaigns that target folks who’ve already engaged with your CBD ads on Facebook and/or have been to your website recently.
You can create a custom audience populated with only people who have engaged with your CBD ads and/or have visited your website from Facebook ads or any other source (organic search, direct referral, other social media).
You can also create a look-a-like audience that Facebook will create for you. They build a brand new audience of millions and millions of other Facebook users who are similar to those who have already engaged with your CBD ads or have visited your website in the past.
This CBD Facebook advertising strategy provides you with a highly qualified, “warm/hot” audience that you can serve customized CBD ads to in their feeds on Facebook and Instagram.
Your focus metrics for these campaigns will be focused on customer acquisition and online sales revenue. Key performance indicators should include acquisition factors like:
- Engagement Rate on Ads
- Cost Per Ad Engagement
- Clicks to Website
- Cost Per Click
- Online Sales
- Cost Per Online Sale
Is There An Alternative To Advertising CBD on Facebook?
Yes, there are actually TWO amazing alternatives to advertising CBD on Facebook and each is a CBD marketing tactic that you should consider for your brand.
- Programmatic Display/Banner Advertising & Retargeting
- Google Search Advertising
Programmatic Display Advertising:
Programmatic display advertising for CBD allows you to have priority ad placements on some of the world’s most popular websites.
Google search advertising allows you to target people who are actively searching to buy CBD products online. These people have the intent to purchase.
What’s the definition of programmatic advertising for CBD products?
A simple definition of programmatic advertising by Digital Marketing Institute is: “The use of software to buy digital advertising”.
The great thing about using this tactic is that CBD advertising is allowed!
We feel programmatic display/banner advertising is a great alternative to Facebook advertising because the advertising tools are the same as what Facebook offers.
So instead of targeting people on Facebook or Instagram, where you have to go through the extra work outlined above, with programmatic display ads for CBD you can target people on popular websites, create custom and look-a-like audiences, and retarget all website visitors, just like you can do on Facebook.
In terms of costs, display advertising is less expensive than Facebook. We typically recommend a minimum media budget of $50/day per campaign for display ads, and with Facebook ads for CBD, we recommend a minimum spend of $75/day.
The best part is that you can get started with CBD advertising, creating brand awareness, product trust, and increasing traffic to your website much faster using programmatic display ads as opposed to CBD ads of Facebook.
We’d highly recommend this CBD marketing tactic for all CBD brands who aren’t interested in creating a new, clean, “hemp” site that only sells topicals.
Google Search Advertising:
We have been using paid search ads on Google to advertise CBD for many of our clients since 2018!
While Google may say that they do not allow for CBD ads, that’s only partly true.
It is possible to get Google Ads approved on their search network but there is a strict process that CBD advertising agencies and CBD brands must follow.
At this time, Google does not allow for CBD advertising on the Google Display Network or on YouTube.
As for the Google Shopping Network, at this time, they do not allow for CBD product ads in North America, BUT, we have had success running CBD ads on the Google Shopping Network in the EU.
You can check out some of our case studies for CBD Google ads to see what we’ve been able to do using this channel. Here’s a case study on Google Search Ads for CBD in the UK and another case study on Google Ads for CBD in the USA.
We Can Help You Advertise CBD Online!
If you’re interested in using Facebook & Instagram to advertise your CBD products and you’re able to invest in the additional infrastructure required to get your ads approved, we can help you with professional and experienced CBD campaign management.
If programmatic display is something you’d rather try, we can help you get started right away.
We’re also able to advertise CBD on Google search so if social media advertising isn’t for you, we can still help you craft an effective CBD advertising strategy using search ads.
Please email us to request a quote or call us for a free 30-minute phone consultation.
We’re Ready To Help You Grow!