Diving into specifics about Facebook advertising for CBD brands, dispensaries, and other hemp products. How can you do it properly? CannaPlanners is here to help. If you've ever asked can you advertise CBD on Facebook the answer is yes! Just follow these simple rules to get your CBD ads approved on FB. Promoting CBD ads on Facebook can be difficult when you’re not used to jumping through hoops. We make the process simple and easy. Click to learn how-to!
Can you advertise hemp and CBD on Facebook?
How to Run Facebook Ads for your CBD Brand or Hemp Products
According to an authoritative agency source in the cannabis industry, you can run CBD and hemp product ads on Facebook if you remove all explicit mentions of CBD, hemp, or cannabis from your content. While Facebook’s advertising policies don’t explicitly prohibit hemp or CBD, if you’ve ever tried to run an ad yourself, you know how difficult it can be to get approved. In 2021, Facebook and Instagram have become more lenient, and CBD brands have been able to get away with a lot more.
So how do I advertise CBD on Facebook?
Your CBD brand can run advertisements on Facebook and Instagram if you’re willing to take a few extra steps. Just like Google, Facebook has bots that crawl the website/app, reading and indexing every single piece of text that gets posted, especially advertisements. The keywords used in your ad and on your website will put you out of play, or keep you in it. *Here are 3 ways to get CBD ads approved:
1. Topical CBD only
Run an ad that leads Facebook users to a landing page where your topical CBD product is sold. You may be able to get away with landing pages that solely feature edible hemp products as well.
2. Get a second domain that doesn’t mention CBD
If you’d like to run an Facebook or IG ad that links to your non-topical CBD product, you can do so by linking to a separate website that does not mention CBD. If you’re going to show images of your product on this second website, make sure CBD is not in the product label either. Mentioning hemp is okay.
3. Promote a blog feature or another website’s review of your product
You don’t have to advertise your own website. You can setup your CBD ad so that it links to a review site or a blog that discusses your CBD oil. You won’t be able to sell products directly on this site, but you can link to your site from this one.
Results may vary
*Keep in mind that there is really no consistency as to whether or not ads get approved and why, so your experience may differ from others. If you set up your advertisement incorrectly, it likely won’t last long and/or won’t be circulated how you want it to be. If you attempt to run a Facebook ad that uses keywords such as “CBD”, “hemp”, or “cannabis”, it probably won’t get approved. And if it does, it won’t be long before Facebook takes it down for violating their terms of service. It’s the unfortunate truth of cannabis social media ads! And don’t even get us started on shadowbanning..
While CBD and hemp are everywhere on the street, in convenience stores, at your local hipster lifestyle brand shop, at your local co-op grocery store ; CBD brands still struggle to live out loud on the internet. The online landscape can feel confusing and loaded with trapdoors. Well, we’re here to lend a hand. We highly recommend developing a long-term SEO strategy and honing in on your brand before you begin your advertising ventures. Shoot us a quick message and we’ll get in touch with you to discuss the ways in which we can assist.
We’re stoked to be charging ahead into 2021, ushering in a new year of greater reach and innovation alongside our clients. Below are 5 more ways you can effectively advertise your CBD brand.
5 ways to promote CBD online WITHOUT paid ads
1. A Surefire Website
A solid web presence is the most important piece of your online marketing strategy. Your website lays the foundation for all of your other efforts to-come. With that said, you need more than a hastily developed website thrown up on Wix and dripping with spammy ads. You need a website that is fast, easy to use, and easy to find. Easy to find? Yes, that’s right, easily searchable by all internet users from millennial whizzes to their slower-typing boomer parents. A strong SEO strategy will make your website surface closer to the top of Google search results when people are searching for your brand or products.
2. Strong Organic Social Media Presence
Paid ads on social media aside, building an organic social media presence & following is a crucial piece of advertising your CBD brand online. Think we sound like a high school theater coach when we talk about “presence”? Let us break it down. When we say “social media presence,” we mostly mean interaction and engagement. Being “present” on socials means being active: frequent posts, regular updates, daily comments, likes, shares, etc. are all necessary to keeping current on your profile and keeping your brand and your products in front of customers eyes.
4. Leafly & Weedmaps
The yelp of weed is an exceptional way to advertise your CBD company online in 2020. Leafly, and the similar Weedmaps are sites dedicated to cataloging and archiving companies, products, and strains. Make sure your store or strain is listed on both for maximum success. While they offer paid ads, they also feature free business directories that you can get listed on.
5. Email Marketing
Likely already a piece of your web strategy, email marketing can provide what you may be missing (no) thanks to Facebook and Instagram restrictions: regular and data-directed messages directly to your customers. Many email marketing platforms assist you in tailoring messages to certain kinds of customers. You can pick and choose your recipients age, location, interaction pattern, and more. Email newsletters are an especially useful way to run promotions or introduce new products, and they are a fabulous way to build brand voice.
6. Video Marketing
What’s a beautiful website without stunning video? Well, it’s like a holiday dining table set in fine china but missing the food. Video is the most compelling way to market today. It’s a storytelling medium that grabs eyes, hearts, and ears, and lures them all in closer to the core of your message. Often, once companies invest in video, they start to see the payoff in views and engagement right away. Check out the article we did on Video marketing a while back.
Need to talk to someone about the digital marketing plan for your CBD/Cannabis company? Fill out the form below and someone will reach out to you!
How Can You Advertise CBD On Facebook?
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.
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.
How to Promote CBD Ads on Facebook? Tips for Best Practices
You see it everywhere: CBD gummies, CBD sleep aides, CBD supplements and oils, or anything CBD you can imagine with any kind of shelf life.
TIPS TO PROMOTE YOUR CBD ADS ON FACEBOOK
- Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
- What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
- Promoting CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
- Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
- Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
- How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
No longer some kind of “hippie” product, CBD has made its debut on multiple stores shelves, on Amazon and elsewhere across the web and globe. So WHY on , (or some choice language) is it so difficult to promote CBD ads on Facebook?
The answer, of course, lies in the Facebook advertising policy.
You see, it wasn’t until the 2018 Farm Bill that Cannabis and CBD was even recognized as a non-illegal product, but even with the introduction of the bill, Facebook has yet to update their ads policy, leaving us with only a small and specific subset of ads that make it past the checkpoint.
Thanks to it being incredibly difficult to get anything through the ever watchful eye of Facebook, we decided to make it easier on everyone and create a guide detailing EXACTLY what you needed to do to get those CBD ads rolling on Facebook.
Ready? Let’s roll.
Can My CBD Business Benefit from Putting CBD Ads on Facebook?
If you sell CBD products, the answer is yes, but for the more technically-minded individuals reading, allow me to explain.
A study done in mid 2019 revealed that a whopping 40% of individuals ages 18-29 have used CBD at some point in the past or were current users.
It also found that 15% of individuals aged 60 and older had also tried or were current CBD users.
This means that on average 64 million Americans have tried or are currently using CBD.
And 75% of the businesses with CBD as an offering are owned by women.
In addition, 40% of Americans are interested in trying CBD.
With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that businesses are getting in on the hype. However, when it comes to MARKETING CBD, things get (a lot) more complicated.
It’s no surprise either that the BEST place to market CBD products is online. 1) Because the population that happens to be the biggest users spend a majority of their time plugged in online and 2) it’s the perfect platform for getting in front of your buyers in the most thumb-stopping way possible. Literal magic.
The thing is, even with the internet playing a key role as the leading CBD sales channel with over 60% of the whole market being online, CBD business owners like you have a million hoops they’re required to jump through when it comes to CBD advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
And that’s where we come in. Let’s get your CBD ads rolling!
Navigating Regulations for CBD Ads on Facebook
While it’s not exactly contraband anymore, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around CBD as a health or food related product, which can make it difficult for advertisers to use native advertising placement.
What is Native Advertising on Facebook?
In short, Native ads on Facebook are ads that blend in and reflect the content around them.
Native ads exist within the news feed on both Facebook and Twitter, as well as a select other few websites and apps.
Yes, Native ads are often criticized as a medium for social paid advertising because it can feel as if the network or advertisers are deliberately deceiving users into believing that the paid advertising placements are actually organic content.
But the truth is that consumers are actually pretty comfortable with both the practice and the concept with a few exceptions:
- They need to be from trustworthy brands
- They need to be relevant
Because CBD ads can benefit from being sandwiched between other health and medicinal posts, it can be difficult to get wording and imaging that is approved to use on the Facebook platform.
CBD Ads on Facebook: Best Practices
- List GENERAL benefits for CBD products and ALWAYS avoid making medical claims, especially serious ones. However, if you need a work-around, you can cite medically-backed sources like those found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine and/or the National Institutes of Health. Both are great options.
- The Farm Bill requires each State to submit its own hemp regulation plan so that it can be approved for sales going forward. Unfortunately, not all States have done this yet, so pay attention to your local laws.
- Building trust with consumers should always be your priority. You can do this by testing for contaminants, proving the quality of your CBD, being locally sourced or even calling for lab-results that can properly showcase the CBD percentages in your products. This is a good step to take now, but it’ll also play hugely in your favor at the point that CBD is fully legal.
- While you CAN advertise CBD on Facebook, you CANNOT mention the products in your ads.
- Refrain from using CBD within a domain name.
- If needed, you can create a new Facebook account. Leave any CBD-related promotion or information off of the page.
- This is complicated, but you’ll need to find creative ways to describe your products to your customers.
- CBD images are currently allowed if they don’t mention CBD.
- Target audiences who have an interest in “hemp oil”
- Replace “CBD” with “Natural Plant-Based Remedies” anywhere in your ad creative and copy.
What Can I Do If Facebook Won’t Approve My CBD Ads Campaign?
Double check that your landing page does NOT mention CBD oil. If you need to, disconnect any correlation between the landing page and your main website. If it says CBD, it can be crawled by Facebook ad bots and it will be rejected.
If you have a track record when it comes to rejected ads, this could play against you when it comes to getting CBD ads approved.
Sometimes, improving your chances could be as easy as having an agency with a good track record publish your ads. Other times, this can look like taking a break from CBD and hemp related advertising and focusing on something else for awhile.
Remember: when it comes to hemp ad policy and CBD and Facebook ads, you run the risk of having your account deleted whenever you get rejected. You can combat this by making certain that you’re doing what we described above: focusing on other things when possible to keep your track record positive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just in case we’ve been amiss in answering all of your questions around CBD Facebook ads or hemp advertising laws, this section is just for you.
Can You Do CBD Ads on Facebook?
The short answer is “yes!” CBD ads, while tricky, are still very doable- and we would know! We’ve promoted CBD products for a multitude of our clients with great success. All it takes is following the rules and best practices we’ve described above, and making sure we’re being attentive to other ads as well to keep the spotlight off of any and all rejected ads.
And yes, sometimes even when you follow every rule to the letter, your ads will be rejected. You can combat this by asking for a review or discussing with a Facebook partner.
Can You Promote CBD Oil on Facebook Ads?
Just like with any other CBD topical product, the answer is yes. Just don’t make serious medical claims and/or mention CBD in the ads at all. Opt for words like “Naturally derived ingredients” or “plant sourced ingredients” instead.
Will I Ever Be Able to Mention CBD in My Facebook Ads?
With hemp becoming medically and fully legal across the US, there’s been increasing pressure for Facebook to open the gates when it comes to their CBD ads policy. We believe that given time, Facebook is going to cave and make our lives a little easier.
How Can I Organically Market CBD on Facebook?
When it comes to what you can post on Facebook organically, there are much fewer limits, making it totally acceptable to market CBD on your business page.
You’ll be able to utilize the words “CBD” and “Hemp” in your copy, as well as include it in your ad creative.
Because this is the case, any standard social media marketing blueprint for business will do when it comes to making a plan for CBD marketing. However, we’d still recommend not making medical claims for the moment.
Looking to learn more? Join our Facebook social media marketing group or read more incredibly insightful social media paid advertising information HERE.
I am a native of New Orleans, LA with a passion for social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and making new connections. I enjoy the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and brands everyday.