Phytocannabinoid Supplements: Our Secret Tips for Increasing Online & Offline Sales
Ever since Hemp regulations were revisited and subsequently legalized in the United States, the discussion surrounding CBD’s health benefits started surfacing everywhere – heralding the next ‘gold rush.’
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring phytochemical compound produced in hemp plants as a result of biosynthesis. According to a World Health Organization report, CBD shows no potential for abuse or dependence. Other studies show its positive effect in reducing anxiety and attenuated epileptic attacks. There are various other benefits of CBD that are being verified and strengthened with research on a regular basis.
The increase in CBD business opportunities as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill has inadvertently also led to a number of false claims and half-truths that have caught the attention of the FDA – and triggered strict action. After the Farm Bill was signed by President Donald Trump, the FDA issued warnings to four marketers (one in 2018 and three this year) – citing them for making false claims or advertising.
In fact, an NBC News affiliate in Miami, Florida released a story earlier this year about an investigation that showed how more than half of the commercially available CBD products (out of a sample group) contained less than half the amount of CBD advertised on the labels. The report also brought to light some samples that did not contain CBD at all, in spite of being advertised as CBD products!
Given the seriousness with which FDA views such breaches of compliance, just the simple choice to follow federal procedure to manufacture and market CBD products, is a unique selling proposition.
It is essential for CBD brand owners (current and prospective) to differentiate themselves in the market, to be heard above the rest and to spread their brand message – but to do it successfully and in a compliant manner –calls for carefully chosen advertising options.
Advertising Options for CBD Brand Owners
Advertising is a major part of selling your product, which is why most brands dedicate a hefty portion of their budget towards it. If we start with the basics, the different venues that are out there are:
1. Digital Marketing
Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing makes use of the online ad networks, which allow granular targeting (a marketing mantra says - if you are trying to talk to everybody, you are not reaching anybody), tracking and reporting in ways not possible with analog media alternatives. Digital marketing now dominates marketing budgets across all economic sectors to get you heard and found like never before.
Saying social media is a good option for advertisement is an understatement. In 2018, 3.196 billion people were on social media which is a 13% increase from the previous year. The two giants, Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook), and Google, are still apprehensive about CBD at the moment, so, getting ads approved by them is difficult. However, social media helps in what it does best – engagement, i.e., engagement with a potential consumer has a higher chance of success than just advertising it to them.
This is one of the most widely used methods to sell CBD dietary supplements right now. It allows people to advertise via affiliate networks – partnering with influencers, magazines, doctors, and events – using informative content on relevant platforms to raise awareness and to help build trust for your brand and its products. Many services/tools online help with setting up affiliate partners and consequently, affiliate networks.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
With the growing popularity of hemp and hemp-based products, it is imperative that your website stands out from the rest. This is where SEO comes into play. A good quality SEO is what can place your site at the top of all search engine results pages (SERPs).
2. Traditional Marketing
Even with the ubiquity of digital marketing, the idea of "unplugging" and relying on traditional marketing isn’t completely unheard of. This includes word of mouth, direct marketing via emails or print media.
When looking at options for more localized reach, print media is a good option for CBD brand owners looking to promote their products. The downside though, to putting ads in magazines, is that tracking their effectiveness is nearly impossible in terms of ideal audience, target demographic or actual audience.
Doctors’ networks are another effective way to create awareness of CBD as well as promote CBD products. This helps everyone involved – the customers have their doubts answered by the doctor, the doctors increase their patient base, and the CBD brand owners have a network in place.
FDA's Stance on Advertising CBD Products
We can surmise the following rules surrounding CBD advertising:
- Only pure CBD oil (oil containing less than 0.3% THC) has been approved by the FDA.
- All claims made have to be substantiated with reputed scientific research.
- The claims made require FDA’s prior written approval.
- The diseases for which the CBD product is prescribed cannot be diagnosed or treated by people other than healthcare professionals.
- The FDA does not allow CBD to be sold as a dietary supplement (under DSHEA).
- The FDA does not recognize CBD as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), which is required of all food additives.
- Individual states have their own laws pertaining to CBD (e.g., Alabama and Indiana do not allow the sale of CBD oil without a prescription whereas Wisconsin allows stores to sell CBD oil produced in compliance with state regulations, etc.)
The takeaways are as follows:
- The entrepreneur has to be well versed with the laws concerning CBD.
- They should ensure that the product meets label claims.
- They cannot sell CBD as a supplement or make claims of benefits that are not substantiated.
So, while the online giants are still trying to determine their approach towards CBD advertising and compliance, most digitally savvy CBD brands are currently focusing on providing high quality content , creating awareness, promoting their brand, and driving engagement. There are also plenty of brands that have used print media to support their localized advertising strategy.
Product advertising in isolation, though, will not translate into building brand loyalty for your CBD products. Good quality is the other vital ingredient for your CBD brand’s success – making it the brand of choice. This is the advantage of partnering with an expert contract supplement manufacturer like NutraScience Labs.
How Can NutraScience Labs Help You?
With over 50 years of nutraceutical industry experience, NutraScience Labs has provided custom dietary supplement manufacturing services to more than 1,200 start-up and existing brands. We possess the knowledge and resources you need to enter and thrive in today’s competitive, multi-billion dollar CBD market.
What we can offer you:
- High-quality CBD products that are custom manufactured & packaged according to FDA guidelines
- Industry-leading price quote and product turnaround times
- Dedicated customer support – from initial inquiry to finished product
- Award-winning packaging and labeling services
- A full suite of order fulfillment and drop shipping solutions
We'd welcome the opportunity to learn more about your project and to answer your CBD questions. Call us at (855) 492-7388 or send us your request to receive a free nutraceutical manufacturing quote in 48 business hours.
About the Author: Gene Bruno
Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - With decades of experience working along side healthcare professionals and natural product retailers, developing innovative nutraceutical formulations, and working with academic institutions, Gene has cultivated a truly unique and impressive catalog of nutraceutical knowledge and insights.