So you and your partners just decided to make your fortune with hemp! You’re excited to help people with an honest product, and finally work and stand for something you truly believe in!
Do you have a plan? How are people going to hear about your brand? How will they know your brand is better than others they see? We’re going to talk about the 5 things you HAVE to consider when marketing your hemp brand or product so you can be ready to take the hemp market by storm!
Here’s where it all starts; deciding on your budget for hemp marketing. First of all, let’s take this time to acknowledge a truth. Marketing isn’t an expense. Marketing is an opportunity to make more money. If you think of marketing as an expense, you will always feel a certain type of way about allocating resources to it. Now back to your budget for your new hemp company! If you’re a new company, it’s safe to say that few people have heard about your brand, what you do, and how your product is better than other available options. You know that you need to market your hemp brand and company so that people can learn about you and turn into customers.
This part of your marketing timeline is called the awareness stage. This stage is ongoing because there are always going to be people who haven’t heard of your brand, but it’s more important now than ever! You’re a new hemp company and you need to get awareness now so you can make sales! There’s a lot of platforms that allow you to advertise without needing to spend a lot of money, and this may seem like an attractive opportunity for you. You have to remember, while technically you will be saving money this way, the likelihood that you will MAKE money this way is very low. The hemp industry is very saturated, and is only going to continue to grow. You have to make yourself stand out from the rest of the hemp pack. Sure, your unique creative will help you stand out, but if only 400 people see it there isn’t much good that will be down there.
When thinking of your budget for marketing your hemp company and brand, think BIG. You need to cast a big net early on and get as many people to see your ads and click through to your website as possible. The only way to do this is to set a budget that is as big as the net you are trying to throw.
Now that we’ve set a budget for the awareness stage of your hemp company, we have to decide on a duration for your awareness campaign. For this part of the process if you have a budget that you are comfortable using on a monthly basis, let the duration of these campaigns go on a monthly cycle. You want to always make sure that you are getting your hemp products in front of new people. The minute your campaigns stop, the eyes on your hemp product stops as well and then you’re depending on just the people who saw it to convert.
I’ve had marketing people tell me that you have to run a two week campaign, optimize, edit your audiences and then run the campaign again and again. This isn’t the case. Allow your hemp awareness campaigns to be ongoing on a monthly cycle, and edit your audiences as the data comes in! You are always allowed to make changes to your campaigns even if they are in the middle of their cycle.
The main reason why we want to allow the awareness stage to run as long as possible is because we are going to make our ROI on the retargeting campaigns!
Now awareness campaigns aren’t guaranteed to get your hemp company sales. Sure, you might have a couple people who convert on just seeing your hemp brand once or twice, but the majority of people need to see your hemp brand at least 3-5 times in order to trust you as a reliable source. This is where retargeting comes into play and is amazing!
Retargeting is a marketing process where you run an ad campaign to people who have already interacted with you in some way. You can specify what that way is, whether it’s someone who recently purchased, someone who made it to your home page, someone who made it to a specific product page. Whatever your specification, you can run a retargeting campaign to it.
Now, you and your partners have your awareness stage ads running full steam ahead and they are constantly getting people to your website. What you have to do is run your retargeting campaign to that big net of people that you’ve captured by targeting again with more specificity! Let’s say you want to retarget everyone who saw a specific product on your website. All you have to do is create a new ad with copy and creative that matches that product, and set your ad to retarget that audience, and watch the process unfold! These people now have probably seen your hemp product somewhere between 3-5 times and are inherently more likely to purchase from you!
Every advertising platform has an option and an opportunity to create retargeting ads. Once you select the platform that you want to use for your hemp company, make sure to ask how retargeting can be set up so you can optimize your marketing and increase sales for your hemp products.
Our notes for the creative of your hemp ads are short and sweet, and are true for most things in marketing:
1. Make sure your creative pops and is attractive to the eye.
2. Make sure your creative isn’t of anybody ingesting the product, or using the product.
The first point we can all agree on and we can all understand. The more your creative stands out, the more likely someone will click on it and get to your website. The second point is a little more complicated to grasp. Because of where hemp stands with regulations still, and how advertisers want to make sure they don’t get docked for advertising something that isn’t necessarily greenlighted by the government, you should never use creative that shows a person using the hemp product in question. For example, images of people taking hemp oil via dropper or images of people rubbing a hemp topical cream on themselves should not be used.
I know this seems like a weird thing to follow, trust us, you don’t want to be on the bad side of this. It would be far too easy for these advertising networks to simply block you from advertising with them, and that is something that your new hemp brand doesn’t need.
5. Ad Networks
Selecting an ad networking to run on can seem like a daunting task. There are so many advertiser networks, and each offers something unique to encourage you to join them and their partners. In our experience, there are a couple of notable advertiser networks for hemp products that stand out most.
Brandzooka is an advertising network whose slogan is “media buying that outsmarts, not outspends.” Brandzooka makes is very easy to advertise and doesn’t require any subscription or monthly cap to be able to advertise on their network. One of their attractive draws is that you can advertise on Connected TV with them. This means your hemp ad could be served to someone who is watching TV on their Roku or Fire Stick at home.
Mantis’ slogan is “where ad tech and cannabis intersect.” Mantis is touted and viewed as one of the leading advertising networks for CBD, hemp, and cannabis as they offer an option where your ads only get shown on publications that are directly related to CBD, hemp, and cannabis. What this means is you have the option of showing your CBD ads on their other networks, which have 500 publications, or your hemp ad can be shown on websites like leafly.com for example, which is a website all about buying the right hemp products for you. You can see the draw for wanting your hemp ad to be on websites where the user is inherently interested in buying or reading about CBD, hemp, or cannabis. To advertise with Mantis, you have to first be approved and vetted, and then you have to commit to an initial $3,000 buy-in, and then maintain at least a $25/day spend after that. So it’s a $3,000 one-time and a minimum of $750/month after that.
RevAds touts “programmatic advertising comes to CBD.” The main difference between RevAds and Mantis and Brandzooka, is that RevAds is HUGE and with such a huge tool, requires a great deal of buy in. RevAds has access to 21,000 websites, a huge potential with the right budget intact. The main differential again is that in order to advertise with RevAds you have to commit to a 3-month trial period at $10,000/month. That’s $30,000 upfront. After this, you have to maintain a $10,000 spend, but can stop whenever you please. RevAds’ explanation for this is that they are aware of how saturated the hemp market is, and the only are interested in working with hemp companies that are willing and able to spend that much and see the return that yields as a result.
Marketing and advertising for a hemp company isn’t easy, and there is way more to it than we covered, but this is a good starting point in understanding what you are getting yourself into if you are looking to start a hemp brand and market it. Keep these points in mind every step of the way and make sure to do your due diligence and research as much as you can!