How to advertise CBD or other legal substances that get flagged by advertising mediums.
What a frustration journey this can be! The main go to mediums, Facebook and Google seem to be no goes in this situation. This is partly true, but there are also other solutions. For these examples, I am going to be referring to CBD although this advice can ring true for other substances that get flagged by advertising mediums. We will focus on Facebook and native advertising in this article.
How to advertise CBD on Facebook?
Obviously you need a Facebook page and a website. You then make an ad account, and you make your ads. If your ads have any text that say CBD, your ad will not run and you will get a warning. If your website landing page has any mention of CBD in the text, your ads may run, but if they do, you’re ad account will be banned. How does Facebook know? Bots. Lots of bot scraping through your site and your content.
What happens when your account gets banned? Usually, the process will look something like, “My ads ran for 4 days, I got banned, I appealed the ban, they confirmed the ban, and then as a last result I called them and some person in India read to me exactly what was on my computer screen after I waited to talk to them for an hour.” There is no hope here. Don’t bother. In some cases, Facebook will blacklist your website for future use with any ad account.
So how can we make this work?
Build a landing page that has zero mention of any of the substances or the claims that may exist around your product. Your product should not be on this page. Think of this page as a brand statement.
Bots look everywhere! Buttons, links, and all of that meta data needs to be clean. We had one page that had CBD in the meta information, and we got banned after a few days.
Focus on the brand and mission of your product. Your ad and landing page should focus on these aspects of your business.
Your landing page can link to other sections of your website that do mention your product.
Make sure your Facebook page does not mention these products or substances that Facebook may flag.
You should be able to run smoothly here. Facebook has a very good ROI for ads promoting these products as there is an inherent trust in seeing a product advertised on Facebook. Facebook also has very good advertising demographic options. Our client saw an ROI 20%+ using Facebook ads over using native advertising.
What is Native Advertising and how can you use it for CBD advertising?
Native advertising essentially is a broad form of advertising that allows you to promote your business on millions of websites across the internet (i.e. CNN, ESPN, AP News, Health and Wellness magazine, etc…). Google ads also have the capability of advertising on some of these sites. Where google ads are very powerful and allow for considerably more types of ads (product, display, discover, etc…), Native advertising focuses on discover and display (Videos and Images). You have seen
these before. They are typically an image followed by a tag line. You might think of most
of these ads as clickbait. This form of advertising is very typical for brands that want to reach millions of people for minimal cost and drive a huge amount of traffic to their site.
This is an excellent medium for content creators who sell ads themselves on their page or benefit from a website visitor simply visiting.
Do Native Ads work for CBD ads? Yes, Native advertising has far fewer restrictions when it comes to CBD. They do have rules in terms of 1. Don’t make claims not approved by the FDA 2. Do not promote illegal product 3. Do not target demographics where your product is illegal.
To get your ads pushed through, it may take some back and forth with your native ad provider to fulfill their requirements, but you are in no danger of being banned. The two big native ad providers are Outbrain and Taboola. Both of these providers have deals with many very heavy traffic websites. By having your ad on reputable websites, you can immediately build trust. You can select specific websites or types of websites to promote your brand. While promoting your product directly can show results, it is recommended to promote your brand using Native advertising using an awareness campaign followed by a more direct call to action retargeting ad. Native advertising is also powerful as you can build your brand reputation with users who go from site to site and see your message on a variety of their most frequented sites.
The ROI for native advertising can be a bit shaky. It is important to establish a clear goal. As stated before building a brand and awareness should be the typical goal when utilizing native advertising. The retargeting campaign can focus on sales. There are a lot of in and outs of these providers that we can touch on in a future article (i.e. bid strategy, best websites, best demographics, best content to use, etc…).