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Who Needs Traditional Advertising, Anyway? Cannabis Companies Benefit from Celebrity Endorsements and Influencer Marketing

cbd influencer
Written by ceceliamaythorn

For CBD companies, advertising can be complicated. The cannabinoid still isn’t entirely federally legal, so it’s difficult to get a CBD ad approved on a platform like Google or Facebook.

To reach potential customers, CBD companies often rely on influencer marketing. Influencers range from movie star celebrities to “micro-influencers” with cult followings on social media. With “branded content” tucked inside a normal social media post, these individuals tend to generate more results — and higher click-through rates — than traditional digital ads.

Influencer marketing is reshaping advertising across a variety industries, but it’s particularly well-suited to wellness, beauty, and food products. In the age of Instagram, these influencers project a sort of aspirational lifestyle that appeals to millennials — and appeals to many potential CBD customers.

CBD fits neatly into these influencers’ narratives, as a superstar ingredient in wellness supplements and beauty products.

Sponsored content VS unpaid fan content

On social media, it can sometimes be difficult to spot the difference between sponsored content and unpaid fan content. This murky territory doesn’t sit well with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which cracked down on sponsored content on Instagram in 2017.

cbd influencer

Kim Kardashian recently threw a “CBD-themed” baby shower

According to federal guidelines, if an individual is compensated for a product review, consumers have a right to know. That’s why every paid influencer is obligated to include something to the effect of “#ad” or “#sponsored” in their sponsored posts. 

In 2017, Instagram introduced another tool for sponsored content. (Influencers can now use the “Paid promotion with” tagging tool to clearly demarcate sponsored content.) Influencer marketing has proven so effective that high-profile influencers — like the Kardashians — are rumored to net up to $1 million for a single Instagram post.

Kim K’s CBD-themed baby shower

It’s unclear what kind of influencer deals were worked out before Kim Kardashian West’s recent CBD-themed baby shower. Kardashian West, expecting her fourth child via surrogate, threw a baby shower and decided on a CBD theme, because she was “freaking the fuck out” about having baby number four. The CBD, she reasoned, would help her chill out.

Her CBD-themed baby shower generated headlines in nearly every pop culture news outlet. She posted about the shower in her Instagram stories. Celebrity guests posted about the shower on their own social media accounts.

To curate products for the baby shower, Kardashian West had professional help from HelloMD, a cannabis wellness site and product distributor. Several news outlets reported on HelloMD’s affiliation with the baby shower.

Instagram videos showed guests leaving with CBD goodies, including products from brands such as Mr. Moxey’s, Pure Ratios, Wildflower, and Green Labs. These brands weren’t just visible on social media: even Vogue mentioned that Mr. Moxey’s CBD Mints had been spotted at the party.

It’s unclear how much Mr. Moxey’s — or HelloMD — paid for this kind of brand awareness. Influencers aren’t just bringing CBD brands to those interested in keeping up with the Kardashians. Others list the CBD brands they use for getting better rest, treating their anxiety, and reaching deeper levels of emotional clarity.

Millennials prefer influencer marketing

CBD brands benefit from this marketing strategy. While consumers distrust traditional advertising, which can come across as too “sales-y,” they’re more likely to trust the recommendations of individuals they follow on social media. 

cbd influencer

Martha Stewart joined Canopy Growth and plans to launch her own line of CBD products

This trend is not lost on the CBD industry, which has exploded alongside this type of marketing. Influencer marketing is predicted to be a $10 billion dollar industry by 2020. 

Influencer marketing is primarily associated with millennials, thanks to Instagram stars dishing beauty tips alongside avocado toast. CBD beauty brands like Lord Jones, Beboe, and Leef Organics have successfully used robust “microinfluencer outreach” programs to generate brand awareness.

Lord Jones, a California-based producer of luxury CBD products, has also been highly successful at leveraging celebrity endorsements. Actresses like Busy Philipps and Olivia Wilde have mentioned the brand to media outlets when discussing their use of CBD.

But CBD isn’t just for millennials, and while “influencer marketing” might be trending today, celebrity endorsements have existed for a long time. Some CBD-loving celebrities are monetizing their influence in another way: starting their own CBD companies.

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart (perhaps the OG influencer) recently announced that she was starting her own line of CBD products. Her initial products are intended for pets, but she revealed that she has no qualms about humans using cannabis, either.

At Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Wellness Summit, panels discussed how cannabinoids can aid wellness routines. Afterwards, attendees received free CBD products.

As mainstream consumers learn more about cannabinoids, celebrities and influencers play a major role — and often turn a major profit. Regardless, the best way to advertise is still on a site like CBD Testers, that’s specially tailored to appeal to those in the cannabis industry. With a site like ours, plus social media and celebrity influencers, there no telling how far your CBD business can go!

For more information on the latest CBD trends, make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter, the top source for all things cannabis-related. 

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