Step One: Carry a Quality Product From a Trusted CBD Distributor
You must first ensure your inventory is stocked with quality hemp products to distinguish yourself from the rest of your competition. Unfortunately, the rapid expansion of the CBD and hemp market has brought many inferior products and outright scams to the marketplace. You need to stock your inventory with a line of products with features that the most educated hemp consumers are now seeking. There are 6 primary factors best defining “quality products” that are sure to sell if you carry them in your store.
According to Nielsen Data Group, in the past decade, consumers in the United States have experienced a shift in product preferences. Consumers are searching for healthier product options that focus on higher quality. Many consumers are willing to pay more for a product advertised as a healthier option. Premium quality of CBD, Delta 9, Delta 8, and THC-O products begins with organic farming. Due to their parent plant hemp absorbing harmful ingredients from the soil, CBD, Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, and THC-O can carry many hazardous unwanted elements. However, CBD from organic hemp is known to offer superior quality and results. Organic hemp grows without pesticide use and in clean soil full of healthy nutrients.
If you carry organic hemp brands, use that information to your advantage. Educate your consumers and explain to them how the products you have curated for your store are superior to those from other retailers. Ask your wholesale partners for information, booklets, flyers, or anything else they can provide so you can communicate this information to your customers. This information will enrich the customer experience and increase customer loyalty and ultimately your sales.
2. Grown in the United States
Because of the high demand for hemp-based goods like CBD and Delta 8 THC, many retailers carry imported hemp products. 70% of the hemp used in making CBD products in the United States comes from China.
The problem with imported hemp is that the country that grew the hemp may not adhere to the same strict farming standards by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is especially important because one of the characteristics of hemp is its ability to rejuvenate the soil it is grown in.
Hemp is known to remove toxins and heavy metals from the soil so much that hemp fields were planted around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its infamous meltdown. Educated hemp and CBD consumers look for products from hemp grown in the United States because they know the risk of imported hemp and are afraid of the possible toxins, heavy metals, and molds that may exist in foreign hemp. Consider offering locally-sourced products that adhere to the most stringent quality assurance and testing requirements.
3. Derived Using Scientifically Advanced Methods
There are many methods of extracting oils from the hemp plant but not all are created equally. The resulting product and extracts often contain a mix of CBD, Delta 9 THC, and other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Low quality CBD products use inferior methods like solvent or hydrocarbon extraction processes that create low quality products. These methods may leave residual extraction chemicals in the final product and even put consumers at risk.
Educated consumers look for hemp-derived products where cannabinoid oils are extracted using scientifically advanced methods like Supercritical CO2 extraction. This method is more expensive than the other methods because the equipment is costly but the final product is superior in quality. In the end, these products are completely free of any detergents or chemicals found in inferior products. Always assume your consumers are educated and look to communicate this information to help them make the most informed purchasing decision.
4. Third-Party Laboratory tested
Many of the hemp products on the market today make outlandish claims that are not rooted in science. Because of this, consumers have become wary of these claims and concerned about what is actually in the product they are consuming. While the label may claim certain elements and brag about the product’s purity, your commitment to quality shouldn’t stop there. Many educated consumers realize that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not oversee the hemp and CBD industry for labeling accuracy. Consider that your customers may be concerned about other dangerous elements that might exist in their products.
This is why wise consumers look for hemp products that a third-party laboratory has tested to ensure their contents. Some of the best products and retailers have these test results readily available on their websites so that their new and existing customers know they can compare the results to what is on the label. This ensures that they receive exactly the amount of the cannabinoid and other ingredients they want, without any residual toxins or chemicals.
5. Proprietary Nano-Emulsion Technology
Not all products are nano-emulsified, but some hemp derivatives, especially edibles, undergo this process to enhance their absorption. As a result, less product is lost on the way, and consumers get more from a single product in a shorter time. Nano-emulsion technology converts hemp molecules into nano-sized emulsions for boosted bioavailability, allowing cannabinoids to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
For consumers, it means they can use less of the product to achieve the same results as compared to other products that haven’t undergone this nano-emulsion. If you carry nano products, ensure to educate customers about their benefits and what makes them stand out from the rest.
6. Variety of Hemp Products
CBD is no longer the only cannabinoid hemp enthusiasts seek out on today’s market. Now, retailers need to offer so much more and remain on the cutting edge of new and emerging trending offerings. Creating products with delta 8, delta 9, and THC-O calls for mastery, experience, advanced methods, and high-quality ingredients. Find a retailer that offers variety along with unique combinations of cannabinoids so consumers can get the most out of the products they purchase.
Step Two: Make Your Website SEO Friendly and Rank on Google
Even if you have an active storefront, making your products available online will greatly increase your sales. However, the competition on the internet is just as fierce as the hemp and CBD market itself. To be competitive online, you must ensure your website is SEO-friendly.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. It determines how your site will rank whenever an internet user puts a search term into their browser. It is vitally important to have an SEO-friendly website so that your online store appears on the first page of the search results. Rarely do internet users move toward the second or subsequent search result pages, and so you need to prepare properly.
There are several different things that search engines like Google look for whenever they rank your website in the search results. Here are a couple of things you can do to increase your rankings.
Build a Chatbot
Customers often come prepared with a number of questions when searching for hemp products. Your customers have endless questions, whether it is about which product suits them best, or how much they should consume it. While your employees might be happy to answer these questions, they’re not always available, and answering these simple questions takes away their time from other tasks. Chatbots embedded into your website will provide your customers with immediate answers and make their purchasing journey that much more enjoyable. A great chatbot can instantly help your customer, offer answers to simple questions, and even point them to helpful online resources so that they purchase exactly what they are looking for. Chatbots increase revenue and customer loyalty, helping customers with important information as quickly as possible. Most importantly, an improved user experience on your site will enhance metrics and SEO rankings. When customers spend time on your website, click links, and end up making purchases, your website will actually work better and rank higher in Google searches.
Check Your Site Speed
A slow website will rank low in search results, and have your customers searching for something different. This is because internet users are accustomed to getting information quickly. If your website and pages do not correctly display searched information as quickly as possible, the user is likely to “bounce” from your site and move on to a faster site. The rate at which users do this is what is known as a “bounce rate.” Established tests show that if the page’s loading speed increases by one to three seconds, the bounce rate increases by 32%. However, if the page’s loading speed increases by up to six seconds, the bounce rate increases by 106%. Having a website that loads fast and whose subsequent pages are displayed just as fast will give you a better ranking and ultimately help you drive sales.
Here are three great tools to use to check your site’s speed. We recommend using all 3 to get a good understanding of your site speed. Remember that different tools will show different results, mainly due to the location of their server.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Another factor that Google looks at when determining the rank of your website is if your online store can be viewed properly on a mobile device. Smartphones or other mobile devices do a large portion of internet browsing and many people make purchases on the go. As such, Google looks for easily displayed or mobile-ready sites and gives them a higher ranking.
Of course, unless you are well-versed in SEO, it is advisable to enlist the help of an SEO expert who knows how to analyze your website and maximize it for optimal rankings. Many elements go into ensuring that your website has all of the key components to rank well in SEO, and an experienced SEO web designer can help ensure your site has what it needs to rank well.
Refresh Your Content
Another thing that Google looks for when ranking websites in search results is sites that have fresh content. This is because Google wants its users to have the best experience possible, so regular updates to your site with fresh content help you rank higher in search results. Fresh written content shows Google that your company is putting time and effort into its content and striving to give users better online experience. There are a few ideal ways of keeping yourself fresh.
It is a great practice to update the pages on your website consistently. If you add or change products regularly, ensure you give plenty of information about the new product with updates and useful information. If you don’t add inventory very often, update the product pages with additional information about the product or other helpful information about CBD, Delta 9, Delta 8, and THC-O in general. This assures Google that you are paying attention to your product pages and bringing more information and content to your website.
Write Blogs About CBD, Delta 9, Delta 8, THC-O
A great blog with written content encourages customers to visit your site and check back for more information. Regular blog publishing actually helps your site rank higher for important keywords. Improve visibility and push web traffic to new and relevant information with a great blog that your customers are interested in reading about. Hemp enthusiasts are constantly educating themselves on new products and innovations in the industry, and your website should help them in their journey.
Consider offering blog content on how they can find quality products and provide answers on questions they have about CBD, Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, and THC-O. With informative blogs about hemp and cannabinoids, you supply consumers with the answers and information they are looking for, sending them to your site and guiding them through their purchasing journey. Of course, your blog may not achieve its goals if it contains only a few articles. Blogs bring the best results when you regularly publish articles, but writing great content takes plenty of time and dedication. If you find yourself stretched for time and unable to create these blogs, there are many agencies online that can help you achieve your blog goals.
Powerful statistics on blogging:
- Companies who blog get 97% more links to their websites.
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trustworthy source for gathering online information.
- 36% of readers prefer list-based headlines.
- Websites with a blog are shown to have 434% more indexed pages.
- 77% of internet users read blogs.
- Internet users in the U.S. spend 3X more time on blogs than they do on email.
- 4% of bloggers say that updating content produces strong results.
- 72% of online marketers describe content creation as their most effective SEO tactic.
- Businesses that blog experience twice as much email traffic as businesses that don’t.
- Articles with images get 94% more views as opposed to those with no visuals.
- Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search traffic than plain text.
While a blog is important, there is actually an art form behind them. A great writer can select important keywords that can help people online find your products and website. When you target specific keywords and include them in your blog, that is called On-Page SEO. Many agencies specialize in this art form helping your website rank for specific keywords. On-page SEO is simply the work you put into the content that is on your website, along with the language and keywords you use.
For example, a blog about CBD would be perfect for your website, but on-page SEO requires a keyword to be included throughout the document. Typically a writer will place the keyword directly in the first paragraph, then throughout the blogs different headings. In other cases, a content writer can place several keywords in the first paragraph of a blog, helping customers find your website when they search for these specific keywords. For instance, CBD is a great keyword, but “CBD for sale” is another keyword that can be integrated into the copy of your blog. These keywords can also be placed into the meta titles and descriptions, helping you target specific customers for your website.
While its great to add keywords to your content, make sure not to overdo it! If you over-populate your content with keywords, or “jam” keywords into your content, Google may actually penalize your website for doing so.
Great off-page SEO is the conversation that goes on off of your website. “Off-page” is literally off of your website, the hyperlinks that link back to your site, your social media presence, and even your listing on Google Maps. Great websites have other great websites linking to each other and are often complimented by a regular mailing list or newsletter. Off-page SEO is best completed alongside an agency that can build links to your website and consistently ensure that what is not directly on your website points consumers in the right direction.
The easiest way to complete off-page SEO is to build a newsletter with several hyperlinks to fresh content on your website. This is often called backlink building, and over time, the hyperlinks in your email campaigns can help you build a website that ranks higher and shows up in even more Google results. Off-page SEO can also refer to your public relations efforts, as the hyperlinks on major news channels are especially valuable. When your business is written about in a local newspaper, it pays incredible dividends when that newspaper links back to your site. A simple press release published online can draw the attention of journalists and help your business get named in newspapers that already have the attention of Google and your target audience.
Local SEO is the process of competing for your local neighborhood’s attention. Instead of publishing content about the benefits of CBD, instead, consider publishing content about where your neighborhood can purchase CBD. Creating content that speaks to your local area, or a targeted area helps ensure that the web traffic heading to your site is relevant and local. Make your content local and speak directly to your audience by calling them out directly in your blogs and content.
Something as simple as having a Google My Business page can actually improve the ranking of your website. Further, listing your website on local classified pages can help boost your website’s performance and attract even more viewers. Consider exploring every available social medium that is free to use and connect with as many people as possible.
Step Three: Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry for a reason, and having a presence on social media can make all the difference in your sales numbers. Set up accounts for your storefront on social media platforms and regularly post on those sites. This is your chance to have real conversations with your customers, making the experience all the more human and real.
With a little research, you may find that certain platforms have more of an audience for your CBD products than others, so when certain content works, keep exploring that topic. This will allow you to engage with clients on a more personal level, answer questions or concerns, and use the power of social media to spread the word about your products.
- If your audience is Baby Boomers, make sure you are active on YouTube and Facebook
- If your audience is Generation X, you want to be present on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram
- If your audience is Millennials, post actively on Instagram (stories and posts), as well as Facebook and YouTube.
- If your audience is Generation Z, add Tik Tok into the mix, along with Instagram and YouTube.
- Consider Pinterest if you like to post educational infographics and if you cook with CBD (some companies cook edibles in-house).
Step Four: Use Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is a marketing tool where you offer something of value to a potential client in exchange for their email address. This could be something like a pamphlet on hemp or a newsletter sign up. You can advertise the free offering on your website and in exchange request their email. These email lists can help you connect with customers, inform them of new sales, and hyperlink back to your website.
Another lead magnet that has been used effectively is offering the user some discount if they submit their email address. This could be just a percentage off their first purchase or an ongoing discount if they allow you to send them promotional emails.
One way of making this available is by creating a pop-up offer while the user is on your website. You might see these on some websites where a pop up offers a discount just for inputting their email. Another way of making this offer is through different forms of advertising. Most social media and other outlets provide an easy way for you to market on their platforms and include a button that brings the user to a landing page, and then offers them a discount or promotional item if they submit their email.
Step Five: Execute Email Marketing
Email continues to be a viable source for reaching new customers and keeping your current customers informed. Nielsen reports that 28% of shoppers subscribe to store email lists to stay informed on new products and sales. By using lead magnets to build your email list, you can then utilize that list to offer discounts to your regular customers and keep your brand on their minds as you offer more information about your products. However, be cautious of the number of emails you send your customers. Too many emails from your company may cause your customers to consider your newsletter as spam or a nuisance, ultimately unsubscribing.
Always read the policy of email software BEFORE purchasing a plan from them. Many email software programs do NOT allow for CBD emails. For example, as of 2022, MailChimp’s policy does not allow for CBD or any herbal supplement emails.
Email stats from CampaignMonitor.com
Step Six: Use Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a great way to spread awareness of your CBD store and/or brand. According to SellBrite, “affiliate marketing lets you promote your product or service on websites other than your own. When leads see your content on these sites, click on them, and buy something, the affiliate — the site your content appears on — receives a small percentage of the sale.”
Step Seven: Utilize Influencers
Some of your loyal customers may have large networks of friends on social media platforms or a large following on their websites. You can utilize these influencers by creating affiliate marketing links from their sites. These links record the affiliate site’s referral activity, and many companies offer compensation to the affiliate for each referral that lands on their site through the affiliate link. By utilizing an affiliate marketing program with these influencers, you can use their popularity to spread the word about your products.
The two main goals for your influencer marketing campaign should be brand awareness (measured in impressions, shares, likes, comments), and direct response (clicks, sales, download, etc.). According to BigCommerce, engagement is by far the most common metric used for measuring influencer marketing success, measured by 75% of marketers for influencer marketing. To learn more about influencer marketing statistics in the U.S., click here.
Step Eight: Attend CBD Trade Shows
Word of mouth is still a powerful advertising tool. By attending CBD trade shows, you can not only get your product out in front of industry players, but you can also assess your competition. By interacting with others in your industry, you may learn about innovations in the hemp industry and find new ways to promote your products.
Commit to keeping tabs on the trade shows that matter most to you. While you might be rubbing shoulders with your competitors, you could build important business relationships and recruit new talent. Showcase your products proudly, interact with curious guests, and bring along your marketing materials. A tradeshow is the perfect time to shout to the rooftops about how great your offerings are, and connect with others who want to learn more. Many tradeshows are a unique chance to place your products into the hands of new customers and build fruitful business relationships.
Step Nine: Utilize Other Marketing Venues
There is no shortage of opportunities to market your CBD products. Technology has brought us the internet, which provides opportunities to digitally advertise in ways that were not possible just a few decades ago. Here are a few additional suggestions to keep in mind and the possibilities we have already presented.
Your Store Front
We’ve talked extensively about electronic marketing in this guide, but let’s not forget about the importance of a physical store. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, make sure its appearance is clean and inviting and has clear signage to get the attention of those passing by. The hemp industry is new, and many potential consumers have been turned off because they can find hemp and CBD products in gas stations and tattoo parlors. Giving the consumer a bright and inviting building to shop for hemp derivatives gives credibility to your business and products, hemp and CBD in general. Make sure that as you build your website’s contact page, you always invite consumers in the area to stop by and say “Hi.” This builds goodwill with your customers and allows you to increase the customer’s intended purchase by personally offering additional suggestions.
Online marketplaces are an easy way to get your products in front of consumers looking to purchase CBD products. However, these sites are extremely competitive. The good news is you can increase your product’s visibility by placing sponsored ads on these sites. They also provide informative analytics to ensure that your advertising dollar is well spent.
Step Ten: Get Started Today!
A good sales strategy is to invest in advertising across different mediums and monitor the results of your efforts. Once you have determined the most effective venues, concentrate your advertising dollars on where they provide the greatest return. Utilizing the suggestions we have made will take time and dedication. Still, it will benefit your company in the long run by increasing customer awareness of your brand and increasing sales for your hemp and CBD business.