Sow the tactical seeds of Brand Protection PR™
A new month means a new theme to help your CBD business through Brand Protection PR™! During the month of March, our team of strategists wants to help you plant the seeds and eventually plant a garden full of public relations outreach for your CBD brand!
Getting noticed by letting your campaign shine
How many of you are gardeners? Last year my fiance and I grew a garden with squash, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers, strawberries, and cilantro. I think I got it all? Oops, forgot the carrots.
We learned quickly that sometimes these veggies don’t get along when they are growing next to one another. We had roma tomatoes and cayenne peppers in the same pot. The cayenne peppers loved it! The tomatoes? Not so much. The same could be said for our other tomato plant that got crowded out by the zucchini plant.
Our veggies are like the ideas or the stories you want to tell about your CBD brand or products. Each idea has a chance to succeed by making sure internal or external factors are taken into account.
External factors: Understand what’s happening in the local news cycle. (Click here for our free downloadable to help get you started) Nearly every news story or social media post is COVID-19 related, even a year after the pandemic began! In Colorado, restrictions are easing, people are getting vaccinated and the Governor said the other day he expects us to have somewhat of a normal summer.
The idea of normal is a big deal and opens up an infinite possibility of angles for local media to report. How is your announcement going to compete with that? It’s the old adage of “If you can’t beat them, join them!” If you have a newsworthy angle, your announcement folds into the greater narrative of what everyone is talking about (COVID), you have a chance to get noticed.
Or, understand there are going to be newscasts that have room for some non-COVID news. Just remember that you’d potentially be competing with everyone else who wants that time too!
Understand that it’s okay to hold an announcement. Even if it’s something that’s a few weeks old to you, if it’s new to the media, they may be interested. Keep in mind, it could be new to their audience too.
Internal factors: Like my garden’s zucchini crowding out the tomatoes, you have to find a way to get your one message out to your audience. Much like your CBD PR outreach, consider your message a plant in your garden. Make sure that it has enough room to grow and produce for you! Planting too many messages too close to one another will crowd them out, making it harder for all to grow and there won’t be much in the way of ripe veggies for your audience to pick!
The solution? Launch a campaign. It’s not as simple as putting out a statement on Facebook (although social media can play a big role in your outreach) but it’s a culmination of different tactics that work in concert to accomplish your overall goals of getting noticed by the media!
Reaching your target audience on social media
Social media PR and ad campaigns continue to be the fastest and easiest way to reach your target audience, especially if you have a larger following online.
Organic reach: The Facebook algorithm is not friendly to organic posts by fan pages. According to a blog by Hubspot, the decline in organic reach on Facebook began in 2014 (Organic reach is non-paid views of your CBD brand’s content). The then VP of advertising for Facebook announced that paid content was consuming so much space on Facebook, they had to reduce the amount of organic content in user feeds in order to accommodate the demand. In 2016, the algorithm changed again with a return to users connecting with friends and family over businesses.
Advertising woes: Facebook is not the friendliest when it comes to CBD companies who are hoping to advertise their products. According to a blog by dougmorneau.com (a marketer), “The reason for the ban is that, despite a push for legalization across the country, marijuana is still classified federally as a Schedule 1 drug. Despite possessing none of the elements of marijuana – most notably THC – that get people high, CBD (Cannabidiol) remains illegal” in the halls of Facebook.
Define your audience: Even if you have an audience and customer personas built, keep in mind they can change. Use audience insights to gauge audience interest from those fans already on your page. You can use this information to build your targeted ads. Do you have an email list? Import it to Facebook who will then target those people with your ads. Build a lookalike audience based on your custom audience. When creating social media content, understand the latest algorithms favor “meaningful content.” This is content that’s engaging (likes/comments/shares) and content that encourages interaction between commenters. Otherwise, you’re stuck asking your audience to engage with your content (which is fine) or you’ll have to ask your audience to prioritize your content (good luck with that). This may lead you to spending some dough on “miracle grow” (advertising) for your campaign.
Be thrifty... “Wait, didn’t you just say Facebook makes CBD advertising difficult?” Yes, I did. However, you can get around these complications. Your marketing department cannot mention CBD, show pictures of your products, take people to a landing page that mentions CBD or shows your products. You can get creative but that takes time and time is money!
Or, try LinkedIn? LinkedIn may not jump off the page as the first social media site where you’d spend your ad dollars because it markets itself as a place for professionals to connect, but hear me out. LinkedIn does not restrict CBD ads. If your target audience is on LinkedIn, this may be a space worth exploring. In fact, you can use many of the audience insight metrics from your Facebook page to advertise on LinkedIn. Keep in mind you will be spending more on LinkedIn but if you’re reaching your target audience and converting sales, the upfront investment may come back in a big way.
Getting noticed by using unique or out of the box strategies
Podcasts: They can be time-consuming to write but are easy to record (using inexpensive or free equipment), free to upload and have never been more popular in the United States. According to data from brandastic.com:
Over 55% of the U.S. population listen to podcasts (that’s 155 million people!)
24% listens to more than one podcast per week
The most popular podcast crowd are ages 29-44
You can also monetize them! The benchmark seems to be about 5000 downloads per month This is when other companies will reach out to you asking if they can sponsor your podcast!
Branding: Podcasts are a good hands-on tactic but utilizing your branding may take a bit of soul searching on your part. If your brand is simply your company’s name, this may be particularly helpful for you! Let’s take M&C Communication as an example. Our overall brand is protecting your brand with CBD Brand Protection PR™. It’s the umbrella term for the service we offer clients which includes building their loyal audience and clientele, preparing them for the unexpected, filling the trust bottle through media interaction and showcasing their expertise!
Branding tells the story of who you are! Move the Stairs is our mantra at M&C and tells our client’s how we work! The public recognizes Brand Protection PR as what we do, Move the Stairs is how we do it and Insider Media Relations explains why we are experts. All are synonymous with M&C Communications!
In case you needed any more reason to build up your brand, we found an article by 99 designs.com which brought up several points we agree with.
Branding gives your CBD business a purpose and direction (see above). Your brand can help you develop a set of core principles, which are far more important than the font and color scheme you choose for your logo.
Branding raises morale! We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the importance of your employees in the past. When you have a strong brand and your employees understand and agree with your core principles, you have created a tribe...a sense of camaraderie amongst your entire team from bottom-up and top-down.
As you continue to tune into our Move the Stairs Friday chats, download our podcasts or read our blogs, we cannot wait to continue the conversation next week with a special guest who writes, produces and hosts a very successful podcast, called Periodic Effects. Wayne Schwind will be joining us to talk all things podcasts, including how he uses it to build his CBD Business brand, Periodic Caramels!
You can watch the video recap of our conversation below: