Growing Your CBD Business with Instagram
For any kind of entrepreneur today, navigating the digital realm is an ever-changing landscape of new technology paired with old school marketing principles. The problem is that most business owners are not marketing students, nor do they have the time to learn all the latest (and trendiest) technologies to promote their businesses.
Fortunately, the digital marketing tools that were introduced in the late ’90s are finally coming into a more stable system of use. But make no mistakes: Digital marketing is still marketing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Google, are marketing tools. How you use those tools, alongside a traditional marketing strategy, is what will determine your marketing success.
Instagram is an APP and program that was introduced as a “home for innovation on visual storytelling” (source: Instagram.) This visual storytelling feature is at the heart and soul of how to use Instagram to promote your business. The traditional three-images on top of three-images create a gallery feel that draws people into a whole new world of interests and experiences. Many companies do a pretty good job of sharing their products in a visually appealing way, and many, sadly, do not! So, understanding how to use Instagram for your business should be a priority, especially for CBD Business Owners.
Your CBD Business
CBD businesses are broken into two market segments by product types:
- Marijuana-Derived CBD Products
- Hemp-Derived CBD Products
This distinction, at least for marketing purposes in this article, does not make much difference in how you are going to market your products. Despite the greater legal latitude that hemp CBD products have, the information is so confusing it is best to take a more conservative approach. One tip I would offer is that you follow the assumption that you are in the Marijuana Industry—yes, even if you only carry hemp-based CBD products. In the long run, it will keep your account up and running longer.
Five Core Principles of Using Instagram for Your CBD Business
Setting up your Instagram Account: This seems like an obvious tip, but like so many other digital platforms, things change fast. So, if you created your account two years ago or yesterday, there might be new enhancements to the account that you haven’t even discovered today. That is why you have to review your set-up and settings first (and often) so that you can take full advantage of all its marketing opportunities.
Creating Your Instagram Strategy: Always keep in mind that Instagram is a marketing tool. Your marketing strategy for Instagram is going to be reflective of your specific business strategy. Your plan includes outlining your goals and values, reviewing your branding, defining your specific customers, using analytics, following your competitors, and creating a content calendar that will tie all of these things together and keep you on track. These are critical foundational tools that make posting on Instagram much more successful because, when you are focused on solving the problems of your particular customers, your content and strategy become engaging to that audience. Success in digital marketing is all about engagement.
Optimizing Your Instagram Profile: “Optimizing” your profile is just tech-speak for “being found” on the internet. The goal is to rearrange or rewrite your content to “improve the efficiency of retrieval or processing.” In other words, you are trying to optimize your digital presence through the effective use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools. Just as the account settings change, so do the SEO tools needed to bring awareness to your business. Things like keywords should be at your fingertips when crafting your profile and content.
Creating Instagram Content: Here is the core of the Instagram mission. If your images are not telling the real story behind your business and product use, then that goal of 10,000 followers will never be realized. Just think about Oreo Cookies for a moment. If all they ever posted were cookies in the bag, would you follow them? Your visual content must always be engaging people to experience all that is your specific CBD product and purpose visually.
Growing Your Audience on Instagram: Finally, building your audience, at least for CBD Businesses, must be done organically. Running ads is both risky and illegal at the moment. If you are implementing the items above, your audience will grow organically and far more successfully. Incorporating hashtags, for example—a more modern version of the dewy-decimal system that the library uses—will bring particular customers to your page. Hashtags, along with Instagram Stories, are a combination that will grow your presence organically and with incredible engagement potential.
So, there you have it! The checklist of things that every CBD business owner must review and implement to grow their digital business presence. If you think you need more details and examples, then consider getting the training you need with the CBD Training Academy’s Instagram for Your CBD Business Course.
Maria Bereket is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Trainer who lives in Southern California. She has taken her many years of experience in marketing and design and is now guiding CBD and Cannabis Businesses through training and support through her own business and by offering marketing courses with the CBD Training Academy,