The CBD industry is going through a period of rapid growth. As reported by Global Market Insights, the CBD sector in the US alone was a total of $12.8 million in 2021. With sales expected to hit $56.3 million by 2028, startups are banking on consumers' near-insatiable appetite for all things CBD.
Yet, due to this demand, the consumer CBD industry is now overly saturated. It's no longer enough to set up an e-commerce shop and figure out a few keywords for SEO.
You need a smarter strategy to stand out in today's CBD sector. So what does this look like?
As marketing experts entrenched in the CBD and cannabis world, we've put together five key strategies for CBD startups getting ready to launch in a highly competitive marketplace.
5 Tips for CBD Startups in a Competitive Market
1. Do In-Depth Research into Your Competitors
As you develop your brand's vision, competitor research is critical. Who are you directly competing with in your CBD niche? Do you see any opportunities to differentiate yourself or to better serve your target audience?
Because CBD is an overly saturated market, your goal should be to identify and fill the gaps, whether that means disruptive pricing, packaging, or even offering local availability.
Find the market opportunity that your company is equipped to succeed in and go all-in.
2. Hone in On Your Ideal Customer
Everyone loves CBD because it's a well-tolerated and therapeutically applicable natural option. It is good for everything and just about everyone.
But chances are you don't have the marketing budget to reach everyone. More importantly, with thousands of other CBD brands, it's unlikely you'll be able to capture everyone's attention.
You'll need to hone in on WHO your ideal customer is. Don't fall into the trap of being a Walmart and trying to offer everything to everybody.
If you don't choose your target audience, they will have no reason to choose you. To survive in today's CBD space, you must find your niche. And you have to get specific.
Ask yourself what type of person would appreciate your product, brand, service, or price the most. Then, create a full profile of your ideal customer, and let this guide your greater marketing strategy.
3. Complete an Internal Team Assessment
You've likely done an external market assessment as you prepare for your go-to market strategy. But from our experience, you'll also want to conduct an internal assessment.
What skills, experience, and relationships that are critical to bringing your product to market does your internal team have
Be sure your plan leverages the in-house skillsets of your team, then hire CBD experts to do the rest.
4. Get in Front of the Pack with SEO and Content
A robust SEO and content strategy is paramount to gaining traction in a highly saturated CBD market. Especially considering the many restrictions on cannabis and CBD-related traditional advertising, you need to show up front and center in the search results.
You need Google to rank you favorably by continuously adding useful, relevant content (blogs/web pages/FAQ/whitepapers/social media) to your website. You'll also need to earn or pay for off-site backlinks (review websites, list articles, directories) and to hire an expert SEO team to manage an ongoing SEO strategy.
Unless you are lucky enough to have a dedicated SEO expert on your team, it pays to hire a team of digital marketers to develop and deploy an SEO strategy for you.
At WUNDERWORX, we have a dedicated team of pros who get the cannabis world, but we — and vitally — get SEO.
5. Don't Ignore Your Local Market
We live in a glorious age where e-Commerce technology opens the doors for you to sell anywhere and to anyone. And today's consumers love shopping online.
But never forget your local market, which is arguably a market you know the best. Consider the value of targeting your marketing dollars toward a hyper-local audience. Wherever your company is based, you already have relationships plus an excellent understanding of the local regulations.
Even in the digital age, many people still prefer to buy locally from companies they know and trust.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help
The online world has dramatically evolved from the early days when simply having a website was enough. But, by today’s standards, that’s just the bare minimum. These tough online conditions, combined with a market flooded with other CBD brands, mean CBD startups face an uphill battle to stand out.
But we can help. WUNDERWORX has worked with many CBD businesses just getting off the ground. We’ve crafted go-to market strategies, brand identity, and an SEO strategy that gets products noticed and, most importantly, translates into conversions.