Nearly 14% of Americans said they used hemp products in a Gallup poll last year. A year on, and that figure is steadily rising: it’s clear that there’s a growing market for hemp products, but advertising them can still seem daunting for some business owners. Nonetheless, it’s possible to achieve great success in the industry, so if you run a business that includes hemp-based items in its product range, what do you need to know?
The lowdown on the legislation
The success of Hippie Butter products comes down to their quality, but no matter how great your product quality, you still need an efficient marketing strategy. With hemp products, this becomes a little more complicated because of laws surrounding industrial hemp and its history of association with psychoactive drug use. However, hemp products do not contain the psychoactive component THC, so there’s nothing illegal about its sale or use - providing you’re aware of local regulations.
Legalization has now reached most of America, and since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act. This means that the FDA is required to treat hemp products the same as they would any other regulated product. Nonetheless, a product’s legal status still depends on the state in which it’s sold, so it’s important to check out local regulations before you plan where to market your product.
The most effective platforms for marketing hemp products
With the rise of hemp products, competition is fierce, so a good marketing strategy is crucial. A study by High Yield Insights revealed that 40% of US consumers would consider trying hemp products, and a high proportion of them fall into a younger demographic. For this reason, social media is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal, as this is where you can target the largest part of your market. To boost the benefits of this even further, consider working with influencers, who have the ability to provide vast visibility and reach, taking your product to an even wider audience. Research shows that consumers trust influencer and peer reviews more than they trust a company’s advertising, so collaborating with influencers can really build trust and authority for your brand.
The highly competitive market means that you’ll need to pay particular attention to differentiating your brand. The most effective way of doing this is to provide your market with constant content. Engage with them by sharing high quality video content and let them know how they can benefit from your product over any other. You can also consider affiliate marketing as a way to retain customers. The more successful your brand becomes, the easier this will be.
A word of caution
While it’s true that once you’re aware of local legislation you can market your hemp product as you would any other, it’s important to be aware of what you can and can’t say in your advertising. The FDA frowns upon brands making medical claims, classing this as deceptive marketing. This means your marketing mustn't rely on untested assumptions: it must be possible to test and prove any claim that you make in your advertising, otherwise it should be left out. It’s also advisable to keep up with the changing laws around industrial hemp: this is still a relatively new market, and legislation is changing all the time.
While marketing hemp products can seem intimidating to many business owners, recent legislation makes it easier than it may seem. Nonetheless, it’s vital to keep up with the regulations in order to create a marketing strategy that will make you stand out in a highly competitive market and stay on the right side of the FDA at the same time.