Since CBD was legalized in the U.S. in 2018, the industry has seen massive growth. It’s worth approximately $3.5 billion as of 2021 and is projected to be worth $20 billion by 2024.
This kind of success breeds competition. You might have high-quality products, but you’re still left fighting to make your brand stand out from the crowd. 61% of companies still feel that their biggest challenge is bringing in traffic and generating leads.
So how do you make the most of your CBD marketing at a time when the industry is expected to take off? One strategy to help your brand rise to the top is affiliate marketing.
Compared to other means of advertising, affiliate marketing costs very little up front, and it comes with much less risk. In return, it can help you build trust with your target audience and drive traffic to your site. Let’s break down the world of affiliate marketing and learn how to grow your CBD business with an effective affiliate marketing program.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing comes down to a simple exchange. First, you connect your brand with affiliates — influencers, bloggers, public figures — to promote your CBD products across the digital sphere. In return, they get a commission.
Options for affiliate marketing are endless. While well-known social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube have been popular platforms for affiliates to promote products, other choices include blog posts, reviews, email lists, and more.
Affiliate marketing has the potential to reach viewers in a deeper, more meaningful way than traditional advertising. They’ll learn about your brand from the mouths of influencers they trust. Additionally, it allows you to specifically target audiences who are more likely to be interested in your products — particularly important in an industry like CBD.
Why Choose Affiliate Marketing for CBD?
As the popularity of CBD rises, it’s critical to get your marketing strategy right. With all the competition you’re up against, however, it might feel risky to turn to a new way of advertising.
That being said, affiliate marketing has the potential to be especially successful for CBD products. The largest percentage of CBD users come from the younger demographics, people between the ages of 18 and 35. Gen Z and millennial consumers are more likely to seek out new brands online, and they often turn to influencers to learn more about products.
When you’re searching for influencers to partner with your brand, look for those aligned with your niche. The CBD/cannabis industry and the wellness industry are prime candidates. Using their unique tone and style, they can offer an authentic take on your CBD brand that their audience will resonate with.
How to Grow Your CBD Business With an Affiliate Marketing Program
When setting up your affiliate marketing program, you’ll have to do a bit of legwork before you can get it off the ground. These tips will help you get your program up and running — and position your business for success.
Establish a Strong Brand Identity
The CBD industry is a crowded one, with new companies established every day. What makes your brand stand out?
Maybe you offer unique products or intend to reach a particular audience. Maybe you just have a special style. Do you offer more luxurious products? Is your aesthetic bold and adventurous?
A strong, authentic brand identity will help affiliates create content that is consistent with your brand’s aesthetic and values. They’ll also be able to give a more accurate take on what you bring to the table.
Choose the Right Affiliates
A downside of affiliate marketing is that you have less control over the message. This means that you need to be careful when recruiting affiliates. If they poorly represent your brand, they won’t be driving customers your way.
The good news is that affiliate programs are in high demand, giving you a large pool of potential candidates to choose from. You can be as selective as you like.
Look for social media accounts or websites that fall under your specific brand niche. This can include health and fitness influencers, wellness bloggers, or even CBD-specific accounts.
While a high follower count is important for a potential affiliate, big numbers don’t mean everything. Some influencers have high follower counts but little engagement on their content. Small creators often have some of the highest engagement rates, demonstrating a strong and authentic connection with their audience.
Form Successful Affiliate Relationships
Once you’ve determined who you want to connect with, it’s time to reach out. For more popular influencers, you might need to offer certain incentives or bonuses to get them to sign on. Find out what your competitors are offering their affiliates and try to match — or exceed — those standards.
To build a successful relationship with an affiliate:
- Make sure to follow up after you’ve made initial contact through email or DM.
- Once they’re signed on, provide a basic training program with examples of content that aligns with your brand identity.
- Review their content before publication and provide feedback aimed at improving conversion rates.
- After the content goes live, use an affiliate tracking tool to monitor its effectiveness.
Focus on Customer Retention
One of the many benefits of affiliate marketing is the connection it builds between your brand and your target audience. Customers who feel a connection with a brand will keep coming back.
Affiliates themselves can offer bonuses, freebies, and more to bring customers through the door. However, they’ve helped you establish a solid customer base, your next job will be to focus on retention.
Through email marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and regular engagement, you can deepen customer relationships and boost revenue, all while selling them quality products that add value to their lives.
Growing Your CBD Business Through Affiliate Marketing
Once you have your marketing plan in place and you’ve recruited your affiliates, affiliate marketing tools can help you manage them. From marketing metrics to affiliate payments, LeadDyno takes care of all the important elements that go into a successful campaign. That way, you can focus on what matters most — building a thriving CBD business.