The majority of successful CBD brands have one thing in common: they have a community of loyal consumers that love their products, and who love to talk about it. These brand advocates are, in essence, an organic extension of these brands’ marketing, without having to spend a penny on paid advertising, and they are key to ensuring the long-term success of CBD brands.
In a saturated CBD market with strict regulations around marketing, the value of building a community of loyal consumers cannot be underestimated. Here’s how to build your own online CBD community.
Create a community website
This might sound obvious but community websites are a great way to bring your customers together and to build and retain loyalty. Forums have been popular since the dawn of the internet and while there are now myriad ways to interact with your customers, these community-driven digital spaces still have an incredibly important role to play in modern brand-building.
In addition to driving hype around your products, community websites can help to generate a positive brand experience. If people feel positively towards your brand, they are more likely to return. They are also more likely to talk about your brand and products in the offline world, providing yet another route to boost organic growth.
Some CBD brands might want to launch their own community websites, while others might look to leverage existing communities on the likes of Reddit and Facebook. Whichever route you take, engaging with your community often will be key to building trust and earning their long-term loyalty.
Think of social as more than a sales tool
Social media platforms are often used as a sales tool and can be a quick and easy way to drive somebody to purchase a product. However, they are also powerful community-building tools that are an effective way to bring like-minded people together.
The network effect of social media means CBD brands have the opportunity to reach tens of thousands of people - millions, even - with a single retweet or share. A bit like good old-fashioned word of mouth: the more people that talk about your brand or products, the more your customer base will grow.
Of course, people will only want to talk about your brand if you have something interesting or new to say. This is why it is so important to focus on the quality of your content over the quantity. Having quality content will also help you to bring traffic from these communities back to your website, which will in turn bring them one step closer to your products.
Don’t be afraid to use the social media comments section to engage with your communities either. This will encourage them to interact with you and will ultimately help to build a stronger relationship between your brand and communities.
Have a point of difference
The CBD market is incredibly saturated and branding has arguably never been more important. Having a point of difference and unique tone of voice is what will set you apart from your competitors; it is your chance to showcase your personality, values and ethics to your community.
This is where it will be critically important for you to know your demographics. Your Reddit community, for example, might be completely different to the community you have on Twitter or your own website.
Take time to know your different communities and tailor your messaging and content accordingly. But do not stray too far from your overall brand; this is the common link between all of your communities together and that is very powerful indeed.
Use influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing areas of marketing today and the opportunities for CBD brands to piggyback on its success are huge. This includes community-building tactics, with influencers offering CBD brands audiences that are already engaged and who trust what the influencers they follow say.
However, it is crucially important to make sure you only work with influencers that align with your brand and who understand what you stand for. The last thing you want to do is risk turning some of your existing communities against you.
Micro-influencers are usually a good place for CBD brands to start. While they have smaller follower counts than large-scale influencers, they tend to have higher engagement rates. They will also have more time to give you and your brand, more time to understand your needs, and they will likely know their 10,000 followers better than an influencer with 500,000 followers.
Think outside the box
While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit feel like the obvious places to build your CBD community, make sure you think about how you might be able to utilise other social platforms such as LinkedIn and YouTube. This will help to boost your brand visibility and ultimately open you up to new audiences that might otherwise have been left untapped.
YouTube gives you an opportunity to get creative with video and to get your brand and personality across in a way that other platforms simply do not allow you to do. It is a great way to reach existing and potential consumers that spend more of their time watching videos than they do browsing websites or reading content, with the comments section acting like a mini forum itself.
LinkedIn, meanwhile, provides a unique networking space for you to show your knowledge and professional expertise in the CBD market and to build a community around thought leadership.
It is yet another way to give your brand that crucially important point of difference in a noisy and cluttered market, as well as clout among your peers.
Building an online CBD community brings with it many benefits and opportunities, but perhaps most important of all is its power to build your brand. Look after your community and they will look after your business.