How to Market Tobacco Products and Restricted Products Online
Every retailer of nonessential products is remote thanks to the pandemic. Every business needs to go one hundred percent digital. With any kind of tobacco or restricted products, advertising online is harder.
Because Facebook will not allow it. Google AdWords will not allow it. Most marketplaces will not allow it. It’s very difficult. Along with tobacco, but you have CBD, hemp products, cannabis, and firearms. There’s a huge list of adult sexual enhancement products within restricted categories.
One way you could do it is word of mouth advertising, a friend telling a friend. People’s endorsements matter more from a trusted individual. Even so, it can be unreliable.
Marketing High-Risk and Products Online Through SEO and Content Marketing
The two main options are SEO and content marketing. Make sure that when somebody is searching for a product like yours, you are visible organically on Google. You do that through an effective SEO strategy.
What are the elements of a viable SEO strategy?
Elements include content on a monthly basis, implemented on your site and targeted for specific keywords. You also have backlinks to reinforce these pages and anchor text to reinforce those specific keywords. An official website is your primary channel at this moment in time.
Your secondary is influencer marketing. Attribution becomes a potential drawback. How really do you know if they’re driving these sales to your site? But at the end of the day, because you’re limited, it’s still an avenue with potential.
Partnerships can also prove viable. There are blogging sites out there, comparison sites out there related to yours. Many websites compare products, companies and businesses. You could go out there and sponsor them or rent their email lists.
Number four requires finesse, with bridge pages. These can work on Facebook, Twitter or TikTok
What are bridge pages?
A bridge page is a page that connects your customers on these advertising platforms with your website. However, it does not associate itself with your website. For the most part, if your brand or website has already been established, you’re already on let’s say Facebook’s no fly list when it comes to running ads.
When you’re introducing a brand new website, a landing page with a new URL or brand name, Facebook takes a long time to recognize that it’s not a product that they should be promoting or it falls inside that restricted category. Then it gets taken down. Repeat the process as many times as you want.
Case Study: CBD And Internet Sales
Let’s say that your website sells CBD products for pets. Ad approval will prove difficult on Facebook or Google. What you could do is you could say calmpets.com. You get that domain, you slap a WordPress template there, and you say, “We give tips on how to calm your pets.” You would go put a landing page there , creating a new business manager account and a new Facebook profile respectively.
Your pitch reads: “At calmpets.com, I teach people how to calm their pets.” Some of those options include training, music therapy, or diet changes. CBD is one of those options, but you don’t actually mention that on the website.
When you do a landing page, you take somebody’s email and send a topic such as “Top 10 secrets to calm your pet.” They will come in and enter their email. All Facebook sees or all Google sees is this website about calming pets. But then when you start dripping emails to them, which Facebook doesn’t see, Google doesn’t see, guess what the first suggestion is? It’s CBD.
This strategy will last. There’s no reason for Facebook to ever take that down or to ever restrict it. In that case, that’s a much better strategy.
Disclaimer: if you are a huge CBD website with a lot of volume, Facebook now tracks IP logins AdWords has the same tracking.. Take care when advertising. You’re grabbing users and emails from Facebook before selling them through email marketing. This is called nurture.
These bridge pages work, but you have to implement carefully. You cannot go against the terms and conditions on Facebook or Google.
Alternatives For Tobacco Retailers
Podcasts can advertise restricted products. They are like radio programs with more independent funding. You find a podcast that targets your demographic, you sponsor them, the host of the podcast will mention your brand and offer a promo code. It’s almost like influencer marketing, but on a much larger scale.
Subscribers to that podcast listen in on a weekly basis. This is a different frequency, but with a higher amount of ads. Your target demographic will remember the slogans and websites. Then they will type in your domain name, direct organic traffic. This angle is potent.
Traditional advertising is still viable. Some radio channels or streaming providers, actually allow the advertisement of restricted products. SiriusXM is one type of channel.
What other channels are options?
Streaming websites are a possible venture for ads. You can advertise on Hulu for example, with self-service advertising through their platform.
Create a video ad and submit. There is an approval process that focuses on the ad’s quality. It’s like running a TV commercial for a fraction of the price.
The Optimum7 marketers believe that these restrictions will slowly disappear. CBD is actually getting easier. Cannabis may become fully legal in the United States in the next 12 to 24 months. These restrictions may be lifted for most products, but the firearm one will be here to stay.
Despite that, there are ways to advertise your restricted product, including tobacco. The right strategy makes all the difference. Your best money makers here include content marketing, partnerships, influencers and traditional or offline media.