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CBD for seniors: How a CBD brand can enter an emerging market

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Sources for this article came from a survey put together by High Yield Insights

“It’s a very viable market,” said Jackie Berg, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Michigan based CBD Marketing Hub. “Absolutely represents an emerging opportunity for startups.”

The senior population is gaining more awareness of CBD and its potential benefits. Websites like CBDSeniors.com, which are dedicated to educating baby boomers (ages 55-73) about CBD, are starting to appear.

The number of baby boomers in the United States last year stood at approximately 95 million, and many chronic ailments they face (like joint pain, insomnia, and anxiety) are those that can be helped by CBD products.

How to enter a new market that’s skeptical about CBD

The best way to educate and inform seniors about CBD is through an engaging conversation.
This will not only help you win over new customers who may be looking for solutions, but keep them loyal too.

While it’s important to educate them on why they should choose your company over others, more important is to educate seniors on CBD in general. There is a lot of unfamiliarity with the industry, and general apprehension thanks to the “gateway drug” reputation thrown on marijuana in the early 90’s.

PRO TIP: Creating an FAQ center focused on answering common questions seniors have about CBD in general is a great way to both drive traffic to your store’s website, but also build trust with your audience.

Common barriers (hint – questions you can answer) seniors have to purchasing CBD products include:

  • Getting a recommendation from a physical or mental health provider
  • Doubts on effectiveness
  • Questions about long-term effects
  • What products are available
  • How safe it is.
  • Interfering with other medications.

PRO TIP 2: Word of mouth marketing from trustworthy sources is key

If you’re looking for an edge in marketing your CBD product to seniors, you’ll need to get word of mouth going. Seniors are “overwhelmingly likely” to gravitate towards this type of advertising and brands should not underestimate its power.

Sample marketing strategy for engaging seniors on CBD

FIRST STEP: If you’re focused on a specific geography, first look to get a survey of local physicians to speak positively about CBD products. Then put together a quick article and submit it to local news websites. This will help boost your credibility and prime your market before you start directly marketing to them.

SECOND STEP: You’ll want to make sure you have a localized section of your website dedicated to the market you’re entering. This should include educational information about your products, CBD in general, and if you make any medical claims, be sure to link to scientific studies about CBD.

THIRD STEP: Respect your audience. Messaging that depicts seniors as inactive, sedentary or aging poorly should be avoided.

FOURTH STEP: Include clear information and instructions on your product packaging and product pages on your website.

Survey data from Nielsen Global Connect revealed that seniors likely to purchase hemp or CBD products rank the following factors most important:

  • Are there pesticides or herbicides used?
  • Is the product lab tested and/or certified?
  • Is the product produced from hemp?
  • Is the hemp used high quality?

A survey from High Yield Insights about packaging preferences showed seniors care about:

  • Clear usage and dosing instructions
  • Ingredient and nutrition labeling
  • Easy to open packaging
  • Easy dosing (is it individually wrapped?)

FIFTH STEP: Make sure you meet your audience where they are. Seniors are not typically on CBD websites or affiliate review websites.

Integrating online and offline user journeys help overcome this issue, as does added exposure in traditional offline print, such as:

  • Local papers
  • Direct mail flyers
  • Calls to action that can lead to phone calls or support

According to the latest Ofcom findings in ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2020/21′:

Of 55-64s:

  • 86% use a smartphone.
  • 94% use the internet at home.
  • 70% correctly identify advertising on Google.
  • 73% have a social media profile.

Of 65+:

  • 55% use a smartphone.
  • 77% use the internet at home.
  • 58% correctly identify advertising on Google.
  • 59% have a social media profile.

What this tells us, as marketers, is that seniors are warming up to mobile based marketing, SMS marketing, and YouTube. If you can help with their informational needs first, 90% of senior people will keep you as their digital ‘go-to.’

In summary, if you want to penetrate this new market interested in (yet skeptical of) CBD products, you’ll first want to build localized credibility with people seniors trust (physicians, family members, local news sources), then you’ll want to tailor your product packaging and website messaging to what they need to make a purchasing decision. Lastly you’ll want to distribute your messaging to the channels where they’re spending their time.

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