Unlock the Power of Google Ads for CBD Companies: a Step-by-Step Guide
The wait is over! Google Ads recently announced that it would open up advertising to CBD companies. This game changing announcement means that the power and reach of Google are now available for some CBD retailers and brands.
This is a big deal. While other major ad platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, still ban CBD advertising, Google Ads is breaking new ground. Now one of the major platforms is allowing CBD ads for the first time.
This opens up an unprecedented opportunity for CBD companies to get in front of millions of potential customers. A chance to drive higher sales online and in person. CBD advertising that is online, compliant, and scalable.
And Google Ads is not just search! With Google Ads, you’ll also have access to YouTube, Gmail, Android, a massive display ad network, and more.
But don’t get too ahead of yourself, getting started requires effort and investment. Unlike other industries, CBD companies must first get verified by a third party. Google is dedicated to ensuring that only legitimate CBD companies and products are advertised on its properties. The application process is thorough and there’s a cost involved. But it’s worth it.
The extra effort should pay off, as the competition is lowered by this extra hurdle other companies have to clear. Get a head start on the competition by being an early mover. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What CBD companies and products are eligible for Google Ads?
Google Ads only allows topical CBD items like creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions, bath bombs, and candles to be advertised. Unfortunately, ingestible products like gummies are not eligible at this point. To be eligible, products must be topical, hemp-derived, and have a THC content of 0.3% or less.
For now, ads can only be served in California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico. These were chosen because they are mature CBD markets in the US.
Overview of Starting Google Ads for CBD
- Certify with LegitScript
- Set up Google Ads account
- Apply to Google CBD program
- Create and Launch Ad campaigns
Certify your CBD Business and Products
If you’re a CBD company looking to take advantage of the new advertising opportunities on Google, you’ll need to be certified. This process is handled by LegitScript, the only third-party certifier trusted by Google. It can be demanding but don’t let that discourage you.
Both the company’s website and products must be certified. Documents and information are needed around product standards and business practices.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Two Separate Verifications: Your website and products must both be certified by LegitScript.
- What’s Needed: From company information and leadership team, to product descriptions and quality test reports, you’ll need to provide comprehensive details.
- Fees: Although there is a non-refundable application fee, it’s currently being waived. However, you will need to pay an annual monitoring fee.
- Why it Matters: Certification ensures that your customers and Google have confidence that your CBD products are legitimate and comply with FDA regulations and local laws.
Who is LegitScript?
Founded in 2007, LegitScript is the only company used by Google to vet CBD companies for advertising. They’re focused on complex healthcare sectors and also certify addiction treatment facilities and more.
What needs to be certified?
There are two separate verifications: website and products.
For the website certification, LegitScript will verify information such as the following:
- General company information including leadership team
- Websites and domains owned by company
- Applicable licenses and registrations
- Product information and supply chain documentation
- Prior fines or disciplinary actions of company
- Affiliates and partners
Furthermore, only websites with all LegitScript approved products will be certified.
For product certification, LegitScript covers topics such as the following:
- General product information
- Brand and product name
- UPC code and labeling
- Product description and images
- Product quality test reports
- Analysis of raw ingredients used
- Ingredient list with amounts
How much does CBD certification cost?
There is an upfront application fee (non-refundable) and an annual monitoring fee for certification.
Through March 31, 2023, the one-time upfront application fees are being waived (annual monitoring still applies). Use promo code CBDPRODapp for CBD product certification and code CBDWEBapp for CBD website certification.
Why is certification required?
For customers and Google to gain trust these CBD products they are dealing with do not contain illegal substances and comply with applicable FDA regulations and local jurisdictions.
Create Google Ads Account
You will need to create a Google Ads account to get a Google Ads Customer ID which is required for the Google application form (next step).
Getting started is easy. Simply head over here and follow the straightforward instructions to input your business information and payment details. Don’t worry, you won’t be starting any ads or spending a single penny just yet. The goal is simply to open the account so you can obtain a Customer ID.
Think of it as the key that opens the door to a world of unlimited online exposure, potential customers, and increased sales.
Complete Google Form
Once you are certified by LegitScript and have your Google Ads account set up, you need to fill out the Google CBD application form.
This form is simple to fill out, but there will likely be follow-up requests from Google required.
Create and Launch Ad Campaigns
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final step of getting your CBD advertisements up and running on Google. With approval in hand, it’s time to craft and launch your ad campaigns. The art of creating and optimizing Google Ads is a subject too complex to dive into here.
Just remember, your campaigns must only target the approved geographic locations of California, Colorado, and Puerto Rico and people over the age of 18.
Also, certain ad types won’t be available, such as the YouTube Masthead. So, plan your campaigns accordingly and get ready to reach your target audience!