CASE STUDY: PR & SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE LAUNCH OF CHOICE CBD
We’re passionate about working with small businesses and start-ups with a purpose, and we were appointed as health PR experts to deliver strategic communications for CHOICE CBD last year. Recent reports have indicated that over six million adults have tried CBD products in an attempt to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. With last year’s lockdown firmly highlighting the importance of prioritising your health and wellbeing, CHOICE CBD was perfectly poised to launch its e-commerce store offering premium products that are 100% organic, vegan and cruelty-free.
With years of experience delivering health PR campaigns, we were onboarded by the CHOICE team ahead of their website launch, we were tasked with launching and managing their social media channels, creating engaging content, and navigating and capitalising on key industry trends. Alongside identifying key influencers and partnership opportunities that would help to increase brand awareness and support CHOICE’s growth and new product launches. We were also instructed to plan and execute an effective PR and marketing campaign that focused on pitching to key print, broadcast and online media to help spread the word of the brand’s launch, ethos and USPs.
As we started to get into the heart of CHOICE’s business strategy, we created a six-month comms and marketing plan that would inform our activity during the crucial launch period. This plan included key milestones and business dates, and identified opportunities for PR hooks and journalist engagement. In addition, we also outlined the launch and growth strategy for CHOICE’s social media channels; from engaging, organic content, through to paid ads. Using our extensive experience delivering health PR campaigns, we were also on hand to provide feedback on packaging and concepts, suggest gifting opportunities, and able to create and distribute both physical and digital marketing resources and materials.
We capitalised on lockdown and the increased interest in health and wellness products, building on our existing relationships with health editors and tapping into the growing CBD market. As part of our six-month comms plan, we identified the short and long lead opportunities available to us; from gift guides and product page placement, through to reviews and thought-leadership articles. We also looked at an approach that helped put a new spin on CBD; from its mental health qualities, to the benefits to sports enthusiasts and athletes. This targeted PR approach also helped with new product launches, as we could plan and manage which audiences to target with specific products.
We also managed, and continue to manage, the day-to-day running of CHOICE’s social media accounts alongside our health PR activity. We took delivery of our own sample bottles to create a steady stream of both video and graphic content, as well as using the launch product shots. At a time when everyone was forced indoors, we knew the importance of posting relevant content that showed the CHOICE products in situ at home. Alongside our organic social media activity, we also managed a monthly social media ads budget, with ongoing like campaigns and boosted posts helping to target customers.
As the brand name started to build, we also actioned a strategy that focused on partnerships with key influencers. One of our first partnerships was with Natalie Shirlaw (20.8k followers) who received a trio of CHOICE’s oils and went on to create more than 30 stories and three organic grid posts, centred around CHOICE. Her genuine love of the product has also seen her include products in multiple blog posts, including her guide to the best CHOICE products to improve your sleep. As of 2021, Natalie is now a well-established affiliate and brand ambassador for CHOICE, as well as a paying customer, and for us this is how to generate true influencer outcomes.
EAST VILLAGE.’s work with CHOICE has seen the premium CBD start-up enjoy wide-reaching coverage – from key regional titles, including Style Birmingham, Birmingham Living and What’s On Birmingham, as well as national consumer and trade press titles like Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Cannabis Health and The Cannavist. In addition, we have also helped CHOICE secure global recognition with a trio of award-wins in the internationally recognised 2020 Cannavist Awards: the brand took home 1st place in the Best CBD Manufacturer or Distributor category, 2nd place in Online Retailer category and 3rd place in the Best Tincture category, for its 10% Repair terpene blend.
The combination of health PR and targeted social media has allowed us to deliver a variety of both paid-for and organic content, and help CHOICE convert content impressions into not only retail sales, but also repeat and loyal customers. By the end of 2020, CHOICE’s organic Instagram reach totalled 647K, with total impressions exceeding 820K and organic content engagements totalling over 13.7K.
Following our initial six months, we have been retained by CHOICE to continue delivering their health PR strategy and social media management. In addition to leading on influencer engagement and supporting with wider activity, including email marketing.