The Tricky Nature of Kratom Advertising

Kratom advertising is like walking a tightrope, trying to focus and balance out certain things while those keeping an eye on you are waiting for you to fall flat. While it is legal in most states and its benefits have become more accepted due to the wealth of information that’s been provided about its qualities, it’s banned by others. Plus, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does its best to suppress any mention of it, much less usage.


As a result, while advertising is beneficial to the kratom industry, it is something that requires a meticulous approach considering the perceptions and legalities involved that make it a polarizing product.


The Battle Between the FDA and Kratom

As touched upon, the FDA is all over kratom. The bone of contention over the years stems from the handling of safety and regulation of kratom for users. While it has been cited as something that offers pain relief as well as a source of countering opioid withdrawal, the FDA insists it should be labeled as a restricted access drug due to purported dangers and health risks.


Kratom first landed in the United States in 2012 and immediately led to a strained relationship, to put it nicely, between its advocates and the FDA. Imports of the substance were seized and the FDA even tried to implement an outright ban of all kratom products in 2016. However, the ban was postponed after an outcry from a bevy of people who spoke to its positive impact on their daily lives.


This has made advertising difficult and confusing at times because those endorsing it have to be so careful or risk being warned (or worse) by FDA agents. Talking about its uses, as well as its medical and financial benefits, is often discouraged when writing about it. Advertising this product is akin to the Minesweeper game as any portrayal of it can blow up its progress or marketability.


What Can and Can’t Be Said

The first thing is that when advertising kratom, there can be no mentions of health claims or treatment plans. No claims can be made about what kratom can or cannot do as its potential effects are hotly debated. Not even anecdotes from those who have used it and seen positive improvements with their health can be used. Furthermore, many vendors are prevented from giving clear guidelines on how to use kratom as it cannot be marketed as a cure for diseases or a product that alleviates symptoms.


FDA restrictions require specific labeling on kratom products, including ingredient composition, lot and batch numbers for clear testing tracking, among other guidelines. With the lack of information and strict restrictions applied, a lot of misinformation is put out there, leading to confusion among consumers as well as vendors turning to the black market and using other dishonest means to get products out to the public.


Where Can’t Advertise It

Kratom products sell themselves, in part because the more conventional mediums afforded to other industries are not available when advertising kratom. As more states have legalized these products, consumer demand continues to evolve, which is good news for vendors as they can be a bit more proactive with a marketing strategy.


If a part of that strategy is using Facebook or Google to advertise it, however, you’ll hit a dead-end fast. Stern Facebook advertising policies against drug or drug-related products and, while it can be argued that kratom isn’t a drug, the proverbial cloud that hangs over its contents and usage make it highly unlikely you’ll ever get a page or ads approved for it. Google’s similarly strict nature on advertising makes it virtually impossible to, for example, utilize an Adwords campaign about kratom and avoid getting flagged for it.


Where You Can Advertise It


On the contrary, your best bet is SEO optimization. Because people are always looking out for these products, using SEO keywords and queries can help reel them in. Merge that with engaging, concise articles/content that stand out to a consumer base that already knows about the product and you’ll see successful results.


Another method that can be tested is a grassroots movement that uses lower overhead costs to put kratom brands at the center of discussions and garner engagements while getting email lists to contact customers directly. However, utilizing vendor-associated social media pages to perform this campaign leaves you susceptible to being shut down, especially if you say the wrong things. Any sort of marketing through social channels comes with high risk.


You could also get a social media influencer to advertise kratom products, though the downside is an underwhelming return on investment (ROI) attached to it, advertising to an audience that doesn’t know about kratom.

More Research is Needed

In the end, kratom advertising can only go so far because there are so many watchful eyes that look over the industry as well as the vendors and writers who endorse its products. Everyone who endorses and uses the product should conduct independent research and look for user-generated posts on forums to understand the do’s and don’ts within the industry. This allows for a clearer understanding of what can/cannot be said or marketed when advertising kratom products. It’s an evolving industry that needs greater clarity and cooperation to flourish and to create a better market.

Author : Andy Cyrus