Kratom is being treated like cannabis in the US and across the globe. Marketing kratom products are tough in 2019. The FDA is cracking down on making medical claims, and kratom transactions are being denied. While some consider kratom an opioid (like the FDA), others see it as a holistic therapy that holds many beneficial medical properties.
I have taken the liberty of compiling a list of the biggest hurdles a marketer of kratom has to jump through to be successful this year- you’re welcome.
So unless you want to go to Indonesia, climb an 11,000 ft volcano, and pay in person, you won’t be able to buy kratom as quickly in 2019.
Marketing kratom has gotten to the point where you need to think outside the box. If the FDA and DEA get their way, kratom will be a Schedule I substance before the year is over.
The major threats to marketing kratom are social channels not allowing paid ads, credit card companies and payment processing companies not accepting payments, and online shopping sites like Amazon will not let you list your product.
If I can’t advertise, list a product, or take a payment, how do I market kratom? That’s a great question! Unfortunately, I do not have a black and white answer for you.
My best piece of advice? Read up on the states/countries that allow the sales/purchases of kratom powder and focus your energy there. Do some local SEO. Write quality content that educates your viewers, and link out to high-authority sites like medical journals.
FDA Crackdown: Medical Claims on Social Sites
The FDA is warning people against the use of any kratom supplements calling it dangers. These statements coming from the agency are based on computer analysis of the molecular structure of kratom as well as case reports. People who use kratom state otherwise. They say the plant is a great way to ease pain and quit addictions like opioids.
The DEA announced the classification of kratom as a Schedule I drug, which mould make it just as illegal as LSD and heroin.
Scott Gottlieb is the Commissioner of the FDA, and after much lab research he writes:
“kratom compounds are predicted to affect the body the same way as opioids, and claiming that kratom is benign because it is just a plant is short-sighted and dangerous. After all, heroin is an illegal, dangerous, and highly addictive substance containing the opioid morphine, derived from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants.”
This makes marketing kratom tougher today than in recent years. If the FDA & DEA do end up classifying kratom as a schedule I drug, anyone listing kratom for sale, or marketing kratom products would be doing so with an illegal substance
Access Denied: Amazon & eBay not Accepting Kratom Sales
Since the DEA has announced they are motivated to ban kratom products, sellers had to get creative with how they listed their products. Titles like: Super Green, Green Malaysian, and Hot Maeng Da were typical examples.
However, if you search super green Malaysian on Amazon today, you will be redirected to an organic Green Juice. The same goes for other search titles. You will not find a single kratom product. The irony?
Searching Amazon for kratom still delivers top searches like kratom powder bulk and kratom capsules for pain. People always want kratom products.
What is the number one key to success in marketing? Let’s go back to BIZ 101. Supply & Demand. There is clearly a demand for kratom products, and those that want to supply it have their hands tied by federal lawmakers.
Amazon and eBay removing kratom products are one of the biggest threats to marketing kratom this year.
No Soliciting: No Paid Ads Allowed
Just like cannabis products, we are not allowed to use paid ads to market kratom products on social channels like Facebook. The difference between cannabis and kratom is one is federally legal.
Kratom is being treated as an illegal citizen when it is legally allowed to be used and consumed.
So why does Facebook not allow us to use paid advertisements? Well, for one, they make big money and have billion dollar clients. While I have no physical proof, I assume that some of Facebook’s best-paying clients are big pharma companies.
When patients begin to self medicate with holistic therapies like cannabis and kratom, the pharmaceutical industry loses billions (with a b) of dollars. Individual states in the US have banned kratom, which means that there are some limitations on selling, buying, and importing kratom products.
While the DEA is waiting for the molecular analysis of kratom to wrap up, it is still federally legal. This has not stopped major online retailers and social sites from preventing marketers from selling the products.
So, how do I market kratom in 2019? Well, the truth is, you have to get creative. I highly recommend hiring a quality content writer. Forget SEO and forget paid ads. Someone who can write engaging articles that inform them on how to use kratom, what kratom is, and the legalities surround kratom the key to sales in 2019.
Not for Sale: Sites no Longer Accepting Sales
Credit card companies are scared of the FDA making kratom federally illegal. That’s why many companies that process money transactions have refrained from kratom sales.
Why? Well, if you take payment for a product that is illegal, you are compliant in the facilitation of illicit sales. Most billion dollar companies do not want to associate with kratom even though it is legal.
Need an example? Okay, you have met a really awesome person, you to have been seeing each other for a couple of months now, but it is only at night. Oh yeah, and it is only at your place. When this person is with you, they tell you they adore you, but you notice you two never go out to eat or see a film. You finally realize, this person is scared of being in public with you because they are ashamed of your relationship.
While the user will not be penalized by Visa, Master Card, or PayPal, but the vendor will. If the vendor is still accepting these types of payments, it is because of Factoring. Factoring is when a seller uses a second business to funnel kratom payments through so they do not look like they are selling kratom. It is a federal felony in the US. Another way vendors are getting around the payment hurdles is using shady offshore banks.
This is the same issue with credit card companies and companies that process payment. While they were once happy to take payments for kratom under the table, now that the DEA has gone public, they are ashamed and don’t want to be in that relationship anymore- poor kratom.
Boost Sales: Good Manufacturing Practices
It is essential that all manufacturers and suppliers have a batch/lot number on their products. Because of a massive salmonella scare in the kratom industry last year, the FDA sent out notices to destroy all kratom products that were infected. The American Kratom Association explains that good manufacturing practices include having a batch number as well as an expiration date on their products.
A lot number is a sequence of numbers and letters that determine the date of manufacturing, labeling, packaging, and how long the batch has been held for. The best way to market your kratom business in 2019 is to ensure your products have an accurate batch/lot number.
In A Nutshell
Kratom is a hot holistic product that many people use to treat physical pain, mental anguish, and addiction without the use of pharmaceuticals.
Like cannabis, it has received a bad rap, and many lawmakers are trying to prevent the sale and distribution of kratom.
The people who use kratom for medical conditions or to treat addictions like alcohol abuse are upset. Being a North American means freedom. The freedom to speak what is on your mind, and the freedom to choose what you want to consume.
There is nothing federally illegal about kratom. However, because the FDA and DEA are pushing hard to classify it as a Schedule I drug, suppliers, payment processors, and big-name online stores are treating kratom as though it is.
Marketing kratom will take some creative thinking. Because you cannot make random medical claims that are not backed by scientific research, and you are not allowed to use paid ads, your best bet is to create quality content that educates your audience.
Tutorials on how kratom is extracted, processed, and consumed are a great go-to. The top searches for kratom reveal people use it to treat medical conditions like physical pain and anxiety. Find a great writer who can optimize articles with keywords.
This will help with organic traffic growth. Just like these substances are natural and not human-made, you must use natural content that is written for the reader, not optimized for SEO.
Take the time to meet the needs of your customers, find out why your users purchase kratom in the first place, or take the initiative, and stand up to the FDA by starting a petition.
While I have no physical proof, my theory is that because cannabis is becoming mainstream, and the federal government has now approved the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD legal through their Farm Bill, the DEA and FDA need a substance to take its place: hello kratom.
Have you had success marketing kratom products through this crackdown? Alternatively, have your sales suffered? We would like to hear from you. Share your tips, tricks, or tragedies about kratom marketing.