Digital Marketing isn’t often the priority for cannabis-related businesses, but it does play a vital role in the success of the Cannabis Business. Most dispensaries are not aware of the massive online market for their business sitting right in front of them! They might not know that online forums have fostered huge, well-organized communities of cannabis enthusiasts who are your dispensary’s prospective customers. Why not leverage digital marketing to reach out to these people?!
Growth Dispensary Marketing, a cannabis digital marketing agency from Chicago, Illinois, breaks down these six simple yet effective ways to grow your Cannabis Business with Digital Marketing.
Facebook for Cannabis Business
Facebook is ideally a great place to market your cannabis business. It has a massive number of active users, and it can be used to specifically target your audience by their location, age, and other demographics. Just like Adwords, Facebook is a bidding system where you’ll pay more the more advertisers there are in your space. All that said, Facebook comes with a whole bunch of restrictions for Cannabis-related posts.
If you want your content to appear on other people’s news feeds, you’ll have to advertise on Facebook. Sadly, Facebook strictly restricts on advertising cannabis and cannabis-related services or products. To approve your posts, you’ll have to work around these restrictions. The simplest way to do this is to be subtle about your products. The good thing is there are already people in the cannabis industry who are actively advertising their business despite these restrictions, so there’s no need to feel discouraged!
Video Content | YouTube
Video Marketing is all the rage in 2k19. All users have their preferences for the type of content they want to see. Some people prefer to scan or read a text; others prefer images. But most prefer video! Producing video content isn’t just useful for SEO but also helps you market firmly on other platforms. Moreover, customer testimonials in the form of videos can be compelling for converting more website visitors.
YouTube Commercials are also very successful in capturing your target audience. They’re known to be the most effective form of paid traffic because they leverage the search engine history of the user and send your message to a personalized audience.
As for restrictions – yes, YouTube has its own set of rules for Marijuana-related content. But YouTube’s guidelines are vague when it comes to dispensaries advertising themselves. And that means there’s still room for you to market your business, provided you’re not too explicit.
Instagram is the quickest-growing social media platform to connect with your customers. Here you can make use of features like hashtags and location tags. Through Instagram, you can reach out to potential customers with large followings and market your cannabis business with posts or stories. All that being said, Instagram also has prohibitions on the promotion of ‘drugs or drug-related paraphernalia.’ Many Instagram accounts of retail cannabis operations have seen their accounts suspended since late 2018, continuing into 2019. We believe that Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have had the cannabis industry in their sights for a long time. The tech giant has recently suspended dozens of accounts with significant followings – and most of them weren’t even breaking any law!
Even legal cannabis businesses that comply with all cannabis marketing regulations have had their accounts taken offline, mostly with no prior notice or warning. These suspensions affect a wide variety of content that people in the cannabis community finds interesting – such as growing tips and educational information, entertainment content, memes, funny posts, feuds, opinions, etc. Some are also spaces for networking and activism. All in all, marketing your cannabis business on Instagram means dealing with a host of restrictions. And finding your way around them is going to be a bit of a struggle!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s rankings on Search Engines like Google to gain visibility and web traffic. To be blunt – there are no SEO magic tricks or shortcuts that will suddenly boost your rankings overnight, but there are small incremental gains to be had that will add up over time. Search Engine Optimization takes a lot of time, resources, energy, and budget to get the outcome you’re looking for. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get your SEO on the right track with relatively less effort and cost:
- Optimize your Site’s pages for your Target Keywords and get your Technical SEO right
- Develop a Content Calendar for your blog, consistently post articles to engage your audience, and establish thought leadership
- Create 30-60 Citations for your Local Dispensary
- Set up and optimize your Google My Business profile to develop your Dispensaries Local Search Presence [this part is KEY].
- Optimize your Website back-end (off-page SEO)
- Create and Build a following on social media to supplement the above
Most consumers today tend to immediately disregard the “noise” of the marketing efforts they’re regularly being exposed to. This is where content marketing comes in. This is a technique that involves curating and creating content that is unique and relevant and that your customers will find valuable enough to sit through.
Content Marketing is the art of communicating with your prospective customers without explicitly selling to them. Instead of merely selling your products or services, you’re providing information to your potential customers. That can provide them with valuable information. For example, blog posts around Cannabis legalization will draw your dispensary consumers in. And potentially pique their interest in your business.
If done right, Content Marketing allows you to market your business without interrupting your customers’ lives – ultimately rewarding you with their business, support, and loyalty. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!
Email Marketing is a great way to retain your current customers while also reaching out to new ones. There are several creative ways to build an email list of your customers. You can also host events in your area and add attendees’ emails to your mailing list. Or ask to email their receipt instead of printing it.
Fortunately for your business, very few cannabis-related companies are successfully doing email marketing at the moment. That makes email marketing an even more useful tool for any cannabis business. However, do keep in mind that email marketing takes patience, learning, and quite a bit of set-up. You can read this article for more detailed information on Email Marketing.
Bottom Line of Digital Marketing:
Digital Marketing is the future of all businesses across all industries – and your dispensary is no exception. However, the rules and regulations that are particular to this industry make it challenging to leverage digital marketing for your cannabis business. Start with the steps mentioned above, and make sure to evade any restrictions on social media platforms. You’re about to notice a steep increase in your customer base and digital presence!