So you’ve launched your brand new recreational or medical cannabis dispensary. Now you find yourself struggling to reach your consumer base. You might be asking yourself; “How do I get feet in the door?” or “How do I get customers to know that my cannabis dispensary exists?”
With new cannabis dispensaries popping up every day, (FYI, in Colorado alone there are more cannabis dispensaries than McDonald’s and Starbucks) reaching your customers through marketing can present a challenge.
With advertising restrictions and federal regulations presenting challenges for legal marijuana brands to get their message out there and stunting their growth, cannabis dispensaries need to get creative when it comes to marketing themselves.
Fortunately, there is no need to panic just yet. There are several creative methods you can use to market your legal cannabis dispensary and make those much-needed sales. In this blog post, we will discuss five cannabis-friendly marketing endeavors to help your cannabis dispensary reach audiences and grow your business.
Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Tip #1: Optimize SEO
In terms of digital marketing strategy, SEO is invaluable. This is particularly true for an industry as difficult to navigate as cannabis. When it comes to marketing your cannabis dispensary, a solid SEO strategy is paramount. There’s a reason “Google it” has become a widely used verb in today’s online landscape. Search pages, like Google and Bing, are the first port of call for internet users wanting to learn something.
In a rapidly developing industry like cannabis, consumers are more frequently looking for education online. Many cannabis consumers are at a loss when it comes to reputable sources of information, and with users spending hours of their day on their laptops and smartphones, you can be sure that they are looking for answers that you, as a cannabis dispensary, can provide.
While you might not be able to run paid cannabis ads on Google, the search engine doesn’t ban cannabis-related content. So you are free to share all your informative content without fear of censorship. But remember to use the right, cannabis industry-related keywords so your content reaches the right people.
One of the most important things to remember when utilizing SEO as part of your cannabis dispensary’s marketing strategy is the creation of quality content. Your goal is to provide quality text-based content like web copy and blog posts as well as visual content such as infographics and videos that offer value to potential customers seeking cannabis-related information.
Put simply, the more consumers engage with your content online, the higher your website will be ranked in Google’s search results.
When thinking about the SEO marketing strategy for your cannabis dispensary, don’t neglect your dispensary’s local SEO. What you ultimately want to achieve is that when cannabis customers in your area search for dispensaries, your dispensary will pop up in the top results. This is also why you should spend some time creating and managing a Google Business Profile for your cannabis dispensary. You can also gain more visibility online by getting your cannabis business featured on sites like Yellowpages, Yelp, Superpages, and branded Facebook pages.
Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Tip #2: Use Social Media
Creating brand recognition and awareness for your cannabis dispensary across various social media platforms is crucial for success within the global cannabis industry. During this aspect of your cannabis dispensary marketing strategy, self-promotion, user-generated content, and engaging posts can assist in gaining traction for your brand.
Create Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn accounts for your cannabis dispensary and start creating content to generate brand awareness and reach potential customers.
The type of content you should be populating your social media accounts with includes things like highlighting your physical location, business hours, mini store tour videos, and posts based on product education. Utilizing these things will strengthen your brand’s value and help increase foot traffic in-store.
Social media is highly community-driven so user-generated content (UGC) showcasing your consumers in your storefront or with your product is also an effective way to boost awareness for your cannabis dispensary.
Not only will UGC provide additional content for you to share across your social media platforms, but it also builds that important sense of community that will lead to more followers and interactions across your social media channels.
Remember to stay compliant with regulations to prevent your social media accounts from being frozen or removed by ensuring that users understand that content is only accessible to those of legal age, depending on the country they are living in.
Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Tip #3: Employ Email Marketing
Adding email marketing as part of your cannabis dispensary marketing strategy is an invaluable way to reach more potential customers without all the red tape that comes with trying to use paid online advertising, which can be restricting and challenging.
Email marketing is an ideal medium to initiate a conversation with all your potential customers. Besides helping your brand reach a wider audience, email marketing can also boost your ROI. According to statistics, for every $1 spent on email marketing companies are boasting a massive $42 in return. With numbers like that, why wouldn’t you make use of email marketing to market your cannabis dispensary?
An effective email marketing strategy should be informational. You can promote in-store deals and promotions, create awareness surrounding events you’ll be participating in, link through to educational blogs on your website, and share industry-related news with your cannabis dispensary customers.
Remember to stick to a consistent schedule to keep the conversation going with your customers and retain brand loyalty.
Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Tip #4: Strategic Partnerships are Key
Collaborating with other cannabis brands or cannabis-friendly partners can serve as an indispensable method of enhancing your cannabis dispensary’s awareness and cultivating your brand’s acumen.
Reach out to brands and companies and combine efforts to propose an exchange in which customers can get a discount when they shop at both stores on the same day, for example, or any other endless opportunities that can be incorporated when endeavoring a strategic partner.
Cross-promoting these partnerships across both brands’ social media accounts can be invaluable in terms of boosting awareness and driving potential customers to both businesses. When it comes to strategic partnerships as part of the marketing strategy for your cannabis dispensary, value can only be increased for everyone involved.
Finding a strategic partner to work with is also becoming increasingly easier as the global cannabis industry continues to grow and expand and more and more brands becoming more willing to partner up to help other local businesses in a copacetic relationship.
Cannabis Dispensary Marketing Tip #5: Think Local
While many mainstream print and digital publications may still face restrictions in terms of cannabis advertising, local, cannabis industry-related, and complementary publications can deliver an often untapped and unique marketing opportunity for your cannabis dispensary.
Local city publications, like magazines and newspapers, are often not held to the same rigid standards as mainstream ones and usually do not have the same stringent advertisement limitations. Instead, these local publications can offer the possibility to reach people within your cannabis dispensary’s location.
Another great opportunity to market your cannabis dispensary is to target cannabis industry-specific titles with prospects to place locally targeted ads. In fact, the people reading these publications make up the audience you need to reach.
Adult lifestyle-based publications, such as those focused on the wine, cigars, or beer industries, can deliver further reach and introduce your cannabis dispensary to a new audience who may be interested in learning more about your offerings.
Lastly, approach local city-specific websites and podcasts as another way to reach customers for your cannabis dispensary. This way you can target potential customers in your area and, because these websites and podcasts are often run by respected members of the community, you will be able to establish your brand within the local community.
Making the Most of Cannabis Dispensary Marketing
Although there are still limitations placed on those within the cannabis industry, a little creativity can go a long way in marketing your cannabis dispensary.
Utilize these tips for marketing your cannabis dispensary and before you know it, your establishment will pop up on local ‘Best Of’ listicles, and your dispensary will become the place to go as your location’s favorite cannabis retailer.