If you’re a dispensary owner, then you know that marketing your business can be difficult. The cannabis industry is still in its infancy, and there are many legal challenges that businesses face when trying to advertise their products. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the restrictions that marijuana businesses face when it comes to marketing, and we will provide some tips on how to create an effective cannabis marketing plan.
Creating an effective cannabis marketing plan is not easy. With restrictions on social media, Google Ads, and other forms of traditional advertising, it can be a challenge to get your message out there. However, if you follow our tips, you can create a dispensary marketing plan that will help you reach your target audience and boost your bottom line.
Legal Challenges for Cannabis Marketing Businesses
One of the biggest challenges that dispensary owners face when it comes to marketing is the legal landscape. In many states, marijuana is still federally illegal, and this makes it difficult to market your business without running into legal trouble. Additionally, even in states where marijuana is legal, there are still restrictions on how businesses can advertise their products. For example, most social media platforms have restrictions on marijuana-related content, and Google doesn’t allow cannabis businesses to advertise on their platform. This can make it difficult to reach your target audience through traditional means.
It is essential to consider that the marijuana industry is rapidly developing and changing. According to the study, almost 90% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. That is a 28 percent increase from the previous study. The rise in support is likely due to the increasing number of states that have legalized marijuana. With more states legalizing cannabis, the legal landscape will continue to change, and dispensary owners will need to stay up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations.
Although cannabis is still against Federal Law, there is a conflict and uncertainty over whether it should be legal. For example, while Facebook doesn’t allow dispensary pages, they do allow CBD companies to advertise. Google also allows CBD companies to advertise on their platform, but they don’t allow dispensary ads. This can be confusing for dispensary owners who are trying to navigate the legal landscape and create an effective marketing plan.
Find out what your state’s rules are regarding the cannabis industry. You should also stay up-to-date on the latest changes in Federal and state laws. This will help you avoid any legal trouble and ensure that your dispensary marketing plan is compliant. From 2019 to 2020, medical and recreational product sales increased by 46%. The COVID-19 epidemic, as well as legislation modifications surrounding cannabis legalization, are partly responsible.
Social Media Restrictions in the Marijuana Business
Another challenge that dispensary owners face when it comes to marketing is the restrictions on social media. As we mentioned before, most social media platforms have strict guidelines when it comes to marijuana-related content. For example, Facebook doesn’t allow dispensary pages, and Instagram doesn’t allow dispensary ads. This can make it difficult to reach your target audience through social media.
Here are some examples of restrictions across various social media platforms:
- The promotion of drugs and drug paraphernalia is not permitted on Twitter.
- Ads for illegal, prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs are not allowed on LinkedIn.
- The YouTube community standards are a little more forgiving. While the community rules don’t explicitly mention cannabis marketing, they do ban harmful material.
- The Reddit Content Policy bans you from uploading material that promotes illegal behavior. While a Reddit community devoted to cannabis-related material is present, no direct reference to the substance is made. The sale of recreational drugs or substances is not permitted by Reddit’s advertising policy.
- Ads promoting the use or sale of recreational or unlawful drugs are not permitted on Pinterest. However, the social media site is receptive to CBD-only byproducts of cannabis that do not include THC.
Obviously, this is not good news to anyone who wants to promote their cannabis companies. However, some dispensary owners have found ways to get around these restrictions. For example, some dispensary owners create Instagram accounts using a pseudonym. Others post their dispensary’s content on personal pages or in cannabis-related Facebook groups. Or you can create a Facebook page for your dispensary’s employees. This allows you to post updates about your dispensary without directly promoting it.
While these methods may be effective, they are not foolproof. If you choose to advertise on any of the abovementioned platforms, it is essential to make sure that your actions do not violate the terms and policies of the chosen social media platform.
Google Ads Restrictions
Another challenge that dispensary owners face in digital marketing is the restrictions on Google Ads. Currently, Google does not allow the promotion of cannabis-related products and services. This includes ads for dispensaries, delivery services, and cannabis brands. However, you can run ads for CBD products that don’t contain THC.
If you are preparing to advertise your brand on Google, you need to know exactly what its rules and restrictions are. Here are the things that are not allowed there:
- The promotion of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Ads that promote the sale or use of illegal, prescription, over-the-counter, and recreational drugs
- Ads that facilitate the sale of alcohol, tobacco, weapons, and adult products
There are a few other restrictions as well. For example, Google doesn’t allow dispensary ads that target minors. And you’re not allowed to use dispensary-related keywords in your ad campaigns.
While this may seem like bad news, there is a silver lining. Google is constantly changing its policies, and it may eventually allow dispensary ads. Meanwhile, there are other ways to advertise your dispensary on Google. For example, you can create a Google My Business listing for your dispensary. This allows customers to find your dispensary when they search for it on Google Maps or the Google search engine.
You can also create a website for your dispensary and optimize it thanks to SEO. This will help your dispensary’s website rank higher in the search results, making it more likely to be seen by potential customers.
14 Steps to Create a Dispensary Marketing Plan
Even though common marketing channels are not available for the cannabis niche, there are numerous other ways you can exploit to promote your brand and attract new customers. We want to offer you several successful dispensary marketing ideas that will allow your business to skyrocket in the shortest time possible.
Strong SEO game
Investing resources in search engine optimization should be the number one priority for canna-business owners. They should ensure their website appears as the top result for relevant Google searches. The business needs to take advantage of every opportunity to get its name out there, whether that’s by sponsoring a local event or partnering with another dispensary. Consumers will most likely use Google to locate retail cannabis outlets in their neighborhood.
Keyword research may be difficult for cannabis firms since it is “prohibited content.” When you search in the Google Keyword Planner, you discover that they don’t provide any information for any cannabis-related terms. So, how can you figure out which keywords to target?
One way is to look at the autocomplete suggestions that appear when you start typing in a query. These are based on popular searches that people have made. Another way is to look at related searches that appear at the bottom of the search results page. You can also use Google Trends to see how interest in certain keywords has changed over time.
Once you’ve identified some relevant keywords, you need to make sure that your website is optimized for those keywords. This includes adding keywords to your titles, headers, and meta descriptions. You should also add them to the content on your website. But be careful not to stuff your content with too many keywords, as it will make the content less attractive for the readers, and search engines may punish you for this, too.
Target the right audience
It’s also pointless to develop marijuana marketing strategies without first understanding your clients, as it is in every other sector. Dispensary owners must understand their target audience before they start planning any marketing strategies.
Some questions you should ask yourself are:
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What do they like?
- What do they need?
- How can I reach them?
Answering these questions will help you create a buyer persona. This is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. Once you’ve created a buyer persona, you’ll have a much better understanding of whom you’re marketing to and how to reach them.
You can use this information to create targeted content that speaks directly to your audience. You can also use it to find out where your target audience hangs out online and what kind of messaging they respond to. Once you understand that, you can start thinking about promoting your goods and services to them.
Use dispensary software
Dispensary software can help you with many marijuana marketing tasks, such as managing your inventory, creating loyalty programs, and sending automated emails. It can also help you track your dispensary’s performance so that you can see which cannabis marketing strategies are working and which ones need to be improved.
There are many dispensary software solutions on the market, so it’s crucial to choose one that meets your specific needs. Make sure to read reviews and compare features before making a decision.
Tell your story
If you want to stand out among the competition, you’ll need a distinct brand narrative that will entice consumers. Consumers want to know who you are, what you stand for, and what makes you different. Your story should be reflected in all of your dispensary marketing efforts, from the design of your website to the way you talk about your products on social media.
Make sure that every touchpoint with your audience tells a consistent story that reinforces your brand. You also need to think about the logo for your brand. If you already have one, it is relevant to create merchandise items with it. These could be anything from t-shirts to hats and can help you promote your dispensary in a fun and unique way.
You may still maintain a social media presence as a cannabis brand, even if you can’t pay for advertisements on social media. In fact, social media can be one of the most effective dispensary marketing channels if used correctly.
The key to success on social media is to create engaging content that speaks to your audience. This could be anything from informative blog posts to stunning visuals and helpful infographics. You should also make sure to post regularly and interact with your followers so that you can build a strong relationship with them.
In addition, you should consider using influencer marketing to reach a larger audience. You can work with social media influencers who have a following in your target market. They can help promote your dispensary and products to their followers, which can lead to more customers for you.
Use cannabis networks
You may reach out to specific cannabis marketing platforms that run advertising on medical or recreational marijuana dispensaries. You can also join dispensary networks that offer marketing and advertising services to their members. These networks can help you reach a larger audience of potential customers.
Cannabis directories are another great way to market your dispensary. They list dispensaries in specific locations so that people can find them when they’re searching for a place to buy cannabis products. Among the most popular networks that can help you promote your business are:
They will help to increase the online visibility of your brand as well as build strong relationships in the niche.
Trade shows and conventions
Cannabis conventions, trade shows, and other industry gatherings are an excellent opportunity for vendors, shops, and cannabis manufacturers to get their goods in front of their target audience. These events allow you to connect with dispensary owners, industry leaders, and potential customers from all over the world.
You can use these events to promote your dispensary in many ways. You can set up a booth where you can sell your products, hand out promotional materials, or simply network with other professionals in the industry. No matter how you choose to participate, trade shows and conventions can be a great way to get your dispensary’s name out there.
If you are planning to participate in a similar event, here is the list of upcoming cannabis events, worldwide.
We’ve already mentioned this way of promoting your brand and want to talk about it in detail. The power Influencers have a real power on teenagers and young adults that should not be neglected. Nowadays, people are more likely to trust an influencer than a brand. That’s why you should consider working with them to promote your dispensary.
The key to successful influencer marketing is finding the right influencer for your brand. You want to find someone who has a following in your target market and who aligns with your dispensary’s vision. Once you’ve found the right influencer, you can work with them to create content that will promote your dispensary to their followers.
When it comes to social media, there’s always the danger that your account will be deleted due to new rules. Even so, you may still use social media for other purposes, which will aid your business’s expansion. For example, you can create content that educates your customers about cannabis.
You can write blog posts about the benefits of cannabis, how to use it, and what strains are best for certain conditions. You can also create infographics and helpful videos that dispensary owners and customers can share with their followers. By educating your customers, you’ll not only increase awareness and tolerance to cannabis but also will promote your brand.
Consumers are 131% more likely to buy something after reading educational information about it. You may concentrate on cannabis-related video content regarding the advantages of pain management and stress relief. The dispensary marketing landscape is ever-changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments. You can also create blog pieces on frequently asked questions, interesting cannabis facts, myths, and misconceptions about the business, industry news, and more.
Coupons and discounts
Dispensary coupons are a great way to attract new customers and reward loyal ones. You can offer discounts on specific products, percentage-based discounts, or free shipping. Whatever you choose, make sure your dispensary coupons stand out from the competition.
You can promote your dispensary coupons in many ways. You can send them out to your email list, post them on social media, or include them in dispensary marketing materials. Furthermore, you can also partner with other businesses in the cannabis industry to promote your coupons. For example, you can team up with a cannabis dispensary software company to offer a discount to their customers.
By offering dispensary coupons, you’ll not only make your customers loyal but also will attract new ones.
Use push notifications
Once the customer has bought your product, it is essential to keep them coming back. Your marketing strategy should include a loyalty program of some kind. Loyalty programs can take many different forms, like coupons we mentioned previously, but the most important thing is to offer your customers an incentive to keep coming back.
You can offer discounts, free shipping, or exclusive access to new products for loyalty program members. You can promote your loyalty program in dispensary advertising materials and on social media. Likewise, you can also include it in your dispensary software so that customers are automatically enrolled when they make a purchase.
Push notifications are one way to keep your dispensary top of mind for customers. You can use them to send reminders about loyalty program benefits, new product arrivals, and sales. You can also use them to send educational content like blog posts and infographics. By using push notifications, you’ll be able to quickly and easily communicate with your customers.
Out-of-house (OOH) advertising is another fantastic example of a cannabis marketing plan. But first, make sure that it is not prohibited in your state of operation. OOH advertising is any type of advertising that reaches consumers when they’re not expecting it. It can include billboards, bus stop ads, and even flyers in dispensary waiting rooms.
OOH advertising is a great way to reach a wider audience with your dispensary marketing message. It’s also a great way to build brand awareness and create an association between your dispensary and a certain location.
For example, you can place billboards near highways that lead to your city. You can also place bus stop ads near popular tourist destinations. By using OOH advertising, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness for your dispensary.
There are a lot of options when it comes to OOH advertising. However, remember about the rules and don’t try to violate them in any way:
- Don’t put it near schools;
- Don’t make it too big;
- Only put dispensary names and not the products or services;
- Don’t make any health claims.
What you should do, is to:
- Include a call to action;
- Billboards should be placed in high-traffic areas for maximum exposure;
- Make them stylish and attractive.
These steps will allow you to attract new customers.
Take care of reviews
What do you do when you’re looking for a new product or service? You probably go online and read reviews. Dispensary customers are no different. In fact, dispensary reviews are even more important because the cannabis industry is still relatively new.
That’s why it’s so essential to take care of your dispensary reviews. You should actively encourage your customers to leave reviews. You can do this by emailing them after their purchase or including a review card in their dispensary bag.
Not only that, but you should also make it easy for customers to leave reviews. Likewise, you can create a landing page on your website where customers can leave reviews. Furthermore, you can also include links to review sites like Yelp and Google in your dispensary marketing materials.
Finally, don’t forget to engage with your customers. This is especially influential on social media. You should respond to all comments and questions promptly. By engaging with your customers, you’ll be able to build relationships and trust. You’ll also be able to get feedback about your dispensary and products.
By taking care of your dispensary reviews, you’ll be able to build trust with potential customers and invest in the success of your weed dispensary internet marketing strategy.
Creating a mobile app
In today’s world, it’s essential to have a mobile app for your canna-business. A mobile app is a great way to connect with your customers and provide them with a convenient way to shop. It’s also a great way to push notifications and send loyalty program information. Creating a dispensary mobile app can be a big project. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier.
First, you should decide what features you want to include in your app. Do you want to allow customers to place orders? Do you want to include a loyalty program? Once you know what features you want, you can start planning your app design.
Next, you’ll need to find a dispensary app development company. There are a lot of options out there, so it’s indispensable to do your research. You should read reviews and compare pricing before making a decision.
Finally, you’ll need to promote your app. You can do this by including it in your dispensary marketing materials and on your website. You can also promote it on social media and in your dispensary waiting room.
An app may be a useful tool for showcasing your company and the goods you offer. Not only should you include all essential data about your dispensary or company, product pricing, and description, but also ensure that it is attractive. What we’re talking about here is investing in a high-quality user interface and user experience as a way to get more good reviews for your software and more users.
By creating a dispensary mobile app, you’ll be able to connect with your customers and provide them with a convenient way to shop.
Build Your Cannabis Marketing Strategy with MjSeo
Building a dispensary Internet marketing plan can be difficult. There are many moving parts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Now that you know the steps to create an effective cannabis marketing plan, it’s time to put your plan into action. MjSeo is here to help you with all of your dispensary marketing needs. We offer a wide range of services, including website design, SEO, and social media marketing. Contact us today to get started!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our dispensary marketing experts will be happy to help you create a plan that works for your business.