Dispensary marketing is extremely challenging! Especially because of the prohibition on marketing cannabis and its derivatives through traditional mass media and digital platforms. As a matter of fact, even CBD and hemp ads are restricted under many advertising guidelines.
These restrictions require dispensaries to think outside of the box, research and understand ever-changing trends, and act fast on the opportunities that remain.
Below are seven dispensary marketing ideas that are simple yet effective.
Roll in Some More Green with these Brilliant Dispensary Marketing Ideas
1. Create experiences worth sharing
This one should be obvious. Dispensaries are subjected to a ton of local and state laws restricting or eliminating advertising options. Nonetheless, you can turn your marketing focus entirely to the experience you’re providing to your customers.
If you’re running a dispensary with a purely transactional relationship, you’re missing out on a much-needed customer retention strategy.
Dispensaries are the new Starbucks, popping up on just about every corner. If you’re not doing something that differentiates you from the dispensary across the street, you’re automatically losing.
Experiences don’t have to break the bank and are often small tweaks to staff and store flow. Some of our favorite in-store experiences include activities during wait time, friendly and knowledgeable budtenders, and complimentary refreshments.
2. Web Presence
The ball is in your court on your private website, where you control the conversation and legally engage your audience.
Driving traffic can be more difficult than you think. With so much competition, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Dispensary SEO is the most effective way to increase traffic and exposure. Constantly publishing content, optimizing your site for user experience are practical tactics. And, collecting customer data will keep you at the forefront of your market.
3. Quality Social Content
The most popular social media platforms don’t allow ads from cannabis-related companies. The best alternative to ads is publishing useful content instead.
Dispensary Twitter and Instagram accounts often rank higher than certain web pages brought up in Google searches. Creating social content that contains keywords you want to rank for allows you to rig the system.
4. Online Reviews
As a business owner and consumer, you understand how important online reviews are for your dispensary marketing. A 2019 local consumer review survey from BrightLocal found that:
- 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business
- 53% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars
- 89% of 18 to 34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 97% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews
Word of mouth and personal recommendations are the primary sources of traffic for local businesses. Additionally, it is the fastest way to get new customers, especially for advertising restricted industries. Create dispensary experiences that encourage, amplify, and escalate reviews and referrals.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
Dispensaries face a lot of limitations on how they can engage potential new customers. This makes it even more essential to retain and upsell the ones you’ve already got.
A loyalty or rewards program can foster long-term relationships with your dispensary, increasing the value of every customer.
The most important part of loyalty is communication. Ask for an email address in the checkout line for an e-receipt, and allow them to opt-in for promotional emails, newsletters, product updates, and tips. A great, low-friction strategy is to install tablets that let customers complete orders and fill in information themselves, right at the register.
6. Partner With Other Local Businesses
Dispensary marketing can work well if your business can partner with other local businesses that are cannabis-friendly. This tactic puts your dispensary in front of a warm audience that already engages with a specific product/service that complements your own.
Local restaurants, breweries, and even advocacy groups like NORML can drive traffic to your storefront. This dispensary marketing tactic requires push and pull marketing. You must make sure you are promoting the other businesses if you expect them to be promoting yours.
7. Community Involvement
Show support for your community by hosting charity drives and volunteering at events. Charities are always looking for community partners to help raise funds and collect goods. Hosting a food, clothing, or toy drive shows your customers that you care. This also works well to get your staff out in the community.
Whether it’s a park clean up or volunteer day at a shelter, this is a great opportunity to wear your branded swag, get photos for social media, and involve your staff and customers in an impactful way. You can also offer discounts to customers who donate items and volunteer time to drive traffic.
Manage your Dispensary Marketing Efforts
365 Cannabis offers an ERP software with built-in POS dedicated to the cannabis industry. If you want your cannabis brand to shine, make sure your technology supports all of your sales and customer loyalty efforts.
If you’re a dispensary, a grow operation, or any other cannabis-related business, we’re your one-stop cannabis software shop just a short email or phone call away. Let’s get started!