In the cannabis industry, demand for products doesn’t necessarily guarantee success for your dispensary. You need to balance the needs of your customers and patients while also focusing on your digital marketing strategy.
If you’re struggling to find your groove as a marijuana dispensary owner in a digital world where you have mere seconds to capture a person’s interest, here are five simple tips and strategies to grow your business.
1. Optimize the Google Business Profile for Your Dispensary’s Location
Google Business Profile (or GBP) is a free tool for business owners to manage the way their business listing appears in search results. With this tool, you can manage the location and details of your marijuana dispensary on Google maps. Google Business Profile is formerly known as Google My Business.
Maintaining a GBP is imperative for cannabis marketing success. According to HubSpot, 88% of local searches for businesses on a mobile device either call or visit that business within the same day. If you don’t have a GBP that’s optimized, your competitors will appear in results ahead of you.
Drive customers to your dispensary and website by maintaining a Google Business Profile for your dispensary’s location. Follow these simple recommendations to start:
Be Sure Your Business Information is Correct
- Confirm that your business name, street address, phone number, and website URL are correct.
- Use the same format in your GBP as you do on your website. In other words, don’t use “123 Main Street” in one place and “123 Main St” in another. Be consistent.
- Add business hours and any special hours for holidays.
Choose the Right Business Category
- The category you choose for your GBP listing plays a vital role in helping your dispensary appear for searches in that category. Get the category wrong, and you may not see traffic or phone calls.
- As of this writing, Cannabis Creative recommends that marijuana dispensaries choose “Cannabis store” as this is the most relevant category.
Write an Optimized Description
- Add a description (up to 750 characters) of your dispensary.
- Mention whether your marijuana dispensary is recreational, medical, or both.
- Describe your business in an authentic manner and tell customers about your brand, story, mission, and history.
- Don’t stuff keywords. Refer to Google’s guidelines to avoid your listing being suspended.
2. Update Third-Party Directories with Your Dispensary’s Info
Getting your dispensary listed on third-party websites and directories is an important aspect of local cannabis marketing. Doing so grows brand awareness (more mentions = more chances people will see your dispensary name), improves local rankings, and helps bring you customers.
If possible, list your dispensary name, address, and phone number (NAP), as well as your website URL. You’ll get the most bang for your buck by going with directories that have a strong authority and following.
Some of the Top Cannabis Directory Sites:
- The Cannabis Industry
- Wiki Leaf
- All Bud
- Pot Guide
3. Display Your Dispensary’s Products on Your Website
By now, you’re hopefully using an online menu on your dispensary’s website for easy ordering. This is the main way to display the products you offer.
Consumers – especially online consumers – are more likely to buy if there’s good imagery associated with the product. A survey by Field Agent found that 83% of U.S. smartphone users find product images to be extremely influential when researching to buy a product.
And according to a Shopify study about online consumer preferences, less than 1% of shoppers are fine with seeing just a single product photo, 33.16% prefer to see multiple photos, and about 60% prefer images that have 360-degree views.
But the menu isn’t the only place on your website to showcase your dispensary’s products. The homepage, special offer pages, and blog posts are all ideal places to use high quality images and photos.
4. Encourage Online Customer Reviews of Your Dispensary
Customer reviews are a local ranking factor and help promote word-of-mouth marketing. All things being equal, if your marijuana dispensary has no Google reviews but your competitor does, guess who’ll have the edge.
To encourage people to leave an online review, you need to be thinking about this on a regular basis as you interact with customers. Asking them to review your dispensary should become natural, and ideas to do so include:
- Send an email to customers after they make a purchase and ask them to leave a review on your GBP listing. Other options are Leafly, Weedmaps, and Yelp.
- Ask your “regular” customers in person. Reaching out on a personal level can be quite effective.
- Use Google’s Marketing Kit to create social posts that encourage people to leave a review.
5. Promote Repeat Purchases from Existing Customers Through Email Offers
Due to restrictions on advertising opportunities for cannabis, email marketing is a popular way to reach your customers. Note that many platforms, however, have policies against marketing federally banned substances (like cannabis). So do your homework.
Email is also inexpensive compared to other cannabis digital marketing strategies and allows your dispensary to communicate directly with customers and patients, keeping them informed and encouraging them to make repeat purchases and visit the store.
It’s easier to convert existing customers into more sales than it is to attract a new customer. Segmenting your email audience to only those who’ve previously made a purchase with you makes it easier to determine what type of offers to send. This also enables you to connect with these people directly and drastically improve your open and click rates. Let’s say you’re a customer who purchased pre-rolled joints at least once before. Would you open an email about new pre-roll strains in stock?
Think about your customers and their preferences without making assumptions, and match your email offers to their interests.