Like all entrepreneurs, cannabis dispensary owners need to promote and market their trade. “Promote or perish”, they say. Advertising a marijuana dispensary in a setting with strict marketing laws is a concern for most dispensaries. Irrespective of whether you operate your business in a state that legalized medical marijuana only or in one that legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, you have restrictions on advertising cannabis products and services. Additionally, most media companies shy away from marketing businesses involved in the trade. Certainly, that presents a challenge but, nothing determination and creativity cannot overcome. Despite being in a strongly regulated industry, opportunities thrive!
Outlined are steps one can adopt to effectively market a cannabis dispensary:
- Determine Your Target Audience
Identify a market. Business owners need to understand customers’ interests and products the consumers tend to settle for when shopping. When a business knows who they are targeting, they can prospect and also maintain their current customers. Often, cannabis dispensaries that offer medicinal marijuana receive clients with a prescription from their physician due to having a qualifying health condition.
- Perform Competitor Research
A business needs to know its competitors. Businesses who want to maintain a competitive advantage need to know what their competitors offer their clients. This involves performing competitor research and analysis. This process includes identifying and assessing a business competitor to understand their strengths and weaknesses. You get to know the marketing approach they implemented and how well the competitors are performing.
- Develop a detailed content marketing plan
When developing a content marketing plan, consider the audience that will read the content, what problems the content will solve, what makes the business unique, and the content that is best suited for the target audience. Also, be objective on which platforms you will publish your content e.g. a blog.
- Create a website
Build a fast and accessible website. Website users expect the sites they visit to load very fast, provide thorough information about the products and services offered, and ensure that the site is easy to navigate. The site layout including the graphics of the website to the placement of call-to-actions (CTAs) should be distinct and contact information easy to access.
- Advertising across social media platforms
Having an effective social media marketing plan is crucial for businesses these days. Start by considering which social media platforms the business is currently on (Facebook, Twitter). Then equip with content like videos, photos, a bio, and a link back to a website.
Once all social media accounts have been optimized, content should be shared across these platforms regularly.
- Continuous data analysis and improvement
This includes identifying and verifying strategies for improved online branding. Helps a business make informed, strategic decisions and achieve their long-term goals. The information can also be useful in the online marketing process.
Marketing a dispensary requires extensive market research to determine where the business currently stands in the market and what steps need to be taken to continue growing in a forward direction.
Look out for the following when marketing your cannabis dispensary:
- It is your responsibility to present a professional brand image. Clients want to see you as a legitimate entrepreneur. Do not post a picture of you taking marijuana on social media.
- Do not run advertisements on social media. Running cannabis promotions on social media is prohibited and your accounts may be closed. Promotions are run cautiously but, the endeavor is unnerving and one misstep can result in a ban.
It will not be long for the cannabis industry to be jam-packed with the competition. With a large number of competitors, it is essential to establish how your brand stands out. Ask yourself these questions:
- What makes your cannabis product different from others in its category?
- How can you improve on current industry standards?
- How does your brand differ from other competitors?
Tip: Mass SMS messaging is one of the easiest ways of marketing a marijuana dispensary. It is compliant, pretty effective, and easy to implement.