Our guide for an effective approach to local marketing for your cannabis business
Are you looking for an effective approach to local marketing for your cannabis business? Mobile marketing allows you to reach people nearby more effectively than traditional marketing methods. While it is vital in any business, it is particularly adept at reaching cannabis customers. Why is that? Let’s take a look.
Why Mobile Matters
Many of the reasons local mobile marketing matters for cannabis businesses are the same reasons it matters for any business. And perhaps the biggest one is that people at large are increasingly attached to their mobile devices. For many, they never lead their side and are actively used throughout the day for everything from chatting with friends to getting recommendations for where to eat dinner. This is how mainstream Americans behave, and now that cannabis is going mainstream, mobile marketing is key to reaching your audience. But the term mobile marketing is fairly ambiguous. How do you target potential customers on their mobile devices? To make it easier for you, we are going to look into some of the key methods you will want to employ.
Mobile Offers and SMS Messages
What are mobile offers? While every company or mobile offer platform will have their own approach, they essentially function like coupons; you redeem the offer according to the terms laid out by the company and enjoy a good deal. However, while the function is similar, the results are very different, with mobile offers being redeemed ten times more than traditional print coupons. What are some ways you can do this? You can create campaigns on social media, advertise inside apps by contracting with a promotional company, pay to place coupons on coupon apps, or even create your own app. With any method of advertising, you need to be ready to get creative since many platforms are not the most welcoming to promotion material for cannabis products. Which leads us to what might be the most effective way for you to promote mobile offers: SMS text messaging. With text messaging, your approach is much the same as with an email list: people sign up and their numbers are added to your list, then you can mass text everyone on the list at one time. You will need to select an SMS marketing program or app that you like. The company you choose will assign you a code and people can text that code to opt into your list. Once the list is up and running, you can send out text offers that can be redeemed online or at a physical location if your business has one. These offers can be anything that works for your business and is legal in your area. You can also encourage people on your list to get others to sign up. While the reach with this isn’t as large as a Facebook campaign, the audience you reach tends to be more engaged and you have greater freedom in what you share. Just be careful not to send messages at inconvenient times or too often, and keep them at 160 characters or less.
Social Media Presence
While we use our mobile devices for many things, perhaps the biggest use of them is staying active on social media. For many consumers, a Facebook page or Twitter profile helps to make a business seem more legitimate, so having social media presence is vital. However, you should take time to make it part of your marketing strategy. The number one thing you need to do is stay active. You want to be posting content every day, and depending on the platform, multiple times a day. You can create your own content or share things like news articles and memes. However, keep it on target with what your business is and what your audience is looking for. While some people will stumble upon your pages thanks to searches and key words, organic reach will not be enough. You will want to advertise your pages and profiles, promote them on other platforms, and if you have a physical storefront, post your handles where customers will see them. You can also encourage followers to share your pages and profiles with others through contests and giveaways.
Mobile ads are an excellent way to get the word out about your business, but it takes some work to make them effective. If you are trying to reach only a local audience, it won’t help you if your ads are reaching people five hundred miles away. To help you reach the audience you want to target, you will need to use two techniques: geofencing, and geotargeting. Geofencing is, as the name implies, a virtual fence that you can set up around a specific area—perhaps your city or county. When people are within the boundaries of the fence, they can receive offers from you on apps that enable geofencing. Unless you are incredibly tech savvy, you will need to work with a third party that specializes in geofencing. Geotargeting is similar in that you will start with a specific physical area to establish your boundaries, which can be a specific city or county or even a set mile radius from where you are located. From there, you narrow down who is targeted by using other criteria to limit your reach. Factors you might consider when limiting who you target include age range, interests, and occupation.
When you search for business nearby—say a dentist—Google does not return results for other cities even if you did not specify which city you are targeting. Instead, it narrows down its results based on where you are and what it already knows about you—which is more than you realize. When you view these results on mobile, you see a map at the top, followed by Google’s choice of three businesses matching your search in your area, followed then by the option to view more. Most mobile users will not bother with viewing more. Instead, they will make their choice from those top three results. And this means that you need to get into that top three. While there are many different techniques you can use to boost your rankings, there are some simple changes you can make. First, standardize how you write your address in all online locations, including your website and social media profiles; if you abbreviate Avenue as Av. in one location, be sure to do it in all locations, and make sure the punctuation is the same. With your phone number, always use the same format with parentheses and dashes. The same goes for your company name—keep it exactly the same, including punctuation, everywhere you write it. Companies like Moz can help you with this as well as managing your image online. Another way to get into the top three is to accumulate positive reviews online. This means you need to encourage happy customers to take the time to review you. While it is good to have positive reviews anywhere, the three places that count when it comes to Google rankings are Google itself, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. The more satisfied customers reviewing you on these sites, the better your rankings. While there are other ways you can reach customers through mobile marketing, these techniques are enough to get you started. While the nature of your business means getting creative with advertising, there is always a way to reach your customer base.