When it comes to marijuana digital marketing, there’s a wide range of tools and approaches we lean on here at Foottraffik. What’s more, some of them—like producing YouTube videos or launching dispensary mailer campaigns—aren’t even digital! But especially for those new to the digital marketing game, having such a powerful array of tools at your fingertips can create a new problem in and of itself: Information overload, also known as “infobesity,” “infoxication,” and other names still.
These terms are cute and funny, but they gloss over a very real problem. In an era of overtaxed attention spans (and overstretched budgets), our marketing tools are meant to make life easier, not more complicated. If you’re finding that getting a handle on the world of marijuana digital marketing tools is easier said than done, let us simplify things for you.
In today’s post, we’ll hone in on three essential digital marketing tools designed to get your dispensary noticed. They are:
- Google Ads
- Display Ads
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Marijuana Digital Marketing: Google Ads
We’ll start with a disclaimer: “Google Ads” aren’t really a kind of ad. But while every search engine shows ads to generate revenue, because Google absolutely dominates the search engine industry—currently representing roughly 92% of market share—we tend to focus our main efforts there.
These ads take a number of different forms—more on that in a moment. But they all tend to operate off the “pay per click” (PPC) model. And as such, these ads are perhaps the single most important type of digital marketing outreach. Why? For one thing, PPC ads are a quantum leap compared with traditional print, billboard or TV ads. For decades, the cost of such ads has been based on impressions, or the total number of consumers who can be reasonably surmised to see that ad based on factors such as magazine readership (or average highway traffic, in the case of billboards).
If you paid attention to what “PPC” stands for, you can see where we’re going with this. Advertisers only pay for PPC ads when—you guessed it—people actually click on them. It’s an incredibly simple and intuitive way to tabulate the real value of such ads, and when properly leveraged with thoughtful planning and analysis, PPC delivers strong and consistent results. To get the most out of such ads, we strongly recommend you get familiar with Google Analytics, the company’s free tracking and analytical tool
So, when and how do Google ads appear? When you do a web search, some results will show higher in the list for what are called “organic” reasons: The search engine has determined that those web pages best match the searcher’s inquiry, based on a number of factors.
But other pages display higher on the page because their owners paid for them to by bidding on various keywords associated with their business. Depending on which search engine you’re currently using, those search results will be mixed in with organic returns (sometimes with an “Ad” icon nearby) or they could display in a separate carousel or sidebar.
Whichever way you slice it, those high-ranking returns are worth what you spend on them, arguably much more. According to digital analytics firm smartinsights.com, the top return typically boasts a clickthrough rate (CTR) in the neighborhood of 30% or higher, with the percentage dropping sharply after that.
We can help you win those critical top rankings. We’ve focused intensively on leveraging Google Ads for dispensaries since 2016, and since then we’ve added AI/machine learning to deliver exceptional value to our customers. If you’d like to know more about how PPC for dispensaries works, begin your education here.
Marijuana Digital Marketing: Display Ads
Display ads are a subset of the PPC universe, and they’re one of the most important when it comes to dispensary marketing. These graphic-based advertisements—sometimes called “banner ads”—are the ones that appear on specific websites or within apps that have licensed their digital real estate to host (or “publish”) such ads. On Google, these ads appear on what’s called the Display Network.
As we’ve explored previously, one of the greatest strengths of these ads is that they can appear in places that don’t directly relate to your business. And especially because marijuana consumers largely make their purchases on the go—or even on impulse—this “Wow!” factor can inspire strong spur-of-the-moment sales.
One of the factors that really makes display ads exciting is the amount of targetability that can be programmed into them. “Geo-targeting”—also known as “geo-fencing”—uses sophisticated geolocation tools to target potential customers in the exact places you want to reach them. In other words, your ads will only show when consumers are in specific locations, such as:
A radius around your dispensary. Because so many marijuana consumers shop on the go, targeting their mobile devices when they’re in close proximity to you can greatly increase the chance of a sale.
A radius around a competitor’s dispensary. Can you offer a more enticing deal than your competition? Targeting potential customers in the area surrounding a different dispensary can bring them in to yours, instead. Treating them right—with a great first-time buyer reward, for instance—can convert them into a customer for life!
Popular attractions and tourist locations. Especially as post-pandemic travel opens back up,using geo-ads to target transit hubs, rental car facilities, hotel strips and other such areas can help you pick up customers and spread the word at just the perfect moment.
These are just a few idea-starters. Because display ads can be fine-tuned using an enormous amount of variables and options, there’s much more to the equation. Begin your education on display ads and how to leverage their here!
Marijuana Digital Marketing: SEO Marketing
The previous types of tools we discussed are active measures, in that they’re advertisements targeted to seek out consumers when (and where) they’re ready to buy. But some types of marketing are more passive, in that they signal to consumers—and search engines—that your dispensary is the one best suited to serve their needs. And one of the most important is “search engine optimization,” or SEO. It’s one you truly can’t afford to ignore.
The principle behind SEO is fairly simple: Making sure the copy on your website and other digital properties contains carefully chosen keywords and terms designed to attract visitors (whether they be actual humans or search engine spiders).
The practice of good SEO is a little more complicated, involving careful research and analysis of historically relevant and currently trending terms. We’ve been doing it a long time, and—if you’ll pardon our apparent lack of humility—we think we’re pretty good at it. Optimizing website SEO allows us to create stunning dispensary websites that deliver maximum impact and high conversion rates without ever breaking a sweat.
No matter who the client is—a multi-state marijuana healthcare company or a “mom-and-pop” dispensary just starting out—the goal remains the same: To deliver spot-on, actionable results to potential customers searching the web, and to tell search engines that your digital property is perfectly positioned to meet those searchers’ needs. You can learn much more about the process with our Introduction to Search Engine Optimization.
Do you have questions about how to harness the power of marijuana digital marketing for your enterprise? Reach out; we’d love to talk.