If you’re a dispensary owner in a small town, you likely have a few competing cannabis retailers. The smaller population of any given town creates immediate tension between dispensaries trying to increase profit.
You can only discount products so much to the point that it doesn’t eat into your profits. With the power of online marketing though, there are several ways that you can stand out, earn new customers, and increase sales without having to run 40% off.
There is no one simple solution for effectively marketing your dispensary in a small town. It’s a combination of the right content at the right time in the right places. It should start with your website, then trickle down into Google, YouTube, Weedmaps/Leafly, text blasts, social media, and newsletters.
Here are seven essential tips for marketing your cannabis dispensary in a small town based on each of the platforms and services you should be utilizing.
Search Engine Optimization is arguably the most important factor of our strategy. Every single tip that follows is part of a strategy for maximizing SEO. By taking advantage of keywords, hashtags, blogging, landing pages, and content creation, you are optimizing your discoverability with search engines.
For small-town dispensaries, when people search for “dispensary near me” or something similar, you want to come up first. Focusing on SEO can help you earn that position. The first place you can start is by doing a free website audit with SEMrush.
Google hates guesswork. It loves detailed, complete websites with relevant metadata, proper tags, landing pages, product pages, and full functionality across all plugins.
Websites with slow loading problems or pages that are incomplete will not receive strong rankings for specific words or key phrases by Google. This makes you harder to find and not rank as high when people search for a dispensary in your area.
Try adding sixteen new pages to your website split between landing pages and product pages and you’ll notice a significant lift.
You also want to make sure to fill out your Google “My Business” profile in a way that captures important keywords. Be sure to fill out your bio and fully describe your business in the name.
It’s also important to create content that either educates, informs, or entertains.
Follow trends and make them applicable to cannabis without directly showing it. Use local hashtags to hone in on people in your small town’s area. TikTok is the only social media platform where if you create the right content, your audience will come purely from the algorithm.
TikTok can be an extremely valuable tool for reaching local audiences and raising brand awareness. The first thing to remember about TikTok is that it has a volatile stance against the promotion of cannabis. You cannot show any cannabis flower, glass, or actual smoking. Above all else, you want to play it safe and protect your asset.
After Google, YouTube is the most popular search engine on the planet. People are nearly as likely to look up information on YouTube as they are on Google. Craft a strategy around news and media outlet stories, comedy, education, and other forms of content to secure regular engagement.
You want to position your brand in front of people who are searching for answers, information, or entertainment. This goes back to our pillars of content creation mentioned in the TikTok section.
A great strategy for YouTube is focusing on search terms that help your brand be discovered locally in your small town, a nearby city, or specific neighborhoods. A solid place to start is to review all of the best-selling products in your dispensary on your YouTube channel.
Marketing with Weedmaps and Leafly
In whatever legal state you’re operating in, you’re probably utilizing either Weedmaps, Leafly, or both. These listing platforms are essential to many legal markets.
California, for example, thrives off of Weedmaps. Washington State, on the other hand, predominantly lists on Leafly. Whichever one you’re using, it’s important to understand how to take advantage of the platform. Take a meeting with their team and have them walk you through each function step-by-step.
Bring us on the call if you need help getting all of the data and information you need. Make sure all of your integrations are taken care of. Weedmaps allows you to connect your POS system, Google Analytics, Springbig, Sprout, and Alpine HQ. Each of these integrations will help maximize your Weedmaps listing and the data you’re getting from it.
Text blasting and Springbig integration
Text blasts are one of the most direct ways that you can update your customers about what’s happening at your dispensary daily.
In a small town, text blasts can be an extremely powerful way to connect with your local clientele. Before even sending your first text blast, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Who are your most consistent customers? Who are your biggest spenders? What do they buy? What are the top-selling brands and products that make up the majority of your sales? Once you know the answer to all of these questions, you’re ready to start sending text blasts.
Springbig allows you to fully integrate your Point of Sale system and easily create a loyalty rewards program. Study your sales data, look at your customers’ spending habits on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Create segmented lists to cater to specific customer groups to whom you want to send promotions.
Use the segmenting options that Springbig offers to hone in on specific groups. Visit recency, visiting totals, spending totals, brands, and product categories are all segments you can tap into. If you’re in a smaller town, it’s a good idea to start with around 2-3 text blasts a week to not oversaturate.
Email and newsletter marketing
Capturing emails to start sending out a weekly newsletter is another valuable marketing tool for building community in your small town. Starting from scratch, you want to focus on providing value to the community. Become the hub for local events and happenings while still promoting the content you’re creating on your website and recommending products.
Platforms like Klaviyo make it easy to design a visually appealing newsletter and eventually create segments once you accrue a bigger list. There are a lot of different ways to market cannabis in 2022.
If you’re a dispensary owner in a small town, you have many options that won’t break the bank. They only require time and a keen eye for what kind of content will actually provide you value. Consistently producing content across all of the previously mentioned platforms will yield results.