Best Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Cannabis E-Commerce Store
Time to read 6 min
The cannabis industry is growing a lot lately, and maybe you've seen many brands popping out. There are all kinds of accessories, like bongs, storing jars, pipes, grinders, rolling paper, and anything you can imagine, is all out there! Qualities and designs vary through the internet, and it's super important to be aware of the marketing tendencies that will position you among the first options for potential buyers.
As you probably already imagined, advertising weed related products is not the same as advertising clothes, e-products or food, as there are legislations and rules that impact the techniques you will be able to use for showing the world your products and making conversions.
So if you are interested in improving the way you portray your cannabis business online, keep reading as we will talk about everything you need to know to increase your online presence and sales.
Why Do You Need To Plan E-Commerce Marketing Strategies For Your Dispensary?
Maybe you already made the effort to design and produce amazing items that you know stoners will love. And maybe you even built your own neat website (if you haven't, we encourage you to read this article about Shopify where your products are available, but you need to know that the journey has only begun.
Managing a website in proper conditions is a matter of patience, hard work and attention to details. Once your e-commerce is published, one of the next steps is optimizing it so you won't become invisible among all the other competitors that are trying to catch your potential audience's attention. That's why we decided to discuss this topic, so your business doesn't fade away between the sea of competitors that are also trying their best.
HØJ e-commerce section on laptop
Can I Use Social Media For The Cannabis Market?
The short answer is no. Some of the main platforms like Instagram and Facebook have very strict policies about this matter, that forbids you to pay ads that mention not only weed, but also any objects related. This means you will have some big limitations in your marketing strategy and marketing campaigns that a store that doesn't sell products related to cannabis won't have.
Social media usage is important in digital marketing for keeping in touch with your audience, so even though you can't advertise your products, there are still some posts you can do without falling outside of Meta (the company that owns both IG and FB) guidelines.
In general, the key is to post informative content to educate the audience about the science and benefits of cannabis, for example, but you can't directly link your store to it. So, if you have a blog (as we will suggest later in this article), you can take advantage of it to show that kind of content to your audience. You can also create a very good community you can interact with and share their experiences, always respecting the guidelines these platforms have. Some of the guidelines include not glamorizing or induce the consumption of weed, so be as neutral as possible when creating your content. This also applies to the hashtags you use, so they shouldn't suggest you are selling anything.
Lastly, don't forget to comment and reply to what people comment, so you can really be a part of the cannabis community.
Optimize Your Website For Great Results
Search Engine Optimization
Have you heard of SEO? If not, you should know it is going to be your best ally when making your website reach your potential clients. First of all, search engine optimization refers to all the measurements you can take to make your website ideal so the browser can find your content and recommend it in the top results when someone looks after a related topic on Google. As much as you can specialize in this topic and optimize tons of options that will improve the SEO of your store, we will talk about the main ones so you can start by making your site more competitive.
- Optimize your blog & write alt-text on your website images
Alt text is a feature that helps you to add certain words that will increase the chance of every photo, illustration, and, in general, every relevant graphic element to stand out over the tons of pictures that Google reads and catalogs every day.
It is very easy to apply this optimization in the platform you use to admin your store. Usually, you will see the alt text option if you click on your image, and then you just have to type a very precise (and short) description of the picture. This will help browsers identify what your site and your page in particular is about and will make you more visible and easier to find.
- Take care of broken links
Isn't it disappointing when you are trying to find some information, click on a link, and then it doesn't work? Well, having broken links in your store not only will affect the user experience, but also the way Google will interpret your e-commerce. When you are aware of your broken links and fix them or delete them, you have a friendlier website people will want to keep consulting and Google won't penalize you for it.
If you want to keep track of your broken links, a very good tool you can use for it is Google Analytics, which can allow you to identify them and then fix them.
- Keep in mind the user experience at all times
They are the reason you created your store in the first place, so you need to make your clients feel comfortable, safe and not overcomplicate things when surfing through your website. A good UX can be the difference between your clients getting lost on your website or successfully adding your product to their cart and buying it. Getting a better UX is done by rearranging the map of your site so it matches the needs of your clients. Generally speaking, it has to be fast, every tab must be easy to recognize and click and the design has to be clean and to match your business's style.
Create A Blog About the Cannabis Industry
In the absence of the regular strategies that every company implements, like social media ads, you need to find new ways to redirect your audience to your store. For this, creating a blog is a great option, as it can be a way of popping up with useful information when someone is looking for a specific term on Google.
But not only do browsers love new content, but writing content will also give you authority in your field and will make your company look like a source of expertise and knowledge. With time, you can have virtual archives where people can consult all your blog entries and learn more about the world of cannabis and everything you have to share with them.
You can also make announcements or write about your products so your readers get to know them on a deeper level than a simple product description. However the case and whatever you choose to write about, having your own blog will give you a voice and a tone, as well as a space for creativity, imagination and a good channel to communicate to your audience.
HØJ mailing on an iPhone mockup
HØJ online blog on tablet mockup
Email Marketing: The Way To Keep Your Clients Informed
For sure you have received an email after signing up on a website, leaving an abandoned cart or purchasing an item. These emails are part of a marketing strategy for keeping the contact with the client in every part of the selling process. Other than that, you can also use them for announcing new sales, events and anything you want to tell your contacts. In regards to cannabis, certain platforms for email marketing have strict guidelines that won't let you mention your products, like the case of Klaviyo, but there you have an opportunity to be very creative so you don't have to be explicit about certain topics in your emails.
As you can see, it is possible to create a complete and effective strategy for your business, even if social media is out of the game. Providing your customers a good experience and communication, but also making your brand strong and getting more credibility.
If you use Shopify as your go to platform, we prepared an article with the best apps for Shopify you can add to improve its features and possibilities.