The cannabis industry is growing and changing at an unprecedented rate. According to a report from Grandview Research, the legal cannabis market is “expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7% from 2021 to 2028.” This is a growth of tens of billions of dollars per year, something mostly attributed to the spread of legalization. However, an anticipated increase in cannabis consumers and customers is an additional factor.
As the cannabis industry grows, your dispensary is likely to experience an increase in competition. The best way to confront this rise in competition is with a strong and dynamic marketing strategy geared toward differentiating your dispensary from your competition. In this article, we discuss strategies you should integrate into your marketing strategy in order to make your cannabis business stand out.
Today, most cannabis marketing is digital and online. As a general rule, your goal is to drive web traffic onto your website. Web traffic generates sales. So how can you bring potential customers onto your site? Here we touch on four primary strategies: social media, content marketing, Google My Business, and website development.
Social media is invaluable to marketers across industries. It rivals only SMS text message marketing in its reach and ability to segment customer populations. However, like most places cannabis businesses exist in, it can be difficult to be compliant. Always review platforms’ policies so your content doesn’t get removed.
In terms of using social media to make your cannabis dispensary stand out, you have a number of possible approaches. All should be geared toward enhancing brand awareness. You may:
For more ideas and a more thorough discussion of how social media can become a part of your branding and marketing strategy, read this article on dispensary social media marketing, which features a more in-depth view of the major platforms.
Creating cannabis content is not only an effective marketing strategy but also a great way to differentiate yourself among other cannabis brands. This is due to the creative license afforded to content creation.
With content marketing, you can be extremely intentional about how you want to present your brand. From blogs to video productions to posting on social media, you can improve your cannabis brand and its awareness with content marketing. Check out our guide to cannabis content marketing to learn more.
Unlike content marketing, which employs a lot of creativity, Google My Business is a more technical way to differentiate your cannabis brand. With Google My Business, you can take advantage of Google’s search algorithm so your dispensary appears high on the list when potential customers make searches that reflect an interest in purchasing a cannabis product.
A strong Google My Business profile will allow your dispensary to appear prominently on Google Maps as well as on Google snippets, like the one below:
The difference between your dispensary being featured when someone makes a similar search relevant to your area is whether or not you have a strong profile. You can learn more about optimizing yours here.
Last but certainly not least, your website is an excellent space for you to stand out. As mentioned, the core of digital marketing is generating traffic to your website. Without a well-built and attractive website, hard-earned web traffic, especially among new customers, is unlikely to translate into actual sales.
The way to make your website stand out is actually somewhat surprising: less is more. Prioritize ease of navigation and accessibility. If your website is extremely intuitive and complete with everything a customer expects of it, it will be memorable and likely revisited.
Too many website experiences are frustrating and difficult. Having an easy-to-use website can take you a long way.
All your dispensary information, from hours and location to the products being offered, should be easy to find. Online ordering should also be easy, with a minimalist checkout experience and few hoops to jump through. An easy experience can turn into a repeat experience, and, as always, loyalty is the name of the game.
Too often, retail cannabis businesses’ marketing strategies fall short because they try to do too much. Dispensary marketing must always begin with reflection: who am I trying to attract? What are my weaknesses that I need to improve on? What are the strengths that I could take advantage of more?
As a general marketing strategy, it is good to expand and try different things. However, if you are purely trying to differentiate yourself, it is good to double down on the things you know to be your strong suits. Be the best at something, and then expand.
With your strengths identified, consider what your clientele is likely to be. Then consider how you can take advantage of that segment of cannabis consumers.
The best way to take advantage of this is by using real data and analytics. Headset.io, for example, specializes in examining the cannabis market, identifying trends through data analysis, and helping your dispensary grow as a result. A marketing strategy developed in tandem with headset.io will bring tangible results and sales boosts to all the thought you put into your marketing strategy.
Making your dispensary stand out begins inside your dispensary. While having an inviting space with friendly employees is a must, the products you feature are also critical to differentiating yourself. Let’s review how you can go about getting the best overall results from the products you offer.
Of course, different products sell better or worse based on the customers that enter your dispensary. Your menu is a huge factor in determining your bottom line.
While each dispensary will experience differences, a report from Headset on the most popular cannabis products sheds light on which product categories sell. Let’s take a look.
As you can see, the top-selling categories include flower, edibles, pre-rolls, concentrates, and vapes. No surprise there. This data, however, represents the cannabis market as a whole.By obtaining similar sales data unique to your dispensary, you can optimize your menu based on your existing customers. Headset can do just that for you. Learn more here.
With a menu optimized to your customers’ habits and tastes, you will beat out your competitors. An optimized menu is not only more efficient for your inventory, but it will also be attractive to your customers, who will appreciate your consistent stock of their favorites.
The “optimized menu” discussed above is especially important when determining your supply of each category of cannabis products. You should have the right amount of each of flower, pre-rolls, edibles, etc.
Yet, within each category, you should be diversifying your selection. A diverse selection within each cannabis category is an excellent way to stand out from other dispensaries as well as draw in new customers. How can you approach this?
As is often the case, a survey of the competition can help lead the way. Understanding what local dispensaries are selling can be very valuable, as your dispensary can fill in the gaps. If you manage to sell cannabis products no dispensary in the area sells, then you will differ from other local dispensaries and draw in new customers.
Think about the products that may be overlooked in your local cannabis market. Often, customers may be drawn to certain premium options, from small-batch grow farms or other “artisanal” methods.
Other times, an entire category may be overlooked. Some people may be drawn to topicals, for instance, that are hard to find in your community as dispensaries get sucked into the flower and edible race.
Find a way to learn about the dispensaries in your area. Usually, browsing their website will give you enough information to work with.
Are you in?
Most consumer industries experience changes in demand that can be attributed to certain trends. In the cannabis industry, this is all the truer. In such a quickly changing industry, especially one whose primary consumers are young people, cannabis businesses are at the mercy of trends.
While many of these trends are difficult to predict, others are entirely predictable. A strong marketing strategy will both be on top of the predictable trends and quickly respond to emerging trends.
Want to stand out? Stay on top of the trends. We know: it’s easier said than done. But here are some tips to help you navigate and excel with the trends.
The best, and perhaps easiest, way to capitalize on trends is through promotions. A strong promotion backed by a solid advertising effort is a surefire way to bring customers into your dispensary.
Let’s take a look at an example to learn what the general marketing strategy here is:
Say the cannabis retail market is experiencing a sudden spike in demand for gummy edibles as a result of some trend inspired by a social media influencer. With this new demand, your goal has to become bringing customers into your dispensary instead of going to your competition.
Start a gummy promotion!
For example, introduce a “Buy one, get one for $1” promotion on select gummy products and then get the word out. Your promotion is only as good as its marketing. When advertising your promotion, be sure to acknowledge its source. In this case, the gummy trend is attributed to a certain influencer. Make a nod to the trend in your promotion (but be careful not to violate any trademarks or using their likeness directly).
You may want to publish a graphic about your promotion on social media, through SMS text messaging, or to your email list. See the example below:
Holidays, both national and stoner, are important and predictable trends to capitalize on. Unlike the influencer trend example above, holidays are entirely consistent. You can prepare for them well in advance every year.
As a report from Headset shows, holidays have a significant impact on cannabis sales. Obviously, 4/20 is a serious holiday for cannabis sales. But evidence also shows that the Fourth of July and Christmas time are also drivers of sales. Finally, the up-and-coming 710 dab day holiday is great day for sales of concentrates.
The bottom line is that holidays are both an excellent time for cannabis users and a tremendous opportunity for your dispensary to stand out. Certain holidays, like the ones just mentioned, are guaranteed to increase demand for marijuana, but others are opportunities as well. Even Thanksgiving can be an opportunity for a timely promotion! Thanksgiving feast… turkey and gravy… munchies… get creative and, if you market it correctly, every holiday is an opportunity.
Marketing is a constant effort, and more than ever, having a dynamic marketing strategy is essential to differentiating yourself from other dispensaries. Marketing is about drawing in new customers, retaining your existing customers, and making the most of opportunities. With springbig’s marketing suite, you can make all that much easier.
You likely opened this article to learn how you can bring new customers into your dispensary. Springbig’s wide network can help you do exactly that. With springbig’s SMS text message marketing platform, you can easily reach many potential customers with targeted messaging they are likely to actual open and read. Springbig’s SMS text messaging platform is an excellent option for getting the word out about your promotions or whatever else you wish to share.
With springbig’s loyalty rewards program, you can reliably turn a new customer into a regular. Our loyalty program offers a point-per-dollar reward system which is proven to keep bringing your customers back. You can learn more about our loyalty program here.
To learn more, browse our website and blog, or you can request a demo.