In today’s world, it seems that more and more people want to shell out significant amounts of money and buy their way to the top of the ranks in search engines like Google. However, if you are a start-up marijuana dispensary without a huge marijuana marketing budget, then you need to get around the paid stuff and start thinking organically. Here are some things you can do to counteract paid advertising guidelines on Google and Facebook and still succeed.
Build the best possible website you can
No matter how much money a dispensary or medical marijuana grower shells out for ads, nothing makes up for a terrible website. Imagine this: you want to buy a very specific strain of marijuana to treat your seizures. You type in buy <insert strain name> marijuana, and the first thing you see in the Google results is an ad for an online merchant selling exactly what you need. Great! You click the link, get your credit card ready, and sigh as you realize that the website is just a mess. You cannot tell one product from the next, and with a drop-down menu 100 items long, you may never find the strain you need. Thus, you move along to a competitor site.
Here is a nice example of a well built site for a dispensary:
What’s the good stuff going on over here?
- Clean inviting design with up to date design standards.
- Great imagery
- A company video
- Locations aesthetically laid out
- Good SEO efforts
Get the picture? OK, let’s move on.
If you want to counteract and bypass the paid marketing guidelines that carried this website to the top of the results list, then you need to be that competitor. You need to be the website that puts your competitors to shame and provides a clean, simple user interface. Add the right photos to back up your content. Arrange your content in such a way that people will actually read it. Design your menus so that people can use them, find what they need, and make a purchase in about a couple of minutes or less. This is the experience that shoppers want, so make sure you give it to them.
Local SEO is vital
There are two routes to improving your visibility. The first is to buy your way to the top of the list which can be challenging due to many website guidelines, and while there is certainly no denying that it works – but it is expensive. The other way is to create organic content that is optimized for search engine indexing and really boost your local SEO. You do this with well-written content that contains all of the keywords that relate to your business. When it comes to dispensary marketing, this can become quite complicated. You have to consider yourself a customer and think about every situation that may lead you to search for the products or services you offer. Then, you have to incorporate those into your Google ads, your content, and more.
The organic method costs you nothing outside of time and willingness to research. Google provides excellent tools for SEO, and you can hire professionals like Brandignity who understand the ins and outs of successful marijuana marketing if you do not have the time to invest yourself. When you can bring your site to the top of the rankings without utilizing paid ads, there is an even greater feeling of success.
Blogs, social media, and more
When you want to counteract paid advertising guidelines, you need to do more than simply optimize your website’s content. You need to make your brand visible as much as possible. There are a few different ways to do this, too. Going back to the first example, imagine that the same company with a horribly designed website has no blog and no Facebook page. This means that people have likely never even heard of the company before. DO they really want to purchase from a name they have never seen? The answer is no. Your active blogs and social media accounts are imperative parts of marijuana marketing because they make you recognizable.
Here’s a good example:
Good Stuff happening here:
- Consistent updates
- Well rendered product images
- Positive fan engagement
- 2,500 + fans
Dispensary marketing is competitive, particularly in places where marijuana is legal for recreational use. In this case, you must compete with dozens upon dozens of startups who are looking to capitalize on a booming industry. Create a Facebook page and link to your website there, and then get a blog set up through WordPress and link to a special section on your site. This not only gives you a chance to provide new, useful information to those who need it, but it creates a place to keep up with changing SEO trends, too. Facebook is one of the best ways to make yourself known, particularly when you hold contests for those who “like” and “share” your posts.
While some companies out there continue to shell out tens of thousands of dollars toward marijuana marketing and get seemingly nowhere, remember that you can completely bypass all of the paid advertising mumbo-jumbo and enjoy fabulous search engine rankings and visibility – as long as you are willing to invest the time and effort.