4 min read

Four Digital Marketing Strategies for Dispensaries

August 12, 2020

One major hurdle of setting up a cannabis business is marketing the dispensary through the right channels to the right customers. Cannabis dispensaries face additional scrutiny and different rules than most other retail stores in terms of digital marketing. For a business that has just started, one way to market is to use non-paid channels to market products since paid ads are not permitted for cannabis retailers or products on most platforms. 



In this article, you will discover the best digital marketing strategies to advertise your cannabis business and attract potential customers. 

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a process that can rank your website among Google’s top search pages. Since the cannabis industry is picking up a considerable pace, the competition around the keywords is increasing. This means that you need to follow the right steps to secure a higher position in Google SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position).

  • Educate your customers: Google ranks pages which have research-backed content on their website. So, make sure your website has blogs that contain information and how-to content that educates the general public. 
  • Video search: By 2021, the internet will be comprised of 82% video traffic. Start a YouTube channel, TikTok, make an effort to video stream content, and create informational videos about cannabis and its benefits.
  • Search console and page speed: Google Search Console is a database that tells the performance of your site in Google search results. So, ensure that you submit the right sitemap to Google Search Console. Further, make sure your website is not too slow to load as it will negatively affect your ranking on search engine results.

2. Social Media for Dispensary Marketing

Generally, social media platforms do not allow paid dispensary ads. More so, dispensaries are finding that platforms such as Facebook and Instagram do not particularly care for accounts ran by dispensaries. It is somewhat important to have a social media presence to stay connected with your current customers and reach new ones, but due to the turbulent relationship between social platforms and the cannabis industry as a whole, do not rely solely on social media to do this.

It is a good idea to set up two accounts on every platform: one as your “main” and one as your “backup”. This way, you can quickly continue to post on your backup account in case of a shutdown or suspension. Having accounts on every platform will also alleviate a shutdown or account suspension. Some dispensaries boldly list 21+ and their business license on their bios, but this does not ensure compliance with most platforms.

3. Email Marketing 

Email marketing is a type of permission-based marketing. It is probably the best way to attract, engage, and retain your customers. As a fact, most marketers agree that email marketing gives the best return on investment (ROI) and results in brand loyalty.

But, email marketing of a cannabis business is not straightforward because federally cannabis is still illegal in some countries. You don’t want to unintentionally violate the terms that will either block or revoke your email account. 

Instead, you can do the following: 

  • Get written permission to use the email platform.
  • Segment your audience based on location, demography, and product preferences.
  • Write high-quality educational content and NOT sales pitches.
  • Incorporate post-purchase email triggers.
  • Keep analyzing the performance of your email marketing.
  • Regularly maintain your database of contacts and segment it according to different categories. 
  • Send weekly or bi-weekly newsletters to your subscribers to avoid spamming. 

4. Push Notifications for Dispensary Marketing

This is another permission-based dispensary marketing strategy that you can use to advertise your cannabis business at the click of a button. Mobile and desktop push notifications are a great way to engage with potential customers. Whenever you launch a new cannabis product or publish an article or a video, you can send push notifications to your customers. In this way, the information will reach them instantly. 

Email and SMS Marketing Solution

With IndicaOnline, you can easily send your patients marketing and promo material via SMS or email campaigns. It is a great way to announce sales, specials, and announcements. Use patient categories to target groups for specific discounts catered to Military, Veterans, Senior Citizens, or Social Followers. Synchronizing your dispensary POS system and patient info to your marketing is an effective way to save time and money in addition to retaining your customers.

With almost every customer using the internet, it is far more comfortable than ever to reach them. There can be a variety of ways such as SEO, social media, emails, etc., through which you can attract and engage them to buy your cannabis products. So, follow these marketing strategies for your cannabis business.

Contributed by Liz Thomson