Let’s be real. Where do we all consume our information these days? On our phones – through social media, apps, emails, etc. The days of sitting and reading the paper are long gone. Almost all the tried and true forms of advertising are borderline ineffective because we are too busy looking at… you guessed it – our phones! These days, if you really want to reach your customers, you must be in their phone. Here are four ways to secure some screen time.
SOCIAL MEDIA This is seemingly the easiest and most obvious. Social media use is at an all time high and is likely to continue to increase. Well, here’s the issue – the main social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) have all banned advertising for cannabis businesses, even in the states where marijuana is legal. So, you need to go about it the old-school, organic way – post, post, post. But unfortunately, there’s another roadblock – e-commerce isn’t allowed so posting prices and sales is a no-no. Your best bet is to stick to educational and lifestyle posts... which unfortunately is not ideal for business marketing. A social media presence is great for building your brand and keeping in touch with your customers, but the rules and regulations make it difficult to effectively market your business and products. It is possible – you can get around several roadblocks using Facebook and/or Instagram live… but be careful. They are quick to shut down accounts who break the rules in the cannabis arena. EMAIL Email is a less-restricted, more direct way to get your product information and prices to your customers. You can design and customize emails to fit your brand and announce sales, special events, etc. Here’s the biggest hurdle – you must have their emails in order to email them. Building an email list is not always easy and you will consistently be competing for attention with every other email in the inbox. Your beautifully crafted emails run the risk of piling up behind Groupons, Netflix announcements, and the latest clothing sales. But it’s worth a shot if you currently have – or can build – an email list. And the good news is that unlike the social media outlets, email marketing companies are more willing to work with the cannabis industry. Do your homework, though, because the major companies all have an Acceptable Use Policy. TEXT MESSAGES While there are some rules involved, text message marketing is hands down the easiest, most effective way to market to your customers. There are several major benefits to text message marketing –
Direct and immediate - people check text messages more frequently.
High engagement – open rates for texts are much higher than for emails.
Interactive – include a reply button or link to a website.
Personality – use GIFs and emojis to humanize your brand.
Text message marketing makes keeping in touch with your customers easy for them and easy for you. They get to be the first to know of new deals and/or products and you stay top of mind. ONLINE STORE Okay, let’s say you’ve got them on the line – you’ve scored some screen time. They are looking at a message from your business on their phone. Now, how do you lock them into a sale? How do you ensure they buy from you and not a competitor they pass on their drive home from work? You allow them to visit your store right then and there – virtually – so they can purchase the product they want. Having an online store makes the information your customers want and need readily available to them. They can see what you have and how much it costs. And the best part? They can secure that purchase from the couch, the office, or the dinner table. Bottom line, our phones have the ability to provide endless information right at our fingertips. But what started as a convenience has become an expectation. Get in your customers phone so you can give them the information they want with the ease they’ve come to expect.