The marijuana industry is changing. Thanks to the steady increase of public support for the drug, what was once hidden in the darkest corners of the underground has made it into the mainstream.
Gone are the days where buyers have to purchase from sketchy shops or suspicious guys from dark alleys. To date, interested individuals can simply visit the nearest dispensary or browse through popular online shops to get the high-quality flower they need.
Given these dramatic changes, it’s not surprising that demands and expectations of marijuana enthusiasts are also changing. While previous transactions are mostly about get-and-go, today’s buyer-seller relationships are largely defined by quality, convenience, and aesthetic.
If you’re a dispensary owner, keeping up with these changes is vital to securing a favourable place in the sector. As marijuana continues to shed away from its dark past, entrepreneurs in the sector are challenged to veer away from the traditional and embrace the modern cannabis marketing.
Marijuana in the Time of the Internet
Undoubtedly, the dawn of the internet has immensely changed the ways of the world. Before its launch, people greatly depend on physical interactions to get things done. Today, with the popularity of internet more apparent than ever, nearly everything can already be done virtually – from communicating, learning, working, purchasing, to more.
For the marijuana sector, this signalled the beginning of a new era where cannabis businesses and organizations can reach out to a broader audience and provide people with easy access to content they’d never had before.
Thanks to the presence of major search engines such Google, anyone can now simply search anything about cannabis online and expect to arrive at a list of relevant contents that respond to his or her queries.
With this modern arrangement, marketing has found another space to thrive. What was once limited to print ads, phone communication, and physical marketing, has found its way in the bosom of the virtual realm.
Specifically, this modern way of reaching out to target audience is what we call “Digital Marketing.”
As the name suggests, this refers to the act of promoting products and services via digital means – including emails, mobile apps, social media platforms, paid online ads, and websites.
Generally, digital marketing covers all marketing efforts done through an electronic device or the internet.
However, along with this opportunity comes brand-new challenges. Competition is bound to heat up, laws and policies are expected to get tighter, and marijuana businesses are expected to keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing online trends.
Marijuana Marketing: Why Good Website Matters
As mentioned earlier, websites serve as one of the main facets of digital marketing. However, their presence carries more weight than what the public initially know, especially for businesses engaging in the cannabis sector.
Essentially, this position stems from the shifting legal status of marijuana and the drug’s tumultuous past that pushes for businesses to build credibility first in order to secure a place in the industry.
To date, two of the biggest online platforms, namely Facebook and Google, prohibits cannabis-related advertising. This means that even if a state allows the sale of marijuana, businesses won’t still be allowed to advertise the drug via Facebook and Google.
With two of the biggest players out of the game, this only makes it crucial for marijuana businesses to be creative in their advertising and promotional tactics.
Specifically, among the best ways they could compensate for the existing restrictive marketing laws is to develop well-built and promising websites for their dispensaries.
Benefits of Having Quality Websites for Dispensaries
Reaches Broader Audience
Perhaps, this is one of the most common reasons why dispensaries are keen on building their own website.
Sure, while there are still other social media sites, such as Twitter and Instagram, which also take pride in their popularity, it remains undeniable that Google is still the top choice when it comes to online searches. With this, it is safe to say that while investing in social media marketing is important, such plan won’t be able to unleash your brand’s full potential without the presence of your own website.
To date, while Google still doesn’t allow cannabis-related advertising, marijuana businesses can still raise brand awareness by publishing educational content and lifestyle guides, which Google allows. Once your content appears on Google results, it can lead online searchers straight into your website with only one click. This, in turn, helps in cultivating your brand recognition.
While marijuana is currently on its way to mainstream, it cannot be denied that the drug is still often victimized by misconceptions and myths. For dispensaries, the existence of these stigmas prevents the industry from running smoothly.
By setting up a quality and well-built website, you are in a way countering the misconstructions attached to the marijuana sector that relay it as something sketchy, dangerous, and unreliable.
Since websites are open and can be accessed by anyone right at the comfort of an electronic device, creating one for your dispensary suggests transparency and sincerity, which veer away from the narrative of the dark underground.
The cannabis industry is huge, and it is continually growing. In the process, competitions are expected to get tighter. Since millennials spend most of their times online, setting up a website can help you influence them to choose your dispensary over your competitors.
Since quality websites present almost everything a customer or a researcher needs, they make it easier for businesses to create a connection with their audience. This, in turn, makes it easier for potential customer to distinguish a business from its existing competitors.
The Key Elements of Designing a Dispensary Website
Having a website is one thing but securing its effectiveness as a marketing tool is another. Essentially, it is not enough for dispensaries to simply have their own websites; they must, instead, ensure that their websites are good enough to influence potential buyers.
Generally, there are key elements involved in designing a dispensary website. When executed magnificently, these elements will help boost the power of a dispensary website.
Effective Site Structure
When it comes to designing a site, structure matters. Not only does it have a significant impact on a visitor’s experience, but it also affects how Google will understand your site.
Essentially, site structure refers to the way how your site is organized. Normally, a good site follows a hierarchic arrangement, wherein topics are accurately divided and categorized. By keeping an organized and well-built site structure, it enables site visitors to navigate effortlessly and find what they are looking for easily.
For search engines, such as Google, a good site structure also allows them to understand the site better. Since contents are categorized, it will be easier for Google’s web crawlers to grasp what your website is all about and find content that relates to certain keywords.
Without careful assessment and professional plan, your site will likely end up as a chaotic collection of pages and blog posts, which will likely leave Google confused and your visitors frustrated.
High-Quality Visual Content
For marijuana businesses, creating unique visual content is a do-or-die. More than a matter of aesthetic, it also cuts across question of credibility, quality, and professionalism.
Often, when people encounter low-quality and outdated visuals, it makes them question a business’ professionalism and competence.
On top of that, visuals also play a huge role in keeping your visitors from leaving your site. This is because unlike texts, images have the ability to relay a story faster.
Often, online searchers make decisions on whether they will stay on a site within a matter of seconds. By incorporating compelling photos, attractive infographics, high-quality videos, and other impressive visual contents on your site, you are likely to influence people to stay on your website.
Consistent, SEO friendly Content
Here’s the truth: No matter how hard you try your website to be as pleasing as it can be, it won’t be able to reach your targeted audience without the presence of SEO friendly content.
SEO, or Search engine optimization, refers to the process of optimizing the visibility of your website in a search engine’s unpaid results.
As you might have already observed, when searching on major search engines such as Google, it is a common trait of netizens to limit their searches on the first page of the Google results. With this, businesses are caught up on a heated battle in securing their places in the top results of search engines.
SEO works by ensuring that your online content satisfies Google’s criteria on what qualifies as a high-quality and relevant content to a searcher’s query. Generally, this works by identifying who your prospective customers are and what they are searching for (also known as “keywords”). Once you identify the terms your target audience use in their searchers, you are then to incorporate those terms on your contents to make them more attractive to search engines.
By maintaining consistent, SEO-friendly contents, your site is more likely to gain hundreds and even thousands of visitors, which can become your loyal customers.
The Bottom Line
Is your dispensary website good enough to stand out from the competition? As the cannabis sector undergoes a tremendous boom, dispensaries are only expected to level up their marketing game and wow their target audience with effective digital strategies.
If you want to learn more about how you can maximize your dispensary website, feel free to reach out to the best developers in your area today.