With vaping becoming mainstream, and the industry expanding at an exponential rate, demand is not likely to die down anytime soon. For that same reason the competition can be pretty cutthroat in your market – so how do you stand apart from the rest?
One of the biggest pains are the regulations in some jurisdictions, but a close second are the restrictive ad policies in place for e-juice and vapes. Paid search like Google Ad Words and Facebook ads don’t allow you to place ads for these products, so how do you promote your vape shop if you can’t advertise?
The truth is: you can if you’re creative.
Thinking outside of the box is the name of the game, so where (and how??) are some places you can advertise your vape shop online?
1. YouTube Reviewers
People watch other people eat and play video games, so why would you be surprised to find out people watch other people vape online? Lots of established and rising YouTube stars have already captivated your audience, and are usually quite responsive when you’re offering free product for them to try. It’s a low-cost idea, that can potentially pay off for them as well (see below).
2. Optimize Your Website for Organic Traffic (SEO)
You can’t pay for Google ads for a vape shop, but you can still use relevant keywords to help users find what they’re looking for on your store. Now keyword stuffing is a no-no, but including them where they are appropriate will go a long way for organic vape shop traffic. Here are the top 10 keywords for the vape industry in 2019:
3. Vape Blog Articles
Yep, even more SEO magic is happening when you’re creating original work consistently. This is something that Google’s search algorithms really like, that drives traffic to your online vape shop, and gives your customers content to engage with on other networks (ex: share the article on Facebook).
Want to take it to the next level? You can record a reading of the blog you’ve just written, and create a simple video of it (include subtitles if possible, it’s already typed after all). You can now release that additional content on different social media networks to get the most from your original content. Now, there is more of a chance of additional people coming across your content (for example, they don’t read blogs but may watch YouTube all day). Be sure to include links back to your online vape shop, possibly with a discount promo code.
4. Join The Reddit Discussion
Reddit. Just the name evokes different feelings for everyone. With thousands of subreddits, Reddit continues to grow in popularity not only for every other subject, but you guessed it – vaping. The rule with pretty well every sub is this: give more than you take. Here are some popular subreddits for vaping:
But be warned: push too much of your own content and it will sink you. You can be banned from Subreddits for spamming your own content. Do not set up multiple accounts, instead just focus on honestly engaging with fellow vapers. Reddit shouldn’t be thought to be used for conversions, but rather building trust and relationships (that eventually might lead to sales).
5. Sponsor musicians, and local celebrities – give incentive with a promo code
A giant swath of potential customers for vape shoppers might already be accumulated on a video channel online, on tour across your country, or in a local bar or venue near you – so take advantage of it!
Similar to vape reviewers, musicians, and local celebs have a large amount of your demographic’s attention, and are usually quite open to sponsorship ideas. Another good bone to throw: create a discount code for that public figure, and offer them a 5% kickback when customers use that code. In return their viewers or fans can get free shipping, or a discount when they do.
Remember, there is no ‘market standard’ – both parties can negotiate the terms so it’s fair for everyone, there is no boilerplate equation.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of other ideas for marketing a vape shop in 2019, including but not limited to: Facebook vape groups, vape review sites, industry vape magazines, vape expos, and more.
To stand out, focus on establishing yourself and becoming familiar with not only the ejuices, pods, and mods that you sell, but also your customers and the industry itself. Start with quality e-juice, flavorful pods, and good hardware that your customers will appreciate.
Whichever strategies you use to marketing you online vape shop, new content is key to growing your audience. If you miss a day and broke the chain, don’t worry!
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”