Basics of Cannabis Marketing: Why You Should Do Dispensary Pay-Per-Click Advertising

We talk about dispensary pay-per-click advertising (PPC) a lot here at MediaJel, and for good reason. PPC is one of the pillars of digital marketing. As the name suggests, it’s an intuitive system that relies on an easily measurable and trackable unit—an actual consumer clicking on a digital ad—to determine its cost. When done correctly, PPC can deliver some fairly astonishing results. While this WordStream graphic doesn’t include dispensaries in their chart of average clickthrough rates by industry, it’s a useful tool for understanding just how powerful a well-designed PPC campaign can be.

That said, some owner/operators are still leery of dispensary PPC. Some believe, incorrectly, that it’s not a legal way to market dispensaries. Others aren’t convinced that it drives real-life traffic to their doors. So with the goal of clearing up some of these misconceptions, here are some reasons you should (most definitely) be taking advantage of dispensary pay-per-click advertising.

Dispensary PPC: The Basics

As we stated above, PPC is a pillar of digital marketing. Its cost is determined by the actual number of consumers who are so engaged and intrigued by your ad that they actually click on it. In and of itself, that’s a huge paradigm shift compared with traditional ads, the cost of which are based on impressions, or the number of consumers who see your ad, whether it’s a mobile banner on your phone or a billboard flashing by on the side of the highway.

How much does each click actually cost you? That’s a little bit of a moving target because it’s determined by the market value of a particular search term or “keyword”—such as “full-spectrum extract”—which is determined in much the same way as an auction. The more marketers are interested in that specific search term, the higher the cost of each click.

As we also hinted earlier, one crucial aspect of PPC marketing is its trackability. Not only does this allow you to understand how your campaign is functioning across geographic locations—a topic we’ll return to in a moment—but it allows you to stop wasting money on campaigns that don’t convert. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Digital marketing is agile marketing, and you owe it to yourself to take full advantage of the possibilities.

Where does PPC marketing actually take place? Google Ads—formerly known as Google AdWords—is the single most popular PPC advertising network in the world. And because Google absolutely dominates the search engine industry—representing at last count just under 92% of market share—it’s the arena we’re most concerned with playing in. MediaJel launched its Google Ads service in 2016, and since then we’ve added cutting-edge tools like AI/machine learning to deliver what we humbly believe is the most advanced, nimble and effective dispensary PPC on the planet.

We’ll return to the topic of AI-enabled PPC in a moment. But let’s focus on a subset of this realm: Local PPC.

Dispensary PPC: The Power of Local

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PPC is a powerful medium in and of itself. But when it’s combined with tools that restrict its use to specific areas—such as the neighborhood surrounding your dispensary—the returns can become exponentially more powerful. We’ve written a good deal about local PPC—also known as geoadvertising, geofencing and geo-targeting—and we think its importance is only going to increase. Why?

  • Local PPC is Highly Targeted: Rather than casting a wide net, geotargeting focuses on specific geographic areas where potential customers may be concentrated. Because the data tells us that many dispensary purchases are made by consumers on the move, targeting specific locations allows you to reach the consumers most likely to actually make a purchase.
  • Local PPC Works in Real Time: Because location data is tracked and processed in real-time, geotargeting provides opportunities to serve ads to potential customers at precise moments. For example: You can design an ad offering a daily deal that only appears during the hours you’re available to fulfill orders.
  • Local PPC is More Cost-Effective: As we’ve pointed out, geotargeting offers extremely precise brackets to filter potential customers by factors such as their location, their age, and other demographics. But don’t forget the flipside: Because dispensary PPC is so trackable and tweakable, it’s easy to change variables on the fly. That’s why maximizing your PPC returns is a constant process of assessment and adjustment.

Dispensary PPC: The Next Generation

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We promised we’d get back to the topic of AI-enabled PPC management. We’re incredibly excited by the returns on this model, and it’s one we hope to make more available as the tools become even simpler and more intuitive.

However, at the moment our AI service is restricted to those clients that maintain a minimum monthly ad spend of $1000. The reason is that this service depends upon a high throughput of data in order to create a spread of testable strategies and approaches. As you know, every consumer is a little bit different; a larger budget allows us to better pinpoint more expansive varieties of keywords, and use them to create different materials aimed at specific customer segments.

But even if you’re a single-location dispensary with a limited marketing budget, PPC is probably the single most powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Want to know more? Reach out anytime; we’d love to talk.