Think Globally, Act Locally: Why Dispensaries Need to Use Hyperlocal Marketing

It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 has been a year for the record books (and it’s only halfway done!). For cannabis dispensary owners and operators, it’s been a rollercoaster ride and then some, as many dispensaries were shut down in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to find themselves designated essential businesses and allowed to stay in operation.

We’ve reported on some of the special measures dispensary operators rolled out to meet the challenges of the global pandemic head-on: how to share COVID-19 updates, using geo-ads effectively, and inaugurating Click & Collect purchasing, among others.

Today’s topic—understanding and using hyperlocal marketing—isn’t specific to COVID-19, but make no mistake: Now more than ever, in this fast-moving and challenging new environment, hyperlocal marketing is one of the most effective tools you can use to make sure nearby customers find your dispensary (and not your competitor’s).

As the name suggests, hyperlocal marketing works by focusing closely targeted efforts on a small group of potential customers: consumers searching for products in the immediate vicinity of your business. The tactic relies on the increasingly common use of the phrase “near me” in ordinary web searches. By cross-referencing searchers’ physical location with their search query, Google and other search engines deliver results tailored to the immediate vicinity. 

Of course, many of these searchers are in vehicles. The protocol here is no different, though. All it means is that you should be making sure to advertise any vehicle-friendly services, such as a cannabis drive-thru or curbside pickup.

How do you take advantage of hyperlocal marketing? More good news: It’s highly likely that you’re already leveraging some of the key principles. Let’s take a moment to review them.

Make Sure You’re Using Google My Business (GMB) Effectively

We’ve been writing about GMB for a long time now, and for good reason: it’s one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to promote your dispensary.

If you haven’t already claimed your GMB listing, make that a top priority. Once that’s accomplished, be sure to use relevant keywords in your business description to increase your chances of being found. On top of that, follow the best practices we lay out in our introductory article: How to Add Your Dispensary to Google My Business, including using high-quality photographs and up-to-date hours and information (especially important under the COVID-19 pandemic).

To reiterate: one of GMB’s most fundamental attributes is location and mapping, so focus your optimization efforts here. Are you located near popular attractions or landmarks? Optimize your content with this in mind and you’ll attract consumers who may not have even been searching for your products. You’ll raise your chances of being ranked highly on local results pages, and help all those potential customers searching “dispensary near me” to find you.

Hyperlocal Marketing: Lead With Accessibility

In this highly remote era, it’s easy to forget that we still need to be accessible and open to communication. Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes: make it easy for them to reach out by highlighting “Contact Us” pages or forms, linking back to your website on all social platforms, and signaling that you’re open to interaction. Now more than ever, friendliness and openness count. 

Optimize Your Website for Hyperlocal Searches

Just like you optimized your GMB listing, be sure your own website is fine-tuned to attract hyperlocal customers. Because search engines filter and assess sites by their URLs first, ensure that each and every one of your URLs names your location and type of business (like “Redwood City Dispensary,” for instance). 

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Read through your site copy carefully. In addition to being easy to navigate and comprehend, is it making use of and capitalizing on local features, attractions, and identifiers? Making sure your dispensary is closely associated with its neighborhood is a great way to help search engines direct searchers to you.

Apply Hyperlocality to Your Content Marketing Strategy

Just as your GMB and website content should focus on locality, the content you share should too. Write about local events, features, history, or anything else you feel your customers would want to know about. Look back at previous content you’ve shared, and consider tweaking and resharing it from the perspective of locality. 

It’s natural that you’d think first about writing about your dispensary and its story, and we’re not trying to tell you otherwise. But when you fold in aspects of locality and the specific attributes of your neighborhood or your town, it has a force-multiplying effect. Now you’re leveraging the identity of your physical local to drive all kinds of customers to you, even ones who didn’t know they were searching for what you offer. Now that’s smart marketing.

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Use Geo-Targeted Marketing

Using marketing that allows you to target potential customers based on where they are can help you drive foot traffic to your location or more visitors to your website. Geo-Ads and Google Ads both allow you to set geographical parameters so you can get your ads in front of the right people.

Ready to get started? Give us a call today.