Free Vape Shop Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners

vape shop marketing

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If you’re struggling to promote your vape shop, you’re not alone. Marketing is a difficult skill for any small business owner to learn, but it is even harder for vape shop owners since you’re dealing with regulated products that most marketing and advertising platforms suppress. Vape shop marketing isn’t impossible, though. You just need the right team on your side! Here at Lifelong Merchant Services, we’re smoke shop marketing experts who specialize in helping our clients thrive, even without a huge marketing budget. Let’s talk about a few ways you can get started with marketing without spending a single dollar.

Using Social Media Effectively

Most types of tobacco advertising are prohibited on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use social media to reach potential customers. We recommend starting by adding engaging, interesting content to all your social media sites, especially Instagram. Ask yourself the following question:

“What would make someone want to follow my shop?”

What most small businesses get wrong is that they think social media is all about sell, sell, sell. Yes, you do want to showcase your products. That said, creating content that is interesting, funny, or educational is a much better way to get new followers. Get creative, jump on trends, and reply to comments you get. It’s okay if things are slow at first. Be consistent with your content and always focus on the type of content your target market wants to see.

Create Content to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Like with social media, platforms such as Google have very strict advertising rules for vape shops or do not allow you to advertise tobacco products at all. So, you can’t just pay for ads like other small businesses in your area.

Instead, think about organic ways to bring people to your website through educational articles or blog posts. What kind of information about vaping and smoking do people need? Are they searching for answers to specific questions? Set yourself up as an expert who can answer their questions. You want people to trust you so they feel comfortable buying from you.

If writing content isn’t your strong suit, you can instead consider starting a YouTube channel. Get in front of the camera and answer some of people’s most common questions about your products and about vaping in general. When optimized correctly using keywords in the titles and descriptions, these videos will show up in Google search results, positioning you as a vaping expert. Later, when you have a bigger budget, you can hire a team of experts to do the writing for you.

Reach Consumers at Events with In-Person Vape Shop Marketing

Since online marketing for vape shops is limited, you may have better luck with in-person marketing. Local events not only help you get name recognition, but in some cases you can even sell products directly to consumers at the event itself using a mobile POS system.

While most people think about local events run by others, you can also run events at your shop. Think about what kind of event your target market might want to attend. Maybe you have live music, food trucks, or other vendors in addition to running special sales. Internal events are a lot of work, and keep in mind you might need a permit from your city. If you’re the organizer, though, you get to run the event in the way that is most beneficial to you, and there’s no fee to pay to a third party.

When looking for non-internal events, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Most non-internal events aren’t completely free. There is often a vendor fee to attend. However, this isn’t always the case; some are free for local businesses. Additionally, you can often get a free vending space if you are a sponsor.
  • Target events that are 18+ or even 21+. Being a vendor at family-friendly events opens you to criticism from parents and people in the community and lowers your potential customer pool. Again, think about your target market, i.e. the type of people who want to shop with you. What types of events do they attend in your area?
  • Make sure you have the necessary licenses or permits if you’re going to be attending events in other nearby cities. Some require a special events permit.

Remember that many events are rain or shine, so if you’re going to attend outdoor events, you’ll want a commercial tent with weights, fitted tablecloths, and a banner you can easily secure.

FAQs About Marking a Vape Shop

As you start to branch out with your vape shop marketing, we’d be happy to help you reach more customers. At Lifelong Merchant Solutions, we’re experienced with all types of local smoke shop advertising and marketing. We’d love to help you develop a marketing campaign that actually works, so you can focus on what you do best: running your business. Here are a few common questions we hear about marketing a vape shop:

Can I advertise my vaping products on TikTok and other social media platforms?

Most platforms highly regulate paid advertising for tobacco products. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have an account on TikTok and other platforms. You can also take advantage of influencer marketing, where you pay online personalities directly to talk about your products.

How can I attract more customers to my vape shop?

It’s important to start by defining who that customer actually is. It’s hard to target anyone with marketing or advertising if you’re trying to target everyone. We also highly recommend focusing on retaining customers using tools such as a loyalty program.

For more information, check out our Marketing Solutions Packages and give us a call at (678) 201-0911. We look forward to hearing from you!

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