Google, Bing, and Yahoo don’t allow cigars or any other tobacco products advertising on their platforms. There’s good news. You can still promote your cigar business.
Yes, product advertising is off the table because of the strict policies against advertising tobacco products in the United States. Even social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have policies against tobacco product advertising. However, there are several other strategies you can use to put your business out there.
1. Get Listed in Local Search Results
Put your business on the top of local search results to gain more foot traffic. Dominate Google as the best cigar business in the area. When consumers look for the best cigar shop online, yours should come up in the first page results.
One way to do this is to have a Google My Business (GMB) page. Set one up now if you have not done this yet. GMB pages satisfy two needs: listing your shop in the search engines, and letting consumers know yours is the best around.
Once your GMB page is set up, it’s time to populate it. Provide as much information and as many photos as you can. Post frequently. Make sure to tell future customers about upcoming sales, promotions, and events.
Now, take GMB to the next level and optimize the listing. Create content that search engines like. Write copy that is keyword-rich and SEO-friendly. Google loves this. We can do this for you if you need help with your GMB cigar shop marketing.
2. Start Blogging
If your website has a blog section, use it. If it doesn’t, consider moving to another platform that allows blogging. Blog posts give you the chance to write web content that establishes you as an industry leader. This content can also be locally SEO-optimized. Google loves content-rich, locally optimized blog posts on an enhanced website.
Use your blog to discuss industry trends, offer cigar-smoking tips, and give product reviews. Do some keyword research to see what’s buzzing in the cigar world and write about it. Add strong calls to action throughout each post to drive sales.
3. Get Social
Being active on social media is one of the top marketing strategies that help you build your business. No, you can’t advertise your cigars like “buy me now”. But what you can do is post them on your feed. Post photos of cigars you enjoy, popular brands, and new additions to your humidor.
When your shop has a consistent social media presence, you create a desire for people to go there. If you don’t have anything to promote for a while, post your company logo. The idea is to create brand awareness and stay top-of-mind. Stay active and build a strong connection with your followers and watch them show up in your store.
4. Ask for Reviews
Great reviews are like “silent ambassadors” for your business. When people talk about how much they like something, it makes other people want to try it.
This is also the case in the cigar business. When a cigar lover finds a shop they like, their loyalty to that shop grows. So, as customers become loyal to your business, ask them to leave 5-star reviews after shopping with you. It will draw others toward you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a great review. Loyal customers generally have no problem providing one. High ratings help you to stay ahead of your competitors in person and on Google. These ratings give your locally-focused search engine optimization efforts a well-deserved boost.
5. Create Online Videos
Videos are one of the most popular forms of content marketing. CISCO performed a study that showed that videos will represent 80% of the internet traffic in years to come. Studies also show that 92% of mobile video consumers share the videos with others.
We share these statistics to inspire you to create videos to promote your cigar business. This is one of the most effective cigar marketing strategies you can use. They don’t have to be professionally done with green screens or special effects.
You can stay ahead of your competitors with a live Instagram or Facebook video. Do something simple like take a walk around your humidor. Show off your latest products without saying “buy this”. Just show how nice it is inside the lounge. Give prospects a sneak peek into the VIP members-only area or the member lockers. Add these videos to your YouTube channel and embed them in your blog.
People like to see what’s happening, not just read about it. Show them why they need to drive right past the other shops and come to your place instead.
6. Stay in Touch with Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and reach out to new ones. Send a quick email to promote a product, upcoming sale, or event to your email list.
While emails seem like an old-school marketing method, experts say email still works. Email is not just a tool for extending offers to customers or generating leads. Companies that utilize email and do it well can enjoy higher sales and a more cost-efficient approach to their marketing overall.
7. Hire a Cigar Marketing Company
If you don’t have time for all of that, the best way to promote your cigar business is to hire a cigar marketing agency like ours. We are cigar enthusiasts so we know how to promote your business well.
A company like ours has the specific experience that is needed to promote cigars and cigar businesses. This niche is very nuanced and you need the right strategy and approach or your business will be flagged.
A cigar marketing agency offers an entire team to work as your marketing department. We take our clients’ marketing campaigns to the next level by:
- Getting your business listed in local search results,
- Managing your GMB page,
- Posting updates, sales, and promotions to your GMB listing,
- Managing GMB reviews,
- Creating, posting, and managing social content.
- Recommending content for videos, and
- Creating and managing email campaigns.
We also design enhanced websites and create optimized press releases to give you some online media buzz.
Promote your cigar business with these tips and you’ll see new customers coming through your doors. If you lack the time or expertise to get the job done, we are the cigar marketing agency to call. Act now and let’s talk about how we can help you get more business.