When a person smokes a cigar, it’s an experience. Cigar smokers are very loyal to their brands and shops, so getting these customers is like building a family. If your cigar shop or lounge isn’t getting the traffic to your website or sales in your store, then you need to develop a marketing strategy.
Digital marketing isn’t just a luxury for businesses, it’s standard for cigar shops and lounges regardless if you only have a website or also a physical location. We’ll examine the various aspects of a robust marketing strategy, so you know where to begin and get those cigars flying out your door.
Develop A Marketing Strategy: Check Out Your Website
Before people come to your website, you need to know if it is good enough for them to see. Think of your website as the online version of a physical location. It’s where people come to check out your wares and get information.
If you had a store, you wouldn’t let the floors get dirty or have trash lying around. If your website doesn’t look good and doesn’t provide a great user experience, then fix it up before letting customers in.
Freshen up your look and provide the best shopping experience for people on mobile and desktop. If you send people to a site that looks like it’s from the 90s or looks like an upside-down pyramid on mobile, then you’ll lose customers instead of gaining them.
Technical SEO for Your Website
Google is the leader in organic search. Marketing for cigar shops is difficult because of restrictions on pay-per-click advertising. Search engine optimization is the best opportunity you have to bring customers to your door or website.
Technical SEO is the backend work to help optimize your website for searchers. It includes:
- Page Speed: Mobile users are fickle. They like pages loading fast on their phone. If it takes five seconds for a page to load, then they move on to the next site.
- Schema: Schema is a programming language that gives context for Google crawling spiders. When they crawl your site, the crawlers must guess what each page is about using the information on it. Schema tells the crawlers that the page is, so there is no confusion.
- Fix Crawl Errors: If there are 404 pages and other crawls problems, fix them.
- Check Page Depth: If you have a site with lots of pages, Google wants people to find all your pages within three clicks. If it’s deeper than that, it considers those pages less important.
- Image Optimization: Alt tags for images help tell people with visual impairment what the image is about. It can also help with Google image search and SEO.
On-Page SEO Is Google’s Bread and Butter
Whether you sell high-end cigars and accessories or provide the ultimate cigar bar experience, the content on your website is the first thing people see. On-Page SEO is the efforts made to improve the keyword ranking for specific keyword searches on Google and other search engines.
Google wants the content on your site to show expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It wants well-written content such as blogs that provide important information. It wants product descriptions that are unique and updated.
The higher quality and descriptive content you have means Google crawlers consider your site better than your competitors.
If you have a service area, then on-page localization help rank you for your local area. It’s hard work getting all that copy, but the result is worth it.
Google Wants Off-Page SEO
The content on your site is a major part of cigar shop marketing, but we can’t forget off-page as well. Off-Page SEO includes building backlinks to show authority for your site.
Every website has an authority number. The higher the number, the more qualified Google believes your site is for various search queries. If you can gain backlinks for sites equal to or higher than your domain score, then it improves your SEO.
This also encompassed aspects of local SEO such as filling out Google My Business and making sure business citations are correct. You create press releases and distribute them and get mentioned in high-profile niche publications.
Cigar Email Marketing
Cigar smokers like to learn about cigars and be up to date on the latest information. If you want existing customers to keep coming back, then use email marketing. Email marketing is the process of gaining email addresses for customers and sending them occasional emails about your business and the cigar industry.
Email campaigns for cigar shops include:
- New products: Getting a new brand of cigar? Send out an email to let customers know.
- Events: Doing a cigar and wine pairing or having a special musical guest at your lounge?
- Newsletter: Send out a monthly newsletter that shares blog content, new deals, etc.
- Welcome Email: Did someone just sign up? Automate a welcome email that thanks them and gives them a little information about you.
If you don’t have an email list of customers, then place a signup on your site or create a welcome or exit pop-up. You can provide a one-time discount for signing up. Growing your email list is one of the most important aspects of email marketing.
You’ve got a lot of competition in your niche, whether it’s local or national. Email marketing keeps your business fresh in their mind and provides them with incentives to return and buy more.
Social Media Management
Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are a great way to engage with people and drive them to your site or store. We live in a social world and cigar smoking is a social experience. Don’t forget to create social media pages and update them regularly with great content.
Choose the platforms that fit your customers and grow your followers. Social media lets you show the softer side of your business and its personality. Help them understand that your business appreciates them.
Create Your Strategy Today
We live in a digital world and if you want to survive and thrive, then you need to develop a marketing strategy. Competition is fierce and you want to be on top.
If you want more information on the various methods or help in creating a strategy, then please contact us today.