Cigars are a social experience. There’s nothing better than kicking back with some friends at your local lounge or club, unwinding by smoking the cigar you just bought and sipping on your favorite bourbon. Sadly, cigar shops and cigar bars enter the marketing world with one hand tied behind their back.
They can’t take advantage of most online advertising platforms, such as Google PPC and Facebook ads. Search engine optimization brings in traffic and sales, but there is another type of marketing that few people understand…grassroots marketing.
We’ll examine this marketing method and how you can adapt it to fit your needs. You’ll have people running through your doors and ordering your product in no time.
What is Grassroots Marketing?
Cigar shop marketing requires imagination, finesse, and strategy. You have a specific audience that needs hyper-targeted content that’s shareable. Grassroots marketing not only creates content but also inspires your customers and others who read it to act.
Let’s say we are marketing for cigar lounges and create a video or graphic that shows the experience of smoking a cigar or shows the fun people have at your business.
You’re telling the story of your business and encourage people to visit and find more people who enjoy smoking cigars. People see it, share it with friends. You create a buzz that permeates throughout your community.
This is grassroots marketing at its finest. You tell a compelling story that inspires people to act, and in this case, it’s to visit your lounge or cigar bar for fellowship and fun.
Grow Your Online Reputation
You have an amazing business that has its own unique feel and history. Maybe you have a list of alcohols that pair perfectly with a wide variety of cigars or operate in a building designed for people to enjoy their cigars. It’s an experience every cigar smoker in your area needs to feel.
Grassroots marketing starts with your online reputation. Review sites like Google My Business and Yelp are a way to show your personality and story in a place other than your cigar shop website. Fill your review space not with pictures empty of people, but with people smiling as they smoke a fine cigar with a tasty drink.
When people visit your cigar bar or smoke shop and have an amazing experience, they head to these sites and tell everyone about it. One person sees the review and decides to try out your business. They have a great time and provide another review and more people see it. It’s like a domino effect that builds and builds with each review you get.
Video Creates an Experience
You may not be able to advertise on YouTube, but you’re free to create videos about your business. Show off your massive humidor filled with the finest cigars in the area or have your sommelier give a tutorial on pairing wine and cigars.
Marketing for smoke shops involve showing off your wares. Use SEO optimized YouTube descriptions to snow where you are. When other cigar smokers or people interested in cigar smoking see the real experience of your business, they become customers.
Loyal customers become brand ambassadors who talk to their friends and get them to visit. Every video you create needs to look great and show the heart of your business. You’re not just a business owner, you’re a cigar smoker.
You love it, and that’s why you created your business. This lets you share your love of cigars and cigar smoking with the world and bring customers to you with video content.
Work With Influencers for Massive Impact
Do you know a local celebrity that loves smoking cigars and visits you regularly? Is there someone on YouTube or TikTok that smokes cigars and people love?
Getting an endorsement from someone with a large following dramatically increases your business. People come to your business not only for the amazing atmosphere but also for the possibility of seeing someone they admire.
Grassroots marketing isn’t just for brick-and-mortar stores either. Online businesses use the same influencer’s endorsement online to bring people to your website and purchase your product. Grassroots marketing is about starting with something small and watching as it exponentially grows.
Support Local Causes
You can’t do PPC or Facebook ads, but there’s nothing that keeps you from donating money to a local event and having your name on a banner. People like businesses that contribute to the local area. It develops trust and gets your brand in front of people.
Cigar smokers that considered visiting your shop or lounge are finally convinced when you sponsor an event that is close to their hearts. It’s the community you live in, and it’s just as important to you as it is to the people around you.
Donate a cigar smoking experience for a local charity auction or contact your local veteran’s organization and see what you can do for them and any events they have coming up. Support local causes and earn the respect of the community.
Don’t Forget the Call to Action
The goal of marketing for cigar lounges is to bring people to your store or website. Whether you create a video, amazing graphic, or long-form blog post, it all needs a call to action.
Grassroots marketing campaigns are shared with people. They see the YouTube videos or influencer TikToks and share it, but it helps little if they are not directed to do something.
You need to encourage them to visit your site or come to your business to get the experience they saw in the video or other content. You’re a storyteller and you’re selling more than just a product. You’re selling a unique experience and atmosphere.
Entice Your Audience and Bring Them In
Don’t let the void of PPC and Facebook advertising get you down. Mix your SEO strategy with grassroots marketing campaigns and watch new customers and old visit or buy your product.
SEO is vital to getting people to your site. Utilizing SEO for grassroots marketing amplifies results. If you’re interested in learning more about grassroots marketing or cigar bar marketing, then contact the experts today.