Here’s our simple guide to promoting your vaping business online, whether you’re a local shop, an online retailer or a manufacturer.
Google Adwords is often a large part of a businesses online advertising strategy and an important component for small businesses who benefit from low competition local searches, unfortunately however Google list e-cigarettes as a dangerous harmful product in their advertising policy, alongside guns and explosives. I would hazard a guess vape shop owners would disagree with this classification, but regardless ignoring their policy can result in account suspension or even blacklisting your site.
Luckily there’s lots of other ways to build a strong brand online: social media, content marketing, niche website advertising and email marketing are just some of the many opportunities available to you as a start up in the vaping industry or a established brand.
What happens if you violate Google’s policies
Ad or extension disapproval: Ads and extensions that don’t follow this policy may be disapproved. A disapproved ad won’t run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
Site suspension: We may suspend websites that violate our policies, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.
Account suspension: An account may be suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also be permanently suspended and your new accounts may be automatically suspended at set-up. Learn more about suspended accounts.
Follow local laws: To ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires that advertisers comply with all applicable laws and regulations in addition to the Google AdWords policies. It’s important to familiarise yourself with and keep up to date on these requirements for the places where your business operates, as well as any other places that your ads are showing. When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or serious violations, you may no longer be able to advertise with Google.
* Sourced directly from Google’s adwords policy, read more here
What about Facebook and Twitter?
Facebook also includes e-cigarettes in their prohibited content list, however ads promoting blogs or groups that exist to help connect people whose interests are related to these products are allowed as long as the service does not lead to the sale of any tobacco or tobacco-related products.
Acceptable: “Meet with people around the world who have a taste for cigars”
Unacceptable: “Buy cigarettes and e-cigarettes here today!”
Ads may not promote tobacco or tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, tobacco pipes, hookahs, hookah lounges, rolling papers, vaporized tobacco delivery devices and electronic cigarettes.
You can read more about Facebook’s policy on e-cigarettes here in the prohibited content section.
Twitter is a similar story prohibiting electronic cigarette paid advertising, even when marketed for smoking cessation. Read the full list of prohibited content here.
What you can do:
Now we’ve covered some of the limitations of advertising your vaping business online, let’s get in to what you’re here for; some quality promotional ideas to get your brand to the top levels of the online world. I’ve tried to stick to suggestions that will be affordable to small business owners. If you think you could benefit from the below and need a hand making it work please contact us.
Email and Mobile Marketing
The lion’s share of vape and e-cigarette clients are millennials under the age of 35, 97% of whom use smartphones and have email addresses; and here’s a shocker: 99% of all text messages are seen by the receiver. That’s some powerful reach.
As part of your general marketing and advertising strategy, collect your customers’ email and phone numbers, and give them the option to opt in to text message or email updates.
There are some great, low-cost automation platforms that will enable you to set up and manage push notifications, SMS or text-message marketing, and email campaigns. Automation platforms will make running such campaigns easy and stress-free. You fill in a few fields, and the platform will make sure all your customers are getting your coupons, deals etc.