Vaping has gained popularity worldwide as a sustainable, healthy, and efficient alternative to smoking. The primary reason for such explosive sales might be the benefits offered by the product, but vape marketing plays an integral role in the process. Vape marketing has helped the industry introduce flavors and new products to youngsters with alarming ease. Most companies that manufacture vape pens and e-juices target young people as they are a core market group. But, how important is vape marketing to the industry, and can companies go without it? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the importance of marketing within the vape industry.
Marketing Within the Vape Industry
Over the past decade, vaping has grown tremendously in popularity thanks to research and studies confirming its benefits. As a result, the number of users switching to vape pens and juices has increased exponentially. However, several federal laws restricted the marketing of e-cigarettes and other tobacco-related products. As a result, companies cannot rely on more conventional or traditional marketing outlets, such as radio and word-of-mouth. Since then, growing scientific evidence regarding the benefits offered by e-cigarettes has made it easier to market such products.
Additionally, e-cigarette manufacturers utilize secondary outlets, such as retail spaces, venues, and recreational events, to market their products. The internet is also one of the most significant marketing outlets for such companies due to ease of access to information. Most companies target the younger population, most of whom regularly use the internet. As a result, most young adults have high exposure to vape pens and e-cigarettes, leading to an increased awareness within the industry. As per a study, by 2016, almost four out of every five high school students had seen at least one e-cigarette ad.
Marketing Methods That Target the Youth
Here’s a quick look at the various marketing methods used by these companies to target the younger audience:
1. Scholarships: Several manufacturers offer uses scholarships that range from anywhere between $250 and $5000. Most of these require students to write essays or make presentations on the benefits of vaping. For instance, one company asked contestants to highlight how e-cigarettes help minimize the harmful side effects of smoking. A few scholarships are open only to adults above the age of 18. However, several others have no age limit, making them available for younger teens and students.
2. Social Media Buzz: Most manufacturers are making the best use of various social media platforms to market their products. E-cigarettes are a regular feature on newsfeeds, reels, and timelines, helping them stay relevant online. Most new companies rely heavily on their online presence to accelerate sales and reach new target groups. Since launching in 2001, JUUL has invested over $1 million in online marketing as per research. The brand runs paid campaigns on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram through sponsored ads and promos.
3. Sponsorship: Another excellent way for vaping companies to market their products is to sponsor events that young people will attend. These include music festivals, hackathons, and sports events, such as the Sasquatch! Festival that blu eCigs sponsored in 2013. The company even hosted a vapor lounge that featured several guest appearances from top performers. Similarly, in 2018 JUUL hosted the Music in Film Summit during the Utah Sundance Film Festival. The Master Settlement Agreement and Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prevent cigarette manufacturers from doing the same. However, these laws do not apply to other tobacco-related products, such as vape pens and e-cigarettes.
4. Unique Flavors: Newer companies have introduced several new and appealing flavors to attract younger crowds. While the Smoking Prevention Control Act prohibits using flavors other than menthol in cigarettes, it does not apply to e-cigarettes. As a result, manufacturers now offer e-liquids with kid-friendly flavors, including candy, coffee, and gummy bears. Studies showed that over 43% of young users tried their first e-cigarettes to experiment with appealing and unique flavors.
5. Collaborations: One of the easiest ways to reach out to a new audience is to connect with them by building meaningful bonds. To make this process easier, most companies rely on collaborations with influencers that impact younger circles. Vape pen manufacturers can utilize the social currency of social-media stars and other public figures to further the reach of their products. These endorsements help improve sales and raise the company’s overall brand value.
Getting Ahead in the Market
As per a Research and Markets report, the e-cigarette industry will soon be worth $43 billion, thanks to a 15% CAGR. Annually, over 7 million individuals face life-threatening issues due to smoking tobacco, and vaping provides a healthier option to people who wish to quit. Since these products contain little to no tobacco, most individuals view them as a widely accepted alternative to cigarettes. As a result, vape marketing relies heavily on such studies and research reports to increase sales. Hence, marketing is an integral part of the industry as it is impossible to sell something without marketing it in today’s world.
However, the FDA has several regulations regarding how to run and market products that contain tobacco. As a result, individuals who run vape shops online cannot promote their products that contain tobacco through Google Shopping Ads. However, there are no such laws against unpaid or organic marketing, which also costs a lot less. While paid advertisements provide quick traffic, small businesses can do more with less money by focusing on the following factors:
• Search Engine Optimization: SEO enables businesses to optimize their content and drive targeted traffic onto their online stores. The process provides a myriad of long-term benefits, and a higher rank on search engines ensures an endless supply of visitors to your store.
• Forums and Communities: Interacting with individuals within the community allows companies to understand their market and reach a targeted audience. By looking for and interacting with such communities on Reddit or Quora, companies can answer relevant questions and find new customers.
• Exhibitions: Across the US, several fairs and exhibitions center around vaping. These venues provide companies with a platform to launch new products, gain customer insight, and branch out to new markets. By attending these events, brands can amplify their exposure to the vaping community and form ever-lasting partnerships.
As with any other industry, e-cigarettes and vape pens also require diligent promotion and marketing. However, the nature of the product makes it difficult to rely on merely traditional marketing methodologies. As a result, more and more vaping companies now invest in unique and more digital forms of marketing. Do you want to learn more about how to market your cannabidiol or vaping products? If so, follow this space for further updates and information!