Welcome to our first blog post. If you're anything like us you've been searching for ways to advertise your brand. As you know we cannot advertise on traditional platforms such as Facebook or Google. Over the last two years we've found a lot of success through a combination of print, online and social media ads. What we've done will be showcased in this blog to hopefully help guide whoever comes looking.
Guide Written by Ronin Vape Co
Part 1: Instagram
For us it all started with Instagram. We spent hours and hours putting together spreadsheets of Vape related Instagram users with over 20,000 followers. After the list had about 100 of them we designed a pitch to trade sample packs for reposts. With about 20% success we gathered the support of 20 influencers. We then hired a photographer to take lifestyle photos and got the influencers to start reposting them. Within a couple of weeks our influencers started to grow and so did the organic photos they took. The deal was for every sample pack we sent them they had to come up with 1-2 original posts a week.
We used some these photos for the next part of our campaign.
Part 2: Print Advertisements
After speaking with several successful companies (Charlies Chalk Dust comes to mind) we ran a few magazine ads spanning several months. Vape Magazine and B2B Insider worked generously with us to create a custom tailored marketing plan that not only included print magazine ads but also online blog/website posts
We decided to take out a two page spread and page 13 in B2B. The ad looked great.
Over the next three weeks we received only 2 phone calls. For spending over $6000 this wasn't what we expected. We called each magazine and after doing some market research into Pepsi we knew we were on the right track. Over the next two months we began to receive 3-4 calls a day for a solid week or two. By this point we decided it was time to step our game up. We started paying for advertising on some popular Instagram profiles and wholesale sites.
Part 3: Trade Shows
By this time we knew it was time to step our game up. Instagram, Magazines and websites got us this far so now how do we move the needle? We put together a booth and started registering for trade shows. We made custom t-shirts, hats, tote bags, anything we could think of. We'd bring speakers, laptops, models, tons of swag to giveaway and of course free bottles. If there was a show on the East Coast -- We were there.
The key to advertising is if you're not everywhere you're nowhere. At no point did we expect if we did X we would get X times 5 back. We didn't reinvent the wheel and don't suggest trying. We stuck to what worked for others and it worked for us. At Ronin's peak it could be found in 2157 stores in the US. These included Vape Shops, Smoke Shops, Herbal Shops and even Marijuana Dispensaries.