The cigar industry has undoubtedly stood the test of time. Despite fluctuations in market trends, regulatory challenges, and shifting demographics, the allure of a finely crafted premium cigar remains intact.
However, effective marketing can be challenging for those in the cigar business due to advertising regulations relating to tobacco. While it is difficult, running a successful marketing campaign for your premium cigar business is not impossible.
In this article, we will take a look how to market cigars and at some of the most effective strategies that we have seen bring different cigar businesses abundant success:
1. Knowing Your Demographic
Before any effective strategy can be implemented, it’s important to understand who your customers are.
Does your product appeal to cigar aficionados seeking rare and hard-to-acquire blends? Or does your product resonate more with novices looking for an introduction to the cigar world?
The answer to questions such as these is vital. Your cigar marketing efforts should be tailored to your specific target demographic.
Once you find your specific cigar niche, stick with it. Focus all your marketing efforts to fit in your chosen parameters.
2. Leverage Social Media
Social media is one of a cigar brand’s most important tools. Due to regulations, cigar brands must rely on organic website traffic instead of paid traffic.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok are excellent places to showcase your products, share exciting stories about the brand or the blends, and connect with an audience passionate about premium cigars.
Influencers like “The Cigar Guys” have shown the industry that uploading consistent, quality video content to platforms like TikTok and Instagram will significantly increase brand awareness and drive sales.
“Cigar guys are always looking to try something new. If you can showcase a quality cigar brand with an interesting story, people will buy” – Zachary Nikollaj.
Posting quality photos, engaging videos, and conducting live streams can foster a community of your own and keep your brand top of mind.
People gravitate to companies willing to engage with their consumers, especially in the cigar industry.
Studies show that 54% of cigar smokers choose what they will smoke based on a good memory or favorable relationship with the brand or its owners, reps, and employees.
3. Participate in (or Host) Cigar Events
Physical presence is crucial when building a fanbase in the cigar industry. Organizing launch parties, cigar pairings, or participating in local market events are all effective ways to get your name out there.
Not only do these events bring customers to you, but they also provide a unique experiential marketing opportunity. Posting photos or videos from your cigar events increases your legitimacy.
Cigar smokers who come across your content are more likely to remember your brand if you showcase a fun-filled event with happy customers.
When it comes to your physical and online presence, repetition is key. The more consumers see your cigar brand, the more likely they will purchase it.
4. Utilize a Loyalty Program
Frequent buyer programs, referral discounts, or a ‘cigar of the month’ subscription can entice repeat business and build a loyal customer base.
Subconsciously, consumers like to feel as if their loyalty to a specific brand or shop pays off. Rewarding a repeat customer, or even a one-time customer, with a special deal or discount will go a long way.
Making a customer feel special is especially important in the premium cigar industry. People utilize cigar smoking as their time to relax and leave the stresses of life behind.
Give a cigar smoker a fantastic experience. They will never leave and maybe even share their love with other cigar smokers.
5. Collaborate with Complementary Businesses
There are always opportunities to partner with businesses outside the cigar industry that still complement your products.
Partnerships with liquor stores, craft breweries, or upscale cafes can open up a new customer base.
Joint promotional events or bundle deals are a great way to capitalize on these partnerships and make the most profit for your business and theirs.
6. Invest in Content Marketing
Regularly updating your blog or website with articles on cigar culture, history, and tips can establish your brand as an industry authority and improve the SEO of your website.
Like social media, cigar blogs and articles are a great way to educate and entertain consumers.
As previously stated, cigar smokers always seek something new to learn about. Whether it’s a new cigar or tips and tricks they have yet to learn about, increasing your credibility with consumers will often lead to new sales and repeat business.
7. Optimize Your Online Presence
A sleek, user-friendly website with e-commerce capabilities can exponentially increase your sales.
Many online businesses in the cigar industry still use their website, which looks like it was built when Google first went public. Having a modern, easy-to-use website can attract more customers to your website.
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines will increase your organic website traffic and number of repeat customers.
8. Engage with Influencers
Engaging with social media influencers or bloggers in the luxury or lifestyle sector can help reach a broader yet targeted audience.
Their endorsements can lend credibility and interest in your products or business. Consumers aren’t just taking your word for it; they are also listening to the endorsement of outside parties, giving the consumer more reason to do business with you.
Premium cigar brands such as “The Besa Cigar” have utilized influencer promotions since their company’s birth.
There are plenty of influencers that are willing to promote your product or business and a lot of times, all you have to do is ask.
10. Leverage Targeted Email Marketing
Regular newsletters with updates, promotions, and insightful content can keep your subscribers engaged.
This becomes much easier now that your blog articles and social media pages are up and running.
Repurposing all your previous content into an email campaign will help drive sales for your business.
Segmenting your email list based on customer preferences can further personalize their experience. This also ties back to making your customers feel special, like V.I.P. members.
11. Attend Trade Shows and Conventions
Trade shows such as the P.C.A. in Las Vegas are the best places to network, showcase new products, and get your brand seen big time.
Not only are you increasing your brand awareness and authority, but you are also opening up the door to work with other players in the industry.
Making connections in the cigar industry is one of the many keys to success. You’d be surprised how many shop owners, blenders, and manufacturers are open to working with other companies, even yours.
12. Host or Appear on a Cigar Podcast
Podcasts have become instrumental in influencing consumer opinions and spreading industry knowledge, including in the cigar industry.
Podcasts like “The Cigar Guys Podcast” have influenced consumers to purchase cigars from specific brands or support local cigar lounges.
The Cigar Guys have successfully driven sales for brands such as “Eleven 02 Cigars”, “Howard G Cigars”, and “Casa 1910 Cigars”.
There is much to gain from being seen as a reputable brand in the cigar podcast space.
In conclusion, these marketing strategies are crucial to a successful premium cigar business. Understanding your audience, offering value, and creating memorable experiences will ensure your cigar brand stands out in a competitive market. Remember this: like any great cigar, successful digital marketing is about nuances and attention to detail.
Work With Cindtoro
Cindtoro Digital Marketing company has been in business since 2019 If you need with digital marketing for your cigar business the team at Cindtoro is ready to help. We will put together a comprehensive cigar marketing plan that will help you achieve your business goals. We employ a team of specialist in almost every area of online marketing including but not limited to: SEO, podcast, organic social media marketing, content marketing and so much more. Get in touch today to see how we can market your cigar business.
If you brand new to digital marketing and don’t know where to start with ideas read this beginners guide to digital marketing.