Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible to use Facebook ads to promote your vape shop, e-liquid brand or ecommerce site.
In this post, I’ll breakdown a process by which you can create a marketing plan using Facebook groups and pages to create leads and attract customers for your vape company.
Step 1: Use Mission Marketing To Create A Smoking Cessation Movement
The first step is to think in terms of “mission marketing”, and to set up Facebook pages that speak to this mission. Don’t worry, this is not difficult.
This serves two important purposes:
First, it allows you to setup a Facebook business page that is completely unrelated to your vape business. This will open up the doors to running Facebook ads that Facebook will not decline for being “vape related”. According to Facebook ad policies, it’s completely acceptable to run an ad for a smoking cessation group.
Second, it serves a broader and more powerful purpose of providing a vehicle to do “mission marketing”. Mission marketing is the idea of creating a movement or a cause that is “bigger” than what you are actually trying to promote. Stepping out of your persona as a vape business owner and into a persona where you are supporting a larger initiative.
I setup this business page “NorCal Smoking Cessation” and successfully ran Facebook ads on day 1. This is the ad I got approved:
The goal with these ads is to drive people to a Facebook group where you can engage them in conversation. See step 2.
Step 2: Set Up A Facebook Group To Collect Smokers Looking To Quit
Facebook groups are very powerful marketing tools, and they are perfect for a cause like smoking cessation. The entire goal is to bring them all together into a group where they can talk and support each other while trying to quit.
It’s important to note that at this point, this is not an elaborate plan to “trick” them into buying a vape from you. The goal of the smoking cessation group has to be sincere. After all, quitting smoking is probably the reason you got into the vape industry to begin with so you should be able to connect with people and offer sincere support in their efforts to quit.
I can’t understate this enough – the group and movement have to be sincere and supportive for this method to work.
Step 3: Slowly Begin To Share Your PERSONAL Quit Smoking Story
Once you have a small number of people in your group (the ads are still running), you can then begin to share your personal anecdotes about how you quit using vaping.
Videos, personal stories, triumphs and struggles. You want to connect with these people on a deep level and build up a certain level of authority in your local area as a smoking cessation expert. Don’t worry about the word “expert”. If you successfully quit smoking, you are an expert in the eyes of a smoker trying to quit.
You can even share vape-positive science articles and begin to turn the narrative towards the positive side of vaping.
Step 4: Host Live Get Togethers
Once you’ve built up authority in the group as an expert, it’s time to meet them in person. Remember, as a mission marketer your goal is the mission of smoking cessation. You’re trying to build yourself up as a local authority and champion of smoking cessation. They will eventually understand that you are a successful ex-smoker, and your preferred cessation tool was vaping. They will also understand that you are a shop owner and will happily share vaping devices with you.
It’s worth noting at this point that you do have to be careful to not make health claims or be too blatant about vaping as a cessation tool. The idea is to lead them to the lake and let them drink themselves. You can have them try your vape, or bring samples to the get together (charge for them of course).
Jesse is the Digital Marketing Director at VapeMentors and Chief Technology Mentor. He is an ecommerce and internet marketing expert with a background in business and technology.