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It’s coming Ohm! How to run vape store promotions like a pro

Dust off those vuvuzelas and start memorising the bass line to ‘Seven Nation Army’ because the World Cup starts next month!

In an unusual turn of circumstances, the 2022 sporting event takes place in November and carries on all the way through to a week before Christmas. Less drinking chilled bottles of beer around the BBQ and more sipping mulled wine around an open fire!

It got us thinking about how you can run promotions in your vape store not just during the World Cup, but other events of importance too. Wimbledon, The Grand National, The Rugby World Cup… even Eurovision! Douze points for you!

Here’s how you can run extraordinary promotional events that will get your customers to hand over their cash.

#1 - Create a social media competition

There are some tight regulations on how you can use digital marketing to promote your vape store. For example, paid advertising on search engines and social media is a no-go. Boo and hiss.

The good news? It’s okay to have a social media presence for your vape store as long as you’re not paying for ads to promote your accounts. Hurray!

A great way to get some publicity for your store and find new customers is by running a social media competition. According to Outgrow, 34% of new B2B and B2C customers are acquired through competitions. That’s a lot of potential new business.

Here’s what you need to consider when organising the social media competition to end all social media competitions.

Dust off those vuvuzelas and start memorising the bass line to ‘Seven Nation Army’ because the World Cup starts next month!

In an unusual turn of circumstances, the 2022 sporting event takes place in November and carries on all the way through to a week before Christmas. Less drinking chilled bottles of beer around the BBQ and more sipping mulled wine around an open fire!

It got us thinking about how you can run promotions in your vape store not just during the World Cup, but other events of importance too. Wimbledon, The Grand National, The Rugby World Cup… even Eurovision! Douze points for you!

Here’s how you can run extraordinary promotional events that will get your customers to hand over their cash.

Which social media platform to use

In our experience, it’s best to focus your competition on one platform rather than multiple social media channels, otherwise monitoring entries can get messy. So pick the platform you’ve got the most extensive following on already, and take it from there.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram work well if you want to accompany your awesome competition with an image, while Twitter is good for finding new followers.

What prize to offer

We recommend a gift bundle with some of your most popular products – perhaps a selection of e-liquids and a piece of hardware to use with them. Alternatively, a gift voucher for your store can work nicely too.

Something that looks good is always a bonus – if the lucky winner posts a photo of their prize on social media, it’s extra publicity for your business!

What type of question to ask

For example, for the World Cup, you could ask people who they think will win, where they’ll be watching the England game or, if you’re feeling a bit cheeky, what they’d get a red card for.

(Us? We’d get a red card for not stacking the dishwasher in the office properly.)

Alternatively, why not post a photo of a footballer and ask people to submit their funniest captions? Here are a few to get you started.

Encourage people to tag a friend or two to share the love as this is what amplifies your competition to a brand-new audience.

Let’s say someone tags two people who each tag two people who go on to tag another two people… that’s potentially 14 new customers! We think. We’re good at writing vaping blogs, not so much at mathematics.

Important note about tagging friends: While tagging friends is fab for boosting your competition, you can’t make it a requirement of entry as this goes against most social media platform terms and conditions. It’s rubbish, but we don’t make the rules unfortunately.

We’ll talk more about the boring technicalities of social media promotions later. We bet you can’t wait!

When to post and promote

You’ll want to post your competition when most of your followers are online. The best thing to do is to look at your page or profile analytics. See what day and time you get the most engagement and take it from there.

Pin your post to the top of your profile or page so everyone can see it. It’s okay to reshare your post from time to time to get extra publicity. However, you need to remember to include everyone who comments on the shared post in the competition, so nobody gets left out.

p.s Make sure you stick to the rules

It’s important to follow the rules to make sure any social media competitions you run are carried out fairly and legally. You don’t want Kevin or Karen from Tunbridge Wells writing a stern email to Mark Zuckerberg complaining that they didn’t win the grand prize on your Facebook page.

Make sure:

  • Your competition is free to enter. Otherwise, you’re moving into the realm of online lotteries, which you might need a licence for
  • You list the entry instructions, start/end date and terms and conditions clearly, either on your social media channel, or linked to from your website. You should also include your business name and correspondence address for accountability
  • You need to show that the competition has been run fairly and that everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning. Don’t delete or edit people’s entries – that’s not cool
  • You need to pick the winner at random. An app like Comment Picker will do the hard work for you. Alternatively, go old school and draw numbers out of a hat. You can even live stream the process on social media for extra transparency
  • You need to award the prize as soon as possible, and there can’t be a cost to claim it – asking the winner to come into your store to pick the prize up is fine though. You must also take appropriate steps to inform the winner. If you want to put guidelines in place to say when you’ll stop trying to contact someone and pick another winner instead, put it in your terms and conditions. That way, people know the deal from the offset and won’t get annoyed

It sounds like a lot to consider, but as long as you give everyone the same chance of winning the prize, and don’t ask for money at any point, you can’t go far wrong.

#2 - Open a sweepstake

If you want to engage your customers in a bit of friendly rivalry, a sweepstake could be the perfect way to do it.

Let’s say you want to do a sweepstake for the World Cup. Bring together 32 of your customers and randomly assign them a country. If you don’t have enough customers (boo!), you can give people multiple countries or assign teams at a later stage of the competition instead.

You can do this by drawing names out of a hat, or if you want to get all high-tech, you can use a website like the Sweepstake Generator to do the hard work for you. Just put in everyone’s names and email addresses, and the generator will tell them who they’re supporting for the duration of the tournament.

Like social media, there are a few things you need to be aware of in order to make sure you’re playing by the rules. Money can’t exchange hands (unless everyone who plays works at your store); otherwise, you need to get a license. However, it’s perfectly fine to play when the grand prize is bragging rights!

A sweepstake is a fantastic way to encourage your top customers to keep coming into the store and see how their team is playing against everyone else.

#3 - Give 'last man standing' a try

If you want to take the next step up from a simple sweepstake, why not try ‘last man (or woman!) standing’?

Everyone starts by choosing a team. And no, everyone can’t be Brazil or Germany. The people whose teams win move to the next round, while those whose teams lose are knocked out. It’s up to you to determine what happens with teams that draw; we say no mercy and eliminate them!

The winners then need to choose another team, but here’s the kicker – they can’t choose the same team twice in a row. Sorry, Gary, we know France is doing well, but that’s on you. You then keep going until there is only one person left, or until the football is over, whichever happens first.

‘Last man standing’ can bring out a lot of interesting strategies in people. While some immediately go for the teams they know will do well, others start with more unusual picks as they want to save the better teams for later on in the tournament. You’ll probably get one person who picks Qatar just to see what happens!

Communication is vital with ‘last man standing,’ and it’s essential to make sure that everyone taking part nominates their teams in good time. We recommend setting up a Google spreadsheet that everyone can edit and setting strict deadlines for submitting teams. If you have that one member of a staff that’s a stickler for the rules and being punctual, this is their time to shine!

Again, you can’t play for money (thems the rules), but ‘last man standing’ can be a fun way to engage your customers and build rapport.

And what does rapport make? Revenue! Wolf of Wall Street, here we come.

#4 - Put together some in-store promotions

While it’s great for people to watch matches at home and go to the pub with their mates during the World Cup, you want them to come to your store too!

One of the best ways to entice shoppers to your shop during the tournament is through some well-placed promotions.

For example, you could reduce the prices of specific products during certain matches. England playing the USA? Why not have a special offer on Strawberry Chew and Fizzy Cola? France vs Denmark? Bring out a deal on The Grape Escape and Iced Menthol. It’s a shame Italy didn’t get through this year, as we have a lovely cappuccino-flavoured e-liquid…

Alternatively, a flash sale can be good for getting shoppers through the door as it instils the old FOMO, or fear of missing out, in your customers!

Some businesses offer discounts when the home team wins a game or scores a goal. While this can be a great incentive, play it carefully in case the home team does a lot better than you were anticipating.

McDonald’s made that mistake during the 1984 Olympics when they offered free food when the American team won a medal. The problem? That was the year the then-USSR and the Eastern Bloc boycotted the Olympics, meaning the USA dominated the games and won 174 medals.

That’s a lot of free burgers.

In summary: Promote away this World Cup season!

Promotions and competitions can be a great way to introduce your business to new customers, as well as nurture relationships with existing ones.

While we’ve talked about the World Cup a lot in this article, remember you can apply promotions to any event you like, whether sporting, musical, or historical. You don’t even need an event in mind as an excuse to hold a giveaway or money-off event. Do what feels right for you and the business.

Our final thought… if you’re one of the 55% of the UK that could take or leave football, you don’t have to do anything for the World Cup if you don’t want to. Some of your shoppers may even appreciate your store being a football-free zone for a couple of weeks.

Less VAR, more vaping.

Psst! Want to know more about running a vape store?

Whether you’re a vape store pro that wants to keep your head in the game or a new store owner looking for advice and support, we’ve got you covered at Ohm Brew.

Here are some blog posts that will keep you in the know about opening and managing a vape store. And, of course, if there’s anything specific you want support and advice about, why not drop us a line?

Ohm Brew: your perfect partner, no matter the event

We’re always on the lookout for brilliant vape stores to sell our e-liquids and hardware. With this in mind… Will you be our partner?

When you stock our products, we’ll give you all the help and support you need to thrive. As well as a link on our website (hello SEO!), we’ll set you up on our partner portal. Here you can access training materials and promotional imagery to help your store succeed.

Not only this, but we can send you all the POS materials you need. Posters, header boards, product podiums, just ask, and you shall receive!

We’re all about empowering our stockists and using our skills and knowledge of the vaping industry to boost sales. You win, your customers win, we win, society wins, everyone wins!

So what are you waiting for? Fill in our form today and take the first step towards filling your shelves with fantastic Ohm Brew products.


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