Pharmacy Marketing Tips
Marketing is important for every business - pharmacies included - and it extends far beyond your storefront. It’s what gets people interested in your business, it’s what gets them through your doors, it’s what turns passersby into customers.
Marketing is how you find people who need what you’re offering and get them to give your services a chance. It’s how you get your pharmacy’s name to the forefront of people’s minds to let you know how you can help them.
For independent pharmacies, marketing is about connecting with your community and the people inside it that you serve. It’s not something that you can ever, or should ever, pass up.
Understand Your Pharmacy Brand
Your pharmacy’s brand is how the public sees you. This is the first thing that customers think when they hear your business’s name or see your branded products/services - it reminds them of the experience they had with your pharmacy. Your brand is an experience.
The basic components of your brand are:
● Your pharmacy’s name
● Your design (logo/color scheme)
● Online presence
The most impactful and most important aspect of building a complete brand is having a strong vision/mission and value statement. This might have to do with the family history of your pharmacy, how your business came to be where it is today, or your longtime presence in the community.
Emphasis on Digital Marketing
In 2021, digital marketing is more important than ever. It’s essential for all types of business and covers all types of marketing that take place online - whether it happens on your website, social media, or through email.
With digital marketing, you can cast your net far and reach a wider audience than what’s possible through offline marketing, and it also allows you to track the impact that you’re making.
Digital marketing is made up of two facets: 1) outbound strategies that promote your business to a relevant audience or 2) inbound strategies that drive a relevant audience towards you.
The main elements of digital marketing are:
● Your website
● Search engine optimization (SEO)
● Written/multimedia content
● Social media
● Paid ads
A Good Pharmacy Website
In order for your pharmacy to be accessible for people at all times, it’s essential to have a working, easily-navigable website. This is how people can learn about your business and contact you, if need be.
A good website includes:
● Company information
● Contact information
● Product/service information
● Easy navigation
● Social media channel links
● Mobile optimization
You want your website to reflect your business. Having a messy or out-of-date website will force customers to assume that your pharmacy is also messy and out-of-date as well - so make sure to keep it in top shape at all times.
When a potential customer does an online search for a local pharmacy, you want your business to show up at the top of those results. That’s where SEO comes in. It helps to place your content at the top of the results page by using keywords - keywords that will draw people to your website.
But you want people to come through your doors, too, not just visit your website. That’s when you use local SEO. Local SEO helps your pharmacy turn up in local results - for example, when people search ‘pharmacies near me’ or ‘pharmacies in (your city)’. You can amp up your local SEO by using location keywords, maps, and directions to your business on your website. You can also aid your local SEO by keeping your Google My Business profile updated.
Advertising for Pharmacies
Implementing good advertising campaigns will get you more customers than having a weak campaign, or none at all. Advertising is how people know that your pharmacy exists, and how they learn about all that your business can do for them.
Traditional ads are found in:
● Through direct mail
Traditional ads help you target your local customer base, and they’re tangible pieces of advertising that have instant visual appeal.
Digital marketing can draw larger audiences, as those campaigns are implemented online. They’re also more cost-effective and easier to measure the trajectory of. Audiences are also more likely to interact with digital advertising.
Common digital ads:
● Social Media
○ These are ads that you can buy to reach specific audiences on social media. Facebook is the most popular vehicle for these types of ads, as it’s the most popular social media website.
● Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
○ To utilize SEM, you can buy space from Google that will display your ad next to search results of similar ilk.
● Display Ads
○ These are graphics/multimedia banners that present on social media platforms, websites, and apps. They attract attention and clicks.
Your Pharmacy on Social Media
Social media is how you interact with your community and stay at the forefront of their mind. If you use social media correctly, your customers will be able to relate to you and feel connected on a personal level.
Social media platforms that you can use are:
○ This will reach customers of all ages - as it’s the largest social platform with a wide array of demographics present. You can post status updates, facilitate discussions, and share news and events.
○ Since Instagram is image-based, it lends itself to posting behind-the-scenes company footage and ad campaigns. It targets younger users.
○ Twitter is great for quick and frequent updates, since each post only allows 280 characters. It encourages interaction with both patients and industry professionals.
The best practices for post frequency and the timing of posts depends on the unique relationship that you have with your customers. As long as you’re consistent and you know your audience, a schedule shouldn’t be hard to gauge.
You have a handful of sites to choose from when it comes to offering business reviews - like Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and Yellow pages. Customers don’t have to use these channels, though - reviews are possible anywhere that you’re online, including Facebook or other social media channels.
Knowing how to respond to reviews - both positive and negative - is incredibly important. Your replies should be prompt, polite, and considerate; remember, even a negative review gives you the chance to improve and show customers that you care.
How to Get Started
A good marketing strategy doesn’t form overnight. It takes patience, dedication, and hard work in order to develop a plan that works well with your business. Here are a few tips if you’re struggling to get started:
● Write down the backstory of your pharmacy, your mission, and your top 3 values. Add those things to your website.
● Create accounts on any social media channels that you aren’t a part of yet, and get active on them. Make sure the bios include your pharmacy’s information.
● Set up a Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps page for your pharmacy.