According to a 2018 internet trends report, Americans spend an average of 6.3 hours a day on digital media. Device usage and ownership are at an all-time high, according to Pew Research. As of 2019, 81% of American adults own a smartphone, 74% have a laptop or desktop, and 52% own a tablet.
There’s no doubt that digital is here to stay, and for many pharmacies, that means moving their advertising strategy online.
How Can I Promote My Pharmacy?
The key to successful business promotion is finding your customers where they are. Pharmacies that previously focused on more traditional channels such as print and TV now find that digital marketing offers unprecedented targeting opportunities and increased reach.
Digital marketing means any advertising or marketing conducted through digital channels, from websites and mobile apps to search engines and social media networks.
By shifting your focus, you can meet your patient base on the devices and platforms they use every day, establish an online presence, and market yourself on multiple channels.
How do Pharmacists Attract Customers?
Customers today are looking for a seamless digital experience, but also want to connect personally with brands and businesses online.
Here are a few ways you can draw in digital customers:
- Maintain a human connection by being responsive online and sharing photos of your staff and store
- Share new content consistently to engage customers
- Highlight your unique value and promote special offerings
- Make it easy for them to find and connect with you online
Request a free demo to learn more about how the Digital Pharmacist product suite can help you attract more customers and build your patient base.
What Makes a Pharmacy Unique?
A strong pharmacy brand is the foundation of a successful pharmacy. Branding helps you create a memorable identity for your pharmacy business, including a mission and vision statement and brand story. Pharmacies that stand out also have a unique selling point or value proposition. This could be cost, convenience, location, or specialty products and services.
Finally, unique pharmacies offer innovative solutions to customer problems, such as formulating needed healthcare products during COVID-19 or offering contact-free and remote services.
But while a strong brand and problem-solving solutions can help you stand out from the crowd, you still need a solid plan for promoting your pharmacy to current and future patients.
9 Pharmacy Advertising Ideas
Build your patient base with these pharmacy advertising ideas:
1. Promote Your Pharmacy Through Google My Business
The profile is added to Google Maps and search results pages so that anyone looking for local pharmacies can find you. Encourage patients to review your pharmacy on Google so their referrals show up on your profile, too. Another way to draw interest is by publishing updates, offers, and events directly with Local Posts, but you need to update your content regularly as posts expire every 7 days.
2. Keep Your Directory Listings Updated
Aside from Google, there are hundreds of directory sites for local businesses. These include search engines Yahoo and Bing, Facebook, and business listing sites like YellowPages and Better Business Bureau.
Try and add your pharmacy to as many of these as possible. For an annual fee, sites like Moz Local and Yext can help you manage and update your listings in all major directories from a single platform. The more directories you show up on, especially high-traffic ones, the more it will improve your local SEO.
Each listing should include your:
- Business name and logo
- Location and contact information
- Hours of operation
- Products and services
- Storefront photo
Your pharmacy’s information should be consistent across all platforms, so make sure to check and update those listings regularly, especially if your hours change or you have seasonal offerings.
3. Use Social Media to Expand Your Audience
Facebook is one of the top 10 most-visited websites in the world along with YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Creating and maintaining active social media accounts can help you build a following and engage your patient base.
Make the most of your social media presence by:
- Creating accounts on all major platforms to claim your business name and direct people to your website
- Becoming active on one or two platforms where your patients are most likely to spend time
- Focusing on quality and consistency with regular posts, useful health content, images, and videos
- Minimizing promotional content, but still letting patients know when you have upcoming sales or events
4. Target Your Ideal Customers on Facebook
Still the most popular social media network today, Facebook allows pharmacies to market directly to potential patients with highly-targeted ads.
Each ad campaign can be created for and shared with a pre-selected audience. On Facebook’s Ads Manager platform, for example, you can select from a range of parameters including age, gender, location, relationship, and age of children. Facebook’s ad network also extends to Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Audience Network, allowing you to expand your reach.
Creating effective ads for your pharmacy does take practice, but Facebook’s paid campaigns are an effective way of reaching a much larger audience online.
5. Host Virtual Events
From live videos and wellness classes to educational webinars and industry conferences, hosting a virtual event is a low-cost way to expand your online audience. Virtual events can help you market your pharmacy by:
- Educating patients about common health conditions and treatments
- Promoting new and seasonal offerings to patients and healthcare professionals
- Connecting you with local businesses through community events and collaborations
They also make it easy to generate potential leads for your business as you collect attendees’ emails when they sign up.
6. Cross-promote With Local Businesses
Get the word out about your pharmacy by partnering with local businesses and community members.
Fellow healthcare businesses and practitioners can provide opportunities for trade agreements and mutual referral programs. You can also work with local small businesses, sharing product samples and service announcements, and even offer to stock their products in return.
Another way to increase your local customer base is by sponsoring local events, from health fairs to community outings. Check your local Chamber of Commerce website for businesses that might be good partners and your town’s upcoming events for opportunities to get involved in the community.
7. Reach Potential Customers via Direct Mail
While many are still cautious about venturing out during COVID-19, more people are excited to receive and read their mail than ever before. While your pharmacy should focus on digital marketing, it’s also important to remember that some patients, especially the homebound ones, welcome a different approach.
Target your local community with colorful self-mailers like postcards, leaflets, or letters that introduce your pharmacy and services. Be sure to include a limited-time offer or coupon with each one to get people to come to you.
If you offer digital refills or contact-free services like prescription delivery and curbside pickup, include information and instructions so patients can start using your pharmacy from the comfort of their home.
8. Provide Free Health Screenings
Get patients in the door with free clinical services for seniors and families. Not only do they connect you with the local community, but they also give you the opportunity to show the value of your services and generate long-term business.
A few types of free screenings you could offer:
- Wellness exams
- Full cholesterol panels
- Blood pressure and glucose screenings
Health screenings also offer a jumping-off point for promoting other healthcare services, such as senior immunizations for conditions like shingles and pneumonia, or flu shots.
To help spread the word, consider launching a Facebook ad campaign or adding a Local Post event to your GMB profile.
9. Send Your Patients Email Newsletters
With 4 billion active email users, email is an important digital marketing tactic for pharmacy businesses.
Email marketing allows you to stay connected with and build on your current patient base. By sending regular email newsletters, you can keep your audience informed about what’s going on at your pharmacy, promote special offers through exclusive coupons, and share relevant health content.
Start building that all-important email list by getting patients to sign up for virtual events, free health screenings, digital tools like a pharmacy mobile app, or updates on upcoming promotions.