Top 10 Tips to Get Your Pharmacy Noticed Online
In the digital age, it’s now more important than ever to become acquainted with technology — especially when running your independent pharmacy. Forget the old, outdated tactics of using commercials, flyers, and billboards to spread the word about your business. Instead, consider updating your strategy and switching to online marketing. If you are looking to widen your reach, bring in business, and grow your independent pharmacy, it’s time to go digital. Here are the top 10 things you should be doing to get your pharmacy noticed online:
With any marketing strategy, the first (and most important) step is to know yourself and your business. Before you can market to potential customers, you must fully understand the ins and outs of your pharmacy, including your mission, your client base, and your personalized goals for patient care.
Once you can identify the unique aspects of your business, you can share it with others — showing them what makes you different and why they should choose you over competitors. Building your brand and telling your story via digital platforms is at the heart of modern-day marketing, so before you take another step further, make sure that you know your business.
Your website is central to your pharmacy’s online presence. It is the main place that patients can go to learn more about you, sort through your products and services, and determine if you are the right choice for them. In fact, HubSpot reports that websites influence 97% of clients’ purchasing decisions. In an effort to appeal to potential customers, and to build your pharmacy’s presence online, start off by creating a website that is both attractive and compelling.
Your site should be comprehensive but easy to navigate, offering information in a user-friendly way. Even more so, it should reflect your pharmacy’s unique brand, mission, and core values. For the design itself, free programs like WordPress can offer you a basic themed website. Or, for a more unique look and feel, a professional designer can build your site for you. However you choose to go about building it, don’t underestimate the importance of your site.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most important components of online marketing. SEO refers to the process of generating clicks on Google and getting more traffic to your website. While SEO is fairly complex, there are several SEO best practices that you can implement now to help your pharmacy grow:
Outside of Google search results and Google My Business, your pharmacy can be found via directories. Popular directories include Best of the Web (BOTW), About Us, and Spoke. By creating a profile on these directories (often for free), you can better market your business.
For pharmacies specifically, you can list your business on RxLocal’s Pharmacy Finder. The Pharmacy Finder lists and sorts through pharmacies in your area so that patients can make well-informed decisions about where they should get care. In the process, it creates more traffic and potential business for you. Claim your location and update your pharmacy’s profile in just a few minutes.
Half the world and 70% of Americans use social media, so it is essential to build a presence on apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. On these platforms, social media isn’t just a way to interact with friends and families — it is a powerful way to grow your business. Now more than ever, users are searching for products and services on social media, including those offered at your pharmacy. To help illustrate its importance, here are some of the top trends in social media buying:
Given its popularity and influence, social media is perhaps the most powerful tool you can use to grow your pharmacy. Managing a social media account doesn’t have to be hard, though: just post intriguing, informative content and stay consistent.
To further simplify the process, RxLocal’s Social Media Assistant can help you take the guesswork out of social and get the most out of your social media accounts. We develop pre-made, relevant content and create a suggested posting schedule for you, so it’s as easy as copy-and-post to grow your online presence.
Before visiting a business, 90% of customers read online reviews. In the digital age, the importance of reviews cannot be overstated — considering that 88% of these customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Because they are so widely used, and so deeply trusted, it is important to capitalize on online reviews if you want to grow your pharmacy.
You can create opportunities for reviews in a number of ways: providing positive experiences that patients want to share online, directly asking patients to share about their visit on social media, or offering rewards, discounts, or giveaways for those that leave a review on Google Reviews. Positive reviews will drive more business to you.
And, in the rare event that a patient leaves a negative review, respond in a prompt and polite manner, both in order to rectify the issue and to demonstrate that you can handle criticism in a mature way. Your customers will notice.
While many practices, like SEO, can increase your online visibility at little to no cost, they also require time, effort, and persistence to see results. If you find yourself too busy to implement organic SEO practices, PPC advertisements can offer an easier alternative to get noticed.
PPCs are paid online advertisements that appear on Google search results pages and create leads to your site. In PPC advertising, you are charged a small fee when a user clicks on your ad; so, for example, if a user searches “best pharmacies in [your city]” and finds your ad, you will only be charged if they follow through with the ad and visit your website.
PPCs can be one of the most effective ways to market your pharmacy online, without the hassle and effort of other methods. Look into Google Ads for details and pricing.
Whether it be on your website or social media accounts, it is essential to create and curate content that is designed with your patients in mind. Creating content refers to posts that you make; curating refers to content you post from other users, with credit.
As you create content, avoid only using direct marketing. In other words, don’t only make posts that advertise your pharmacy’s products and services. Instead, try using content marketing — or, posting entertaining, informative content that benefits your followers and helps them to establish a natural connection with your pharmacy. This is the key to long-lasting patient relationships.
Examples include sharing health and wellness tips, posting health-related news, or promoting events in your community. RxLocal’s Social Media Assistant can help you boost your content marketing by offering guidelines on how to post relevant, patient-focused pharmacy content. Become an RxLocal pharmacy and access our weekly content ideas, delivered straight to your inbox!
As you curate content, only republish articles or posts that fit with your own original content. Examples may be reposting patients’ photos at your pharmacy or sharing information from organizations like the CDC. Make sure to give proper credit to the creators; and, for extra growth, republish and repost from other local businesses and organizations that you support. Chances are they’ll return the favor.
Creating an online presence is a process. Luckily, several free tools can help simplify this process — whether it be in creating your content, managing SEO, or upping the visual appeal of your website. With these tools, you can boost your pharmacy’s reach and client base.
As you work to increase your traffic, build your following, and generate more buzz around your business, it is important to stay connected with your audience. In any case, maintaining relationships with customers and patients is just as important — if not more important — than creating them.
With this in mind, consider the people you serve in all of your online activities and interactions. Respond to comments, build online communities and forums, offer giveaways and exclusive content via social media, and be open to suggestions from your audience. Take the extra steps to engage — it goes a long way.
Go Where Your Customers Are
In the age of the Internet, the best way to expand your business is by using online platforms. Whether you consider yourself a technology rookie or a digital guru, creating a marketing strategy that includes these tips and tricks will help you to see real, tangible growth in your pharmacy. If you are looking to take your business to the next level and expand your reach, then go where your customers are: go online.