Whilst looking through social media today I noticed that a lot of pharmacies now have an online presence, and some have an excellent following. This got me thinking, do pharmacies have marketing strategies? And if the answer to that question is ‘no’ then why not? Even if you have regular footfall through the doors of your pharmacy or pharmacies surely there’s no reason why you shouldn’t increase the number of people visiting. With this in mind I thought we’d take a more detailed look at some marketing techniques that can be applied to help you survive and thrive in 2020.
1. Use Social Media Carefully
It seems that now every business has a presence on social media, but the big question is, How do you stand out? In my humble opinion the key to standing out is maintaining consistency, tone of voice and choosing the right platform.
Let me elaborate, the first thing you should do is to know your audience. Once you know your audience you will be able to identify the best platform to use to reach them. For instance if you know your customers are generally over 50 then it’s more likely they will use Facebook than Instagram (see the stats here).
Your audience is also key to your tone of voice. Make sure you speak ‘like’ them, for instance, if you have one store and it’s in Central London then talk about things that are happening in Central London, use colloquialisms. This will define your tone of voice. interact to create engagement, tell stories - social media is becoming saturated - think and talk like your customers. Don’t just use social to try and fill a shift, build up a brand and an audience.
The last point is to be consistent, when you post make sure at a glance your audience knows it’s coming from your pharmacy. The best way to do this is create simple guidelines for social media (especially if you have multiple admins). This could contain your brand colours, logos and the sort of imagery you want to use - it doesn’t have to be a fifty page document. This will also help you (as someone in charge of a pharmacy) maintain compliance across social channels.
2. Use Video for your pharmacy
This year it was recorded that video now makes up 80% of the internet. Consumers attention spans are getting shorter, apparently we now officially have shorter attention spans than goldfish. With this startling fact in mind, the easiest way to grab the attention of your audience is to create video content.
You don’t have to go out immediately and buy filming equipment and lighting, most of us have the tools to create engaging video in our pocket, on our phones. Here’s an idea, why not create a video introducing your members of staff - post it on social media and see how engagement compares to a text post.
Check out our YouTube Channel to see how you can make the most out of video.
Collaborate! Collaborate! Collaborate. I can’t stress this enough. Have a think about who has similar audiences and then see if there’s a way you can work together to achieve the same goal.
This could be an industry body or it could be a neighbouring store on the high street.
Seek help from industry bodies and see if you can display their logos on your social media or in store, this will give what you are doing some gravitas and it’s a scientific fact that people are more likely to interact with a post if it has a recognisable logo in it.
In terms of another store on the high street, why not run a cross promotion? Is there a smart way you can drive footfall from their store to yours?
4. Build a database for your pharmacy
Databases are the boring back end of marketing, it might not be glamorous but they help marketeers build up a picture of their audience/potential customers, they also are a great way of keeping track of different communication channels.
Here’s an idea, start a loyalty scheme or a referral programme for your pharmacy, collect email addresses (be careful of GDPR) and actively market people on your database with regular offers or discounts.
5. Use your Expert Pharmacists
If you have experts in a field working in your pharmacy make sure you shout about it, ask them to write a blog or hold a short informational seminar.
This could encourage PR for your pharmacy and also raise your profile in the industry.
6. Something physical
Consumers are now so used to being bombarded online that when they receive a bit of physical marketing it can stand out more. Window displays, posters, window stickers, flyers are all options.
It’s important to be creative and make your physical products stand out. For example if you are putting posters up make sure it gives people who see your collateral a reason to come inside your pharmacy or if it doesn’t have an immediate call to action make sure it stands out enough to stick in their minds.
Our latest ‘Loved by Locums’ campaign will be rolled out in the coming months, make sure you keep an eye out for our window stickers!
These are just six small marketing techniques you should consider. Why not try some of them out and be sure to measure the results so you know what works and what doesn’t. Data driven marketing is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Theses techniques can also be applied across all pharmacies, not just independents.
If you found this useful please let us know, or if you would like to know more about innovating your pharmacy please let us know, our in-house experts are more than happy to help.