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The demand for a Covid-19 Vaccine will be sky-high. How do you market the Covid-19 vaccine as a pharmacy professionally and effectively?

How and when will Community Pharmacies be able to offer the Covid-19 vaccine?

The Covid-19 vaccine is getting its first major rollout in the UK. Community pharmacy is expected to play a part in the massive vaccination drive. However, because of the specific storage requirements of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, it’s unlikely many will play a part initially, so it might be a while until you can market the Covid-19 Vaccine for your pharmacy.

If you think your pharmacy might be eligible to be a primary location for Covid-19 vaccinations, see this publication from the PSNC for guidance and requirements in becoming a vaccination site.

We won’t go into how to offer a Covid-19 vaccine in this article though, as that’s been covered plenty of times by the governing bodies in pharmacy.

What we’re going to cover is how to market the vaccine if you do end up offering it. The tips we’ll cover will both drive people to your Covid-19 vaccine service AND make your life easier.

  1. How to use Facebook, including setting up auto-replies and posting.
  2. Creating a dedicated COVID-19 vaccine page on your website
  3. Updating your Google Business Profile
  4. Advertising Your Service (without breaching policies)

1. How to use Facebook to generate awareness, build trust, and save you time

The vast majority of the UK will have Facebook profiles, and it’s a source of information that is widely shared. As a trusted healthcare provider, sharing accurate advice with links to the NHS or the UK Gov. site helps build trust in your community and keeps them aware of when they might be eligible for the vaccine.

 

example of a facebook health post for covid

An example of a Facebook post you should share with your community,

 

Every pharmacy gets those people who come in and want to ask you every question under the sun whilst 10 customers look at their watches in the queue behind them. Imagine being able to tell them that they can find all the information on your Facebook page, and if they still have any questions to send you a message on there. (More on this below!)

It is unclear at this early stage as to whether you will be allowed to promote a COVID-19 vaccine service on Facebook at all. During the pandemic, Facebook have been extremely strict on allowing any promotion of anything which claims to protect against COVID-19. Whether this changes with approved vaccinations remains to be seen. You should always check with your friendly neighbourhood Pharmacy Mentor before promoting via Facebook. We keep ourselves up-to-date with exactly what you are and aren’t allowed to promote on Facebook. You don’t want to end up with your Facebook page being banned.

auto replies on facebook to help manage covid-19 vaccine service

Auto-replies on Facebook

Set Up Auto-Replies on Your Messages Inbox

This useful trick is for busy pharmacists who don’t have time to answer messages on Facebook. It also gives a channel of communication for your patients who prefer using Facebook.

Think of all the common questions you get asked about services.

Is it free?

What are your opening hours?

Do I have to book? Etc, etc. 

We manage a lot of Pharmacy Pages, we know the types of questions people ask. It’s normally something they could Google, but prefer to stay on Facebook.

Instead of their message going into a black hole and making you look bad at responding, you can set up an automated response to Frequently Asked Questions.

You should always try to answer the question if possible. But you can also give them a call-to-action as well. Include links or phone numbers in this response, whatever your preference and tell them how to book or where to find out more information.

2. Create a dedicated Covid-19 Vaccine page on your website

 

example website page for covid-19 service

Example page for a client of ours

 

Your website is your online shop window, so make sure you or your developer updates it to reflect that you’re providing the Covid-19 vaccine service. As soon as the user lands on the site, they can’t miss it. Have one button which leads to a blog post/web page about the service for the patient to learn more, and one that jumps straight to a booking calendar link for people who want to jump straight in.

Pharmacies we worked with did similar things for Covid-19 PCR Testing.

The content of this dedicated page should make both yours and your patients’ lives easier. Set expectations. Give information. Answer Frequently Asked Questions.

All of this helps streamline your processes and create more revenue.

Screening & Risk Assessment Forms

Most clinical services have elements of risk, meaning patients often need screening for pre-existing health conditions or other factors that can present risks such as age or current medications. Most recently at the time of writing, people receiving the Covid-19 vaccine appear to be at risk if they have strong allergic reactions.

Rather than waiting for the patient to come all the way into the pharmacy, or you having to phone them, why not have a form on your website that they can fill in? It saves both parties time and hassle.

Let people book their Covid-19 Vaccine online with you

Another amazing time-saver for you, and more convenience for your customer, keeping your phone lines free and your vaccinations organised automatically. Adding a booking calendar to your website allows you to take bookings not only for Covid-19 Vaccines, but for any other service you offer like Flu Jabs.

If your customer is booking at any time when your pharmacy isn’t open, the ability to book online is critical for making sure their experience with you gets off to a good start.

You aren’t just competing with other pharmacies for convenience….people can book their hair appointments online nowadays. They expect you to provide this option, and it doesn’t give the best impression of you if you don’t.

It’s worth mentioning that for most other services, it’s also a huge advantage to allow people to pay for their service when they book it. For one, it’s another major convenience for them. But it’s also a really committing action. People are a lot less likely to call up and cancel appointments when they’ve paid for them.

3. Update your Google My Business

 

a google my business post showing the public helpful information about Covid-19 policies

Superb marketing tool

 

First things first, if you don’t already have a Google My Business profile, get one. For popular businesses like pharmacies they often get automatically generated. But if you’re not in charge of what’s on your profile, you don’t know what people are seeing when they find you online.

Presuming you’ve already got control of your account, for major pharmacy events like flu season and Covid-19, you want to make sure it’s updated so when people Google vaccines, they are reassured by your presence. Take the example above for Covid-19. People seeing this pharmacy are aware of the safety measures in place before attending. This lets your patient know what to expect and reassures them that you’re the right place to go.

If you’d like to set up your pharmacy on Google My Business, then you can take this quick course which will walk you through the whole process, step-by-step. Using instructional videos, the Drive Pharmacy Footfall with Google course will teach you how to use the tools within Google My Business to attract new customers.

4. Harness Google Ads and organic rankings

 

a range of google ads for covid-19 PCR tests

Be sure to check the Google Ads policies first

 

How do people who don’t know about your pharmacy find you? Heck, how does anyone find anything these days? Google, of course! (Other search engines are available.) Though being found on Google is pretty competitive.

How do you make sure you appear on Google when people are searching? Well, two ways really.

The easiest way is Google Ads

As shown in the image above. See how many ads show up before you even get a look-in with an organic page? The downside to Google Ads? Cost. The cost gets higher and higher the more competitive the search you’re trying to be top of is.

Note: It may not be possible to run Google Ads for the COVID Vaccine through your pharmacy due to the changing Google Ads policies.  Stay up to date today and seek our guidance if necessary.

If you’re willing to test for a return on investment, Google Ads is a fantastic way to help you get the thousands of visitors that flow through Google every day to your website.

The most sustainable way is optimising your web page for SEO

Remember that dedicated web page we talked about earlier? Well, optimised in the right way, Google shows your article to more people. If your optimised web page is top of Google, that’s like being one of those department stores at the entrance to a shopping mall. People have to go through you first every time. Unlike those department stores, you don’t have to pay a premium rent (that’s Google Ads). With an optimised web page, Google rewards you for giving it a super relevant and optimised page to show people by showing it to people first, for free.

Interested in seeing this in action for a pharmacy? Check out this in-depth look at getting found on Google. It’s a case study of using the power of Google to promote COVID-19 PCR tests for a pharmacy, back when no one else was really doing it.

Avoiding Facebook Advertising

We won’t go into this in too much detail, but Facebook’s Ads Policy, which you won’t (and that’s fine), prevents you from promoting almost everything to do with COVID-19 right now. Recently you couldn’t promote so much as a face mask without facing a suspension of your Ads account. But this may change in the future.

You should also avoid posting too much on your Facebook page about any COVID-19 service, as we have seen pharmacies have their entire pages banned for such activity. Again, this may change, and we’ll update this article if it does.

But for now, avoid Facebook for directly promoting the COVID-19 Vaccine.

 


Need help with promoting your pharmacy services? Simply get in touch.

Google Ads for Pharmacy
Google Ads for pharmacies. They’re happening on a small scale right now for Travel Clinics and Private Services, compared to the rest of the business world. But they’re growing, as people realise how much money they can make using them.

How do Google Ads work?

Even if you appear at the top of the page organically, companies and pharmacies using Google Ads appear above this because of the way the Google results are laid out. (Strangely, Google rewards people giving them money?)

google results page layout

How Google search displays when you search for locations like “Travel Clinic”

How do they do it?

It’s really simple.

  1. Create a Google Ads account.
  2. Make a Google Ad.
  3. They choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”

Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears like this:

google ads search results page

Ads display at the top of Google for the search terms they target.

 

It might seem like a waste of money to pay for ads to appear when you are already ranking at the top organically, but if you don’t, you’re giving advertisers an opportunity to appear above you and steal the customers who were looking for you.

Especially when they’re searching for something like “Travel Vaccines.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t go home and search for Travel Clinics to relax. It’s because I need one. Now assume I don’t care where I get my vaccine from, I just want the damn thing. So I’m going to click on the first relevant thing I see.

And if that’s an Ad, that’s exactly what I’ll click on. If they make it easy for me to book on their site, and they’re the price I’m expecting to pay, then I book my appointment and go on with the things I actually want to be doing.

And that’s it. Deal done. Transaction over. It cost that business however much Google charged them for a click, which on average is between 50p-£1.

How can you get a piece of that sweet, sweet Google Ads pie?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em. Funnily enough, it’s really simple.

  1. You create a Google Ads account.
  2. Then you make a Google Ad.
  3. You choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”

Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears as above.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly the same process that they used to get all the customers unchallenged. Except now you’re actually competing for the business, not just standing by and letting them take it.

The best part? You have something they don’t. You have access to a digital marketing agency that runs Google Ads for pharmacies all the time. 

We know the ads that work, the best times to run them, and the way to set them up for success. Your ads will attract clicks, even when alongside another ad.

Unconvinced by Google Ads?

You’ll likely want to understand how this happens, to get similar results for your pharmacy.

You might have tried Google Ads for your pharmacy and not seen much success from them. You might have heard horror stories of people pouring thousands of pounds down a black hole with no return. This is entirely possible, when Google Ads are run without the proper knowledge of how to get results.

But our results speak for themselves. Here’s an Ad we pointed towards a website. Note – we are showing you SMART Campaigns here, not Advanced Campaigns. We’ll be adding info about Advanced Google Ads at a later point.

 

statistics for a Google Ad

Example SMART Google Ad Campaign

It gave the option to call immediately or visit the website for more information, as well as links to book appointments for that service. 50p/click which is the low end of average. Think we’re showing off? I literally just picked a random ad. Here’s another one. (This was the second one we looked at, I can’t even guarantee it’s the best performing.)

statistics for a flu jab google ad

This Ad targeted flu jabs and averaged approximately 30p a click in North London.

This second Ad was promoting a Flu Jab service (the Pharmacy forgot they’d asked us to do it and were wondering why they were getting private flu jab enquiries!) They got an even lower cost per click at 30p! This one was aimed at driving calls to the pharmacy and physical visits./span>

Google Ads for pharmacies get found by so many search terms

The search terms this ad got results for.

You lose customers by not showing up when they’re searching online.

Exceptional results even without a massive budget.

Both of these ads are LOW budgets. And we don’t recommend that. For multiple reasons.

  • Our management fee remains the same regardless of your budget (unless you want super serious Ads). So the more you spend, the greater the value is.
  • The same is true of Google’s charges. The more you budget, the lower your average cost per click is. It’s the equivalent of buying in bulk.
  • A limited budget means that your ad switches off during the day when it’s used up it’s budget. This means lots of people could be searching for your service and your ad stops displaying whilst your competitors keeps going. And they go back to winning all the business.

Also, please note that the above ads were run on SMART campaigns which is the basic form of Google Ads. Advanced Ads require more budget and management fees because of the data we are gathering. We’re learning exactly how to make the best ROI from every pound we spend.

Ready to start getting clients with Google Ads? Book a call and we’ll get you up and running.

 

 

Community Pharmacy Digital Age
 

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO ACCESS THE LECTURE SLIDES

 
Community Pharmacy Digital Age

How to Engage with your Community in the Digital Age

 

The Digital Age. It’s such a buzzword these days. I harp on about it all the time I suppose. But there is a reason. I’m not preaching for the sake of it. I’m shouting out about it because Community Pharmacy needs to hear it. Again and again, and again. Until it sticks.   

 

October this year was a busy one. I spoke at the Pharmacy Business Conference, the NPA Conference, and The Pharmacy Show about how to Embrace your Community in the Digital Age. Essentially, I spoke about the importance of digital marketing for Community Pharmacy, how pharmacists can use these channels and what kind of result you’re likely to see if executed well enough.

 

Below is the manuscript for this particular talk, spoken at the Business Theatre at the ever eventful Pharmacy Show 2018. Please do get in touch with me if you’re thinking about marketing digitally to your Community.  

Slide 2

The smartphone has completely changed human behavior. It’s changed the way we walk. Pre-mobile, human beings used to walk safely, in a straight line, conscious of the destination ahead of us. Post-mobile, this simple task has become a real safety hazard. In America, it’s estimated that around 6000 accidents happen every single year due to texting and walking. We’re completely oblivious to the world around us.

 

It’s changed the way we wake up in the morning too. How many of you, before you do anything, reach for your mobile and start scrolling in bed? I know a lot of you do because I do it too. In fact, I’ve had to work really hard to change my habits recently because my partner believed I was having an affair…..with LinkedIn.

 

And of course, it’s transformed the way we communicate. Social Media and Apps have made cellular data a thing of the past and are now the primary way we talk to each other. It’s staggering to think how many social channels of communication we use through our mobile every day. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat – the list goes on.  

Slide 3

Here are just some of the latest statistics around the use of mobile and Social Media in the UK that will help you understand its influence better:  

  • 53 million of us (that’s 80% of the whole population) use the internet through our mobiles and 44 million are active social media. We spend on average around 5 hours a day on the internet and 2 hours a day on Social.

 

  • Smartphones are responsible for 38% of the total web traffic, which is a 10% increase year on year, while on desktop, although the share is larger at 51%, this is actually a reduction of 3% year on year. It won’t be too long before mobile traffic overtakes.

 

  • And 44 million of us use Facebook every month, 86% of which use it through their mobile and around 500,000 new people aged over 55 become active on Facebook, every single year. My mum, who’s aged 68, is an addict. A Facebook addict that is. It’s frightening how quick she responds to a post I put up online.

 

Slide 4

The point I’m making here is that the smartphone and social media are now fully integrated into human nature and affects pretty much every aspect of our lives. It’s altered the way we conduct our business and leisure and has a huge impact on our decision-making process.

 

That’s precisely why businesses incorporate these things into their overall business model. It’s the quickest way to communicate with their customer, let alone the most cost-effective.  

Slide 5

In terms of a Community Pharmacy, communicating with a customer or patient digitally offers plenty of benefits:  

  • It means we can talk to them beyond our four brick walls. We can talk to them actively in real-time and we can talk to them passively, 24-hours of the day, just by having content up online – such as a website.

 

  • We can talk to 10,000 people at the same time who live all around your pharmacy, at the simple click of a button.

 

  • If you’re looking to promote the new pregnancy pillow you just got in stock, you can choose to talk to only 100 of those 10,000 people who are women and who are likely to be pregnant.

 

  • And you can track how well you’re communicating the pregnancy pillow to these people.

 

  • Talking to people digitally can drive them to take action online or walk into your store.

 

  • You’ll save money on paper and traditional marketing methods.

 

  • And finally, it allows you to compete against other organisations offering similar services and who are talking to their customers digitally.

 

Slide 6

Engaging with your customers and patients in this manner is part of the vast sphere of Digital Marketing. This isn’t a new concept. It’s been around since the 1990’s when email first became free for the public to use, Google was born and the world was experiencing the dot-com boom.  

 

However, Community Pharmacy, particularly the Independent Sector has never really grasped Digital Marketing. There remains a big pandemic of a lack of online presence and it’s easy to understand why. For years and years, we simply didn’t need to market ourselves so much. We were doing just fine organically from dispensing items. Good customer service, in-store marketing and a good relationship with the Dr was doing the job, so why change?  

 

However, with the evolution of Digital Health and mobile technology in recent years, our health demands have changed. We want to communicate with a healthcare professional right away. We want our medicine to be delivered to our door and the very next day. And we want to access healthcare services as quickly as possible.  

 

While elements of the previous business model we adopted are undoubtedly important, we must now incorporate digital health into the overall strategy and a significant arm of that involves digital marketing.  

 

Digital marketing must be involved in protecting your business from the emerging competition who are providing similar services more conveniently. It must be involved in generating new streams of income to counteract the significant loss in dispensing fees we suffered not so long ago. It must be involved in effectively engaging with your Community now and in the future.  

 

Let’s take a look at how digital marketing can be applied to your business and what opportunities will exist for you…  

Slide 7

Just before I get into the juicy bits, let me give you a 30-second synopsis of me and what I do. I’m a Community Pharmacist of 12 years and counting, but in 2014, I took a break from practice and dived head first into online and technology sector. I taught myself how to build websites, learned how to create high-quality digital media and have been perfecting digital marketing ever since.  

 

At the beginning of 2017, to help with the pandemic I explained earlier, I launched a digital marketing agency that focuses primarily on the Community Pharmacy sector. Through trial and error, keeping up to date with the latest social and digital trends, and evaluating data and feedback, we know which channels make a real difference to your pharmacy business.  

Slide 8

 

Pharmacy in the Digital Age

Speaking at the Pharmacy Show 2018

 

Now, first and foremost, you need a website. Think of this as the central hub for your digital marketing activity and your digital shop window. This tool is what is going to speak to your customers 24 hours a day and it allows for an abundance of interactivity.  

 

Take a look at this example of a good, very affordable Community Pharmacy website.  

 

  • It’s mobile responsive, which is absolutely mandatory today. A customer will turn away if they have to pinch the screen to zoom in on things. Google also penalises websites that aren’t mobile responsive too.

 

  • It’s very well presented, clean and professional. You know the saying… “ A first impression always counts always counts”. Well, it applies to your website too. A website like this gives the user confidence from the word “go”.

 

  • It allows for the user to nominate the pharmacy for EPS right from the website itself without the need to fill in a paper form.

 

  • Users can also sign up and reorder their prescription on the go, catering to how we behave right now.

 

  • They can also book an appointment for the Travel and Flu clinic without the need to call the pharmacy.

 

  • The integration of these PGDs makes this business an all-round holistic health centre. An Online Doctor functionality allows for many prescription items to be sold digitally.

 

  • And of course, all activity can be tracked on a website because of the data it creates. Google Analytics can help us with this and will tell us what’s working and how customers are behaving.
  •  

But there remains a problem. It’s fantastic that we can provide all these wonderful services, but they render useless if people don’t know they exist.  

 

Q. So, how do we get more people to know about and use these services?

 

Well, we have to shout out about them, consistently. Let me show you how you can do that…  

Slide 9

Creating good quality content in the form of a blog, which is usually incorporated into your website, will help people find your services much more effectively. That’s because it caters for how we are searching for services in the first place.  

 

3.5 billion searches are made on Google every day. When people are looking for a service they want to use today, they don’t type the name of a business into Google, they type exactly what service they want to find. We call these search terms, “keywords”.  

 

This is a blog for a pharmacy down in Luton. We developed a blogging calendar to create articles focusing on the “keywords” that would promote the services they offer in store. One of those services is the morning after pill service. So we created and optimised an article for the keyword “morning after pill Luton” – that’s what people are searching for online in Luton.  

 

After only 3 weeks of publishing, the blog post positioned itself high on the first page of Google. This means that every time someone searches for this specific term, they’re likely to see this article. We just positioned this pharmacy service ahead of Boots, Tesco and Lloyd online.  

 

And the analytics tell us everything. Eight people clicked onto the article last month from the 63 impressions it received. With the correct optimisation, you can position all of your pharmacy services like this. More visibility means more traffic, which increases the likeliness of conversions.  

Slide 10

On the subject of Google, your Google My Business profile is an equally effective, if not more important marketing channel.  

 

When you type the exact name of your business into Google, you’ll see a profile appear, like the one you can see in the corner of the map there. It holds vital information regarding your pharmacy. That’s your Google My Business profile.  

 

Question. How many of you have owned and verified your pharmacy on Google?  

 

For those of you that haven’t, you could be losing business.  

 

You see, Google automatically populates information about your pharmacy on your profile, according to what they know. But, that information can be inaccurate. Wrong opening times and contact information is a very popular one I see. You can only manage that information if you’ve owned and verified it.  

 

If you can understand that your profile is viewed literally 1000’s of times every month, then you’ll know how important this is. You can also add photos of your pharmacy and you can even add secondary categories to your profile too.  

 

For example, this pharmacy down in Birmingham is also a travel clinic. So, in addition to the primary category, which is a pharmacy, we’ve added the secondary category as a “travel clinic”. So, now, when someone types in “travel clinic south birmingham” into Google Maps, this pharmacy will appear as a listing, nicely trumping its competition with all those stars there from customer reviews.    

 

This tool also allows you to publish posts and it’s continuously being updated with a load of cool features. For example, only recently did they add a “services” functionality to the profile, which is perfect for a Community Pharmacy.  

Slide 11

Another channel which I class as “essential” for Community Pharmacy is Facebook. Now, I won’t go into too much detail with this social media channel because it’s functionality and marketing tools are so vast that I’d need another 30-minute slot to fit it in.  

 

Rather, I’m just going to focus on the most important aspect of Facebook for Business today, which is, Facebook Ads. Paid advertising on Facebook is without a doubt the most effective and cost-efficient way to reach your preferred type of customer, and lots of them.  

 

Why?  

 

Because Facebook knows everything about you. Your gender, your age, where you live, where you work, where you have been on holiday and that you prefer to read articles from Pharmacy Mentor rather than the Chemist and Druggist. The amount of data it holds about you is scary.  

 

As an example of how effective Facebook Ads can be, we created an Ad for a pharmacy, again, down in Birmingham, to promote the launch of its travel clinic. We spent £10 and targeted only the people within a 10-mile radius of the pharmacy, between the ages 18 and 65, and who are interested in travel topics. Two days after publishing, the pharmacy sold £400-worth of Travel Health products to a single customer. And we know that this sale was attributed to the Ad because we asked the guy how he knew about the service.  

 

As another example, for a pharmacy down in Colchester, we pushed a £50 Ad to promote the launch of their travel clinic, targeting similar demographics. The Ad reached 19,000 people in the area, and in that first month, the pharmacy completed 11 consultations and totaled £1,200 net profit. Again, we know the Ad influenced people because we asked them how they knew about the service.  

 

Now, Facebook Ads work even better when they are linked to another digital channel where an action can be performed. For example, we can track how many people will fill out your travel consultation form, which will give us even more accurate data.  

 

Facebook is an extremely innovative tool. They’ve recently released a new Ads objective which is designed to increase visits to your store. This means you can create an Ad that will only be pushed out to a person when they reach a certain proximity to your pharmacy. And Facebook will track, through geolocation technology, if that person went into your store because of that Ad. Really clever stuff and that just shows you how advanced advertising is becoming.  

Slide 12

The last Channel I want to dive into at this depth is LinkedIn. Now, a lot of pharmacy owners question this tool, so let me explain how it can benefit you.   Every Social Media channel has its own unique set of demographics and functionality.  

 

For Instagram, the younger female demographic represent most of its user base, and it’s heavily image-based.  

 

For Pinterest, only 7% of users are men, the median age is 40 and again, content is only images and videos.  

 

But for LinkedIn, most users are professionals and it’s excellent for building relationships and growing a network of people that matter to you.   So, who matter to you and your Pharmacy?  

 

  • People in the locality do
  • Businesses in the locality too
  • Care Homes
  • Hospitals
  • GP Surgeries, and whoever else you think a relationship would benefit your business

 

So, connecting with all of these guys on LinkedIn will allow you to begin building better relationships which develop leads.  

 

As a prime example for this time of year, LinkedIn will be great for pushing your flu jab service.  

 

Take a look at this pharmacy. We began pushing out content promoting a Corporate Flu Vaccination Service, where the pharmacist would set up a clinic at their place of work. After only one published post, we received an email inquiry from a company we’re connected with. We’ve now secured a date to vaccinate a potential 80 staff.  

 

LinkedIn also allows you to message people directly which is a brilliant way to develop relationships. Think of this as the new way of direct outreach, taking the place of cold calling and email.  

 

As an example, say you’re looking to attain more Care Homes for your business. Connect with all the Care Home managers in your region (and they are on LinkedIn) and send them a message to say hello. Because they can see who you are from your profile, you’ve already developed an element of trust. That’s the beauty of it. From there, you can begin to offer your services and they’re more likely to do business with you. As you know, business is all about building long-lasting, good relationships and LinkedIn is a great tool for it.  

Slide 13

Now I’ve only mentioned a handful of channels here but there are plenty, plenty more. I just don’t have time to go through them all right now.  

 

However, let me give you a brief insight into some other tools that can be considered:  

 

  • Email marketing is huge and can have a serious impact on a business, but is complex and requires time.

 

  • So, an alternative to this could be using the digital loyalty scheme from Swipii, who market by email for you.

 

  • Pointy is a product that helps increase the visibility of your shop products on Google by creating a listing for each of them online.

 

  • PharmZap is a new app that allows for easy communication between patient and pharmacy.

 

  • WhatsApp Business has been specifically designed for Small Business owners, such as pharmacies. I reckon this could be very powerful for us because everyone use WhatsApp.

 

  • Pharmacy Flu Jabs is an online flu jab directory that helps market your flu jab service.

 

  • Instagram, particularly using Ads, can be a very powerful brand awareness tool.

 

  • And don’t forget your NHS Choices profile too. It’s a marketing channel. Upload images, videos and increase your 5-star reviews to help influence the user to use your services.

 

Slide 14

I sometimes see, on Social Media, funnily enough, other pharmacists criticising digital competitors, which makes me a bit sad. These competitors are simply responding to the problems that people face in the current health system and their demands. The fact is, we want to be treated quicker than ever before and the process to be as simple as possible. Fair play.  

 

But Community Pharmacy, rather than be phased by this, should see them as a catalyst for action. We need to protect and influence the people and businesses around us – not nationally.  

 

Those companies cannot offer the most valuable form of patient care, which is, face-to-face care. They can’t protect them against the flu this winter nor immunise them before they go travelling. Your pharmacy has a great deal to shout out about and by harnessing some of these digital tools, you can provide the best of both worlds to your community.  

Slide 15

I hope that, from what you’ve seen in this presentation today, it’s clear that the smartphone, it’s apps and social media represent a significant opportunity for Community Pharmacy. They are part of Digital Health which is right now and the future. For the effective sustainability and growth of your business, they should absolutely be considered as part of your overall strategy.  

 

Some of you will probably be thinking “Well, how on earth am I going to implement all of that? I don’t have the time nor the skill to execute.”   You’re right. Time is a huge limiting factor. But digital marketing is a journey, not a sprint. It can be implemented gradually and adjusted accordingly so you’re only focussing on the things that work.  

 

If you can do some of it, or a competent member of staff could take some tasks on, then that’s great. And of course, you have external help too. You know more than me that it’s all about utilising every possible resource you have available.  

 

I must also emphasise on the word “strategy”. For pretty much any business activity, following a strategy always churns out better results. The same goes for digital marketing – plan it into the business model and then execute it.  

 

And take note that the digital world is constantly evolving. So you must assess how well your strategy is working on a regular basis. The same strategy you were employing 6-months back will probably not work as well as it does today.  

 

Think mobile. Think social. And drive your pharmacy into the digital future.  

 


 

If you’d like to talk to me about getting digital, or anything related, please feel free to contact me and I’d be glad to assist you. Also, don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Guide to Driving Your Pharmacy Business in the Digital Age, a free 70-page manual, that is really helping pharmacists understand the importance of going digital and how to create a strategy going forward.

 

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

 

 

DRIVING ACQUISITION, VISIBILITY AND RECOGNITION FOR MY LOCUM CHOICEDRIVING ACQUISITION, VISIBILITY AND RECOGNITION FOR MY LOCUM CHOICE
My Locum Choice - A UK-leading locum platform for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals

The boys from My Locum Choice, finalists at the C&D award ceremony 2017

“Excellent help and support. Bringing pharmacy forward. Has developed and is driving a digital strategy for our company that is growing and engaging our audience, but is also helping us acquire new clients.”
Mitesh Shah – Chief Executive Officer

About

My Locum Choice is one of the UK’s leading agency for locum pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Their innovative online platform provides an all-round solution for their clients.

Challenges

Although the directors were relatively active on Social Media, there wasn’t a clear and defined strategy that was leading to growth and acquisition. Furthermore, their social activity ate up vital time that was required for other business activity.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor works closely with the team to develop a solid strategy and then executes The Social Media and Search Engine BOOSTER Pack, with more a focus on Facebook, LinkedIn and SEO.

Results

Completely revamped their blog and developed The Ultimate Guide to Locum Pharmacy as their cornerstone article. User experience is greatly improved. Creating highly targeted blog content on a monthly basis to position their company higher on Google for a number of important keywords.

A significant increase in engagement and audience numbers across Facebook and LinkedIn. Social activity is leading to an increase in client acquisition, but the time freed up is allowing the directors to focus on other aspects of the business, including client retention.

Saam Ali - The Pharmacy Mentor

If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on online presence, then please get in touch with me and I’ll be glad to help.

Promoting Dementia Awareness as part of a HLP Campaign we launched

Promoting Dementia Awareness as part of a Healthy Living Pharmacy Campaign we launched

“Pharmacy Mentor are currently managing our Social Media strategy (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google My Business) and we’re very happy with the quality of posts being published. Since we went digital, we have noticed an increase in footfall to our pharmacy and by tagging local businesses in our posts, we’re creating better relationships in the area.”
Huma – Director and Superintendent Pharmacist

About

Dr Pharmacy is an Independent Contractor situated in Luton and is the only pharmacy that is open from 9am until Midnight, 365 days a year in the whole of North London.

Challenges

The Director and Superintendent Pharmacist of this business further educated herself on the importance of Social Media for Community Pharmacy and understood that going digital provided an opportunity to engage the local community better. However, due to a lack of time and expertise, she needed help in implementing and managing this part of her business.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor executes The Social Media Driver Pack and then upgrades and continues to implement The targeted Social Media GROWTH and Search Engine BOOSTER Pack.

Results

TARGETED audience growth across all social channels has been growing steadily with growth spikes occurring when doing paid Facebook Ads. These targeted Ads typically reach between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the local and surrounding areas. Huma, the director, believes there has been a noticeable change in footfall since implementing a social media strategy. Tagging local businesses and important local authorities, such as the NHS Luton CCG, is provoking shares and comments across their pages to help build brand awareness and improve relationships

Recently created a blog attached to their website and now producing highly targeted content to promote their pharmacy services in the area (local SEO). Already gaining traction with comments from the public but will update with results as this matures.


If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on online presence, then please get in touch with us and we’d be glad to help.