August 4, 2016
As Bob Dylan would say, “the times they are a changin’”.
This is especially true for the world of digital and mobile marketing and the influence it has on the success of businesses today, including your independent community pharmacy.
Digital and mobile-friendly strategies allow your patients to conveniently access the information they need about your pharmacy, resulting in more profitability for you.
But many independent community pharmacy owners may find even the words “digital marketing” to be intimidating. Sound like you? Don’t fret!
Consider these important aspects of mobile-friendly strategies to improve your pharmacy’s digital marketing efforts, adapted from this list of tips from Small Business Trends.
Most of your patients use digital devices—laptop, smartphone or tablet—to research your pharmacy, so it’s important to have a website that recognizes and is compatible with all of them.
Your website should translate to a variety of devices, including desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.
If features of your website don’t work on some devices, patients are unable to get the most out of it, which can affect their decision to visit your pharmacy or use the services you offer. Just think if a patient tries to refill her prescription from her smartphone, but your website doesn’t support it, what does that say about your business?
Another aspect of a mobile-friendly website is the responsiveness of the actual layout.
When patients visit your website on their phone or tablet, does it display correctly? If patients are forced to zoom in and out or are unable to view the entire page, it may result in them losing interest.
Most website builders offer plenty of mobile responsive templates to choose from, so be sure to double check your website’s design and make adjustments if necessary.
Some patients appreciate the convenience of short message service (SMS) notifications as a way to find out about what’s happening at your pharmacy, or to get notifications when their prescriptions are due for refill or are ready to be picked up.
If you have an updated patient contact list, consider giving them the option to receive text messages.
When you have special offers or exclusive information you want to communicate, send patients on your SMS list a text message. Make sure your texts allow patients to easily click through to your mobile-friendly website for more information.
Social media is so important in today’s marketing world, and you can use it in conjunction with your mobile strategies. Because many patients install social media apps on their mobile phones, it’s an easy way to engage them.
If you do send out text messages or emails to patients, be sure to include a link to your Facebook or Twitter pages, and encourage patients to “like” or “share” your content and engage in conversations with them on social media platforms.
Email newsletters are an effective marketing method, but they have to be tailored to your audience.
With the majority of your patients opening emails on their mobile phones, your emails need to be mobile-responsive.
Don’t use too many large graphics, and include links to push patients to your website and social media channels.
When you provide links to send patients to your website or social media channels, it’s helpful to use a short URL.
Long, confusing URLs may deter patients from clicking on the link, and they’ll miss out on the content you want to them to view.
There are plenty of URL shortening sites that will shorten links for you, such as bit.ly, ow.ly and tinyurl.com, so take advantage of them when sending out text messages and emails.
The popularity of quick response (QR) codes has grown significantly in recent years. And for good reason. They’re a smart way to market a product or service that your pharmacy offers.
When patients scan a QR code with their phone, the code will take them directly to a website that gives them more information.
Using QR codes may sound like it’s above your head, but it’s actually pretty easy. There are numerous online tools that can help you create a QR code for your pharmacy. Consider using the codes in brochures to better explain a condition, on labels to give tips on how to use specific products and medications, or on your prescription bags to lead patients to an interesting page on your website.
Google AdWords, a pay-per-click online advertising method, can help your pharmacy reach potential patients who are searching for the products and services you offer.
When you pay for Google AdWords, you now have the ability to segment mobile searches and manage mobile ads separately. This is great for measuring the mobile traffic your website is receiving, which may directly relate to the success of your mobile marketing strategy efforts.
When you pay for mobile advertisements, you can actually target potential patients based on demographics and geographical areas. By doing so, you’re more likely to get the attention of patients who are actually interested in visiting your pharmacy.
There are a variety of mobile advertising options, such as advertising on social media sites, using a mobile ad network or advertising through mobile applications, so be sure to do your research and figure out what makes the most sense for your pharmacy.
Once you do get patients to your mobile-friendly website, you want them to find it valuable. If your content isn’t good, potential patients will lose interest.
Because patients are using a mobile device, they want the content they see to be short and to-the-point.
Make sure your messaging is quick and easy-to-read, but still provides patients with the valuable information they need in order to decide if they’d like to use your pharmacy’s products or services.
For more ideas on improving your pharmacy’s marketing efforts, check out these 10 high-impact marketing strategies.