We are living in the era of technology, and this is revolutionising the healthcare industry for both providers and patients. One example is the prevalence of ecommerce pharmacy websites, which not only sell products but are a valued source of advice and services.
This is not only a good business model but also brings convenience and reliability to customers, who can manage their prescriptions and even seek consultations online. However, to drive business growth and connect with the community, it’s essential to have a well planned digital marketing strategy.
Here’s a look at some of the most important dos and don’ts of digital marketing for online pharmacies.
Do create an engaging content strategy
Relevant and helpful content will help to drive traffic to your website and keep users engaged for longer. Develop blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics that inform, educate, and entertain your visitors. Offer insights into common medical complaints, describing the symptoms, causes, and recommending treatments.
Tailor the content towards seasonal variations, such as colds and flu in the winter and hayfever in the summer. Also offer more in depth advice about the proper usage of products and medications that you sell, or services that you offer such as vaccinations or screening tests and checks.
This will help to empower your customers to take charge of their healthcare, and establish your business as a credible and well-informed service provider.
Do make use of email marketing
Email marketing can be overlooked as a marketing tool in this day and age, but in fact it is still one of the most effective ways to communicate with your customers. Use data analytic tools to collect personalised information about your customers, and use it to create segmented email lists.
This will enable you to send emails with the most relevant information to your customers, based on their demographics, previous browsing habits, and preferences. Use targeted emails to share promotions, new products or services, or general healthcare information and advice. Include eye-catching images and keep the content concise and to the point.
Don’t neglect privacy and security
It is crucial not to compromise the privacy of your patients, who may have shared sensitive health data about themselves. Any breaches in security will seriously damage the trust of your customers and could have devastating financial consequences.
Keep cybersecurity measures up to date and ensure that your business complies with data protection laws. Always encrypt and safeguard sensitive information, and be careful about sharing patient’s names on your website, even if it is via a review or social media feed.
Always properly fact-check any information you post, particularly regarding names of medication, and the purpose and use of the product. Before posting blogs on general healthcare tips, have them reviewed by a pharmacist for accuracy. Be especially careful when addressing controversial topics and always provide a well-balanced viewpoint.
Don’t overlook the power of analytics
If you are taking on the responsibility of managing the website yourself, you will understandably have a lot of plates to keep spinning and getting involved in more technical matters might be a low priority. However, monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) will help to accurately measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
This takes the guesswork out of your efforts, ensuring that you focus on only the effective methods to build your ecommerce business. Analytics tools are more user friendly than you might think, and many are free to use at entry level. They can show which pages attract the most traffic and have the most dwell time, and which have high bounce rates, for example.
This allows you to optimise keywords and page content towards meeting customer needs and expectations.
Do make use of social media
Social media can be time consuming, but it increases your online presence and level of community engagement, and helps to drive traffic to your website. Think about which platforms your customers are most likely to use. For example, if you are primarily a B2B service, Linkedin is a good place to start.
Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) are popular platforms with a wide population reach. TikTok tends to have a younger audience, but it is useful if you have a lot of video-based content. Schedule in regular posts that are informative and sometimes entertaining or amusing if possible, but be aware of the regulations of your sector and fact-check all content.
Don’t overwhelm your audience
Digital marketing is a valuable tool, but take care not to misuse it by spamming your audience with too many posts or emails. This will quickly lead customers to disengage and even take their business elsewhere.
It may be tempting to take shortcuts such as purchasing email lists to increase your audience size, but unsolicited emails are more likely to annoy or arouse suspicion than attract new customers. Quality content is more important than quantity.
Do address online reviews
A Google business profile is an excellent way to raise awareness of your business and help it to be more visible in search engine results. However, some business owners avoid setting one up because they are wary of customer reviews. This needn’t be a concern, because in the event that you do get a negative review, you will have the opportunity to respond.
This demonstrates to other customers that you are proactive in your approach to customer service and genuinely care about their experience. Always remain professional and polite, and respond to their concerns promptly, following up with a private message if possible.
Always thank customers for leaving a positive review and encourage them to use your service again in the future.
Do use SEO for local search results
Pharmacies are traditionally at the heart of the local community, relied on for essential services as well as advice and support. They typically have strong relationships with the local GP surgeries and adult social care providers. Therefore optimise your search results for location-based content to help build vital community relationships.