Blogs can help you reach your patients that are interested in content learn and engage. A well designed blog can also help you build your pharmacy brand.
Blogging may not be right for every pharmacy, but if you’re already active in social and in touch with your customers, it’s an obvious next step.
So what is blogging and how does it help your business?
Well, you’re reading an article on Pharmacy Times, which means you too are interested in content. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon this article as you think through the pros and cons of launching a blog for your pharmacy or perhaps you clicked the link randomly while reading through the weekly newsletter, whatever the case, you are taking the time to learn and engage. That is what a blog helps people do.
Wouldn’t it be great to find new customers by writing engaging content? That is entirely possible. The trick to blogging is making sure that the right people read what you’re writing so be prepared to run some giveaways or offer some paid promotion.
I often think back to a conference my compounding pharmacy sponsored on helping women find balance through hormone therapy. This was well before I had found a passion for social media and looking back, I know I could have reached so many additional people and helped so many women feel better had I leveraged a blog.
If you’re wondering if a blog is right for your pharmacy, see just how many of the questions below you can say "yes" to:
Do you have time to keep the blog fresh or are you willing to pay someone to help out?
As I always note when it comes to any customer engagement tool, you must commit to keeping it fresh. Have a plan to post a new blog post once a week or biweekly and have a few pre-written before you get started to make it easier.
If you don’t have the time to devote to creating content and maintaining a blog, don’t stress. Let a professional help. I have written blog posts for companies and work with them directly to get the content right. If a blog is something your business needs, find a ghost writer that can help make it a reality.
Don’t forget that not all blogs have to be 500 words. Perhaps your blog one week is a checklist of things to clean to stay healthy this spring, while the following week you take a closer look at the best over-the-counter allergy options, blogs don’t have to fit a certain mold.
Are there exciting promotions or health tips your customers want to learn more about?
Think of a company blog as a brand journalism tool for your business. Press releases used to be the main way companies shared information with media and readers, but today, they have a direct link with blogs.
Does your pharmacy have a strong story to tell? Are you involved in a corporate responsibility project that your customers should know about like helping to sign up runners for a good cause 5K? Claypool Hill Pharmacy in Richlands Virginia actively raises money for Susan G. Komen’s association because one of the owner’s wives had breast cancer. If your pharmacy participates in events like this, highlight it on social media. Do you often offer new sales on retail items? Do you offer a special pharmacy service like compounding that your customers may not even realize you offer? If any of these content leads fit your pharmacy you should seriously think about making the info easier to come by and starting a blog.
Just like with social media, you will want to build a content calendar. Plan around the time of year, hot news topics or community events to keep your readers and customers engaged with your blog content.
Is your pharmacy active on social media or does your website have high UMVs?
Nothing feels like more of a waste of time than a blog that goes unread. If you want a pharmacy blog then you need avenues to share it with your customers.
If your pharmacy website is popular and gets high unique monthly views (UMVs) use them to your advantage. Play up your blog on your landing page and draw readers in.
Beyond your webpage, always be promoting your blog on your social pages. Link to full articles and create content to post on any of your social outlets. Recycle old articles when a hot subject hits the news again. Encourage clicks through giveaways and put a little paid beyond your posts to increase views. Paid media buy behind blog posts on Facebook or LinkedIn can lead to new customers.
If you have an app or are regularly sharing newsletters or email updates with your customers use these tool to drive to your blog. If you’re actively engaging customers already a blog is a natural step to help them get a more full understanding of what makes your business different.
Are you hoping to build your brand and be seen as a thought leader in your community and beyond?
When you blog for a business, you are creating content that is seen as a reliable. Your customers will read blogs on staying healthy and take those tips to heart if your business is credible. This provides yet another opportunity for your business to add value and prove just how helpful your pharmacy is to the local community.
Similar to social media content creation, blogs should engage your community partner. If your pharmacy holds a can drive for the Soup-er Bowl, ask the local food bank you support to promote your blog post about the drive on their page. When you sponsor an ad in the local yearbook, ask the school to help promote your blog so that teachers and other community members learn more and more about your business.
By blogging, you can reach outside your local community and share your expertise on an international scale. Perhaps you are hoping to discuss pharmaceutical care for elders with the medical community. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I am dealing with multiple medical issues with my aging mother. Starting a blog will give whatever you are passionate about a format to launch the conversation. By leveraging platforms like LinkedIn you can start to build your credibility and grow your network.
If you decide that a blog is right for your pharmacy just remember that content is king. Keep it fresh and maintain a content calendar so that your blog is helpful and keeps customers engaged.