I. Communicate your company philosophy and brand identity
“Well, wait for a second, what’s our brand identity at all? We’re just a pharmacy.” During my consulting sessions I often realised that many pharmacy owners don’t recognise the importance of this topic. While many of them never crystallised their brand identity, some others simply forgot about their core principles in the everyday hustle and bustle. Yes, I’m talking about core principles and not visuals. In order to create the perfect visual elements (brand image), you have to first define who you are and what your company stands for. Below an official definition: A brand identity stems from a company’s mission, brand value proposition, long-term goals, competitive position on the market and relevance to the values and interests of the target audience. It includes the following elements, also known as brand image: - A brand name - A tagline or a slogan (company philosophy) - Colors and graphic styles - A logo and a wordmark and their variations - A style and a typeface - A voice and a tone If you don’t know where to start, I highly recommend filling out the Brand Canvas Model.
II. Easy to understand navigation
Make the navigation on your website easy to understand to create a more pleasant user experience.
The more services you offer, the more complex your company structure gets. As a result of this some pharmacies tend to provide too much information on their websites, ending up in creating a sort of labyrinth, where visitors get lost and can’t ever find, what they were looking for ever again... Okay, maybe I was a bit too dramatic, but you get my point: make the navigation on your website easy to understand! It not only creates a more pleasant user experience but it also makes people stick around longer, which is a prerequisite for getting more leads.
III. Make it personal
You probably wouldn’t stay long on an impersonal website fully loaded with stock photos and “copy & pasted” texts. All your customers want credibility and authentic content and the same applies for grabbing the attention of potential employees while recruiting, so make sure that you invest in creating outstanding visual and written content. You don’t necessarily have to assign the best photographer or content marketing agency in town, but make sure you create high quality pictures and texts for your website. Last but not least, investing in your content also comes very handy while creating your matching social media channels, which directly contributes to your consistent brand image.
IV. Content, content, content...
Remember quantum satis: Do just as little as possible and just as much as necessary.
Do you like quiz? I have a question to you: So what do you think, how many content types are there? We usually tend to think of only two major categories of content: visual and written. While this is technically right, we tend to forget about the roughly 30+ different subcategories. Let me give you some examples. If you already have your photos, videos and main texts done, how about creating an infographic to explain eg. how a digital prescription works in your pharmacy? How about presenting customer testimonials and creating a FAQ section? Or if you really want to take your visual content to the next level, consider 360°-tours. Here below is my minimum recommendation for photo types: - pictures of the pharmacy - team pictures - role-play-pictures (eg. while consulting patients or dispensing medicine) - portraits of the pharmacy owner - portraits of your employees (optional) When it comes to writing texts for your website, stay authentic. Write in a style that reflects your personality and your brand identity. For instance now in 2021 there are roughly 18.500 pharmacies in Germany. So can you imagine how many times they write the same thing over and over again?
Make something unique. Are you a family-centric pharmacy? Show it! Are you involved in social projects? Show it! Are you a highly structure pharmacy with many departments? I guess, you know what to do with it. Make something unique. Are you a family-centric pharmacy? Show it! Are you involved in social projects? Show it! Are you a highly structure pharmacy with many departments? I guess, you know what to do with it.
Another highly important aspect is the conscious usage of keywords. You have probably heard of search engine optimisation (SEO). To make it simple, let’s say someone is searching for a pharmacy close to them that also have a home delivery option on google. In order to be found by this person, you need to provide the matching keywords (pharmacy, home delivery) on your website. Search engines always present websites with relevant content first (ranking), so make sure you always use each and every keyword that matters.
Remember “quantum satis”. Creating content doesn’t mean you have to write a novel. When starting out with the first phase of creation called ideation it’s normal that we have more content than needed and it’s also necessary to come up with different variations. But after this phase a strict skimming process is an absolute must. Do just as little as possible and just as much as necessary. Your visitors will be grateful.
V. Contact and Call-to-Action
If you did all the necessary s
teps to create a remarkable content you wouldn’t want to miss out on your well deserved leads. However it happens way too often, that the most important content pieces are hard to find, outdated or even missing on websites. Information such as opening hours, dates of duty times / emergency service, phone numbers etc. are without doubt the most important information on your homepage and they should be easy to find and constantly updated.
Since the COVID pandemic for community pharmacies there’s a significant fluctuation when it comes to opening hours. Besides keeping your website actualised the easiest way to inform your customer about changes is the integration of your Google my Business profile. Since this is one of the single most important social media platform, I’ll write about this in a separate blog post.
Allow you visitors to contact you directly by linking all your contact options eg. phone numbers and emails. You make communication even simpler by integration chat tools or even chat bots to your website. Since the digital marketplace is getting busier every year, you don’t want to miss out on potential customers. Providing a constant availability is not only attentive but it’s also taken for granted amongst younger audiences.