Compounding pharmacies – Don’t Waste Money on Facebook Ads.

How are you marketing your compounding pharmacy?

If I had to guess, I bet 90% of your marketing efforts are spent building relationships with local physicians.

For a niche like compounding pharmacy, it’s worked extremely well. Your potential patients are spread out so much that you can’t possibly advertise to them using traditional means like the newspaper so you have to go to the source – the local physician that sees the value in compounding. It’s the perfect watering hole.

You’ve probably received tens if not hundreds of patient referrals from that watering hole alone.  But lately, if I had to guess, over the last few years, as more and more traditional pharmacies are getting squeezed by PBMs and have started compounding to increase margins, you’ve probably noticed less of a return on your efforts. Now “compounding” pharmacies that compound just a few prescriptions per day are wedging their way in between you and your physicians. They’re infiltrating your watering hole, and although it still brings in referrals, it’s not nearly as many as in the past.

That marketing tactic has become a red ocean. 

So what’s the next evolution in your marketing game plan?  Where’s the Blue Ocean?

Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Marketing.

That’s right out of the playbook of big pharma.

But….

You don’t have the million dollar ad budget like Merck. And as mentioned above, traditional advertising mediums don’t work very well for niche services like compounding pharmacy without one. An ad in the local newspaper with a circulation of 20,000 may only 100 potential patients interested in your compounding niche.  Can you honestly get a positive ROI from one ad, when 19,900 of those that see it have no need for your service?

Probably not.

However, that doesn’t mean DTC isn’t a lucrative opportunity. It is. You just have to find the right advertising medium.

That medium is….. Facebook ads.

How is it different from traditional advertising mediums like the newspaper or radio, especially concerning a niche like compounding pharmacy?

  1. You can get really, really specific so you’re not wasting money on eyeballs that have no interest in your service.  For example, if you’re interested in advertising your BHRT service, you can create a Facebook ad that specifically targets women between the ages of 40-55 who live within 10 miles of your pharmacy who like Suzanne Somers.
  2. It’s not a one-way street. You can actually create a conversation within the ad, and thus answer any objections within seconds. The ad has the potential to be the beginning of a long, lucrative relationship.
  3. You can test it without a huge investment. That means you can find the right message with the right offer with the right image before you spend hundreds of dollars. And once you do find that right ad, you can pour more money into it immediately creating a flood of new patients.
  4. It has the potential to go viral which means FREE advertising. If someone comments on your ad, likes it, or shares it, their Facebook friends will see it without you paying for it. Plus, remember the saying “birds of a feather flock together?” If someone comments on your ad because she is interested in it, I bet she has 4 or 5 Facebook friends that would also be interested in it.

Are you starting to see the potential of DTC marketing on Facebook?

If so, are you ready to dive into Facebook right now?

Wait for a second… Let’s take a step back first.

If you’re like most small businesses that are unfamiliar with online marketing, you’ll assume the approach you used in your newspaper and radio ads will work on Facebook.

It won’t

That’s why over half of all small businesses say they aren’t running profitable ads on Facebook.

They’re ignoring the golden rule of online marketing – The message must match the medium.

You don’t want to be the guy that shows up at a party handing out business cards before saying hello. Those “megaphone” messages may work well in traditional advertising mediums, but they fail miserably on Facebook.

People aren’t there to buy. They’re on it to be entertained, to interact, and to find new, interesting things that they think they need. A billboard ad on Facebook will get drowned out by all of the conversations around it.

So before you start advertising on your pharmacy on Facebook, do these three things right now:

  1. Start getting testimonials from your current patients right now.  What’s the one thing you have that these new compounding pharmacies don’t? Hundreds of happy patients willing to share their success stories. Social proof is vitally important in online marketing. You already know the power of word of mouth in the traditional brick and mortar setting. Well, it’s even more powerful online because it can reach thousands of people. Testimonial ads on Facebook, especially a video testimonial work really, really well in a niche like compounding pharmacy (BHRT, pain, nutrition, etc). Just imagine if you had 3 of 4 patients share their story in a video. How powerful would that be?
  2. Get the Facebook pixel installed on your website so you can start building custom audiences and retarget people who visit your website.
  3. Start writing down the most common questions you’re hearing from your current patients. Those questions are the perfect topics for articles, blog posts, and Facebook ads. Content marketing is a critical piece of your online marketing plan.  Your expertise gives you a huge advantage over the competition. You already know what your market wants, the questions it has, and the needs that must be filled. Use that “insider information” to create content that can be shared on Facebook. It will reach far more potential patients for far less than a “here is what I sell” ad you’ll see in the newspaper.

If you’re not advertising your pharmacy on Facebook just yet, you simply cannot continue to ignore the 2 billion user monster that is Facebook. Start doing the 3 things I just mentioned, and keep reading as I’ll post more and more Facebook advertising ideas you can use.

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