3 Things To Know Before You Advertise Your Pharmacy on Facebook

Obviously advertising on Facebook is lucrative, even for small brick and mortars like an independent pharmacy.  Just look at the stats:

  • Users are accessing Facebook on average 8 times per day and spending 35 minutes of their day perusing their newsfeed.
  • 44% of moms say they purchase from a business they like on Facebook.
  • 77% of businesses said they acquired new customers from Facebook.
  • 51% of your Facebook fans say they are likely to buy from you.

With so much potential, why then are so many small businesses failing to see a return on their Facebook advertising?

Why are independent pharmacies struggling to see their advertising dollars turn into profit?

Great questions…

However, you and I know the answer…

You can’t just throw money at a problem.  Even though there’s the gold to be had, it doesn’t mean anyone can get it by opening up their wallet.

If the show Gold Rush has taught us anything, it’s that you better know what you’re doing if you plan on finding gold in the Yukon because deep pockets don’t mean a thing.

The same can be said for Facebook. There’s definitely riches to be made, even by us small business owners, but you better know what you’re doing before you start digging.

So let’s dive into 3 things you better know as a pharmacy owner before you can expect to strike gold on Facebook.

Budget

Of course, your overall budget for Facebook ads is going to determine a lot of what you can and cannot do. Without a clearly defined budget, you’ll simply be throwing darts, hoping to hit a bullseye.  Just imagine trying to build a new home without a clear budget in mind. How big of a disaster would that be?

The good news is that budgets as low as $100 per month can still be extremely successful on Facebook, especially for local brick and mortar businesses like independent pharmacies. With the right copy, image, and targeting, you can get engagement for as little as 3 cents.

Let’s do some quick math.

With a $100 budget at 3 cents per engagement, you’ll have the opportunity to impact 3,333 people every month. If even 1% of those engagements result in a sale, that’s an extra 33 sales per month.  If the average purchase was $40 of which you profited $20, you just turned $100 into $660 in profit.  Wouldn’t that be a nice boost in your monthly numbers?

But there’s more…

Lifetime Value of a Customer

There’s even better news.. That return of $660 is based on those customers only purchasing one item one time.

Of course, with exceptional customer service and knowing that a current customer is much more likely to make a purchase than a cold prospect, we can expect those 33 new customers to make more than just one purchase. In fact, if we can convert them to patients at our pharmacy, we can ensure they’re making monthly purchases via their prescriptions thereby giving us a 10X+ return.

So let’s do some more math.

Knowing that the average person gets 12.6 prescriptions annually and the average gross profit per prescription is $11.87, we can calculate that those 33 new patients have the potential to add ~$4,900 to our profit at the end of the year.  Again, not too shabby of a return on $100.

Of course, that number is inflated because we’re assuming all 33 people will become patients at your pharmacy. That’s not likely. But even if just one of those 33 people convert to a patient, we make $20 from the initial sale and then $150 from their annual prescriptions. So even at that, your initial $100 investment in Facebook ads results in $170 of profit annually. There’s not a business owner in the world that wouldn’t make that investment.  And remember, that’s assuming they never buy an OTC item, dietary supplement, or gift.  Impressive, right?

Wait a minute though because we’re still being shortsighted. That’s just the annual value of a customer (ACV), not the lifetime value (LCV).  Let’s assume your average patient stays with your pharmacy for 10 years.  Worst case scenario, you spent $100 to get a patient that has a lifetime value of $1,570, again assuming they never purchase a gift, OTC item, or dietary supplement over that ten year period. Still impressive, right?

So why is knowing your LCV important before advertising on Facebook?

Because then you know how much you can spend on acquiring a lead and immediately know if a marketing campaign will be worth a shot.  All you have to do is plug in the numbers and work backward and within a few minutes, you’ll be able to tell with pretty good certainty if the marketing campaign will make or lose you money.

If the numbers above are correct, assuming a 1% conversion for the Facebook ad, then a 3% conversion for a customer to a patient, and an annual customer profit of $170, you can technically spend up to $170 to acquire a patient. Any campaign that estimates higher than that won’t be worth it, while any campaign lower than that will result in a profit. Choosing the winners from losers becomes as clear as day once you know the LCV or ACV.

And  remember, as marketers often say, the company that can spend more to acquire leads and still make a profit are the companies that usually win the war

Side note: Psychologically, knowing your LCV also tends to take the sting out paying Facebook for your ads monthly. Because marketing campaigns often don’t result in an immediate sale, it can be painful to see $100 ad expense vanish in thin air.  By calculating the LCV, you make the expense tangible because as long as you’re hitting your marketing benchmarks, you know your marketing is turning a profit.

Goal

Now, this is going to seem to completely rebuke what I just said above, but hear me out. There will be times where your marketing campaign will lose you money, and that’s 100% fine.

How so?

It depends on the goal.

An awareness campaign will rarely result in an immediate sale. In fact, it can sometimes take up to 3-6 months to result in a sale. And, as an astute business owner,  you should know that because the entire goal of the campaign is to create awareness, not make a direct sale.

Why not?

Every customer you advertise to won’t be on the same level in the purchase decision chain. Some won’t even know you exist, and I can guarantee you those potential customers won’t buy from you the first time they see your ad. You have to build a relationship with them first. They have to get to know, like, and trust you before they pay for the solution you’re offering. And the only way to do that is with awareness campaigns that help build that relationship so that when they do need your help, you’re “top of mind and tip of the tongue.”

So by establishing the goal before the marketing campaign, you select the right metrics to track it and don’t overreact on metrics that don’t matter. Makes sense, right?

The Nuts and Bolt

If you want to succeed on Facebook as a pharmacy owner, which you should because it’s a goldmine, make sure you:

  • Clearly state the goal of the campaign.
  • Clearly state the budget for the campaign.
  • Determine at minimum the annual profit of each customer, or if you can, the lifetime value of the customer.
*https://www.drugchannels.net/2018/01/new-data-pharmacy-owners-profits-fall.html

Retail Prescription Drugs Filled at Pharmacies (Annual per Capita)

How to Make Your Pharmacy Facebook Ads Stand Out and Bring in New Patients.

But, what do I say?

There are very few things worse than a blank page, especially if it’s the copy for an ad you’re about to spend money on.

Worse yet, every astute marketer on Facebook knows that if you want to be successful on that platform and turn prospects into patients, you need two things: 1) the right audience. 2) the right message. If you screw one of those things up, you’ve essentially just flushed your hard-earned marketing dollars down the toilet.

So, as a pharmacy, what should you write in your ads?

  • A bunch of testimonials from satisfied patients showing potential patients how awesome you are?
  • A new offer hoping to entice new people to visit your pharmacy?
  • A discount or coupon hoping to get new and existing patients in the door?
  • A generic about us with your hours, phone number, and address to build awareness?
  • A hook talking about your uniqueness hoping to steal unsatisfied patients from another pharmacy?
  • A personal introduction so potential patients can get to know you?
  • An article about a pharmacy issue in the news such as the recent Losartan recall to add value in your patients’ lives?

I don’t know. (You weren’t expecting that answer, were you?)

But, I do know where to find your answer.

Instead of guessing what your potential patients want to hear, here are three places I go before I write an ad so that I increase the likelihood of having success on Facebook.

  1. Your competitor’s page

Recently Facebook made it easy to spy on your competitor’s Facebook ads. Like you, I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars in my marketing budget. However, some of my competitors do, and as Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

So, why not take a peek at what some of my big competitors are doing. They’ve probably spent thousands of dollars testing various ads, and are only advertising the winning ones. Wouldn’t that save you a lot of time and money?

Here’s how I did it for a Facebook campaign I’ve been working on for an Rx discount card company. Because our budget was small, I knew it’d take a while to find the right audience and the right message. I also knew we had a major competitor, GoodRx, who has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on digital ads. So instead of reinvesting the wheel, I went over to the GoodRx Facebook page, clicked the link circled in the image below, and looked at their ads. Bam. Instant ideas.

  1. Reddit

No one likes being talked down to. No one likes hearing someone talk about himself. No one likes listening to fancy words that mean nothing to them.

If you want your ad to stop the prospect from scrolling by it and make her instantly say in her head as she reads it, “That sounds like what I need.“, you have to talk exactly how your patient talks. So, instead of hypertension, we say high blood pressure. Instead of hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol. Instead of an elevated INR, we say the blood is too thin.

Unfortunately, the more knowledge we accrue, the more we suffer from the curse of knowledge in our communication. Pharmacists, just like other medical providers, are prone to this.

So, we need to familiarize ourselves with how our patients are talking about their issues so that when we advertise our solution, we can fit right into the conversation without any awkwardness. Of course, our best option would be to talk directly to our existing patients and write down key phrases they use, what questions keep popping up, and what the real burning pain is. However, that’s not always possible.

Luckily for us, Reddit has a forum for almost every possible problem in the world today. Within minutes of finding the right subreddit, you’ll find key phrases, common questions, and burning pains that your potential patients are using that will turn your ad’s copy into a showstopper.

For example, I was working on a Facebook ad for a pharmacy that is adding compounding for BHRT patients.

Unfortunately, the pharmacy I work at is a small, independent retail pharmacy that does almost zero compounding. Thus, the BHRT patients we see are few and far between, who are usually just on oral estradiol. Although I’ve read books plenty of BHRT books, I was unfamiliar with how the patients exactly talk about it. Thus, I had little experience in this niche.

And to make matters more difficult, because this pharmacy was just adding BHRT compounding to its services, they had little to offer me either.

So, I dove into Reddit and found all kinds of phrases, burning pains, and common questions that we used in the ads, blogs, and articles. Although results weren’t instant, we slowly and profitably started adding BHRT patients to their pharmacy.

Amazon.com

Much like Reddit, Amazon offers a sneak peek into how our potential patients talk about their problems. How? In the reviews of books and supplements in your problem’s niche.

I tend to like the Amazon.com reviews better than Reddit because the reviews will not only give you ideas about what they don’t like or hasn’t worked, but they’ll also give you ideas about what they really liked and what they’d spend money on. For some of the products and services in our gyms, we’ve used ideas from Amazon to make those products/services more appealing and thus more profitable.

When I was doing the ads for the pharmacy interested in adding BHRT above, I also used Amazon.com to get inside the patient’s head.

Conclusion


I know this sounds tedious and boring, but as Abe Lincoln once said, “Give me 6 hours to cut down a tree, and I’ll spend the first 4 hours sharpening the ax.” The right phrase in your ad copy can mean the difference between a crazy successful ad that brings in new patients every month and an ad that does nothing but cost you money.

 

How Long Does Facebook Marketing Take To Work For My Pharmacy?

“It feels as if I’m wasting my money. I advertise and nothing happens”

As a pharmacy owner who has tried Facebook ads (or any advertising), you know you’ve said that before.

I feel your pain. I’ve said it before too.

When I first started using Facebook ads, I had read so many great things about it that I assumed I’d put an ad up and within minutes customers would be knocking at my door. Instead, a day would go by and nothing. Another day would pass, and more silence. By the 4th day, I’d pull the ad.

I would do this with all of my advertising, and month-by-month I’d be shocked that I wasn’t growing as much as I thought I would. Finally, after a few years of mediocre growth, I hired a business coach, and that’s when I was reminded of the fundamental truth in all advertising with 10 simple words.

The fundamental truth – people will only buy from you if they know, like, and trust you.

And guess what?

No one is going to get to know, like, and trust you after just ONE ad. In fact, research says it often takes 8+ ads to get someone who doesn’t know you to buy from you.

For example, last night I purchased this 3D printer for my daughter.

I had never dealt with the company before nor have I even heard of them. So, guess how many ads it took me to pull the trigger and make the purchase?

Easily over 12 ads.

The very first ad I saw was a video ad on Facebook. Intrigued by the 3D printer, I clicked the link and went through the website. Although I immediately thought my daughter and nephews would love it, I didn’t make the purchase. I guess I didn’t want to make a $350 impulse buy.

Then the very next day I get on Instagram, and I see another ad for it. Over the next 5 days, I was bombarded with ads for it on Facebook and Instagram (the beauty of the Facebook pixel and remarketing). I watched every video, read every comment under the ads, and learned as much as I could about it. I visited the website at least 5 different times and even had it in my cart 2 different times. Finally, I made the purchase.

Now, if the old me was running that company, I would have given up after the first ad and lost a $350 sale. Not now though. Now that I understand the value of building “top-of-mind-tip-of-tongue” awareness, I would have been relentless just like that company was. Is it any surprise that that company is going to be featured on Shark Tank? They have a great product and know how to market it.

Think about this for a second….

Do you ever purchase anything from a company you don’t have a relationship with after just one ad? Doesn’t it usually take 3, 4, or even 10 ads before you pull the trigger? You’ll read the comments, search for reviews, talk to friends about it, and possibly even email the company before you make the purchase. Right?

So, obviously, our marketing wasn’t the problem. Our patience was.

What’s the takeaway then?

It’s extremely important that if we want to grow, we need to invest in marketing that’s designed to build “top-of-mind-tip-of-tongue” awareness, or as some marketers call it omnipresence.

Why?

Because almost all of the people we’re targeting are probably already patients at another pharmacy. After one ad, they probably aren’t likely to switch over. However, if they keep seeing your face everywhere, read glowing testimonials, and appreciate the value you put out in your content marketing, as soon as they do think about switching pharmacies, you’ll be the first pharmacy they think about.

Right now there are thousands of unhappy patients at Walgreens and Walmart. Between the poor customer service, the long wait times, and the prices, they’re constantly triggered.

Why don’t they leave then?

Simple. They don’t know they have another option. That is unless there’s an astute independent pharmacy owner in their area that’s constantly building top-of-mind-tip-of-tongue awareness.

So how can a pharmacy build “top-of-mind-tip-of-tongue” awareness using Facebook ads?

  1. A Simple 15-second video targeting your entire zip code

This doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy. Some of the most successful videos are made with nothing more than an Iphone. A simple, “Hi, I’m John Smith, owner of John Smith’s pharmacy in Smithville, IL. If you’re not getting great service from your pharmacy, I’d love to have you as a patient.” A few bullets with things like free delivery, no long lines, etc. Bam. It’s done. Budget $5 per day and run it for a few weeks, alternating between a few different videos/ad copies. As soon as the mere thought of switching pharmacies pops in your market’s head, they’ll think of John Smith.

  1. A geo-targeted Facebook ad around the local physicians’ offices

Smart marketers know that if they can get in front of potential customers at the right time, they’ll have a much higher likelihood of turning them into actual customers. When is a person most likely to need your services? You guessed it – after leaving the physician’s office.

With this ad, we’ll drop a pin at the address of the physician’s office, limit it to only mobile devices, and even geofence around the physician’s office so the ad is limited to just the physician office and not the 1-mile radius around it you’re limited to with a pin drop. Our hope is that as patients are browsing Facebook or Instagram on their phones in the waiting room, our ad will pop up with our services. Bam. “Top-of-mind-tip-of-tongue” awareness. Budget $5 per day. This ad can run for months since most people aren’t at the doctor every day.

  1. A geo-targeted Facebook ad around your competitor’s pharmacy.

Not too long ago a pharmacist posted in one of the independent pharmacy Facebook groups I’m a part of about how opening his pharmacy across the street from Walgreens was the best decision he’s made. In his words, Walgreens essentially acts like a funnel for him, bringing in new patients almost daily.

Unfortunately, we all can’t pick up our pharmacy and move it next to a CVS or Walgreens. However, with Facebook ads, we can do it virtually. Drop a pin at the address of your competitor, select only mobile devices, and geo-fence around it so your ads will only be shown to people physically at the pharmacy, not the 1-mile radius dropping a pin is limited to. As Walgreens makes a patient wait 30 minutes for a prescription, he’ll be browsing Facebook, see our ad, and realize there’s a more convenient solution.

Protip: If you know your competitor’s weakness, include that in the ad. For example, the large majority of patients we get from Walmart come to us because of the 30+ minute wait at the Walmart pharmacy. If we were targeting this WalMart, the first line of our ad would say something, “Are you tired of waiting for your prescription? We know your time is limited so we can get you in and out of the pharmacy in 10 minutes.” A $5 per day budget is ideal. This ad can run for months since patients will see it infrequently.

What were those 10 simple words that completely changed how I advertise?

If they don’t know you, they won’t buy from you.

Top-of-Mind-Tip-of-Tongue Awareness.

Why Dr. Mercola is making more money than your compounding pharmacy…

Whether you agree with him or not, Dr. Mercola is a success. Estimates have him raking in $15 million annually from his various online businesses.

That’s a lot of revenue from someone who sells questionable supplements/advice and is often referred to as a quack by traditional healthcare providers.

So how does he do it? Or, more specifically, what can we learn from him to improve our pharmacy revenue?

I’ve spent the last few weeks talking to various compounding pharmacy owners about their websites and Facebook pages. Every owner I’ve spoken with is unhappy with their Facebook ads’ performance. And yet, they continue to advertise on Facebook because they see so many other businesses succeeding with it, and they know that’s where their patients spend a lot of their time.

So, how can we fix our Facebook ads?

Easy. Look at Dr. Mercola.

Here are just a few screenshots from Dr. Mercola’s site:

What do you notice?

His face is everywhere. I found all three of those images within 60 seconds of searching his site. I’m sure there are 2,000+ more just like them.

Why is that significant?

Because he understands a fundamental truth in business – People buy from people.

And that simple truth is extremely important to your success on social media and the internet.

Why are pharmacists continually voted as one of the most trusted professions in the U.S.?

Because we’re accessible. A patient of mine can literally walk through my door and be face-to-face with me within 10 steps. Can they do that with their family physician? Can they do that with their dentist? Can they do that with their specialist? No. They can’t even do that with their hairdresser.

But with us, their pharmacist, they can, and it’s because of that accessibility that people KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST us.

Yet, when I began reviewing these compounding pharmacy owners’ websites and Facebook pages, all I saw were stock images, medical jargon, and shared articles that they didn’t even write (and worse yet that only get a few likes on Facebook). Talk about sterile (no pun intended). Where’s the warmth? Where’s the personality? Heck, where’s even the person?

Put yourself in your patient’s shoes.

If I move to your area and am looking for a pharmacy to compound medications that are unique to me, I want to literally see the face of the person doing it. I want to know who is responsible for the safety and accuracy of every prescription I get filled. Don’t you? Isn’t that why you buy insurance from the local guy with the office down the street instead of Geico?

Do you know what the most important page on your website is? Your About Us page. I don’t buy a single thing online without checking the company’s About Us page. I want to see the face behind the business. I want to see the person responsible if I don’t receive the package. I want to see her story. I also want to see some kind of social proof – awards won, accreditations, certifications, customer testimonials, etc.

Pooled together, all of that information puts my mind at ease. It’s as if I’m shopping at the local mom and pop store down the street. I feel a connection, and that connection leads to me KNOWING, LIKING, and TRUSTING that company. And the more those three things happen, the more money I spend.

Doesn’t that make sense?

Isn’t that how you want to do business? Can’t you see how that will increase your business?

Don’t hire a salesperson for your compounding pharmacy. Use Facebook.

More patients.

We all want more patients.

But, we can’t get more patients unless we get more people to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST us. That’s marketing 101. Every marketing tactic, secret, and message attempts to do one of those things no matter how advanced they may seem.

And here’s the problem with compounding pharmacies…

No one KNOWS about you. They don’t know what you do. They don’t know what problems you solve. They don’t know the difference between a compound and a traditional prescription. They don’t even know you exist. Worse yet, neither do most physicians.

So, how do we solve that problem so we can start growing our compounding pharmacy?

Simple. Hire salespeople.

Several years ago I was at a PCCA conference, and hiring salespeople was a hot topic. Almost every owner there had the same issue – not enough people knew about them. So, everyone was asking the same questions:

  • How do I hire a salesperson?
  • How much should I pay them?
  • Should I give them a commission?
  • Should they have technician experience or sales experience?
  • Where do I find a quality one because the last few I had didn’t bring in any new business?

At the time, which was at least 6 years ago, a salesperson was the most logical answer. How else could you get in front of doctors and patients?

But is it still true today?

No. Like with most things, the advancement in technology has disrupted the door-to-door salesperson.

Now Facebook and other platforms are far better and cheaper than most salespeople. Its algorithm has so much data that it in just a few hours it can find you hundreds if not thousands of people just like your current patients interested in your services. The MIT Technology Review even said, “Facebook has collected the most extensive data set ever assembled on human social behavior.”

Just look at this. After just 10 likes, Facebook’s algorithm can more accurately predict your personality than your co-workers can. It takes just 150 likes to out-predict a family member. And most impressive, it takes 300 likes to more accurately predict your personality than your spouse. Impressive, but creepy, right?

Of course, it doesn’t have to be creepy. We can still use it to our advantage without invading someone’s privacy. Here are just a few ways Facebook’s algorithm can help a compounding pharmacy find new leads better than a traditional salesperson.

Facebook as Your Salesperson

A Lookalike Audience from your Email List


Because of HIPAA regulations, I highly recommend you have a promotional email list patients can sign up for that includes news, promotions, etc. If you have that list, you can upload it to Facebook. Facebook will then attempt to match those email addresses with their corresponding Facebook profiles. Once it does, it begins looking at all of the data, finding similarities, differences, etc. You can then have Facebook look for people that are similar to your email subscribers, and then advertise to only those people.

Thus, it’s just like having a salesperson knocking door-to-door or hosting a seminar, but much, much cheaper and much, much easier. In fact, you can then create a video ad and advertise it to just that lookalike audience, and it’s exactly like hosting a seminar for new patients.

A Lookalike Audience from your Video Ad


Let’s say you’re trying to dominate the BHRT niche in your area. You have your most knowledgeable BHRT pharmacist sit down, and you interview her for 5 minutes on the most common questions she receives from patients. You spend 5 minutes and clean up the video using iMovie and then upload it as a Facebook ad. You spend $5 per day and run it for 2 weeks. You get a good response, and your return on ad spend is impressive, but you know it could be better. What do you do?

You could just expand the targeting, but you’ll probably get lower quality leads and in turn, get an increase in your cost per lead. Instead, you can tell Facebook to find a lookalike audience of people that are similar to the people that watched 75% of your video. Facebook, being the amazing salesperson it is, will then go out and find you potential leads that are just like those who watch at least 3 1/2 minutes of your video. I can pretty much guarantee you that if a person sits through 3 and 1/2 minutes of someone talking about estrogen, that person is a good lead.

That’s just two of a hundred different ways Facebook can act like a salesperson you so desperately need. And best of all, it doesn’t require benefits, pay raises, or vacations.

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.

Finding Patients on Facebook for your BHRT Practice

I’ve always been envious of compounding pharmacies. It’s the last true art of pharmacy, one of the few reminders of where we came from as a profession.

For years I wanted to open one. In fact, I came within inches of partnering in one. I did the training at the PCCA, remodeled a 1,000 square foot space, and even became a member of the TCG.  And then the NECC scandal hit, and my partner got cold feet. It was over before it even started. I was devastated.

And that’s the perfect segue into today’s article on growing your BHRT practice with Facebook ads.

Niches = Riches

Niches. It’s all about niches. And for compounding pharmacies, two niches have been extremely profitable – pain and BHRT.

Both are not only extremely lucrative but even more important, extremely rewarding because these patients usually have exhausted all other options and desperately need help. They’re niches in which we, as pharmacists, can truly make a difference.

The problem with niches is although they’re an underserved market, or possibly even completely ignored market, they’re often hard to grow because of their size, and more importantly, scatteredness.  They just don’t cluster, and that can make traditional advertising methods extremely expensive and ineffective when attempting to grow your BHRT practice.

So if not in the newspaper or radio, where should you advertise?

Facebook = Profitable Niche Advertising

Facebook is your answer…

Facebook is great for niche marketing because:

  1. It allows you to narrow down your target market so you can get as specific as possible. Therefore you’re not wasting money on eyes that have no interest in your BHRT practice.  You can finally get a positive ROI on your ads no matter how small the niche.
  2. It’s interactive in real-time. Traditional advertising for the prospect is passive one-way communication. On Facebook, a potential BHRT patient can see your ad, ask a question, and get an immediate response. Unlike traditional pharmacy, BHRT is complex and often the patient knows little about it. Facebook ads allow you to interact, explain, and help all within a  single ad.
  3. You only pay for the action you want, and you can stop the ad immediately. Thus it gives you more control of your budget, allowing you to shut off poor performing ads within seconds and pump more money into rockstar ads immediately.
  4. You can reduce the risk of advertising by testing various ads with various messages to various audiences and find the winning ones immediately without committing to a large upfront payment for a single ad. Most successful Facebook advertisers will test 6-8 different ads using different pictures, text, or audience for less than $100,  find the one (s) that work, and then focus solely on those.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Let’s start advertising on Facebook….. Now!

3 Facebook Audiences for your BHRT Practice

This is where we separate the contenders from the pretenders.  Those pharmacies that have done their research, helped BHRT patients over and over and over again, and listened to them intently will make a ton of money from Facebook ads, while those pharmacies that have only pretended to help BHRT patients and see only dollar signs with every new patient will lose gobs and gobs of money on FB ads.

Why?

Because if you truly know your BHRT market, you will know:

  • their age
  • where they hang out
  • what they read
  • who they listen to
  • what they’ve tried in the past
  • their specific pain points
  • their specific  hopes and dreams
  • their hurdles/obstacles they have to overcome
  • who else is helping them
  • And more…

Knowing all of that, you’ll be able to write the perfect message and target the perfect audience with a Facebook ad, bringing new patients into your BHRT practice for less than $20 per new patient.

How much more profit would you have at the end of the year if you knew you could add tens or hundreds of new patients to your BHRT practice for the cost of just $20 per patient?

Don’t tell me. I’ll just get jealous.

To get things started, here are  3 potential audiences you could target on Facebook if you want to grow your BHRT practice.

20-mile radius around your pharmacy’s location + Women ages 38-55 + Suzanne Somers, Dr. Oz, or Dr. Andrew Weil

  1. A really great patient testimony works really well here, hitting on a common pain point and how she used you to solve it.

20-mile radius around your pharmacy’s location + women ages 38-55 + essential oils, homeopathy, or DoTerra

  1. Again, a really great patient testimony works well here. You can also test a content piece on the use of essential oils for BHRT symptoms and then retarget those that read the article with another ad about BHRT later.

The address of popular BHRT physician’s office + women 38-55 +mobile only.

Of course, those are all just ideas.  You may have a few of your own that work much better. Be creative. Test. Track. Find the winners. Eliminate the losers. That’s Facebook advertising in a nutshell.

3 Facebook Audiences for your Pharmacy You Can’t Ignore

You don’t need to be told that the majority of your patients are on Facebook. That’s pretty much guaranteed since Facebook has literally 2 billion active users and growing.

Thus, you would assume that advertising on Facebook would almost guarantee success.

But it doesn’t.

When I first started using Facebook ads, I’d run an ad for $100 and not get a single lead. There were times I wouldn’t get more than a few likes.

I’m sure you’ve come across the same problem. In fact, I’d be willing to guess that the only ads that ever had success were giveaway type ads.

We’re not alone though. According to a recent survey of small business owners by Weebly, 62% said FB ads were unsuccessful. 

But why?

How could a pond with so, so, so many fish not give us anything more than a nibble?

Or, how could so, so, so many other small businesses have so much success using FB ads, pumping tens of thousands of dollars them and getting 5-10X the return while we can’t even break even on $100?

Just look here. at all of these successful Facebook ad case studies

A search on Google for “successful FB ad case studies is just as mind-boggling with over 185,000,000 hits.

What is going on?

Is it Facebook? Is it us? Is it our industry?

As the old saying goes, “it’s not the arrow, but the archer.”

Why FB Ads isn’t working…

You and I were that guy at the party…..

We showed up at a party on Saturday night where no one knew us, and we started handing out our business cards…. to everyone whether they wanted one or not.

Then, we were shocked when on Monday morning not a single person called to order anything. Not a single sale.

Wrong pond we say….

And you and I are that guy on Facebook.  We put an ad on Facebook to an audience that doesn’t know us, and we expect a sale or a lead soon thereafter.  And when we don’t get one, we blame Facebook.

But, let’s think about it for a second.

How many times have you bought something from a company you’ve never heard of the very first time you saw their ad?

If you’re like me, not once…

That’s why it’s always cheaper to sell to your existing customers than finding new ones. Your current customers already know, like, and trust you so they’ll be much more likely to purchase something from you after seeing a single ad, even if the product/service is brand new.

That’s also why referrals are so powerful, even if the customer has never heard of you. If a friend she already knows, likes, and trusts recommends you, even if she has no relationship with you, she’ll be much more likely to buy than if she saw the ad without a referral.

Relationships matter, especially on a social platform like Facebook.

Of course, you can make a cold audience on Facebook aware of you and plant the seeds for a relationship, but you can’t expect a sale right away. They have to know, like, and trust you first, and that requires a long-term investment and patience.

How to make Facebook ads work right now…

With that said, there are a few audiences that you should be targeting because they do have a higher likelihood of becoming a patient at your pharmacy (or making additional purchases from your pharmacy).

They’re already aware of you, like you, and possibly even trust you too.  They’re ready to be converted. They just need a small reminder or nudge, perhaps in the form of a Facebook ad.

So, who are these people?

We call these audiences warm audiences, and this is where the money is to be made on Facebook.

When you see a Facebook ad case study showing a 10x return on ad spend, it usually involves one of these three audiences.

Your current fans

Of course, this seems like a no-brainer. However, because all of the attention on the Facebook pixel and retargeting, most forget that we already have a group of people that know, like, and trust us. In fact, they like us so much they became a Facebook fan of our page.

Don’t overlook this group. This is a great upsell opportunity thereby improving your profit per patient KPI.  Plus, it’s the easiest ad to run.

But don’t my fans already see my posts? Isn’t this just wasting money?

No. Facebook has continued to decrease the organic reach of your posts, with estimates from 2018 ranging from 1.2-3% of your fans seeing your posts. That means if you have 2,000 fans on your pharmacy’s Facebook page, only 20-60 of those fans see your posts.  Facebook has quickly become a “pay to play” platform.

Here’s how:

After you’ve made a post on your Facebook page, select the blue “Boost Post” button on the lower right side of the post.

When the next window comes up, scroll down to the audience on the left side and choose people who like your page.

Then hit the blue “Boost”  button in the lower right-hand corner.

What works well for this audience:

  • Upsells – sales, new product offerings, new service offerings
  • Successful case studies in the form of long-form testimonials
  • Showcasing rockstar patients and employees

Insider tip: Don’t boost a post instantly, especially if it’s a piece of educational content. Instead, wait a day or two and see how it does organically. If it’s a hit, boost it as you’ll probably see a profitable ROI. If it’s a dud, don’t waste your money.

Current Email Subscribers

Again,  if someone is on your email list, they’ve made it clear they already know, like, and trust you. A person’s email inbox is a sacred thing, and the average person won’t give someone her email address unless she wants what you have.

It should be noted that because of HIPAA, you simply can’t download a list of your patients’ email addresses and upload them to Facebook. Instead, what I recommend, is that you have a separate email opt-in on your website and next to your point-of-sale system that clearly states that opting into this list will result in emails from your pharmacy about sales, coupons, new services, and anything else you think the patient would enjoy.

Here’s how you do it:

Log into your Facebook ads manager.

In the upper right, you’ll see three options: Pixels, Ad Manager, and Audiences. Select Audiences.

Once on the audience’s page, you’ll see a blue button “Create Audience” in the middle of the page. Hit the down arrow and select “Custom Audience.”

Then select the first option on the next page, “Customer File.” Depending on what email provider you use, Facebook can directly upload your email list, or you may have to do it manually by uploading a .csv or .txt file.

Make sure you name the list something you’ll remember like “Ernie’s Pharmacy’s email list.” Once uploaded, it can take a few days for Facebook to create the audience because it has to search its database and find the matching audience.

Once Facebook has created your custom audience from your email subscribers, you can then use that audience any time you create an ad.

You can always view your custom audiences by clicking on the Asset Library in the upper left corner and selecting Audiences from the drop down menu. Eventually, Facebook will show you an estimate on how many people are in each custom audience you’ve created.

What works well with this audience:

  • Upsells – sales, new product offerings, new service offerings
  • Successful case studies in the form of long-form testimonials
  • Showcasing rockstar patients and employees

Insider Tip: 90% of your email subscribers are probably already your patients. However, there will be some that are not. Always include a small call to action at end of your post about how easy it is to become a patient at your pharmacy. More importantly, tell them exactly what they need to do next if they do want to transfer in.

People who have visited your website

This is called retargeting. If you’ve read anything about the Facebook pixel and custom audiences,  you’ve probably heard of this specific audience. Although it may sound complicated, I can assure you it’s not. I’m no computer whiz by any means, and it only took me 5 minutes to set mine up.

The easiest retargeting pixel to set up is to retarget anyone that’s visited your webpage in the last 90 days. That’s a great start. However, because one of our main goals, especially concerning our content marketing, is getting new patients, I suggest retargeting visitors that aren’t current patients but appear to be interested in becoming a new patient.

How?

Simple, assuming you have a page on your website that allows new patients to initiate the transfer online. All you’ll need to do is create a custom audience that’s visited that transfer page and exclude anyone that’s see the thank you page after they’ve successfully initiated the transfer online.

Why exclude the thank you page? Those individuals have already initiated the transfer. We’re only interested in individuals that visited the transfer page but didn’t initiate the transfer online.  There’s no sense in wasting money on people that are already patients.

But if they didn’t initiate the transfer online, doesn’t that mean they didn’t want to become a patient? Aren’t we just wasting money by advertising to them?

Maybe. Or maybe, they got busy with something else and planned on coming back. Or, maybe they didn’t have their Rx numbers with them at the moment. Or, maybe their computer crashed and they couldn’t complete the process. Or, maybe they’re still on the fence about it and need to get to know, like, and trust you a little better.

Who knows. All that’s certain is that they showed interest.

Here’s how you do it:

Log into your Facebook ads manager.

In the upper right, you’ll see three options: Pixels, Ad Manager, and Audiences. Select Audiences.

Once on the audience’s page, you’ll see a blue button “Create Audience” in the middle of the page. Hit the down arrow and select “Custom Audience.”

Everything thus far has been the exact same as in the previous email subscriber audience.

Now, instead of choosing customer file from the window, choose the 2nd option on the list Website Traffic.

This window will pop up:

From the drop down menu that’s circled in red above, choose “People who visited specific webpages.”

Then copy and paste the URL of your transfer page in the empty box.  You will also want to change the past day’s box from 30 to 180.

So at this point, if we saved the audience as is and advertised to this custom audience, we would advertise to anyone that’s landed on the transfer page on our website. But remember, we actually want to exclude those who initiated the online transfer because those individuals have already made the decision to become a patient at your pharmacy.

So before we save this audience we’re going to hit the exclude button in the lower right corner. Then we’re going to do just like above, but now we’re going to paste the link to our thank you page that web visitors see right after they initiate the transfer online.

We then hit Create Audience, and the Facebook pixel on our site will begin working on creating our audience. Depending on how much traffic you get, this could take several weeks to months to populate.

What works well with this audience:

  • Educational content marketing on current popular topics.
  • Testimonials that hit a pain point in the pharmacy industry like long wait times or unfriendly service.
  • Successful case studies hitting various common pain points patients have.
  • Showcasing super employees and patients, and in turn, your culture and personality of your pharmacy.

Insider tip: Often times this audience, because they have less of a relationship with you than the other two, will require more ad exposures to make a decision. Thus, your cost per lead will be higher and the prospect to lead to patient sales cycle will take longer. Don’t quit too early. Have patience.

Conclusion

If you haven’t had success at your pharmacy with Facebook ads, don’t give up. Try these three audiences out. Facebook is too lucrative to ignore. Your patients are there. I guarantee if you don’t interact with them, your competitors will.

How to install and use the Facebook Pixel for your pharmacy

If you don’t have the Facebook pixel installed on your pharmacy’s website, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity your competitors are already taking advantage of. And I mean huge!

What opportunity is that?

Not just cheap advertising, but cheap advertising that works extremely well, even if you’re a tiny pharmacy in an old, sleepy town in rural America.

But first… I’m not a programmer. In fact, I don’t know how to code a single thing. I can perform very basic functions on the WordPress platform so I can update my websites regularly, but that’s it. From a media perspective, I only use two pieces of software, and again, I only perform the basic functions on both – IMovie for videos and Canva for pictures.

As a pharmacy owner, I’m sure your programming skill set matches mine. So before you dismiss this please understand this article is written for people like us.

What is the Facebook pixel

So, if you’ve never advertised on Facebook before or your Facebook advertising consists of just boosting posts, you probably are wondering what a Facebook pixel is.

In a nutshell, it’s a simple piece of code that allows you to track what users from Facebook do on your website. That’s it. And the beauty of it is – If you don’t know how to code, like I don’t, you can still add it to your website in less than 10 minutes using an app. It’s as simple as copying and pasting.  If that even sounds like too much, your website designer can do it for you, and she shouldn’t charge you more than $20 to do it.

Oh yea, and that one simple piece of code can do all of the things I’m about to mention. You just need to install it once and forget about it.

Why should I care though?

Simply put – because it can get you new business ridiculously cheap.

Of course, that’s an extremely generic statement so let’s talk specifics.

Retargeting to warm customers
Wouldn’t it be great if, after the next customer that visits your pharmacy and looks at CBD oil but doesn’t buy it, you could immediately contact her and answer any objections she may have had that led her not to buy it? Or, even offer her a discount that would entice her to purchase it?

Well, that’s exactly what the Facebook pixel can do.

If you write an article on CBD oils on your website and post it on your Facebook page, you can very easily track everyone that saw the article on your Facebook page and clicked on the article. And then, you can create a Facebook ad and target just those Facebook profiles with your ad.

And that means?

You’ll spend less on advertising and make more money because, as you’re well aware, most people don’t make purchases on the spot. It takes time. They look at it, think about it, research it, talk to friends about it, and then once they’re confident it’s the solution for their needs, they buy it.

I purchased a wood pellet grill last spring. It took me two months to decide to make the purchase. Guess who I bought it from? Menard’s. Do you know why? Because I already knew, liked, and trusted Menard’s. I was constantly getting emails and ads from them about their grills so when I was ready to make a purchase, they were at the top of my mind and tip of my tongue despite not being the lowest price.

Warm traffic (people who already know, like, and trust you) is always cheaper to convert than cold traffic (people who have never met you before). Retargeting ensures you’re always spending advertising dollars on warm traffic.

Better Converions – Target only those likely to buy

It always would pain me to advertise in the local paper because it was so inefficient. If I was running an ad for a new breast pump, I knew it would only, despite the newspaper’s circulation of 10,000 people, apply to a small percentage, say 500, of the readers. Yet, I had to pay for all 10,000 sets of eyes. What if I could specifically only target women between the ages of 25-40 who liked the brand Huggies? Wouldn’t that cost me less?

Well, that’s exactly what the Facebook pixel can do.

Facebook, using the power of its algorithm, will only show your ad to people likely to convert. So if you have a coupon for $20 off a brand new breast pump you just added to your pharmacy and create a Facebook conversion ad for it, once the algorithm has enough data, it will only show it to Facebook users that are very similar to the users who clicked on the ad and purchased one. Thus, no more wasted money on eyeballs that have no interest in your ad.

Lookalike Audiences – Finding more customers

If Mrs. Smith, who is a 35-year-old mother of 3 and enjoys fitness, Jason Aldean, and vacationing in Destin, loves your pharmacy, there are probably a hundred of other women just like Mrs. Smith who aren’t patients at you pharmacy but would love to be if they just knew about you. Of course, you could advertise at the events Mrs. Smith attends hoping women like her will be there, but that can get expensive, and you don’t always have time to set up a booth at them. What if there was a way you can find other women just like Mrs. Smith without spending a fortune?

Well, that’s exactly what the Facebook pixel can do.

Let’s say you write an article about the most common natural remedies for menopause. Of course, only women interested in menopause are going to click on the article on your Facebook page and read it. Without the Facebook pixel, you’re limited to fans of your page and their friends that see it through their interaction with the article. However, if the Facebook pixel was installed, you can have Facebook find and create an audience using its powerful algorithm that looks exactly like your fans that read the article. And then once Facebook had found enough interested readers, you can create a Facebook ad that introduces you to them (hint – a testimonial from Mrs. Smith work really well here). How cool and easy is that?

How do I install it?

Step 1 – Create the pixel

This takes no more than a few seconds. Log into your Facebook account that’s associated with your pharmacy’s Facebook page.  On the right side of the page, there’s an arrow. Click on it and then click on “Manage ads.”

You’ll then be taken to your Ads Manager page. Click on the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner and then select pixels.

Select create pixel in the green box.

And that’s it. Your Facebook pixel is created.

Step 2 – Install the pixel

Now you’ll need to install it on your website so it starts collecting data for you. Once your Facebook pixel is created, Facebook will ask you how’d you like to install it on your website.  The installation depends on the platform your website is hosted on.

If a developer created your website from scratch and hosts it on her servers,  you’ll choose the third option and email the code to the developer.

If you can code, you’ll choose the second option and add the code to your website yourself.

If your website is hosted on a platform like Shopify or Wix, you’ll choose the first option.

I use the WordPress platform for my websites primarily because that’s the platform I’m most familiar with. I can add pages, update current pages, add posts to my blog, and change things around with hiring a developer.  So, for me, there are a handful of free WordPress plugins I can add to my website that will add the Facebook Pixel by just copying and pasting my Pixel ID like PixelYourSite and PixelCaffeine.

Step 3 – Create the audiences/conversions

Once the Facebook Pixel is added to your pharmacy’s website, you can begin creating custom audiences and conversions. Of course, depending on the traffic to your website, it may take a few days to a few months to gather enough data to generate these audiences/conversions.

Because the options are unlimited when it comes to custom conversions and audiences, I’ll discuss this step in more detail in a future article. For now, I just want you to get the pixel added to your website so it can start gathering data.

Bonus – How to advertise your consultations

Right now there are a handful of pharmacies charging $150+ for 90-minute consultations in specific niches like weight loss and BHRT. They’re running into a problem though. Although the patients who have completed the consultations absolutely love them, they’re having trouble finding patients like them who would also benefit from a consultation. Even in a large metro area, patients willing to pay $125+ for that service will be spread out so much that advertising to them using traditional methods would return a negative ROI.

The Facebook pixel may be your answer.

An astute marketer with zero coding experience could create a pretty cool “fly trap” using the pixel to retarget a warm audience that could virtually run month after month bringing in high quality leads for no more than a few bucks. How? Let me spitball a little here….

First, I’d review my current patients and find the 5 most common questions they had during their consultations. Once I had those 5 questions, I’d create an article on my website answering each question in detail. I’d post one article per week on my website and post the link on my pharmacy’s Facebook page.

I’d then log into my Facebook ad manager and create a custom audience just for people who visited those articles. That’s it. No one else.

Ordinarily, I’d post the article, wait, and just let Facebook’s algorithm do its magic. However, because I have data from current patients, I can boost the articles for $5-10 targeting specific demographics that are common in my current clients so that the entire process is sped up. This is especially good if your pharmacy’s Facebook page only has a few fans or if there is little interaction on your page.

So I’d review the demographics and interests of my current clients and look for any commonalities. If my niche was BHRT, my clients may all be females ranging in age 45-60 who mentioned Suzanne Somers at some point during the consultation. So I would boost the Facebook post with the link to my first article and only target women between the ages of 45-60 who like Suzanne Somers. Now, because I can do these consultations online with my HIPAA-compliant video chat, my target area can be just my local area, my metro area, my entire state, or my entire region.

Once I’ve boosted a few articles the pixel should have quite a bit of data and my custom audience of visitors to those articles should be pretty large. Now I’m going to create the 2nd ad, and that ad is going to sell my consultation package. I’m only going to show this ad to Facebook users who have read at least one of those 5 articles because a warm audience will always convert better than a cold audience for a package like a BHRT consultation. Now there’s a variety of ads to choose from, but I know for this specific package, leads are more likely to convert from word of mouth, hearing someone just like them explain how much my consultation has helped them. So I’m going to choose a video ad with a testimonial from one of my patients, and at the very end, I’m going to have my call to action – an email, phone number, or messenger account they can contact immediately to set up an appointment.

Of course, it may take more than one testimonial to convince someone your consultation is right for them. So, I’d then set up a third ad with either a different video testimonial or an answer to a common objection clients have said about why they didn’t purchase one. For the third ad, I’d retarget anyone that watched at least 25% of the 2nd ad.

Won’t that be annoying though? Absolutely not. They’ve already raised their hand and said they were interested in what you were offering by reading your articles and watching your client’s video testimonial. Obviously, they’re still in the research stage of the purchase decision so you have to keep in contact with them so when they’re finally ready to buy, you’re top of my mind and tip of the tongue. If they were annoyed, they wouldn’t have read anything.

Pretty cool, right? I know it sounds like a lot, but honestly, it’s much easier than writing a case in therapeutics class. All it takes is a few hours on the weekend. Once it’s done, you set it, check on it weekly, and watch the leads come in week after week after week.

Facebook Location Targeting for Pharmacies

So, you’re probably wondering how my ad popped up in your Facebook newsfeed while you’re at the conference. Right?

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this article. Step-by-step.

But first,  why is advertising on Facebook important for your pharmacy?

Well, it’s no secret that insurance reimbursements are continuing to decline with each passing year.  Making matters worse, expenses keep rising. And if all of that isn’t bad enough mail order pharmacies keep taking our patients.

So with our profit shrinking, we have to make sure our advertising is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – attracting new customers as cheaply as possible.

Enter Facebook ads…

Not only are Facebook ads highly targeted resulting in much lower costs compared to traditional media like newspapers, but almost all of your potential customers are on Facebook. Better yet,  what they see on Facebook is influencing their purchase behaviors.

Take a look at these stats*:

  • 82 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
  • 79 percent of 30 to 49-year-olds online in the U.S. use Facebook.
  • 56 percent of U.S. online users ages 65 and up use Facebook.
  • The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook or one in every six minutes a person will spend online.
  • 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy.
  • 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.

Obviously, the Facebook pond has lots and lots and lots of fish in it, and sweetening the deal, even more, those fish are biting like crazy.

So now the question becomes – What are some Facebook ad ideas to target customers at my pharmacy?

Because this article is talking specifically about using geotargeting to attract more customers to your pharmacy, we’ll focus on that.  However, be well aware that the Facebook ad platform is extremely powerful, and there are plenty of different ad options beyond geotargeting that work extremely well for pharmacies.

Targeting Your Providers

First, let’s look at a Facebook ad you can create if you’re trying to get the attention of prescribers.

If you’re a compounding pharmacy or serve a particular niche in the pharmacy industry, there are probably tens if not hundreds of conferences and seminars your providers attend annually, especially if you have multiple state licenses.

Of course, time and money prevent you from setting up a booth at every conference you’d like to. Heck, attending one conference alone can set you back $2,000.  But, wouldn’t it be nice if you could?

Luckily for you,  advertising your pharmacy services on Facebook using geotargeting allows you to reach the attendees without even being there. All you have to do is create an ad, type in the address of the conference, set the radius you’d like your ads to show up in, and set the date for the conference dates.  Boom. It’s like you’re there, but now it’s only costing you $30.

And if you don’t think the attendees will see it, ask yourself this- How many times were you on Facebook during the last conference you attended? Breaks, during boring presentations, in the hotel room at night, while you’re drinking your cup of coffee in the morning, etc.

So if you specialize in BHRT and can’t make the next A4M conference, no worries. We’ll show you how to create an ad in the next section that the attendees will see while the conference is going on. You can do the same if you specialize in vet medications, and can’t make it to the annual state veterinary conference.

This is the exact ad we used to get your attention for this article.

Insider tip: Although we didn’t use a video in our ad, video does work really well here, especially if you’re dropping a knowledge bomb of significant value.  And if done correctly using the Facebook pixel, you’ll be able to retarget every provider that watched your video with future ads thereby increasing their familiarity with you. Why is this important? Because the golden rule of selling says so. To get someone to buy from you, they have to know you, like, you, and trust you!

Targeting Your Patients

The same thought process can be used to geotarget your patients and potential patients.

Almost every community, no matter how large or how small, has some kind of annual festival. And usually, if you have time, your pharmacy has a booth there.

Well, let’s say this year you’re understaffed and can’t afford to send someone for the 3-day event.  However, you still want to have a presence there.  No worries.

Create an ad, type in the address of the event, set the radius, and schedule it to run on the dates of the event.  Like magic, you’re there but not really.

Of course, this isn’t just for festivals. This can work for any kind of event where a significant number of patients and potential patients will be at.

Insider tip: Offers, especially time-sensitive discounts, work really well here if you have a front end to your pharmacy. Messenger ads also work really well if you’re attempting to sell a consultation. 

Ok, I see you nodding your head like you like what you see. But, how do you create a Facebook geotargeting ad for your pharmacy?

Easy. Just follow these steps.

In the example below, we’re going to pretend we’re a pharmacy that specializes in BHRT. Normally, we try to attend A4M BHRT symposium every year, but this year it’s just not in our budget.  However, we still need to be there somehow because there are too many providers there not to have some kind of presence there.  So 2019’s conference is in Houston, Texas on March 7th-9th. 

Step 1 – Set the location

Once we choose the campaign we’ll be using in our ads manager, we move to the adset page which looks like this –

Simply type in the address of the convention. For this example, I put in 1777 Walker Street, Houston, TX  77010.

Then set the radius. Depending on how populated the area, I choose anywhere from 1-3 miles (less for more populated areas and more for less populated areas).  For this example, I set the radius as 1 mile, which gives me a potential reach of 260,000.

If you notice, Facebook gives you a few different targeting options including:

  • Everyone in this location
  • People who live in this location
  • People recently in this location
  • People traveling in this location

The default option is “everyone in this location.” That is defined as people whose current city on their Facebook profile is that location, as well as anyone determined to be in that location via mobile device.

You can get cute and try testing which one works the best, but I usually leave it at “everyone in this location” even though I may target quite a few people who aren’t at the conference. If the copy of the ad is specific, you shouldn’t get very many oddball clicks thus keeping the cost pretty low.

Of course, if you’re a nerd like me, don’t let me stop you from testing. If there’s one thing you’ll hear over and over again with Facebook marketing is that you need to be testing.  So, if you have the time and interest, go ahead and test.

Step 2 – Set the budget and date

If you scroll down a little further, you’ll have the option of setting the budget and date.

For the budget, although it makes sense to set a lifetime budget on the ad, I usually choose a daily budget.

Here’s why… If you choose a lifetime budget and set the dates for a 4-day timeframe Facebook will be conservative on the first few days so you don’t spend your budget too quickly. However, like most conferences, those first few days are usually the most well attended days. If my ad is working really well those first 2 days, I don’t want Facebook slowing it down because of the lifetime budget concern.  So I’ll usually choose $20 daily budget and adjust it down or up every 24 hours depending on how well it’s doing.

Once the daily budget is set, choose Set a start and end date. Choose one day before the conference begins just in case any attendees get their early. For the end date, I’ll usually choose the end date of the conference as most attendees don’t stay after.

Step 3 – Write your ad

Boom. You’re now ready to write the copy for your ad as well as select the image and the platforms your ad will show up on. That’s for another article though.

*https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/social-media/be-in-the-know-2018-social-media-statistics-you-should-know/