Whether you have recently launched a new business or you own a long-established practice, developing a solid veterinary marketing plan is crucial for success. The right plan can boost your presence and reach, expand your existing client base, and help you grow as a business.
However, it’s important to have a clear strategy before launching your marketing activities so that you know where you are and where you want to be. You also need to consider which platforms and channels will help you connect with your existing clients, as well as attract new pet owners in your area.
Should you focus on social media? Email campaigns? Website? Google business listings?
The answer will depend on the nature of your practice and the demographics of your client base. You’ll probably find that you’ll need to launch a selection of veterinary marketing strategies in order to make the biggest impact with your campaigns.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 popular veterinary marketing strategies that you can use to grow your business.
Create a User-Friendly Website
Having a creative, up-to-date, and user-friendly website for your practice is imperative in this day and age. If you don’t already have one, then this should be your first veterinary marketing task. If you do have one, then you should look at ways to improve it so that it feels fresh, modern, informative, and approachable.
When it comes to websites, less is more. Don’t overload your site with too much information as this can be off-putting. Remember, people only usually spend a few minutes on a website, so you need to be clear and straight to the point.
The most important thing is making sure that site visitors can easily find all the information that they need. This includes your location, contact information, a brief introduction about who you are, and what your pricing structure is like. You should also include a section with commonly asked questions so that your site is as informative as possible.
Another thing to consider when you design your website is SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and, put simply, it is the process of optimising your content so that it is relevant. That way, people can find you easily in their Google search results. Make sure you include the right keywords to improve the chances that your business will show up when people in your area search for a local practice.
Launch Your Own Veterinary Marketing Blog
Another great veterinary marketing strategy is adding a blog to your website. A blog can help you boost your website’s search engine ranking (so that it appears higher in the list of Google search results) and attract more visitors to your site. The more visitors you have, the more chances you’ll have to convert clicks into paying clients. Plus, aside from presence, a blog can also help you build credibility online.
Before all this can happen, though, you need to make sure you are posting quality content. This might be in the form of articles, photos, or videos, or a mixture of all three formats. Whatever style you opt for, you need to make sure your content is built on two strategies: informing and entertaining. This will help you generate interest in your brand so that you can create and build an online community.
For your informative content, focus on demonstrating your expertise. You could share tips on animal care, discuss current issues in the veterinary field, and address common questions like, “How often do I need to administer flea and worm treatment?”.
For your entertaining content, you could ask some of your clients if they’d be happy with sharing a photo and short post on the care their pet has received at your practice. You could even ask them to provide a testimonial for you to feature in your blog post. This will help to cement your reputation as a caring veterinary practice and encourage potential new clients to pay you a visit.
Get Active on Social Media
Having a website and blog is a great start, but the best way to connect with your existing and potential client base is through social media. Publishing regularly though social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram is the most effective veterinary marketing strategy for building relationships and developing trust in your local community.
If you haven’t done so already, create business profiles for your veterinary practice on as many social media platforms as possible. Update your profiles with a short description about your practice and include all your contact information so that people can easily locate you. Then post through your profiles on a regular basis and interact with your followers as much as possible.
In terms of content, the same advice applies as with your blog: make sure your posts are clear and concise and that they are a mixture of informative and entertaining.
For example, you could use your social media posts to:
- Share pet care tips and best practices
- Remind your clients to keep up to date with check-ups and vaccinations
- Introduce your practice team members to your online followers
- Highlight your mission and values as a business, as well as what makes you unique (your USP)
- Host fun competitions (such as a pet photo contest where you ask followers to share a photo of their furry friend, then you pick the cutest)
Give Back to Your Community
Finally, another effective veterinary strategy that you can use to build your online presence and reputation in your local area is finding ways to give back to your community.
For example, you could use your blog and social media pages to raise awareness of local pet-related charities, promote your neighbourhood animal shelter, or even set up your own fundraising campaign on their behalf. This can be a great way to get more followers and generate more likes and positive interactions. Or, even better, offer to be an official sponsor for a local charity to help raise awareness of your brand.
Getting involved with local charities shows the pet owners in your area that you care and that you stand for more than just profit. It also enhances your practice’s exposure and helps strengthen relationships with existing clients. And this, ultimately, is what every successful veterinary marketing strategy is all about: increasing brand recognition and developing trust so that you can grow your practice.