How to market your Veterinary Clinicca_2017_stratfordrx
Are you doing enough to market your veterinary practice?
Marketing your practice may not be something that you focus on every day at your clinic, but it is an important area to focus on to ensure your clinic’s survival and continuous growth.
As a veterinarian, you are focused on treating pets and ensuring they have a healthy life. But these few marketing tips will help you secure a healthy life for your clinic.
We live in a digital world, so most of your customers or potential customers are looking for information about you online. So, having a user-friendly and updated website is imperative for your clinic. Invest time and money to set up a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate and has all the updated information about your clinic, like clinic hours, address, and appointment bookings. In addition, if you sell products at your clinic, it is highly recommended to have an eCommerce site on your website. You can use simple plugins like Shopify to set up your eCommerce site quite easily.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization:
Talking about creating a website for your clinic may be the first step. Still, it will not get you any results if your website is not search optimized, as it will not appear on the first-page search engines like Google, Bing, etc., when potential customers are searching for veterinary clinics online.
Search Engine Optimization is the tactics used on-page (your website) and off-page, with link building to improve your website’s performance in search rankings.
No matter how strong your marketing efforts are, they will fail to generate adequate returns if you have not established your veterinary brand. Therefore, the importance of branding when marketing your veterinary practice is remarkable. Branding gives your clinic an identity, which helps your clinic be recognized and recalled when a customer needs a veterinary service. Emphasize branding your clinic to establish your unique identity. More often, the veterinarian himself/herself becomes the brand for the practice. Although that’s a good thing, it limits the other benefits of marketing a brand, for instance, selling products at your clinic.
Creating a brand for your veterinary practice helps you brand your services your products and helps with brand recall.
For example, clinic labeling promotional items help retain your clinic’s name by your customers. Another impactful strategy is to clinic label your OTCs at your clinic. This helps in customer retention as the customers are more likely to come back to your clinic for refills and also helps you compete with online big retail brands.
Claim your business directory listings.
Your customers and potential customers are always looking for you online. 46% of Google searches are local. This puts forward the importance of claiming your business on online directories, not just Google. Here’s the list of online directories. Make sure all your clinic’s information is accurate and updated in all the directories.
Encourage and incentivize your existing customers to provide reviews for your clinic online, especially on Google, as these reviews help you rank higher on search results.
Customer testimonials help you gain the vote of confidence from new or potential customers. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take customer testimonial videos and showcase them on your website.
Launching a referral program by incentivizing existing customers to bring in new customers is always the most effective form of marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing – the oldest yet still influential.
Invest in Content Marketing
Content is king. Your customers are always looking for information online. So, it makes most sense that you provide them all the information they are looking for related to their pet’s health. The way to accomplish this is to create content and publish them as blog articles. Create a content calendar and research topics that your customers are primarily looking for information about. This way, you come across as a thought leader who cares for their pet’s health as much as they do. Blogs also help you improve your website’s search engine ranking, increase click-throughs to your site, and build online credibility.
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your business or spreading the word out there in today’s world. One in every ten pets has a social media profile. In addition, pet owners love scrolling through their feeds. Hence, your veterinary clinic’s marketing strategy should have a well-groomed social media marketing plan. There are various tips and tricks to use while marketing on social media. For example, leverage the use of proper hashtags. Hashtags allow your posts to gain popularity and help your posts reach a larger audience. Remember, social media is a place to socialize, so avoid yourself from sounding like a salesperson. We generally don’t invite or entertain salespeople knocking on our doors. Instead, create more engaging content and posts like fun facts, or health tips, and even pet stories. People love reading them. Creating a contest on social media is also very effective in capturing attention.
Most veterinary clinics are not utilizing email marketing as much as they should. Email marketing is a great tool to attract new customers and continuously engage with existing customers. It is essential to engage with the existing customers to ensure continued business from them. Set up automated emails to remind them about routine check-ups, refill reminders, or even just to wish them on their birthdays. Small steps like these go a long way.
Be a part of the community.
As a local business, it is vital to be a part of the community. Participating or hosting local events in your clinic’s community helps your clinic get recognition and gain favourability. This goes a long way in ensuring continued business. Use these scopes also to improve public relations opportunities. Invest money in highlighting your clinic and featuring events that you host in the local newspapers.
There is no definite rule of thumb when marketing your veterinary practice, but these are simple yet proven strategies that indeed yield great results. Although it is needless to say that any marketing plan requires a proper and timely execution as well for it to be successful, if you are not focusing on your marketing efforts, you can miss out on potential business opportunities and customers. If you would like to know more about how to market your veterinary practice and would like to schedule a free consultation with our experts, please feel free to reach out to us.