Nearly 70% of Americans live with their pet dogs or cats and these pets live in style. Pet owners in the United States spend about $75 billion yearly on pet goods, according to the survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. These include clothing, clothes, bedding and accessories. However, pet owners allocate over $180 billion to health care for their animals. With so many caring for and spending money on pets, providing veterinary services is a major industry today. AVMA has estimated that there are more than 3000 veterinary clinics in America and the majority are independent practices.
Marketing veterinary services is critical for the success of any veterinary practice. It can be a challenge, but it's worth the investment. Here are 8 great veterinary marketing tips your clinic or hospital can use to get more new clients and existing clients through the door.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #1: Get an awesome website
A great website should be aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, and informative. It should also be mobile-friendly and responsive, as more and more people are now using their mobile devices to access the internet.
Your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal. It should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and full of useful information for pet owners. Include clear calls to action on your website so that pet owners know what they need to do next, whether it’s making an appointment or signing up for your newsletter.
Feature Client Testimonials on Your Veterinary Website
It's almost like word-of-mouth marketing, though even more effective for you because you can now reach the Internet! Happy pet parents can be your most powerful advertising tool. Reach out to your regular customers asking if they are interested in writing a testimonial. Consider adding a photo of the animal you treated so that they can reach animal enthusiasts visiting your website. How has your support for animal care inspired others?
Improve your Google ranking with search engine optimization (SEO)
Your website should also be designed with SEO in mind. Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. This means that when people search for keywords related to your veterinary practice, your website will appear higher up on the list of results.
Using search tools, search engines can find sites that match what your prospect is searching for. The result is a higher ranking for your veterinary practice website in the search engine results pages (SERPs), which leads to more traffic and, hopefully, more business for you. You can increase your practice's SEO in many ways, including optimizing your website content, blog posts, and social media updates with relevant keywords; and making sure your website is mobile friendly.
Make your veterinary website mobile friendly
More than half of all internet traffic is now mobile, so it’s essential that your veterinary website is designed to be viewed on a mobile device. This means that your website should be responsive. A responsive website will resize itself to fit any screen size, making it easy for mobile users to view your site and find the information they need.
In addition to being mobile friendly, your website should also be fast. Mobile users are notoriously impatient, and if your website takes too long to load, they’re likely to click away and find a competitor that can give them the information they need more quickly. To make sure your website loads quickly, optimize your images and other website files, and use a content delivery network.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #2: Claim your business directory listings
Your veterinarian's website doesn't always appear in Google when pet owners search for a company or veterinary services. If you search Google for local companies, often one of the first results you get are the business directory listings. These listings usually includes contact details and addresses as well as customer ratings. Instead of searching through websites, the consumer often focuses on those listings in an effort to pinpoint the nearest businesses.
If you're not appearing in online directories, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new clients. In fact, 93% of consumers use online directories when looking for local businesses.
That's why it's so important to claim and update your listing in popular directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Include your practice's name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. Add photos and descriptions to help prospects learn more about your business. And be sure to respond to reviews to show that you're listening to your clients.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #3: Answer Pet Owner's Questions on Your Website's Blog
How can a business improve the quality of their web content? You are able to serve your customers' needs through more than just a single approach. You could also educate them with educational information and entertain them with a wide variety of products. It is also a great idea to offer helpful tips, how-to guides, and blog posts that answer frequently asked questions.
By answering pet owners' questions on your blog, you're not only providing valuable content, but you're also helping to build trust and credibility with your audience.
Here are some common pet owners questions to get started:
- How do I potty train my puppy?
- What are the best foods to feed my cat?
- How often should I take my dog to the vet?
- Why is my dog scratching so much?
- What are the signs that my pet is sick?
By providing answers to these questions (and many more!), you'll be providing valuable content that will help pet owners care for their beloved animals. Not to mention, you'll be establishing yourself as an expert in the Veterinary field which can help attract new clients to your business.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #4: Create a profile for your employees
They're part of your family, and your customers will want to get to know the people caring for their furry family member. Create profiles for everyone from office management to kennel staff to veterinarians to allow customers to meet your team. Give introductory details about their qualifications and experiences but add a few extra details by revealing some funny information or story about the team. Upload photos of your employee for the bio, and consider having a pet photoshoot too!
This is an excellent way to show off your practice's unique culture and make a connection with your clients. It also helps build trust with potential clients who will be entrusting you with the care of their beloved pets.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #5: A Great Presence on Social Media
Create a community on your social media channel
Having an office within your neighborhood gives you the advantage of having a genuine relationship with your pet owners. Expand the relationship to the web! Social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, provide a convenient way in which you can interact with your customers outside of your office, and keep them up-to-date in a timely fashion with industry trends, special offers and more. How should I reach pet owners through social media? Request that your customers to take photos of their furry friends and put them on your social media pages. Pet owners love to see their pet in the spotlight!
Social media is essential in marketing strategies for most small businesses. Veterinarians have a unique opportunity to spotlight pet owners and their furry children while they're in the waiting room, or even better- snap fun photos during their appointment to showcase the special relationship you have with your patients. Creating regular posts is encouraged as part of your veterinary marketing strategy and to keep your business in the spotlight.
Turn to Social Media to Keep Consumers Informed and Interested
Consumers are always on the lookout for quality content, so give them what they want! If you’re not already doing so, start utilizing social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to post educational articles, tips, tricks and general information about how your veterinary clinic helps with pet care. In addition to providing valuable content, you can also use social media to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website or blog. Just be sure to include links back to your site so that people can learn more about your veterinary clinic.
When creating content for social media, it’s important to keep in mind that not all platforms are the same. For example, Facebook is great for longer articles and videos, while Instagram is better suited for short posts and images. YouTube is ideal for practices wanting to post educational videos, while Snapchat can be used to share quick behind-the-scenes snippets. The key is to find the right platform for your veterinary marketing strategy and then create content that will resonate with your target audience.
This activity will show that you're an authority in your field, and pet parents will be more likely to bring their furry friends to you for medical care.
Hold a Social Media Contest
Another veterinarian marketing strategy that will enhance our social media arsenal - social media contests! The concepts are easy. Find the item you want to promote and organize a contest around it. Make a graphic for posting on social media along with the rules to make it easy for your viewers to participate and win. The contest might be simple such as: “Comment on the reaction of the dog and win a free bag of treats!" or "Share this post and be entered to win a complementary exam.”
Get creative with your Veterinary marketing strategy and make sure the prize is something pet parents would want, such as a gift certificate to your Veterinary Practice or a year's supply of their pet's favorite food. Social Media contests can be an especially good way to engage your existing clients.
Social media doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. By utilizing some of these tips, you can connect with new and current clients, build relationships, and grow your practice.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #6: Create an irresistible special offer that gets prospects calling in
A great way to boost your business is by creating an irresistible offer that gets people calling in. Veterinary clinics are service-based businesses, so it's important to give people a reason to call you over the competition. You can offer a free or discounted consultation, a discount on services, or a freebie such as a pet food sample or toy.
Veterinary practices often offer a variety of services, so it can be difficult to choose just one to promote. A great way to narrow down your options is to consider an offer that would attract new clients to your practice. This could be a discount on vaccinations, free nail trimmings, or even a free exam for new clients.
Remember to include a call-to-action so that people know what they need to do to take advantage of the offer. Use strong verbs such as “schedule”, “sign up”, or “learn more”.
Special offers are a great way to increase business and attract new clients. But don’t forget about your existing clients! They are the bread and butter of your business, so make sure to show them some love too.
Thank them for their loyalty with a discount on services or a freebie at their next visit. These small gestures will go a long way in keeping your clients coming back, and they’ll be more likely to refer their friends to you as well.
Once you decide on an offer, create a plan to communicate it. A few ideas include:
- Create a graphic or flyer to promote the offer
- Post the offer on your website and social media platforms
- Place a sign in front of your Veterinary clinic
- Send out an email blast to your clients and prospects
By tracking the results, you can determine which offers are most successful and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. You can also ask your clients how they heard about the offer. This feedback will help you determine what marketing channels are most effective for your Veterinary practice.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #7: Ask for referrals
92% of consumers trust referrals from friends. That's no surprise. When people ask to be referred by someone you know and trust, it makes the decision to use that service much easier. Asking for referrals is a great way to get new clients through word-of-mouth. The best time to ask for referrals is when you have provided excellent service and the client is happy with the results. You can simply say, "If you know any animal lovers that would benefit from our services, please send them our way."
Veterinary hospitals can take advantage of this by asking clients for referrals. You can ask for referrals in person, on the phone, or even through social media. Just be sure to make it easy for people to refer you by providing them with your contact information and a link to your website.
You can even offer a discount or credit for clients that refer someone to your Veterinary Practice. This is a great way to show your appreciation and encourage people to spread the word about your business.
Veterinary Marketing Tip #8: Give back to your community
Giving back to the community is not only a great way to build goodwill, it's also a great marketing opportunity. You can volunteer your time or services at local shelters, schools, or events. You can also donate items like pet food or supplies to local organizations. Be sure to get permission to promote your business at these events and take photos that you can use on your website and social media.
Community events, like pet adoption days, holiday events, or even school fundraisers are also great opportunities to give back. By getting involved, you're not only helping out a good cause, but you're also getting your name out there and making lasting connections with potential clients.
Giving back to the community is a great way to show that you care about more than just making money. It's a great way to connect with your target audience and build brand awareness.
Market consistently year-round
Veterinary marketing is a year-round commitment if you want to see a steady stream of new patients coming through your doors. That doesn't mean you have to break the bank on marketing, but it does mean you need to be consistent with your efforts. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 2-5% of your gross revenues towards marketing, and then break that down into a monthly budget. This will help you to keep track of your spending and ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.
The key is to be consistent with your efforts and to always put your best foot forward. By following these tips, you'll be on your way to attracting new clients and growing your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do vets spend on marketing?
In general, it's recommended that a veterinarian spend about 5% of the budget on marketing.
Why should I consider a veterinary marketing company?
There are a number of reasons why working with a veterinary marketing company can be beneficial. They will have a team of experts that can help you to develop and execute a marketing plan customized for your practice. They can also help you to track your results and make adjustments as needed so you can focus on pet's health.
DIY marketing can be time-consuming and it can be difficult to know whether or not you're making the best use of your budget. A company specializing in vet marketing can help save you time and money by developing a custom plan that is tailored to your clinic or hospital needs.
Be sure to partner with a company that specializes in veterinary marketing service too. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to help your business succeed.
What other strategies should I consider?
There are a number of veterinary marketing strategies that can be effective, but it's important to find strategies that best fits the current needs of the business and works in your market. Some common additional veterinary marketing strategies include online paid advertising, direct mail, print advertising, and community outreach.
A professional consultant can help outline a strategy and guide you on where to invest those hard earned dollars.
What goes into a veterinary marketing plan?
There are a number of elements that can be included in a veterinary marketing plan. Some common elements include developing a brand, creating materials, setting up a website, and using social media to reach your target customers.
It's important to keep your veterinary marketing materials up-to-date so that they reflect any changes in your practice, such as new services or products. A good rule of thumb is to update your materials at least once a year.
A veterinary marketing plan is critical for the success and longevity of your practice. By creating and executing a plan to promote your veterinary practice, you can attract new clients and keep your business thriving. These veterinary marketing tips can be used to promote your services, build relationships with clients, and create a positive image for your practice. By using these ideas, you can develop an effective marketing strategy that will help your clinic succeed.
For more veterinary marketing ideas, be sure to check out our blog or contact us today! We can help you develop an effective marketing strategy that will attract new clients and help your business thrive.