If you have a veterinary clinic, you have the unique challenge of convincing people to let you help their pets and might find yourself wondering whether or not your marketing strategies are on target. You want to find new customers for your clinic while simultaneously looking to retain your current clients. You want pet parents and their fur children to come back on a regular basis, to recommend your clinic to their friends and family, and to tell everyone that you offer the most amazing veterinary services in town. Here are some tips to help you attract and retain more clients and grow your business with satisfied customers, human and furry alike.
Your website often creates the first impression of your business. The first thing most people who hear of your brand or get referred to will do is check out your site. It is also the landing point for most of your digital marketing efforts as you guide potential clients to it from social media channels and direct advertising pieces. Your clinic needs a beautiful mobile website and user experience that is convenient, intuitive and helpful for pet owners.
One way to do this is to include a Click-to-Text button on your veterinary clinic website. This is a clickable button that’s directly connected to your clinic’s landline phone number making it easy for clients to get in touch with you directly from their cell phones. The easier you make it for people to contact you on the platform they prefer, the more leads will come through your site.
To help increase conversions, strategically place the button in the footer, header and contact page. You may also want to consider customizing the color and size of the button to maintain brand integrity. This strategy further enforces a seamless brand experience for your clients.
Effective, clear navigation will positively impact user experience. The more intuitive and easier it is to use your website, the lower your bounce rate and higher your conversions will be. For more tips on how to provide the best website navigation possible, see our blog:
Images are an excellent way to engage current and prospective clients. That being said, it is important to use authentic images instead of overly-staged stock photos. Hire a professional photographer to capture pictures of you and your staff with actual patients. Or, keep it casual and use a tech-savvy staff member with a high-quality mobile device to do the same. Use images to tell the story of your clinic, your staff, and the wonderful service that your clients experience. You can also ask clients to submit pictures of their animals along with a quote about your veterinary clinic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for any website. Search engines rank and display websites according to an always evolving algorithm. While specifics of a search engine’s algorithm are not entirely understood, we’ve learned many vital aspects over the years and search engines, like Bing and Google, continue to share more detail with each major update.
Each time a new iteration comes out, your website may need some tweaks to make sure you are giving yourself the best opportunity to rank well in the search results. Whether you are unfamiliar with SEO best practices or need a refresher, we’d recommend the following reading:
Speaking of search engines, search marketing has become an important component of any brand’s marketing strategies. Search engine marketing is a blanket term for any series of strategies used to help a website rank higher within search engine results. Successful search engine marketing campaigns are built upon strong keyword strategies.
Brand keyword strategy should include the selection of high-performing keywords that will drive traffic to your website. Highly relevant keywords closely related to your business or industry are essential. Keywords used within advertising can make the difference between a winning and a losing campaign and will determine how well your advertisements rank with search engines.
A solid social media presence has become almost an expectation. Your potential clients are on social media. Facebook is dominant, but Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest all offer opportunities to expose your brand and run direct response ads.
Consumers have been shown to readily engage with brands on various social media platforms but it is important to keep in mind that people crave authenticity and will quickly reject superficial content. Avoid outright marketing ploys on your social media channels and instead, use the platforms to be social. Engage followers by listening, commenting, and sharing high-value content. Create a community by asking questions, asking for input and feedback, and utilizing user-generated content when you can. Add compassionate storytelling to your content to help pet parents trust you and want to bring their fur child to your clinic.
Post photos of your staff interacting with clients and their pets. Include a short description of who it is and how they contribute to the team. In addition to employee features, you can post a series of pictures showing a “day in the life of” type things. Chronicle what it is like to be a part of your team. Show what happens behind the scenes to create the veterinary magic that the public sees. It’s amazing how interested people are in that sort of thing!
It takes time, effort and money to properly establish and maintain a robust social media marketing presence. The goals are simple. Let consumers know you exist. Show them how your veterinary clinic environment and services are superior to your competitors. And convince them to give your business a try.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Online reviews and ratings are major factors that influence consumers and shape the way they interact with businesses. Reviews posted on sites like Google allow customers to compare veterinary services based on other people’s experiences. More than 50% of consumers often or always read online reviews and 97% read online reviews for local businesses.
Review content is important in persuading potential clients to utilize your services. It helps to be proactive by asking satisfied clients for reviews. You can also encourage them to share their experience on social media by posting a sign in your waiting room with your social media information.
Monitor all channels on which people can leave comments about your practice, including Google, Yelp, and so on. Negative reviews are inevitable. Simply respond to them in a professional and compassionate manner to resolve the issue. For more information about online business reviews, see our blog:
Email marketing remains effective for all businesses, including veterinary practices. Feature an opt-in form on your website to help build your list of prospective and current clients. Vary the types of emails that you send to keep consumers interested in your content. Alternate plain text with images or interactive emails. Consider using a specific format for each type of communication (i.e. blogs, ads, product announcements).
Segment your target audience to send relevant information and special offers that will increase engagement rates. Messages to more targeted subgroups will allow you to provide value-added information to all of your clients and make sure they have the latest veterinary news for their specific type of pet. Email marketing is an especially impactful retention tool for existing clients. You can use email to send reminders to existing clients that it’s time to schedule a checkup appointment for their pet.
Make it easy for people to share your email (and other) content. Include social sharing buttons on all of your email communications and encourage readers to share the messages with their friends, family, and colleagues.
It is important to remember that marketing is an ongoing investment that involves advertising, client support, public relations, media planning, and more. Your clinic’s marketing plan should integrate strategies that let you grow your client base over time while still allowing you the flexibility you need to respond to changes in your client needs. Show them the best of what you have to offer. Use as many channels as you can – your website, social media, email, direct mail, etc.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing are ready to help you with all of these efforts. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can create a personalized marketing plan that works with your particular business goals and budget. Let’s get started!