Digital media is everywhere. Phones seem to have become an extended part of our body and we incorporate the online world seamlessly into our daily life. It might have started as something of the younger generation – it’s become unavoidable these days across all generations.
This rapid digital growth has also meant a huge change for some of us who have been working in traditional vet practices for a long time. With the sudden rise of the internet and the growth of different social media platforms, our way of doing marketing had to change too.
Having a beautiful storefront and a sign outside won’t be enough anymore. Your online presence becomes just as important and is only a finger click away. People discover new business via the search results in Google, trust online reviews as if their family recommended it to them, and form an opinion of your business based on your social media behaviour.
Maybe you’re still a bit hesitant towards the whole digital trend. Understandable. You might have been in business for long enough without having to worry about all these things. Plus, you noticed your kids know the latest iPhone like the back of their pocket, but most (older) pet owners you know don’t strike you as the savviest when it comes to technology.
Be careful with jumping to conclusions here. Baby boomers seem to be the fastest growing user base of Facebook, with more and more of them turning to the platform. And with mum and dad being all over Facebook, teens have moved their social media habits to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
So knowing that a significant part of your customer base can be found online, your practice should be there too.
Some marketing practices for vets
The world of online marketing can seem overwhelming, and you might not have figured out exactly how it could be beneficial for your business. Nevertheless, we can assure you there are some simple marketing practices that you can use, that will leave you wondering why you haven’t thought of those before.
Let us give you a quick overview of the options:
1. Email Marketing
Email is an easy way to communicate with your customers. It gives you the opportunity to share valuable info or health care tips, and it also helps you with the operational side of your business. This means you can send out automated emails to remind them about an upcoming appointment, or send them a survey asking for feedback after your service.
Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to establish a long lasting relationship with your customers by offering them interesting content regarding their fur family member. What about a monthly newsletter where you share your success stories or even introduce some of your staff members? The options are endless – it’s up to you what you want to share!
2. Social Media Marketing
As mentioned earlier, social media is becoming increasingly popular across all generations. Depending on your target audience, your go-to platform might differ – but the idea is the same: building a strong online media presence. There are so many different reasons why you should focus on your Facebook profile, but we’ll give you a few highlights to start with:
- It creates a two-way conversation. You can share the latest news from your practice with your followers, and in return they can leave comments and reviews. It also offers a very approachable way of getting in touch with you, which helps you in providing excellent customer service.
- You can connect with pet owners on a more personal level. Your audience of pet owners love pets by definition, and the internet if full of furry memes and cute cat videos. Offer them some laughs or an emotional story – and show your followers that you love their pets just as much as they do.
- By sharing valuable content, such as health information or tips to keep your pets safe, people will trust you and see you as an authority. This will help you to build up an online reputation that will attract new customers.
- Last but not least, it gives you the chance to share updates about your practice with your followers. Changed opening hours or open on holidays? No better way to communicate this than by sharing it on your Facebook page.
A good website is important so customers can learn about your practice and its services online. Your website should include basic info such as contact details and opening hours, but can even include a tool to make bookings online (which can then be linked to email reminders and notifications). Apart from that, it’s a good idea to include enough information about your team and your services. Don’t just tell them quickly what you can do, but go into details and use photos and videos to showcase your skills.
With most people using Google on their phone these days, it’s important your website is mobile-friendly. This will not only offer your visitors a better user experience, it will also help you with your rankings in the Google search results. Make sure you have big easy buttons to click on, and images and texts that fit well into the screen.
4. Google Ads
And because so many people turn to the mobile version of Google when looking for a certain product or service, it makes sense to invest into some Google Ads as well. With these Google Ads, you can ensure your website shows up when people are looking for vets in their neighbourhood, and you can even include a Call-button so they can contact you immediately.
5. Online portals
One last idea we want to share with you is online pet portals. These give pet owners the option to log in and find their pet details online. You can inform them about upcoming appointments or vaccinations and give them tips on how to take care of pets. The more information you include here, the better. Maybe you can even offer them some educational articles such as ‘What to do when your dog gets bitten by a snake’ or ‘How to stop your dog from barking day and night’.