• Cecilia Li

Veterinary Marketing Strategies to Help Grow Your Practice

One of the key factors to ensure veterinary practice success is having effective veterinary marketing strategies. However, in today’s rapidly growing veterinary industry and competition, it is becoming increasingly harder to make your practice stand out to your target audience.

According to a recent report by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the number of veterinary practices in the United States ranges from 28,000 to 32,000. However, this increase in veterinary practices has been matched by an increase in market size. In a report by The American Pet Products Association, the overall spending in the U.S. pet industry was found to have increased to $95.7 billion in 2019 from $90.5 billion in 2018. Moreover, there has been an 11% increase in the number of pet owners since 1988.

Unfortunately, these numbers do not translate into automatic conversions for your veterinary practice. Practices need to continually update their marketing campaigns to ensure retention of current clients and to reel in new clients.

In this article, we shall explore a few veterinary marketing strategies that will help your practice grow.

Why Is Veterinary Marketing Important for Your Practice?

As a DVM, you would probably prefer to dedicate most of your time to veterinary care. However, with ever-increasing competition, it is important to find ways to make your practice stand out to potential clients, and veterinarian marketing is one important way to do that.

Veterinarians are typically not trained in marketing techniques, and veterinary hospitals and clinics will often enlist the services of a marketing agency to push their marketing efforts. This is because they understand how vital marketing is to the bottom line of any business - generating revenue.

Before beginning your veterinary marketing journey, here are some fundamental tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Establish your goals: Before developing a veterinary marketing plan, it is crucial for you to clearly outline your goals and objectives. By doing this, you will be able to measure how well your practice is doing, and most importantly, whether your investment is paying off.

  • Consistency is key: If you expect to achieve sustainable results, then it is vital for you to consistently dedicate time to your marketing activities. While it is true that marketing is all about quality and not quantity, consistency is extremely vital for the success of your practice.

  • Embrace technology: It's no secret that technology plays a big role in marketing today. Thanks to technology, businesses can easily sell and advertise their services to a large audience. Therefore, ensure that you embrace technology in your veterinary marketing plan.

Marketing Strategies That Will Help Your Veterinary Practice Grow

Invest in good veterinary website design

In this digital era, your website is the most crucial marketing tool that you have. This is because a website is the most visible online presence that your practice can have. Whether you are a small business or a large animal hospital, you need a website to serve as the center of your digital marketing strategy.

The main goal of your veterinary website is to enable you to market your clinic online. A browsing pet parent will probably learn about your practice from your website or social media.

When designing your website, you need to ensure that it is:

  • Easy to navigate: For any successful business webpage, you need to ensure that there is clear and uncluttered navigation, with sliders and buttons that do not blend into your background. You should also include various CTAs that encourage potential patients to book appointments and schedule a visit to your office.

  • User-friendly: You must ensure that your website's design contains elements that do not hinder usability for your clients. In addition to this, make sure that the writing on your website is visible and easy to read.

  • Includes visuals: Visual content is crucial for healthcare marketing. Plain text tends to be quite boring for consumers, so incorporate appealing visuals such as images and videos to help capture the attention of your clients and showcase your service offerings.

  • ADA compliant: In 2018, the number of federal website accessibility lawsuits saw a 177% increase from 2017, emphasizing the increasing importance of ADA compliance.

Include patient testimonials on your website

According to a recent review by BrightLocal Research, approximately 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Patient testimonials can be just as potent as personal referrals as they serve as proof of the credibility of your services.

Are you struggling with getting testimonials from your patients? Here are a few tips that could correct that:

  • Develop a patient referral program that offers rewards to patients who make referrals and give valuable feedback.

  • Ask for patients' feedback through email, as well as their permission to use their feedback on your website.

  • Add a comments section on your website and encourage your patients to share feedback.

Optimize your site for search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to ensure that your website is visible in search engines. To achieve this, you should ensure that you choose strong keywords that go hand in hand with your practice, such as 'veterinary clinics' and 'pet care.'

In addition to this, you should also ensure that you adopt local search engine optimization (SEO). This is an SEO strategy that focuses on searches specific to your geographical area. Therefore, if you use relevant keywords like ‘veterinarian’, ‘vet near me, and ‘animal hospital’, any person looking for veterinary services around your local area will easily find you on Google.

Pay-per-click advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a common digital marketing strategy that helps drive traffic to a website. You can limit advertising costs for your veterinary practice using this strategy as the advertiser is only required to pay the publisher when their ad gets clicked on.

Additionally, experts suggest that pay-per-click ads provide an excellent return on investment (ROI), with you getting an average of two dollars for every dollar you spend.

Because PPC is a payment model, not specific to a particular site, you have a wide variety of options of where you can show your ads. Some of the common options include search engines like Google Ads, Overture, and FindWhat; social media PPCs like Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads; and display banner ads.

To run a successful pay-per-click campaign, you need to:

  • Choose relevant keywords: Choosing the right keywords is extremely crucial for the success of your PPC campaign. This is because how often your PPC ads appear completely depends on the type of keywords you select.

  • Create a high-quality landing page: It is fundamental for you to create an informative landing page that contains information relevant to the topic. Also, ensure that your landing page contains a clear call-to-action that encourages your potential clients to contact your office and book an appointment.

  • Improve your quality score: Put simply, a quality score is the measurement of the quality and relevance of your pay-per-click ads. Google usually generates your quality score by assessing your ads' landing pages and the keywords you utilize. Advertisers with high-quality scores usually get more ad clicks at lower costs.

Utilize social media

Besides having a well-designed website, social media is another essential tool in veterinary marketing. Social media platforms have quickly become important health information resources, and more practices are recognizing the importance of growing your practice's social media channels.

According to Brandwatch, there are approximately 3.7 billion active social media users today. Various social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter allow you to actualize your veterinary marketing ideas at low costs and with a wider audience.

Profile your team members

According to a recent Harvard report, 95% of all consumer decisions are driven by emotion. Therefore, it is fundamental for you to create website profiles for you and your team, where you share information about your credentials and specialized training.

This is highly beneficial since it creates trust and enhances credibility, which are key elements that attract patients to any practice. Besides their credentials, you can also show your team members' personalities on their profiles, since this tends to appeal to the patients' emotional side.

Exploit email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective and affordable marketing tools available to marketing teams. It works because it is an opt-in relationship for the client, where they can only receive emails if they have clearly expressed their permission. It also builds better rapport between the practice and the client, as it is a reciprocal relationship with back and forth communication.

With emails, you can send clients updates on your clinic, reminders about appointments and routine check-ups, pricing changes, and available offers. Keeping your clients in the loop helps with client retention and is more likely to prompt referrals.

Key Takeaway

Veterinary marketing is undoubtedly an important driver of veterinary practice growth. At DearDoc, our mission is to drive practice growth for healthcare professionals through innovative technology. Features like Website Builder and AI Smartchat are designed to help vet practices boost branding and attract new clients. For more information, contact us today.

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