The Best Marketing Tips for Veterinary Practices

Woman writing and planning business strategy

Just like any business, a veterinary practice lives and dies by the customers it has. If you are not attracting enough clients to your practice, it could be because you aren’t marketing your clinic the right way. With that in mind, read on to discover the best ways to advertise your veterinary practice.

  • Focus on SEO – Search engine optimization is a must for all businesses today, veterinary practices included. Veterinary SEO involves using an array of different techniques to move your website up the search engine rankings. This is imperative in today’s digital age, giving your website plenty of exposure, and ensuring your business is at the top of the results whenever someone looks for a vet clinic in your area. After all, whenever people need to find a business today, they usually turn to the Internet!
  • Profile your team – When setting up your veterinary clinic, you may not have a big team of staff, but this does not matter, you should still create a profile for each member – it does not matter whether you are a team of two or ten. This is because people like to know who is going to be looking after their animals. By highlighting the accomplishments and talents of your individual staff members, people will feel more comfortable about leaving their pets in your hands.
  • Offer a reward for customer referrals – Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools today. You can give your customers a push to recommend your clinic by offering a reward if they do so. For example, for every new client that signs up through an existing customer, you could give the existing customer a 10% discount off his or her next vet bill.
  • Start a blog – Having a website is one thing, but you can take it to the next level by adding a blog. This is the way to show your veterinary expertise, setting yourself apart in the industry. You can share posts about veterinary news, customer stories, pet care tips, and anything else related to pet care and health. Create original, interesting, and engaging posts, which people will want to read. Not only does this show you as an expert in the industry, but it will benefit your SEO strategy too.
  • Get customer testimonials – Ask your satisfied clients if they will provide you with a testimonial. You will find that most will be more than happy to do so. You can use these testimonials in a number of different ways – from including them in magazine ads and brochures to social media and websites.
  • Be active on social media – This leads onto the last point perfectly; make sure you are active on social media. This gives people the opportunity to get closer to your practice than ever before, which harvests loyal customer relationships. Don’t simply post a string of promotional messages – engage with your customers and post interesting messages about the industry in general. You could also run a competition for increased exposure, with winners getting a pet basket, a bag of pet treats, or something else for their pet.

Get the most from social media at BSAVA Congress

Social Media at BSAVA Congress

It’s time for BSAVA Congress 2017, and already twitter knows and it is impossible to miss. However is social media making an impact in your marketing or just being ignored?

Here are my 5 tips to getting the most from Social Media at #BSAVA17

1. Say hello…

A lot of people tend to treat social media the same way that they would a newspaper or radio advert. However social media is a 2 way interactive medium. You do not need to demand people do an action to start the relationship, instead you can start your relationship right there right then by saying hi online.

2. Remember your name…

make-social-media-personal-mark-plhmedical

Depending on if you are a company or individual this may not be so relevant, however if you are using a company account ending the message you are posting with your name gives people a way to find you in real life on your stand if you are at the exhibition. Even adding it into the account description can be useful…

Even better if people are active having separate accounts for each staff member can be a bigger boost to getting that relationship going.

3. Answer questions…

Are you an expert in anaesthesia? Or maybe you know about blood transfusion? Watch out on the twitter hashtag for people asking questions and if you know the answer then reply to them. It can lead to great conversations and gives you the opportunity to build your “expert” status.

4. Deliver value…

They say give and you will receive. Does what you are sharing give value to people seeing it? Does it help them solve them a problem? Does it help people see something amazing? Does it make them laugh? People are so good at ignoring adverts that they barely register now, so make sure that everything you post has value for the person you want to read it.

5. Use the #BSAVA17 hashtag…

The BSAVA have a great tweet wall in the entrance hall for the lectures, get up here and you are directly in front of your audience that shows people at the conference using #bsava17 in their tweets. Remember however it is filtered and those that are not adding value are quickly deleted and blocked from showing here so following the tips above will help.

Hopefully with this 5 social media tips you will see a return in the number of relationships you build this BSAVA Congress. Personally for me since the growth of webinars I believe that offline conferences like this are all about socialising, talking to colleagues and getting to see the really cool new toys in person.

Please do feel free to come and join us in Hall 6 on Saturday afternoon (2pm) to learn more about how you can get social media to work for you. If you cannot and want to talk about social media then drop me a message and we can grab a coffee.

5 ways you are failing at Twitter (Day 189)

"Thank you for following" FAIL

When it comes to Twitter I find that many small businesses, and even some larger companies make simple mistakes that drive customers away. I am a really big fan of twitter, it gives you the opportunity to get great attention to a cause from thousands of people. Today I want to go over a few mistakes that I’ve seen recently to try to help you get the most out of Twitter. So now in reverse order the biggest mistakes on twitter…

5. Not replying to tweets at you

Ok, so it can be forgiven if you are still learning how twitter works, however if someone sends a tweet with a question at you then not replying is just rude. If you wouldn’t ignore them in person why would you do it online?

4. Automatic Direct Messages without following back

A really big pet hate for me is companies that have it set up to automatically send a direct message to a person that follows them (usually broadcasting so see #1 below). Sure it works but then there are those companies that do it without following the person back so they cannot reply to the message. In this case especially if you are doing it right an asking a question the person cannot reply… Its kinda like walking up to someone in a shop, asking what they are looking for and walking away before they can answer.

3. TrueTwit

Ok, so I hate TrueTwit, it’s that thing that sends you spam messages when you follow someone telling you to “validate”. It does not actually stop spam as people can still send you tweets, instead it makes you appear like you are too good for them. Just imagine asking every person that tried to speak to you for their passport. (You can remove TrueTwit by revoking access in the Settings – Applications page here: https://twitter.com/settings/applications)

2. Copy and paste “Thank You for following” replies

When a new person @mentions (messages) me on twitter the first thing I do is click-through to look at the profile, this also lists the most recent tweets. Seeing something like this sends me straight away…

"Thank you for following" FAILThis shows 1 of 3 things
1. That you have nothing interesting to say.
2. That you have not looked at the persons profile so don’t even know who you are tweeting
3. That you are using automatic software to send a generic reply to people

Obviously it can be great to thank and welcome new followers, however you should do it by name, and try to start a conversation with it as well!

1. Broadcasting

The biggest mistake that people make is not getting into a social mindset when starting to work with social media! In the past marketing was all about broadcasting a message out to people with a call to action via a static advert. Social media marketing is different to this as instead of just broadcasting you can actually engage, when using twitter people have the ability to respond to you. Simple ways to start are by asking questions, retweeting posts from others sharing interesting and useful things, and by @mentioning others to get a convo going!

Hopefully you now have some idea of how to make twitter work better for you, feel free to follow my on twitter @vetschooldiary