10 Vet Marketing Strategies for Growing your ClinicPosted: December 29, 2022 - By Health Dev
Today, more than ever, marketing is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes. In our interconnected world, digitization has transformed the way we communicate and consume information. This means that nearly any business — even professional services like veterinarians — can harness a digital marketing strategy for their benefit.
Why Your Vet Clinic Needs a Marketing Plan
There are a number of reasons why vets should consider implementing digital marketing strategies. The right vet marketing strategies can change customer volume and frequency when executed properly.
Online platforms provide an easy way to reach out to potential customers who may be searching for vet services in their area, and by developing a strong online presence, vets can build trust with potential clients and create brand loyalty among existing ones. Additionally, through thoughtful engagement on social media or other online channels, vets can show they are true experts in their field — something that will set them apart from competitors who don’t have a strong digital presence.
This article will discuss 10 vet marketing strategies that are easy and straightforward to start but lead to significant gains.
Leading Marketing Strategies For Growing Your Veterinary Clinic
It’s true that creative, insightful veterinary marketing ideas can go a long way. However, vet marketing strategies don’t revolve solely around the ideas behind a campaign.
Veterinary practices can use a variety of vet marketing strategies to not only attract new clients, but also to keep existing clients coming back. Below are 10 veterarian-approved marketing strategies that are sure to bring in new business and keep your practice running smoothly.
1. Start an Email Campaign With Customized Newsletters
What’s a veterinary marketing plan without a primary way to reliably reach your audience? The first of the ten vet marketing strategies is also one of the most fundamental and potentially powerful: email marketing campaigns via customized newsletters.
Email newsletters are a powerful marketing tool for veterinarians. They can help build customer relationships, promote new services, and increase brand awareness. When used correctly, email newsletters can be an effective way to connect with clients and drive loyalty and retention:
- Build an email list. This is best done through online forms on your website or blog, or by collecting emails at events or trade shows.
- Segment your list. Once you have a list of potential subscribers, you need to segment it into smaller groups so you can send more targeted communications. For example, you might segment your list by pet type (dogs, cats), location (city, suburb), or type of client (first-time visits vs. regular).
- Develop campaigns based on your segments. The next step is creating campaigns that are tailored to each group. Emails should include personalization elements such as the recipient’s name or their pet’s name wherever possible. The goal is to make subscribers feel like they are receiving a communication that was specifically designed for them rather than a generic message sent to everyone on the list.
- Always direct subscribers to take action. Veterinarians should use call-to-actions throughout each newsletter encouraging readers to book appointments online.
Email marketing is a staple of vet marketing strategies for a reason — don’t be left out.
2. Become More Active on Your Social Media Accounts
Social media allows businesses to create a relationship with their target audience, build trust, and ultimately increase sales. Consider the following best practices when adding social media to your vet marketing strategies:
- Use social media for messaging, branding, AND sales. Many businesses make the mistake of only using social media for one primary purpose. However, social media can (and should) be leveraged for multiple purposes such as messaging/communication, branding/awareness building, and even sales conversions to gain a much higher ROI from campaigns.
- Make sure your content is high-quality. With so much content being published on social media every day, it’s important that your content stands out from the rest. Publish high-quality, well- written, informative, or entertaining pieces to capture attention amidst the noise.
- Be consistent with your posting schedule. Post sporadically, and you’ll lose your audience’s interest. Post too much, and you’re spamming. Find a happy in-between where you’re posting frequently enough to stay top-of-mind but not so often that people get annoyed.
- Engage with other users. Social media is about engaging in two-way conversations! If someone takes time to leave a comment on one of your posts, take time to respond back — this shows that you care about what others have to say and builds rapport and trust between you and potential customers.
You can easily research where your audiences are — typically on staple platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and then some more recent ones like TikTok — or even ask them directly whenever they visit. You can then use what you’ve learned in your vet marketing strategies.
3. Set Up Easy, Online Appointment Scheduling and Text Reminders
Vet marketing strategies aren’t all about campaigns — they can be about process optimization as well. In fact, one of the best vet marketing strategies isn’t about marketing at all, per se.
There are a few key ways to use something like your existing communication channels as vet marketing strategies:
- Make it easy for potential clients to schedule appointments online, and they’ll more likely come in for a visit. Make sure that your website is clear and concise so that potential clients can easily find the information they need about how to schedule an appointment online.
- Set up text reminders to reduce no-shows. Consider what type of reminder system will work best for your practice: automatic text messages or email alerts sent out 48 hours before a scheduled appointment, for instance.
- Implement both of the above to reduce staff work on scheduling appointments or following up. Test out different types of recurring reminders (e.g., weekly versus monthly) to see which ones result in the highest number results from new and current clients.
These are simple, but work great as vet marketing strategies because they reflect your brand.
4. Reach Your Target Audience Organically With Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
No veterinary clinic marketing plan is complete without SEO nowadays. Fortunately, you can do this in a straightforward manner:
- Ensure your site is well-designed and easy to navigate.
- Provide keyword-rich content that is relevant to what potential clients might be searching for.
- Create blog posts or other forms of content that address common questions or concerns about pet health, attracting organic website traffic.
Actively interconnect your vet marketing strategies. One way is by linking SEO with social media. Create profile pages on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, populate these with informative and engaging content related to veterinary medicine, and share links back to your website to drive traffic towards it. If these links are posted in strategic places (such as in the comments section of relevant articles), they have a good chance of being clicked on by people who are interested in learning more.
5. Offer a Free Visit, Treat Package, Toy, or Other Promotional Item
High-value promotional items are an excellent marketing strategy. Offer a free visit, treat package, toy, or other item of value to attract new clients and show existing clients that you are invested in the health and well-being of their pets. Promotional items also offer an opportunity to upsell other services or products.
When deciding on a promotional item to offer in your vet marketing strategies, consider what will be most valuable to your target audience. For example, if you are targeting pet parents who are concerned about the health and safety of their pets, a free wellness exam may be most appealing. If you’re looking to attract new clients who have never been to the vet before, a free first visit or consultation could be enticing. Tailor the offer to the target.
6. Engage Pet Parents With Helpful Content and Blog Posts
The most important way to engage pet parents is to provide helpful content that addresses their needs and concerns. This can be done through blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, or any other type of content that is informative and useful.
When creating this content, it is important to keep best practices in mind in order to maximize its impact:
- Create catchy and attention-grabbing titles.
- Use clear and concise language.
- Leverage strong visuals where appropriate.
- Promote the content across your social media channels.
By providing helpful information that pet parents can use on a daily basis , you will not only build trust and credibility with your audience , but also establish yourself as a go-to source for all things pets. Your content actually intersects with various other vet marketing strategies as well, like SEO (for keywords and linking articles), social media (for promotion), and email marketing (enticing readers to subscribe).
7. Monitor and Respond to Google Reviews To Keep a Quality Reputation
As a veterinarian, you know the importance of reputation—not just for your vet marketing strategies, but for the health and wellbeing of your patients. Providing quality care means always being on top of your game, and that includes monitoring your online presence. Word of mouth on places like Google reviews are a great way for customers to share their experiences with others, and they can have a big impact on your business:
- Check reviews regularly: Checking in on your reviews regularly will help you spot any problems early on so you can address them quickly. Try setting aside some time each day to check all of your review platforms (Google included).
- Respond to reviews promptly: When someone takes the time to leave a review—positive or negative—it’s important to reply as soon as possible. Thank customers for their feedback and let them know that you’re taking their suggestions seriously. For negative reviews, aim to resolve the issue directly with the customer if possible.
- Make a habit out of reputation management — lag behind and issues on review sites can spread like wildfire.
8. Establish Strong Relationships for Cross-Promotion
Cross-promotions with other businesses can be effective vet marketing strategies:
- Get to know the other businesses in your community, and find out what they do and who their target market is.
- Develop relationships by referring your clients to them, and vice versa. For example, if you have a client looking for pet supplies, refer them to a local pet store or online retailer that you trust. In return, ask the business owner if they would be willing to put up some of your marketing materials (e.g. flyers or postcards) in their store or office, or if they would be willing to publish a blog post or mention you on social media.
- Offer discounts or coupons to clients who use services from partner businesses — encourage them to come back and use your services again in the future!
9. Start A Successful Referral Program
You don’t need to go instantly to the newest marketing ideas for veterinary clinics to make your campaigns click. Traditional word-of-mouth still works just fine.
In terms of vet marketing strategies, starting a referral program has never gone out of fashion. Here are some best practices to follow when creating your referral program:
- Make it easy for clients to refer you. For example, create referral cards or flyers that they can give to their friends, and make sure your contact information is clearly listed.
- Offer an incentive for referrals. Put a discount on services, or maybe add a freebie like a themed keychain or mug.
- Keep track of your referral program’s progress. Check what’s working and make necessary changes if needed.
- Show your appreciation to those who refer. A simple thank-you card or phone call can go a long way!
10. Organize Local Pet Events for Positive Brand Awareness and Promotion
Organizing events is one of those vet marketing strategies that require significant investment, but if you pull it off, you reap massive rewards. Local pet events build positive brand awareness and promotion; here are some tips on how to get started:
- Consider what type of event works best for your community and practice. Will it be an adoption event, a vaccination clinic, or something else?
- Spread the word through social media, flyers, and word-of-mouth. Include all the important details like date, time, location, and what services will be offered.
- Partner with other businesses or organizations that share your goals. This will help you reach a wider audience and make the event more successful overall. For example, teaming up with an animal shelter for an adoption day or partnering with a pet store for a vaccine clinic to help you expand your reach while still providing valuable services to pet owners in your community.
It’s best to use one-off vet marketing strategies like this as centerpieces of larger, longer campaigns.
Turn to an Effective Growth Solution for Marketing Your Clinic
This might not be a definitive nor exhaustive list on how to market a veterinary practice, but it’s a great starting point. Vets are doctors, not marketers. These vet marketing strategies are organic, straightforward to perform especially with the help of a few platforms, and can yield valuable ROI.