The leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler, and the kids are back in school. It’s the perfect time to brush up on your marketing savvy!
As a veterinary professional, maybe marketing isn’t your favorite thing to do, but it has all kinds of benefits for your veterinary practice. It’s a key part of bringing in new pet owners, building relationships with existing ones, and—the bottom line—building your business!
To help you out with your studies, we’ve put together a five-week series of refresher courses. This way, you can give your online marketing strategy a renewed burst of energy for the season.
Today’s lesson is all about the basics: essential marketing.
Everything has to start somewhere, and your marketing strategy is no exception. Let’s take a look at the core components of marketing, so you can get a better idea of how to apply them to your practice.
Why build your online marketing strategy?
Your online marketing strategy should be a cornerstone of your practice. It’s how you present yourself to the world, and how you spread the word about your team and your practice. It’s how you bring in new customers, and how you keep existing clients loyal and engaged.
Online marketing in particular can be advantageous for multiple reasons, including its general affordability and the ability for your practice to measure just how effective it is.
How can you build your marketing strategy?
There are four essential parts of online marketing.
1. Finding your audience.
The first thing to do when planning for your online presence is to know whom you’re speaking to. Yes, the general answer will be “pet owners”–but there’s more to it than that. You’ll want as much detail as you can get—including things like where they’re from, what they like talking about, and even what kinds of pets they prefer—because this translates into better luck reaching that audience.
This is where buyer personas can come in handy. By developing a generic representation of the people you’re speaking to, it becomes much easier to keep them in mind when you’re developing content.
2. Finding your channels.
Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, which is why it isn’t always easy to figure out. It’s important to know what works for you and your audience. For example:
- If you’re targeting a more mature demographic in a suburban area, Facebook would be a safer bet than Instagram or Twitter.
- If you’re targeting millennials, which is one of the largest overall pet owner demographics, it may be better to lean more toward Twitter and Instagram.
Experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you.
3. Covering your bases.
Once you know whom you’re trying to reach and how you’re going to do it, it’s time to make sure you cover your bases. Include the essential information (like phone number, address, and email address) on your website, make sure your social media accounts are consistent and filled in, and be ready to be responsive!
4. Keep tabs.
One of the easiest things to forget about when it comes to your marketing is to keep track of what works, and what doesn’t. This gives you the ability to tweak your strategy in order to optimize its effectiveness.
There are all kinds of ways to do this that don’t involve going in and counting likes and shares yourself. One of the most effective is to make use of online analytics engines, which come built in with WebDVM websites and WebDVM Social.
Knowing the vocabulary
There are all kinds of words and acronyms that get used willy-nilly, and it can be easy to forget what it all means.
We’ve put together these handy flash card to help you learn and remember what some of these key terms mean.
We’ll be posting more essential marketing terms on our social media throughout the week, so check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep the refresh going!
What’s a course without a test?
We’ll also be posting a quiz for you on all of your newfound (and newly remembered) knowledge on Thursday. Use this post and our social media posts for your study notes, and we’ll see you then!
Don’t worry, we’re not keeping track of scores. This is just for your own benefit—and your veterinary marketing too.
Inspired to get started on your marketing strategy? Check out how LifeLearn can help.