(This post was originally published on May 4, 2013, and has been updated to be even more awesome!)
Some days, don’t you feel like the other practices in town are getting all the attention… especially online? It’s maddening when they show up higher in Google, right? You know your service is better, your team is incredible, and nobody can touch the exceptional skills your group offers. But why don’t local pet parents know this?
Unfortunately, nobody knows how wonderful your practice is — because your veterinary marketing isn’t telling your story. Marketing makes the greatest impact when it appeals to the emotions of your audience, and one of the best ways to do that is through storytelling. Storytelling creates meaning for your audience, and emotions can make an impact that helps you stick in prospective clients’ minds.
Let’s look at how you can stand out in the crowd so more clients will find your practice and choose you to care for their pets.
What Sets Your Practice Apart?
First, you’ll want to start with a solid foundation that answers this question for local pet parents: “Why is this the best practice for my pet?” That’s where your story comes in… and you need to tell it everywhere. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What’s your unique philosophy about pet care?
- How long have you been practicing in the community?
- What’s the history of your veterinary practice as it relates to community pet parents and patients?
- What local charitable pet events and/or shelters do you support?
- Are you the only AAHA practice in town (or practice with any type of professional distinction)… and if so, what does that mean to clients?
- Does your team have distinctive skills or activities worth noting?
- Do you reach out to cat owners, pocket pet owners, etc. in unique ways?
- How else does your team strive to make clients feel happy… more than any other practice in town?
- What does your practice have to offer that other practices in the community might not (e.g., boarding services, holistic and natural treatment alternatives, etc.)?
Telling Your Story
Once you’re able to clearly articulate what sets you apart, you’re ready to tell everyone. Here are 3 simple ways to broadcast it!
1. Make your veterinary website content shine.
Your website is your chance to explain why pet parents will be delighted with you and your team. Use your Homepage, About Us page, FAQ page, and other pages to demonstrate why pet parents should choose you. This content can also help you move up in search engines results — as long as you naturally include keywords in your website content.
2. Add blog posts with topics geared towards LOCAL pet issues.
Your blog offers unlimited opportunities to tell your practice’s story in ways that matter to pet parents. Make the most of it! All you need to do is talk about local pet health concerns, answer common questions about pet care, announce special events in your practice, and much more.
Put your unique spin on standard topics as well (such as dental care or wellness), and when it applies, mention your location or service area in posts so you’re getting search engine “love.” (If you need more information on search engine smarts, download our free guide: Local SEO Tactics to Boost Your Search Results_The Essential Guide for Veterinarians).
3. Use social media to bring your story to life and build relationships.
Post clinic photos; funny or interesting comments about what you saw in your practice today; questions that prompt responses from your followers; team news that helps followers get to know your staff; upcoming event announcements and more.
Be sure to reply to questions and comments as a nice way of building those precious relationships. You’ll soon become the local hero for current and prospective clients. (WebDVM Social makes this very easy.)
Have you found ways to tell your practice’s unique story in ways that capture your clients’ attention? We’d love to know. Post a comment here, and feel free to provide a link to your practice’s website.