Educating pet owners is essential for a few reasons: it’s good customer service, and it’s also in the best interest of pets and their health.
But did you know it can also be a powerful marketing tactic?
That’s right: when it’s done well, educational content marketing can be very helpful to your practice for a few reasons.
The first step to using educational content is to make sure you’re looking at it the right way. The trick to doing it well? The content shouldn’t focus on your products and services, but rather on meeting the needs of pet owners and building emotional connections.
You know what pets need to live their healthiest, happiest lives – and this way, you can help pet owners see what these needs are, too.
Now, before you get started, there are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. What do my pet owners want to see?
People need to know they need a product or service before they’ll pay for it. That’s why things like awareness days and months exist; they present an opportunity to teach pet owners about the importance of proper care. For example, National Pet Dental Health Month promotes proper dental healthcare for pets, which might otherwise seem like a cosmetic upsell to many pet owners.
So, while it might be tempting to create a bunch of advertisements telling people what services you offer (and while they can be quite effective in the right setting), your everyday marketing will be much more successful if you can plant the seed that pet owners need something – and then say that you can provide it.
For example, let’s look at National Pet Dental Health Month. Rather than just advertising your dental services, try creating a well-written blog post discussing the benefits of proper dental care for pets. Then, use the call-to-action at the bottom to reiterate the need and mention that your practice does dental care. This way, pet owners will be able to access the essential information they need to make an educated decision – and once they’re convinced of the need, they’ll see that your practice can help them.
2. Where do pet owners look for the things they need?
If your practice isn’t already the answer to this question, don’t worry! That can change. By sharing educational content with your clients, you can establish your practice as an industry expert – the leading veterinary voice in your community.
This will make it much easier for pet owners to associate your practice with what they need. Once they know what they need, they’re going to want to go to the source of the information.
This expertise will also help you build up a reputation with pet owners – and once people trust a business or brand, they generally don’t mind being marketed to. It’s not realistic to expect that they’ll buy everything you’re offering, but at least they won’t mind being offered.
3. Is it worth the time and effort I put in?
Obviously, we’re going to say that the answer to this is that yes, it is worth it! The thing about putting educational content up on your website or blog is that unlike an advertisement about a promotion or event, the material won’t expire. You might have to update it once in a while, but you won’t be starting over every time!
It can also help you build up your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The more pages of content you have on your website, the more search terms you have covered – and the more likely pet owners are to find you.
More often than not, the arguments against educational content for marketing include that it’s time-consuming and that it’s hard to measure return on investment (ROI), but there are ways to work around these arguments.
Let’s look at the first one: It’s time-consuming.
While it’s time-consuming to write high-quality content to help pet owners understand complex topics, it can help your practice stand out in a field where there may not be much competition. Plus, with a few tricks up your sleeve to reduce the time it takes to write educational content, it’s much easier to justify it.
To create your own content, we’ve put together some resources to help you create more efficiently, including how to get started, how to write in less time, and how to deal with writer’s block.
To save even more time, resources like ClientEd Online can help you by providing educational content that you can incorporate into your own material. With access to over 1,800 articles, written and reviewed by veterinary health experts, you’ll have the option to write shorter blog posts that link to additional content – building your reputation as a valuable resource without taking all day.
Now, let’s consider the second one: It’s hard to measure ROI.
It’s true: it’s hard to measure the value of the relationships you build with your educational content. However, there are a few places you can start:
Website traffic can be measured with tools like Google Analytics, which will show you things like where people are coming from, what they look at while they’re on your site, and if they’re repeat visitors.
Conversions show up based on the calls-to-action that should be included in every post. Whether they link to your booking form, contact page, online store, email newsletter sign-up, or another page on your website, conversions can give you valuable insights into how many people click on each.
Social sharing isn’t as refined a method as analytics, but can still give you an idea of how much of an impact your articles are having on your online audience.Education is a big component in any content marketing strategy, and it can have a much bigger impact on pet owners than advertising on its own. By providing educational content, you’re providing value to your clients and prospects – allowing them to make informed decisions about the products and services they need to provide the best life for their pets.
Educational content shows pet owners the caring animal healthcare professional you are by actively engaging them in their pets’ well-being, and giving them the tools to get what they need.
Looking to expand your educational content strategy? See how ClientEd Online can help you build your reputation as a valuable resource!