Think about why you chose a career working with animals. Was it because you love business management and marketing? Probably not. It’s much more likely you were inspired by a great love for biology, medicine, and of course—pets. But marketing is an essential part of attracting new pet owners to your practice, and keeping the regulars coming back for more.
The ultimate goal of any veterinary practice is to build a business recognized by pet owners as the best place to go for pet expertise and superior animal care services. That’s why it’s important to raise your practice’s profile—without drawing consistent attention to your practice, how will pet owners know you’re there?
A little effort goes a long way when it comes to marketing your practice. It doesn’t need to cost a ton of time or money to stand out from your competition online—and we’ve got a few tips to help.
We’ve created a list of simple yet effective ways that can help you draw in pet owners at your veterinary clinic, and keep them coming back. With the right tools and strategies, you can build your way to a better business not just for yourself, but for pets and pet parents too.
Prioritize great customer service.
This might seem like a given, but it’s all too easy to get absorbed in caring for pets and forget that the human clients are there too. Pet owners are the ones footing the bill for their pets, so it’s important to keep their needs front of mind.
Providing excellent, efficient and friendly service to pet patients and pet owners alike is not just good business, it’s also great marketing. When a client walks out of the clinic feeling satisfied, or even wowed by their veterinary experience, they are likely to share the news with friends and family. Good customer service speaks for itself, and it saves loads on the marketing budget!
Showcase the people behind your practice.
Providing exceptional customer service is a great way to improve marketing from within your clinic, but what about reaching pet owners who may not yet be clients?
Most veterinary practices know they need to build an online presence, but it can be hard to stand out against the competition. Showing who you are as a business can help.
The trick is to find that balance between running a business and maintaining a personal touch to pet care. Pet owners want to know their veterinarians, and they want to connect with your staff on a personal, friendly level to build trust.
How’s it done? Step 1 is to have a team page on your veterinary practice’s website, but make sure you’re optimizing it for the greatest chance of success. Go beyond the basics and share your personal story of what brought you into medicine. Show some character and cultivate a likeable bio that pet owners will be drawn to. You can include humor, heart-warming anecdotes, or fun facts—just remember to keep it friendly and professional.
If pet owners can get to know and like the person(s) behind the practice, they’ll want to engage with your services—and maybe even recommend you to others.
Start a veterinary blog, or post more often.
Writing a veterinary blog for your practice can seem time-consuming, but the payoff is well worth the investment. A blog is the ideal place to educate and entertain clients even after they leave the exam room—plus it’s a golden opportunity to engage new pet owners too.
When you develop a loyal following online, your online presence becomes more defined. You can showcase yourself as an expert in your field, setting your clinic up as a go-to source for pet health information. A blog is also a great way to add value to the lives of pet owners, for the overall improvement of their pet’s health.
So if you want to improve client communication and compliance, considering starting a veterinary blog if you haven’t already! And if you have started one, when was the last time it got updated?
Need a home for your blog? WebDVM websites come with an easy-to-edit blog platform built right in.
Simply having a blog may not produce the results you want. The success of your veterinary blog depends on the consistency and frequency of your posting. As the old saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind,” so try to keep it updated to avoid being forgotten when the next new thing comes along.
Reward customers with promotional merchandise.
Everyone loves free stuff. Investing in some affordable promotional merchandise may not be a new marketing trick, but it holds up. Giving out free merch bearing your veterinary practice’s name, logo and contact information serves a couple great marketing purposes that can improve brand recognition for your clinic.
Realistically, it doesn’t have to be big—it could be as simple as packing up some treats into individual bags with your business card attached, or having pens with your logo on them at the front desk for when someone inevitably forgets one.
This has two benefits: One, you get to thank the pet owner for their business (who doesn’t love free pens?); and two, the client carries out a mini-billboard advertising your practice wherever they go (who doesn’t love free advertising?). With any luck, they may even choose to share your merchandise on social media if it’s a little something different.
The key here is to find that sweet spot between how much you spend on the merchandising versus the quality of the product. While you want to avoid overspending on something frivolous, do try not to cheapen the product too much—this will reflect poorly on your practice and defeat the entire point of the exercise.
Get on board with online videos.
According to a recent Google study, 50% of smartphone users look for online videos on mobile when deciding whether to engage with a brand. We already know that pet owners are increasingly more reliant on their cell phones to find information, so why wouldn’t you jump in on the video action?
Part of what keeps small businesses afloat amidst throngs of competition is by staying on trend with different platforms for sharing. Videos are a quick and easy way to communicate with pet owners, whether you’re looking to educate or entertain. If you can anticipate pet owner questions, you’ll be able to address their concerns in an online video—a medium more and more clients are coming to expect.
Plus, videos are extremely sharable. With just a few clicks, you can change things up on your veterinary practice’s social, blog and even your website. By curating a variety of media types, you will appeal to a wider audience and by extension, grow your brand awareness too.So there you have it, five ways to help attract and keep pet owners at your veterinary practice. Armed with these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a household name.