Between keeping track of appointments, inventory and staffing, it can be tough to incorporate new marketing strategies into the mix. With so many marketing trends to try, how can you decipher which are best suited for your veterinary practice?
That’s where marketing analytics come in—but don’t let that term scare you! It’s easier than you might think, and there are plenty of tools to help.
Although it can be time-consuming, marketing is an essential part of growing your business and ensuring that the animals in your area are getting the best possible care. But even if you’ve investing adequate time and finances into your marketing strategy, it may not necessarily yield the results you want. Tracking your marketing impact on pet owners is a great way to gauge what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to make adjustments and improvements in response. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing analytics programs and tools, so we’ve narrowed down a few that can help you meet the goals of your veterinary practice, without decimating your budget or taking up more time.
So if you’re ready to get your marketing strategy on track, read on and learn the basics of measuring your impact with pet owners.
Social Media Engagement
Curious to know what pet owners think of your veterinary clinic? Start with social. Generally, people are much braver about sharing their opinions with their social media followers—and with your practice—and this makes it easier for you to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t based on what clients are saying.
How can you track social media mentions?
Most social media platforms will notify you when you’re tagged in things, but for those times you’re not tagged, you can use tools like Social Mention to search your practice’s name and get an idea of the tone and content surrounding your practice on social media.
There’s the unfortunate possibility of creating a space for negative reviews, but these too can be valuable.
What do you get from tracking social data?
Let’s say you’re launching a campaign encouraging pet owners to spay or neuter their dogs. First, you write a blog post highlighting the health and behavioral benefits of getting a dog fixed. Next, you share the blog on Facebook with an eye-catching statistic about potentially fatal illnesses that can arise if a dog isn’t spayed or neutered. You expect an immediate influx of likes, shares and comments of gratitude for sharing such essential information. All you notice after a few hours, though, are two measly “shocked-face” reactions. What happened?!
That’s where tracking comes in. If your posts aren’t getting the response and engagement you want, it might be time to adjust your approach. Although there is a certain scare factor when it comes to dogs who aren’t fixed, it could help to try another method. It’s important to highlight the benefits of the procedure. Try not to scare your clients into action; it can create a negative sentiment from your clients, who may feel judged as ignorant or negligent.
How can you track social data like shares, likes, and retweets?
The number of likes and shares you get can provide valuable insight into what information your clients want to see from you. A social analytics tool can do the heavy lifting! Platforms like Facebook and Twitter, for example, have their own built-in analytics. Through these simple programs, you can track things like the number of shares, mentions, retweets, replies you get, and more. Plus, they’re both free!
If you have a WebDVM website, you have WebDVM Social built right in. It enables you to share social posts, but did you know it also analyzes them for you? The reporting feature enables you to track things like activity on certain posts, activity by day, and overall performance to get a better idea of what works for your audience.
Not all pet owners are active on social media, so focusing on social alone will not give you an all-encompassing look at your marketing reach. Tracking any mention of your veterinary clinic online can help bridge the gap. There’s no shortage of tools to measure how often you’re being talked about online, and some of them are completely free!
How can you track web mentions?
Again, if you have a WebDVM website, it can help you out here. It comes with VSmart Alert, which sends you alerts when your practice is mentioned online. This can help you respond to the buzz surrounding your practice online.
Third-party services like Google Alerts offer similar services. Just be careful; the results can sometimes get skewed if your practice shares keywords or phrasing with another clinic. Using quotation marks in the search box can help narrow it down. For example, instead of writing My Awesome Veterinary Practice in the search box, try “My Awesome Veterinary Practice” for better specificity.
Many marketing professionals try to track the number of times a mention includes a link to their content, but it’s best to avoid this for your practice. This type of parameter is actually pretty narrow. Pet owners won’t necessarily link to your website or social each time they talk about you online—which means you could miss out on tons of valuable data. Try to broaden your search to include all types of mentions, so you’ll have your bases covered.
There’s just one more base to cover: Tracking the number of pet owners searching for your clinic online. When you’re trying to gauge your general reach, compiling data based on how many people are looking for you is a great way to measure brand awareness.
How can you track web searches?
Using a tool like Google Analytics is a great place to start, because it’s free and can provide you with valuable data about your veterinary website traffic as well as the amount of times people search for you. That said, the analytics tend to be somewhat limited.
To broaden your results, it can be useful to track how your marketing reach changes over time. A service like Keyword Planner can help you by allowing you to look at the data comparatively. Novice marketers fear not, you don’t need to be an analytics expert to use this free resource! To compare search volumes based on a particular timeframe, just input the specific dates into the “date range” box along with the name of your practice in the keyword search box, and voilà!
What do you get from tracking the web searches looking for your practice?
By keeping track of how many pet owners search for your clinic and comparing the results between different dates, you can recognize patterns in search habits. Based on these trends, you should be able to get a better idea what sort of content and marketing campaigns work best with your target audience. Armed with this knowledge, the possibilities for improving your reach are endless!Measuring the reach of your marketing may seem overwhelming, but a small amount of time invested upfront can reap tremendous ongoing benefits. With just a few small steps, you’ll be tracking your impact like a pro!
Got some new insights? Great! Put your new marketing strategy to work with a WebDVM website, where the blog and social are built right in to make it easier to track your impact.