One of the most efficient ways to market your practices is to focus your efforts on local marketing tactics. After all, even if you are one of the top-rated veterinarians in your state, pet parents typically visit a veterinarian in their local area. By focusing your efforts on local marketing strategies, you can stand out among the other vets in your area, attracting new patients and maximizing your return on investment.
How will it grow your veterinary practice via local marketing?
Make your practice known
Getting involved within your community helps your practice get seen by locals, and can lead to a boost in your clientele. Building connections in person translates into new online connections too, which can help improve your local SEO results to make your practice easier to find online.
Improve your transparency
When pet owners see that you are involved with their community, they get to know the human faces behind the medicine. Transparency helps build trust with potential and current clients, which can ultimately lead to better compliance and client retention—and better treatment for sick and injured pets.
Build your practice’s reputation
It takes time to build a strong reputation, and it won’t happen through advertising.
On top of building trust with pet owners, staying involved with your community also helps you create a closer bond with locals. Clients see how much you truly care about their pets and the neighborhood you share.
With a great reputation, not only can business keep booming, but you’ll also gain traction with client education programs too!
Network with industry animal experts
In order to meet the demand for pet owner education, it’s important that your team continues to learn as well—and networking with local animal organizations is a great way to start.
Creating symbiotic relationships with other practices, like the one we mentioned earlier, can help you bring in new resources for your practice.
By forging genuine, mutually beneficial connections with locals, your team can make a positive impact on the community—and improve the growth of your business.
6 Local Marketing Tips for Veterinary Practices
1. Set Up Your Google My Business Account
To help support businesses of all sizes, Google has set up a program called “Google My Business.” This allows you to claim your business listing and manage your hours, contact info, and reviews, all from your Google account. At minimum, you’ll want to login to your Google My Business account to respond to reviews once a week, so add a note in your calendar to check for new reviews on your least busy business day. Patients will receive an email with your response, so be sure to personalize it and thank them for taking the time to leave their feedback!
You should also conduct a quarterly check of your contact information to be sure that nothing has changed. A broken link to your website or a wrong phone number can frustrate your existing and potential patients. Don’t forget to keep your hours updated and share pictures of your practice to make you even more attractive to new clients.
2. Create a Referral Program
One of the best marketing strategies at your disposal is to leverage the connections you already have. Pet owners are constantly meeting up with one another. Whether they’re socializing at the dog park while their pets play, bumping into each other on walks, or networking on social media, pet parents are always sharing recommendations. Encourage them to mention your practice by setting up a referral program that runs throughout the year. Whether you offer a gift card for each referral or a discount on future services, give them an extra reason to mention your veterinary practice.
Once your program is in place, be sure to mention it across your marketing channels. Add a footnote to your email footer, create social media posts, and put up a sign at your front desk. This will help turn your existing clients into walking, talking billboards for your practice, so a passionate referral is worth its weight in gold!
3. Build Partnerships with Local Businesses
Another avenue for referrals is to build partnerships with other local businesses. A great place to start is to find locally owned pet stores in your area. Offer to keep a stack of coupons for their store at your front desk if they’ll keep a stack of your business cards on their checkout counter. By promoting your veterinary practice where pet owners are sure to visit, you can increase brand recognition while cultivating ongoing business partnerships in your community.
Another great opportunity is to partner with local animal shelters or rescues. By offering discounts to nonprofits, you can increase the likelihood that they come back for ongoing care. And when adoptive parents pick up their new pet, they’ll likely use the veterinarian that already knows their pet’s health history. Plus, you can highlight your partnerships on social media and show how you’re going the extra mile to support your local rescues!
4. Implement Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If you want to attract leads in your local area, Pay-Per-Click advertising, such as Google Ads, will be an essential part of your marketing plan. When you search for terms like “Veterinarian in [your city]”, you may see a few advertisements on top of the search results. This space is extremely valuable for marketing your practice, and it allows you to keep up with any competitors who are already using ads. Pay-Per-Click advertising also allows you to target the keywords that matter most to your veterinary practice, which is essential if you specialize in a particular field like exotics, equine, or livestock.
To maximize your return on investment, research and evaluate what keywords you want to target. Since finding leads in your area is your primary goal, you want to include the cities and counties surrounding your practice. As you get started, set a low budget for each keyword, then monitor the performance to see which is the most effective. Google selects what ads to display in an auction-like bidding system, so the competition in your area will also affect how much you spend. Once you have data for each keyword and can see how many leads you’ve received, you can decide which campaigns to continue.
Pay-Per-Click takes a lot of time and research to perfect, so it may be worth it to outsource to a marketing firm. We have a team of marketing experts who specialize in local search for veterinarians, and they’ll help you create a keyword targeting plan, design landing pages, and A/B test different ad copy to find what brings in the most leads.
5. Partner with a local shelter
It’s very common for veterinary practices to partner with animal shelters, because there are all kinds of benefits each has for the other. You can volunteer your time and services by treating sick rescue animals, and by providing free or subsidized check-ups for shelter pets.
Did you know that this partnership can extend beyond your practice doors, though? There’s a lot you can do without even leaving the practice, like hosting BBQs, charity runs, or adopt-a-thon events, or collecting donations on behalf of local shelters right at reception. This both helps local animals, and can help spread the word both about your practice and about the local shelter.
6. Build a practice network
Not all connections need to be charity-based. If there are other practices in the area who aren’t considered competitors, or who cover a different field of focus than you do, it can be a good idea to create a network between you.
If you, for example, don’t work with birds and exotics, you can send those pet owners to a practice that does—and they can send dog-and-cat-specific clients to you.
For veterinary practices, local marketing is essential to getting effective results. Develop a strategy to find leads in your area and build a network of referrals to support ongoing growth.