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.
Here are a few tips to get started.
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.
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!
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 non-profits, 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!
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 effect 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.
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.
Learn more by downloading our Guide to Local Search or call at (855) 718-1201 to speak with one of our experts.