Today’s lesson is all about veterinary content.
You’ve likely heard the adage that delivering a message is 70% how you look, 20% how you sound, and 10% what you say. Unfortunately, in the online world, you don’t have the advantage of using tone of voice, so the pressure is on for the other two components.
This is where content comes in.
Advantages & benefits of vet blog content
- Educating clients
A blog is an excellent opportunity for you to increase your client education offerings. Make your website the go to for pet health information with informative blog posts that help clients better understand their furry friends’ health conditions and behavior. For more ideas on what kinds of educational blog posts you can create, check out our post on beating Dr. Google with your blog.
- SEO benefits
Blogging has multiple different SEO benefits. It creates more pages on your website to be indexed by search engines, it allows you to optimize your website for more keywords, and it means that your website is updating more often, which looks good for search engines.
A blog post is a great chance to convert readers into visitors. By including call-to-actions in your blog posts, you can encourage people reading about relevant topics to take action and come in for a visit to your clinic! For example, if you’re writing about dental cleaning, make sure to include a sentence encouraging readers to bring their own pets in to see you for a cleaning.
- Establishes authority
A regularly updated blog featuring valuable pet health information helps your practice establish authority and knowledge in the veterinary industry. When you speak confidently about topics relevant to pet health care, especially related to current events or controversial topics, you demonstrate your expertise in the field and encourage pet owners to trust you and your practice.
How do you build your veterinary content strategy?
Your veterinary marketing strategy comprises several components, including:
We’ve already discussed the first one, and we’ll get to the others in due time.
First, though, let’s talk about the four key steps for your content.
1. Know your context
Context is the biggest part of your veterinary content, and it will come from a combination of the buyer personas you create and the channels you choose to use for your strategy.
It helps you target the right audience the right way; for example, you can share an article about proper snake diets on your social media because it’s addressing a wider audience, but you really shouldn’t send that same article in an email blast to someone who has a pet hamster.
2. Think about your audience
Remember that with your blog, you aren’t writing your master’s thesis. You’re talking to pet owners, and that will play a huge role both in the topics you choose and how you address them.
Try to avoid picking massively in-depth topics that might go over their heads, and do your best to avoid complex medical terms. If there’s a layman’s way of saying it, use that instead. This can also be a great way to boost your on-page SEO; by picking out pet owner–friendly terms to include, you’re including the keywords that they’re most likely to search for.
3. Pick your elements
It’s easy to think of your content as just the words you write, but it’s important to think bigger than that. Veterinary content isn’t just your writing; it can be graphic elements like your images and your videos, too. Be sure you know the elements you’ll need, and that they carry a consistent tone across all platforms.
4. Do your planning
It’s tempting to jump right in and get all your ideas started, but make sure you have a plan first. You’ll need a content calendar to help you sort everything out in a logical manner, and to make sure you’re hitting all of the important seasons and dates.
Think of it like an essay, but much less tedious. Your overall monthly theme is your thesis, your smaller weekly themes are your arguments, and important seasons and dates are the quotations you need to connect with a clear narrative flow.
Once you have your plan sorted out, you can use a tool like a WebDVM website to build a perfect home for your content. With a built-in blogging platform, easy-to-navigate pages to put your content on display, and WebDVM Social to schedule everything out, you’ll be ready to spread the word in no time.
5. Define your tone
In the online world, you don’t have the advantage of relying on tone of voice to convey meaning. Instead, you must rely on the words themselves to communicate clearly with pet owners.
Your tone will depend somewhat on where you’re writing, but it should stay more or less the same throughout. After all, you don’t want pet owners to think they’re hearing from multiple different people!
As an example, we strive to use a consistent voice across the board, but obviously, social media is going to have more flex room for an informal and conversational tone than a website or blog will.
6. Keep it simple
If you can, try to keep an eye on your word count. For example, try to keep sentences below 20 words, and try not to have more than 2 or 3 sentences in a paragraph. This guideline helps you build pet owner–friendly content, and your readers can digest information quickly and easily.
7. Be Confident
If you’re just getting started with veterinary blogging, it’s easy to feel like you don’t really know what you’re doing. The best way to be a compelling blogger, however, is to be confident in what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.
Practice writing, ask for feedback, take a free online course—do whatever you need to do to feel confident in your writing, and you’ll find it becomes much easier. Your veterinary blog is a useful tool when it comes to educating and communicating with pet owners. Make the most of the time you spend on your blog using these tips, and watch it take off!
Where can I look for veterinary blog topics?
- Ask your colleagues and veterinary staff about any subjects that may have come up with clients or other pet owners they know. If there are common questions being mentioned, those would make for great blog topics.
- Go right to the source. It’s easy enough to respond to a client’s concern in an appointment and leave it at that, but the questions and comments that you receive in your practice make for interesting and relevant material for your veterinary blog. Jot any ideas down, and refer back to them in your writing – just be careful to get express permission before using any direct quotations.
- Keep the season in mind. Maybe we’re talking trick-or-treaters, or maybe we’re talking ticks, but there are often seasonal factors to be aware of (or avoid) as a pet owner. Think about any upcoming events, either environmental or community-oriented, that could affect pet health, and write about them in a way that’s personal to your neighborhood or practice.
- Check your library. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a handy selection of veterinary topics waiting to be parsed? Oh, wait. ClientEd is the perfect tool for a busy blogger, with over 2,000 topics to choose from. Pick your topic, write a summary in your own words, make it unique to your writing style, and even add examples from your own experience.
- Write about timely subjects. There’s a reason why tabloids do so well. Because they pick subjects that everyone is already aware of, it’s much easier to stir interest. Writing about a current issue or event in pet health can be beneficial for two reasons: 1) It gives you the opportunity to discuss a larger issue without having to do an in-depth introduction first. 2) It helps ensure that pet owners will find and remember the information.
- Don’t be afraid to rehash your seasonal posts. Let’s say you wrote about all the reasons real pine trees are dangerous for cats last December. It’s a great resource piece, but the trouble is that by the time the next season rolls around, that blog post is likely so far back in your archive (and in Google’s search database) that pet owners might not see it unless they’re actively looking for a refresher. By revisiting seasonal posts each year, you can refresh your clients’ memories of things that come up every year, but don’t necessarily sit in their memory banks all year long.
- Write up an FAQ. Do you find you get a lot of the same questions at your practice on a regular basis? If pet owners are asking those questions in your practice, they’re probably also searching for the answers to those questions online. You can reach those online searchers by responding to their common questions on your blog.
- Discuss common diseases and conditions. People are generally interested in topics that they think will affect them and their lives – so by using your blog as a platform to talk about diseases and conditions that could very well affect them and their pets, you can help stir interest and spread the word. After all, chances are there are plenty of pet owners who are interested in learning about those diseases and conditions anyway!
- Highlight your point with real-life stories. One of the best ways to catch pet owners’ attention and help highlight the symptoms and prevalence of certain diseases is to include real-life case studies from your practice. Real stories help connect with readers and make the information personally relevant.
Want to learn more about the wonderful world of veterinary blogging? Or Do you want to get started on your veterinary blog? See how WebDVM websites can help.