vet clinic marketing

Veterinarian Clinics: 5 Online Marketing Ideas That Work

We all love our furry friends.  In Fact, many pet owners will often spend more money on our pets than they will on themselves.

The pet industry is booming…..for the most part.

While more people are becoming pet owners and spending more money on their pets, many veterinarian clinics are seeing slow growth as far as revenue and customers.

Two reasons for this:

1 – The increasing number of veterinarian clinics popping up in most metro areas, sometimes saturating the market to the point where many vet clinics struggle for market share.

2 – The internet is making it easier for pet owners to purchase specialty pet foods, medicine, and more online without the need of paying for a vet visit.

This means that the potential pool of customers keeps getting divided up between more and more vet clinics and pet owners may not need to visit their local vet as often when they can diagnose and treat their pet without paying for a vet clinic visit.  For a modern, independent veterinarian clinic to thrive, it needs a solid online marketing strategy.

So what is a veterinarian clinic owner to do?

Better marketing and lead generation.  Specifically, online marketing and lead generation since that is where the vast majority of your potential customer base spend their time.

You need to fight for more market share.

You need to position your vet clinic as the best option out of all available options out there.

You need to market your vet clinic smarter and more efficiently than your competitors.

With the explosive growth of corporate owned veterinarian practices, the need to market your clinic effectively is even more important as corporations have a lot more resources and marketing budget available to them than you do.

The great thing about online marketing vs traditional offline marketing is that it is much more efficient and cost effective.  Instead of a mass “spray and pray” model of newspaper ads and direct mail advertising, you have the ability to get your message in front of exactly who you want and when you want it.  Even better, you can get your message in front of your ideal customer exactly then they want it.

So here are 5 online marketing ideas that can help you get in front of your ideal audience and start generating more customers for your veterinarian clinic.

Google My Business Reviews

For a veterinarian clinic, online reviews can make or break your business.  According to a recent Google Survey, more than 80% of consumers turn to online reviews before contacting a business.  If you have a lot of positive online reviews then life if good, if you have poor online reviews then don't expect the phone to ring.  Most business owners don't realize how much importance consumers place on the online reviews for a business.  They also don't realize how much traffic their Google My Business listing gets each month, most of the time it is more than their website.

For a local business, Google My Business reviews are the most important of all online reviews for two reasons:

1 – Google My Business reviews are the first set of reviews most consumers will see when they search for “vet clinics near me”, or a similar search term in Google search.

2 – The amount of reviews and the sentiment of those reviews will impact how well your Google My Business listing will rank in the local search results in Google.

A core strategy for any veterinarian clinic marketing plan should be to get as many positive reviews as they can for their business.  A great online review profile can position your clinic as the preferred place to go compared to other vet clinics in the area.

Google Local Search Ads

local search ads for vet clinics

 

Local Search Ads is a Google advertising product run through their Google Adwords platform.  It is a local ad that shows up in the Google My Business local search results.

Why is this a big deal?

Google Search Ads allows you to insert your listing at the top of the local search results, even the organic listings.  And the fact that the Google My Business listings (aka, the map results) display above the traditional organic search results means that you will get much more visibility.  This ad format works on mobile and desktop and can be setup via Google Adwords.

 

Learn more about our customized marketing for veterinarian clinics – Click Here

 

Remarketing

Remarketing, also known as Retargeting, is when someone visits your website and you drop a small tracking code (aka a cookie) on their device.  This allows you to advertise to them even after they have left your website.  We've all seen this in action before, you visit a website to look at shoes, leave their site and then you see their ad telling you to buy shoes on Facebook a few minutes later.

A little creepy but effective.  Remarketing is a great tool to stay top of mind with a consumer while they are doing their research or comparing several businesses before making a buying decision.

It's also inexpensive to do since you are only targeting “warm leads” who have already been to your website.

Google and Facebook are the two biggest platforms for running remarketing ads, both of which combined will give you a reach that covers 90+% of the internet.

I love remarketing because it can help you squeeze more value out of any other types of marketing and advertising you may be doing in a cost efficient manner.

Facebook Ads

Facebook.  Love them or hate them, no other advertising platform gives you the pinpoint audience targeting that Facebook Advertising does.  With Facebook Ads you can target exactly who you want and only paying when they take an action on your ad like clicking on a link to your website.

One really cool feature of Facebook Ads is that you can upload your customer list to Facebook and they will match their emails and/or phone numbers to existing Facebook profiles.  This allows you to advertise to your customers on Facebook, a great way to reactivate inactive customers or to promote new services or events that your running.

But it gets better.  You can also “clone” your customer list using a feature called “Lookalike Audiences” where Facebook takes your customer list and creates a nearly identical new list of people you can market to who share similar demographics, interests and behaviors as your current customer list.  Yes, creepy for Facebook users but great for businesses trying to market to them.

You can also create custom lists for people who have an interest in pets, dogs, cats or even follow popular pet websites and organizations on Facebook.

So basically, you can a lot with Facebook Ads.

Online Contests

Want to build an email list?  What about getting followers to your Facebook or Instagram account fast?

The easiest, fastest and funnest way to do it is to run an online contest.

There are lots of options for software that allow you to setup online contests very easily.  You can literally think up, design and start a contest in under an hour.  It's that easy.

People love contests and most of the time it doesn't matter how small or big the prize is, people just love participating in them.

The key to a great contest is:

  • Making the prize associated with your business/industry so you attract the right audience.  Think gift certificate from your clinic or a gift basket full of pet goodies.
  • Lots of promoting.  Social media, in-clinic posters, email marketing and Facebook Ads are all great ways to get the word out.
  • Make it fun

As a bonus strategy, one that works great, is that after you announce the winner, contact everyone else and let them know they did not win but offer them some sort of secondary prize they can redeem, like a $20 off coupon they can use on their next visit or a free add-on service with treatment.  This keeps everyone involved and allows everyone to become a customer of you clinic.

Getting started with your online marketing strategy

There are so many marketing opportunities online right now for vet clinics, most are still stuck running coupon clipper magazine ads and direct mail, they don't realize the numerous opportunities with online marketing.

Pick one of the above marketing ideas and start implementing it today.  If you want to see real growth, start working on your digital marketing strategy and implement all of them.

Have questions or need help with the online marketing strategy for your veterinarian clinic?  Contact us today to learn more about our veterinarian marketing programs.

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Gary

CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
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