When veterinarians think about doing marketing for their practice, it's normal to assume it will be complicated and expensive.
If you ask us, there's some truth to that belief. Especially when the practice is stuck with traditional marketing methods, many veterinarians rely only on what they can do, settling for non-existent marketing efforts.
But there's good news for every veterinary practice out there. If you are not too tied up with the traditional marketing methods, there are newer methods that you can use to market your practice that won't break your bank.
Let's talk about the four marketing tactics that can help your veterinary practice gain more customers and, in the process, more revenue.
4 Marketing Tactics Your Veterinary Practice Can Use
Offer a Free Service and Promote It on Social Media
Depending on who you talk to, they might say offering a free service is good or bad for your service. For us, there's nothing inherently wrong with providing a free service as long as you are smart about it.
For a veterinary practice, the best service you can offer for free is a checkup. They don't pay for the checkup but will have to pay for everything else after that.
This "freemium" has proven to be very effective in attracting new customers. A similar model is prevalent in phone apps where they let a person play/use an app for free but offer premium options for people who want to enjoy the app a bit more. Another tool that provides a freemium model is Trello. Within the last three years, Trello has grown by more than 400%. This proves that the model works.
There are a lot of things that prevent a person from going through the door of your practice. It could be due to the price, or they don't just want things to change (changing vets for their pets). All these issues can be addressed when you offer a free checkup on the first visit.
When you offer a free checkup, it becomes a win-win situation for the pet owner. They can now try a new vet without having to worry about paying. For the owners, the worst-case scenario is they don't like the service, and they stick with the vet they are familiar with. The best-case scenario for them would be finding out your practice has the best veterinarians around, and they didn't have to spend a dime to find out.
The second element of this tactic involves promoting your free offer on social media. Assuming you have been spending time creating a presence on social media, this should be the easiest part. Depending on the platform you choose, you can easily reach out to hundreds if not thousands of prospective customers. Just don't forget to add extra effort in creating your post. Give your strategy an extra oomph by allotting $100 for the ad spend so you can reach even those who don't follow your account.
Using Referral Programs
You might be wondering why we are including using a referral program on our list of modern marketing tactics but hear us out first.
Referral programs work.
When people make decisions, they like to consult others on their opinions. More than 80% of people seek recommendations before making a purchase. When was the last time you purchased something just because? We often buy something because our parents used the same brand or a friend highly recommended it.
Creating a referral program is building upon this regular human interaction to multiply your client list. It requires very little from your business, but the returns are outstanding.
Creating a process that allows your current customers to refer others can take some time, but once you have one in place, you can build upon it whenever you need to.
You need to note that just because you have a referral program does not mean your customers will flock right in. A good process is just a frame; fleshing it out will require you to look for a good incentive. Studies have shown that almost 90% of Americans appreciate a good incentive.
Engaging With Your Customers on Social Media
It's already 2021, and if you still don't have your veterinary practice on social media, you are missing a lot by now. Facebook alone boasts over 2.89 billion monthly active users. Don't you want a piece of that pie?
Claiming your social media real estate by creating your practice's social media accounts is just the start. Having the accounts won't help you. It would help if you learned to engage with your target market as well.
There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to promoting your business on social media. It's not rare to see accounts not getting any traction for years, only to see massive growth within weeks of implementing a good SMM plan.
We will not detail what you should be doing to grow your social media presence, as that can be reserved for another day. But if we're going to give you pointers, you can always count on the following:
- Don't over-promote your practice or services.
- Post useful content.
- Make sure your posts are relevant to your target market.
- Foster healthy discussions within your community
If you follow these four tips, engaging with your customers on social media will come naturally and easily.
Try Out Influencer Marketing
Of all the tips we included in this article, this one will surely be the most controversial. Sure, there are many scary stories out there of influencer marketing gone wrong, but it's not all that bad.
Influencer marketing works wonders in specific industries. The world of pet products and services is one. Many pet owners think highly of specific influencers, and their recommendations affect their decision-making.
Does this mean you have to look for the most popular and, therefore, most expensive influencer out there?
Not really. The secret in influencer marketing is not just looking for the biggest one - you need to look for the right one. When you say the right influencer, that means you should look for somebody who understands your brand message and who's following your target market.
It does not matter if it's just a local influencer with a few thousand followers. If you are smart about it, such a partnership can become a couple of hundred new customers.
Finding the Right Marketing Partner for Your Veterinary Practice
You've reached the end of our article, and if you are scratching your head wondering, "how can I possibly do all that?" then don't worry. Most of the most successful veterinary practices always work with a partner who can help them with their digital marketing efforts. That way, your practice can focus on providing excellent service when your marketing partner worries about growing your client base.
VeterinaryMarketing.com is a full-service veterinary marketing agency that specializes in providing data-driven results and personalized strategies. We have helped countless practices grow their customer base and improve client retention. When you work with us, you get a team with years of experience assisting veterinarians with their marketing needs.
Contact us today and find out how they can take your vet's marketing to the next level.