Internet marketing is BRILLIANT and there are thousands upon thousands of statistics out there telling us so. There are also seemingly thousands upon thousands of internet platforms and tactics you simply must be using. You cannot do them all, so this blog post aims at helping you simplify it all and work out which ones you really should do.
What are the top methods of internet marketing for veterinary practices?
Facebook, email marketing, blogging, your website, online reviews and search engine optimisation (SEO - getting found on Google).
How many of these should I be doing?
Doing a few of these really really well, is much better than doing all of them half-heartedly.
Which are the most important?
That depends on a few things, most predominantly the three Ts: your target, your team and your tone.
Are you marketing to increase your client base, to get existing clients to use your services more frequently, to stop your existing clients going elsewhere, all of the above or something else? The answer to this question must be clear in your mind before you decide how to proceed.
- To increase your client base, consider: online reviews / Facebook / SEO.
- To get existing clients using you more frequently, consider: emails / Facebook / website.
- For client retention, consider: Facebook / emails / blogging.
Are your team trustworthy and keen to be hands on with your internet presence? If so Facebook is a brilliant platform for team input. Photos and messages about patients you've got in, creating videos on how to give a cat a pill etc, work superbly on vet practice Facebook pages. If your team are dedicated, your Facebook page will be engaging, fresh and constantly updated and well monitored.
Blog posts are also a great team effort, you could ask a different member of the team to write one a week, before you know it you've got varied content being published frequently and regularly.
By your 'tone' I mean, what is your practice like when it comes to a whole host of things like special offers, involvement in topical themes such as national pet month or local events. If your practice is involved in the community and you create lots of offers and interesting content, then Facebook is brilliant for you, as are emails and blogs.
If your practice is a little more traditional, formal or you don't produce a lot of offers or marketing content, tactics like search engine optimisation (showing in Google search results), online reviews and your website will work best. These are tactics that don't require a huge amount of fresh content creation on your part and will give your practice a strong online presence without needing the hands on input of the more social platforms.
First Things First - Your Current Internet Presence
Once you've decided which platforms you're going to concentrate on, you should have a tidy up of your current internet presence. Make sure all of your profiles are up to date and look smart with the correct name, logo etc. This includes directory listings - add your practice onto all reputable directories and check that any existing listings have your details correct.
That way, when any potential or existing clients look you up online, you can be sure that you'll come across as professional and on the ball, plus you'll be easy to contact and engage with online.
Your Internet Marketing Strategy
Now your presence is clean and tidy, start using the platforms you've decided to focus on. Create a strategy (this might sound a bit formal but your strategy could even be as simple as 'publish two blog posts every month, one Facebook post a day and a monthly e-newsletter' or 'spend three hours per week optimising your website for Google' etc). Make sure every team member knows what they are responsible for so that right from the get go you're doing things properly.
Get it right
If you're not sure of the best way to write a blog post or what sort of content to post to Facebook, think about either using an outside agency or getting training for your team. Good agencies will work with you to create a strategy that fits around your targets, team, tone and budget. Good trainers will not only give you the knowledge you need, but also help you to make a start and get the whole team excited, focussed and raring to go.
We can help. From our £17.50 per month online review and directory packages to our staff training and social media packages, we'll work with you to make your internet presence shine. Contact us now to chat through how we can hep you.