How to Market Your Veterinary Clinic
Posted by Corey Smith on Jul 20, 2023 8:30:00 AM
To earn business, veterinary hospitals have to do more than just put up a sign and hope that pet owners think of them when their pet is having an emergency. The key to engaging pet owners in your community is to offer valuable information and educational opportunities that help them be proactive in the health and wellness of their pets. This could look like in-person events and seminars, or it could be as simple as creating eBooks or one-sheets.
No matter what you choose to do, whether it be any or all of the aforementioned, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes to marketing those resources. Marketing your educational opportunities is also marketing for your pet hospital. If you position yourself as a resource to your community, you will be top-of-mind when they find themselves in need of a veterinarian.
Marketing Your Pet Hospital Educational Opportunities
The two steps in marketing your veterinary hospital’s educational opportunities are to identify what you have to offer and who it’s for. Very rarely will you find a pet resource that is one-size-fits-all. You have to cater to your dog owners vs cat owners, farmers vs domestic pet owners, owners with fearful pets, first-time pet owners vs seasoned pet owners… the list goes on.
Identifying What You Have to Offer
To identify educational opportunities you can offer for pet owners, consider the following:
- Your Current Veterinary Hospital Resources: Start by exploring the resources already available at your veterinary hospital. Many hospitals have educational materials, brochures, or handouts specifically designed for pet owners. These resources often cover topics such as preventive care, common health issues, and general pet care. These can be great fodder for digital collateral.
- Pet Parent Workshops or Seminars: If your veterinary hospital organizes workshops or seminars for pet owners (or desires to), capitalize on those. These events can cover topics like nutrition, behavior, grooming, or training. If your hospital doesn’t offer such workshops, consider suggesting the idea to the management, as it can be a valuable service for pet owners and a great marketing tool for your hospital. Pet Health Webinars: With the increasing popularity of webinars, some veterinary hospitals and organizations host online educational sessions for pet owners. These webinars can cover a wide range of topics and allow pet owners to learn from experts in the field.
- Newsletters and Mailing Lists: Consider a newsletter or a mailing list for pet owners. Subscribing to these can provide them with regular educational content directly to their inbox. You can encourage pet owners to sign up for these newsletters to stay informed about pet health, wellness, and upcoming events.
- Community Outreach Programs: Consider organizing community outreach programs. These can involve educational sessions at local schools, community centers, or pet-related events. Offer to provide information on pet care, responsible pet ownership, or specific topics requested by the community.
- Pet Owner Education Nights: Host dedicated pet owner education nights at your veterinary hospital. These events can include presentations by veterinarians or guest speakers on various pet care topics. This can provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and engage in discussions.
- Pet Care Classes or Training: If your veterinary hospital has space and resources, explore the possibility of offering pet care classes or training sessions. These can focus on topics like first aid, grooming techniques, or basic obedience training. Providing hands-on educational experiences can be beneficial for pet owners.
- Collaborate with Local Pet Stores or Shelters: Reach out to local pet stores, animal shelters, or rescue organizations to explore partnership opportunities. Together, you can organize joint educational events, adoption fairs, or workshops to promote responsible pet ownership and provide valuable information to pet owners.
- Online Resources: Compile a list of reliable online resources for pet owners, such as reputable websites, blogs, or online forums dedicated to pet health and care. Share these resources with your clients or include them on your veterinary hospital’s website for easy access. Or better yet, build your own database of online resources!
I hope that helps provide you with some ideas for what your veterinary hospital could be offering. Even just starting with one of these can be a big step in positioning you as a go-to resource for pet owners in your community.
Digging Into Your Target Veterinary Buyer Personas
The next big step is digging into your buyer personas (aka types of animal owners you’d like to engage). It’s important to establish your buyer personas so that you can segment them and create more effective marketing campaigns. We have buyer persona worksheets that you can use to get started.
As I’ve worked with veterinary hospitals over the years, here are some of the common buyer persona examples that I’ve seen:
- Pet-Loving Parents: This persona represents individuals or families who consider their pets as cherished family members. They prioritize their pet’s well-being and are willing to invest time and money into providing the best veterinary care. They are often well-informed about pet health and are proactive in seeking preventive care.
- Busy Professionals: This persona includes individuals with demanding careers who value convenience and efficiency. They may have limited time available but understand the importance of regular veterinary check-ups and treatments. They appreciate veterinary hospitals that offer flexible appointment scheduling, online services, and streamlined processes to fit their busy lifestyles.
- Senior Pet Owners: This persona encompasses individuals who have senior pets or are specifically looking for geriatric care. They prioritize services that cater to the unique needs of older animals, such as regular health monitoring, pain management, and specialized treatments. They value veterinary hospitals that have experience and expertise in geriatric pet care.
- First-Time Pet Owners: This persona represents individuals or families who have recently acquired their first pet. They may be new to pet ownership and require guidance on basic pet care, vaccinations, nutrition, and training. They appreciate veterinary hospitals that offer educational resources, puppy/kitten packages, and support to help them navigate the initial stages of pet ownership.
- Budget-Conscious Pet Owners: This persona includes individuals who prioritize affordability while seeking quality veterinary care. They may be concerned about the cost of treatments and appreciate transparent pricing, payment options, and recommendations for cost-effective care options. They value veterinary hospitals that provide clear information on pricing, preventive care packages, and that explain the long-term benefits of investing in their pet’s health.
- Pet Enthusiasts: This persona includes individuals who are highly passionate about animals and actively engage in pet-related activities and events. They seek veterinary hospitals that share their enthusiasm and offer additional services such as grooming, pet training, pet boarding, and events like pet adoption drives or charity initiatives.
- Pet Rescue Advocates: This persona represents individuals who have adopted pets from shelters or rescue organizations. They prioritize veterinary hospitals that support and work closely with rescue groups, offer adoption-specific services, and provide discounts or incentives for rescued animals. They appreciate a compassionate and empathetic approach from the veterinary staff.
These are just a few examples of buyer personas for a veterinary hospital, and it’s important to note that real-life customers may exhibit a combination of these characteristics or fall into different categories altogether. Understanding and catering to the unique needs and preferences of your target audience can help tailor your services and marketing efforts more effectively.
Setting Up Your Marketing Campaigns
Once you’ve identified your what and who, then it’s time to create your marketing campaign around that resource. This will typically include the following tactics/collateral:
- A landing page with a form (if it’s an event that requires registration or is a gated downloadable resource)
- A thank you page
- Confirmation and notification emails (only applicable if there was a landing page with a form)
- Workflows to automate any background processes that need to happen when someone fills out your form
- Supporting blogs
- Social media posts
- Email marketing
- Calls-to-action throughout your site (especially on pages with topics relevant to your event or content)
- Pay-per-click campaigns
These are some of the most common methods you’ll see utilized in marketing campaigns. At Tribute Media, we tend to utilize all of these for our clients, depending on budgets. The minimum is typically landing pages and supporting blogs, but that usually has minimum reach as well. To maximize your reach, you’ll want to utilize all of the aforementioned tactics and collateral.
I know. It’s kind of a lot. But if you want to stand out from other veterinary hospitals, it’s necessary to provide value to pet owners in the form of educational events and content. And if you are investing time into organizing events and developing content offers, then it is necessary to create the supporting collateral to drive pet owners to your offers and establish yourself as a community resource. In the end, you’ll see an increase in the number of leads generated through your website and an influx of new clients walking through your doors.
Written by Corey Smith
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Managing Director for Tribute Media. He is also the VP of Web & Creative for Hawke Media.