Don’t Need New Clients? You Still Need To Market. Here’s Why…
Veterinary hospitals have experienced unprecedented amounts of client visits over the last few years. Because of the strain on their staff and the increased wait times for appointments, multiple practices have decided either to pause accepting new clients or to slow down the numbers of new pet owners walking through their doors. Some people think that means that marketing is no longer needed—because isn’t marketing just for bringing new tails through the door?
Marketing, however, is multi-faceted and does more than you might think to keep a business thriving and healthy. Beyond Indigo Pets is here to help you figure out what marketing can do for you in addition to bringing new clients to your practice:
Show People What You Do
Not every client knows everything your hospital offers. You do not want your current clients straying to another provider for a service you already have in-house just because they do not realize you do it. Cross-marketing and educating help increase average transaction charges and keep your current pet owners using your services.
Share Your Message and Tone
Every piece of marketing is a message to the world about your practice. People form an opinion about who you are, what you mean to the community, your sense of values, and what you offer based on the branding you create and share. This type of messaging does not only affect potential clients: current clients will also form opinions based on what you share. Many people want to know that their veterinary hospital matches their experiences and expectations, which is mirrored in the marketing messages they consume. And, if it resonates, your current pet parents might join the “conversation” by leaving positive reviews or comments on social media.
Give Your Clients Important Updates
A business is a fluid, ever-changing environment. When positive changes occur in a practice, it should be noted and broadcast to the community. Marketing is one of the methods to let current pet owners know that there is a new doctor or service that they might be interested in using.
Send Care Reminders
People are stressed and spacey. Marketing can be used as a reminder of pet well-being and health. Where I live in the North, seasons matter for heartworm and flea/tick awareness. Current clients can be targeted through a type of rebranding ad (see below) that helps to jog their memories that it is time for some preventive care.
Improve Search Rankings
Think of Google as a partner your business is constantly dating. Google wants certain indicators that you are still interested in Google all the time, non-stop. Marketing helps provide Google with the information it requires from your business to keep it where you want it to be listed on search engine results pages. If marketing stops, Google starts to lose interest, which means your business drops in visibility and is not seen easily by either existing or new clients. To start marketing back up again later after ceasing it on Google means a 6–12 month journey to climb back to key visibility places again. Google is a hard task-master and requires continuous love and devotion.
Marketing Tactics To Consider
There are “tools” in the marketing toolbox to reach current clients as well as keep your brand strong in the community. Some are provided by your practice information software, some are available for a fee, and others can be provided by a marketing company. These include:
- Text and Email Blasts: Many practices are already using text and email to remind about upcoming appointments. It is also a great medium for sending messaging about services that should be considered, information about wait times within the hospital, and updates about new services. With almost constant access to text messages and email, these tools can reach people where they are.
- Retargeting Ads: Have you ever looked online for a product or service and then started seeing that company EVERYWHERE? This is called retargeting. Websites pick up information about you when you visit, which is then available to be used in creating ads to follow you. These types of ads are effective because a person has already shown interest in a brand or service. Plus, these particular ads can be created just for current customers if you upload an email list of clients to Google and Facebook. This means that only the people who were on the uploaded list will see the ad.
- Newsletters: An old-school marketing tool is the good ol’ newsletter. If the front desk has been collecting email addresses from clients, this is a great time to use them with a newsletter blast. The newsletter can be used to reel current clients back to your marketing platforms. It is also great for education with links to blog posts, information about upcoming considerations based on seasonal issues (heartworm), and invites for pet owners to join the community on social media. Sending out a blast once a month is a great way to keep connections alive with your clients.
If you are exhausted and done trying marketing on your own, give us a call. Beyond Indigo Pets is here to help you and your business through these changing times. Our full-service marketing plans make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call (877) 244-9322, or click here to sign up for our newsletter.