Posts Tagged: Veterinary Marketing
When & How To Shift Your Veterinary Marketing Goals
Marketing goals should not be set in stone. Sometimes goals change, and that’s okay! How can you tell when it is necessary to adjust your focus, and more importantly, implement these changes? We have some great tips to help you navigate when and how to shift your veterinary marketing goals:
Feeling Caught in a Vise Grip?
Marketing Can Help!
The world is just peachy keen out there right now isn’t it?? Depending on where you live in the country, prices for goods and services are increasing at some eyebrow-raising rates. One is never sure what the price will be at the pump and thoughts are circulating around buying holiday presents now, before they are gone or too expensive to purchase. Within the practice, the cost of goods to operate are going up as well. Many services a hospital uses most likely will see price increases come the start of 2023, as businesses adjust to this higher cost of living. These price increases are one side of the vise grip. The other side of the vise grip is the cost of labor. Many hospitals are having to pay higher wages and benefits to attract and keep the staff that they have. Stacy Pursell writes about these trends here in the Fountain Report. With costs of goods and services going up and the cost of labor increasing too, it means it’s quite a bit more expensive to run the business. Ouch.
Inflating Prices and Decreasing Visits
Why Do I Need to Market?
Many businesses stop marketing efforts when they see their appointment books filling. They assume they have plenty of clients, so why do they need to keep marketing? Here at Beyond Indigo Pets, we know that “marketing” does not just mean getting new clients. It is so much more, including keeping your existing clients and keeping your brand active on multiple platforms. And it is essential that you continue to do it.
Veterinary Marketing for the Holidays—Goldilocks Style
One of the keys to successful veterinary marketing is finding a plan/system that works for you consistently. Many of us tend to overestimate the time we can give to a project on an ongoing basis. In order to be effective, marketing needs regular time and attention—not just a few spare minutes here and there. As we look forward to the holiday season, now is the time to focus on molding a marketing plan to fit your needs. Beyond Indigo Pets is here to provide the ongoing marketing you need to see real results. Whether or not you’ve already signed up for a marketing package, the following tips can help you get your marketing jumpstarted for the holiday season. Just like Goldilocks, find the veterinary marketing strategy that is “just right” for your hospital while building a quarterly plan with your Beyond Indigo Pets marketing strategist.
Best if you have: ✓ limited time ✓ no budget ✓ basic social media knowledge ✓ basic photo/video skills
We know that you might not have the time or resources to fully jump into a complete marketing plan right away, but there are some quick and easy ways to get people to engage with your brand. Here are just a few that only require a mild amount of effort:
Idea One: Social Media Holiday Contest Have an Instagram account? Create a holiday contest with a hashtag like #yourbusinessname that people can use to tag their favorite holiday photos of their pets. This is an easy way to create some buzz around your business name. You will simply need to create the marketing message, tell people on Instagram and Facebook, and interact with the posts people tag you in. And all you have to do for a prize is to feature the winning photo on your timeline.
Idea Two: Team Video For social media, create a video with every willing staff member saying “happy holidays” and sharing a pet holiday tip like: “Remember, no chocolate for dogs!” Once you are happy with the videos, have someone schedule them to post on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or NextDoor during the holiday months.
Best if you have: ✓ flexible time ✓ small budget ✓ educational content ✓ marketing channels to spread the word
If you have a little more time to devote to your holiday veterinary marketing efforts, here are some ideas that could be perfect for your practice:
Idea One: Client Education Sessions Holidays are fraught with preventable animal health issues that catch many pet owners completely off guard. Educating clients about the dangers of certain toxins (like grapes for dogs or lilies for cats) is helpful in preventing issues that could instantly ruin someone’s holiday. You can hold a free in-person or Zoom class to discuss these concerns. If you do have the event online, make sure to share on your digital marketing platforms.
Idea Two: Honor Your Clients’ Pets Participate in a pet-focused gift like planting a tree in honor of a pet. There are many services that do this for you and your only requirements are to write a check and let your clients know that you are providing this service. For pets who have passed, there are services such as Tree Givers. You can also use something like the National Forest Service. Create a few social media posts explaining the process, make a flyer for the hospital, and let your clients know about the program when they come in for their appointments.
Best if you have: ✓ flexible schedule ✓ budget ✓ space in your practice/facility
✓ community partnerships
Idea One: Celebrate Your Clients’ Pets For all the pets that transitioned over the rainbow bridge in the last year (or a time period that you set), create or buy a Christmas tree ornament or other meaningful holiday marker. Invite the families to come in to pick up their special memory gift from you. Make sure to take pictures before and after the event to share on social media (with permission).
Idea Two: Host a Get Together If your practice is open to in-house visitors, create a celebration time where your pet parents can come in and have a beverage, take a picture of their pet, and maybe buy some holiday gifts for Fido. Reconnecting on a face-to-face level helps grow the bond between you and your pet owners. If you have new services or under-utilized services, this would be a great time to showcase them and how they work.
Idea Three: Support Your Community Work with a local rescue group to serve as a drop-off place for a donation drive for the rescue. Gather a list of what the rescue group needs, promote it on social media channels, set up a drop-off area in or outside of the hospital, and then organize how to deliver the donated items.
When it comes to spreading the word about your practice, Beyond Indigo Pets has plenty of marketing plan options so we can do the heavy lifting for you. We deliver impacting results with a custom touch. Think of us as an extension of your business. We are here to help. Call (877) 244-9322 to get started!
Digital Marketing Struggles
In the fledgling days of the internet, digital marketing used to be very simple. Today, everything has evolved and there are multiple moving parts that each seem to require regular attention. We have seen many veterinarians with their head in their hands wondering why marketing on the internet seems so confusing. The answer is: because it IS CONFUSING. How do you navigate it and come out successful and sane on the other end of the process?
NextDoor for Veterinarians
NextDoor is a local social network platform that is limited to “neighborhoods” based on your home or business address. It is designed for local people to post questions, ask for recommendations, and give/get general updates for their area. In fact, many of the posts start with ISO or “in search of.”
Five Steps to Beef Up Compliance
Compliance is an important issue for veterinary practices, but the past few years have been a whirlwind and time has been in extremely short supply. Many of us have had no chance to take a step back to see the health of our animal population as a whole. How do you get all your clients back into compliance with checkups and vaccinations? To keep it simple (and quick to read), here are five ways to assist in this endeavor:
Know Thy Data
It is almost impossible to accurately know the compliance rate of your pet population without reviewing data. Gut-feeling guesses can only take you so far, but hard data wins the day. There are a few places to collect data–the invoices for the last 12 months, and reports from your PIMs system. Here at Beyond Indigo Pets, we use our Marketing Dashboard powered by VetSuccess to gather data.
VetSuccess excels at standardizing data from a hospital’s PIMS system and making it understandable. We want to be able to see exactly the number of compliant pets by species and compare that data to the benchmark of other hospitals in the area. This gives us a baseline from which we can begin veterinary marketing campaigns. For example, looking at this chart, we can see this hospital has 127 pets vaccinated for Lyme disease, which is 3% of their entire active pet population. Compared to the rest of the veterinary hospitals in the state, they are 8 percentage points lower in vaccinating for this disease. Since spring is upon us, and they are in a state known for Lyme disease, it would be an excellent marketing initiative to encourage people to get their pet’s vaccinations up to date. While the animal is at the hospital, it would be a great time to get a wellness exam, per the data below—two-for-one, so to speak!
Because of how targeting works in marketing on social media, Google, and other platforms, it is helpful to define what demographics you want to target before setting up any marketing campaign. Think about which age group your desired client base fits into. Consider the characteristics of your ideal or “best” client. In the new age of practicing medicine, who do you, as a team, want to see? Who adds quality to your day instead of taking it away? I would suggest you and the team write out a description of your ideal client and all the characteristics of said client. That is where you direct your marketing efforts instead of just hoping for the best.
Bandwidth (This is very important!)
Bandwidth is a super duper important consideration when looking at marketing campaigns to increase compliance. The biggest bottlenecks involve the team’s ability to see the pets, budget constraints, and supply chain. For example, taking an inventory of what vaccines you have on hand, or that you can easily obtain, is the first step. It would be a waste to do a marketing push for something that you cannot complete due to supply restrictions. Also, what does the team like doing? Most hospitals do not have a shortage of clients so, instead of randomly pushing any topic, if the team had a choice, which area of compliance would they appreciate doing the most? Finally, set a budget for your marketing push to cover pay-per-click advertising and someone’s time to accomplish it.
Time to Make the Push
Data in hand, demographics known, budget defined, and you are set to go. Now, where, how, and when do you market for compliance? Please be realistic regarding your personal time or staff’s time when marketing. If you have only five minutes to post a blurb/meme about the importance of getting a Lyme vaccination, look toward a post on Facebook and/or Instagram. Throw in Nextdoor too if you have a few extra spare minutes. If you have more time or work with a marketing company, focus on creating a blog about the what, where, and why of Lyme disease. Make sure to include a call to action (CTA) that is easy for people to do—think, “Click here to schedule an appointment.” Then, promote the heck out of that blog on social media, website, and newsletters.
Time to Measure
Regardless of the marketing message and push, it is important to measure the success of the campaign weekly, or when the platforms allow. (Social media gives you marketing success data sooner than Google). Because the first step is to collect data, that is the starting point for your measurement. Compare that point to the new data after the campaign has been running a week or two. Is the needle moving? If not, it is time to switch up the marketing message and/or platform.
Consider using us to move the needle on compliance (or any marketing push). Because we understand the value of your time, we created the Marketing Dashboard powered by VetSuccess, which allows us to see your data without you calling us, sending us reports, or squeezing in conversations. We can identify compliance issues, run them past you for your approval, and then roll up our sleeves and get to work. Reach out to us by clicking here https://www.beyondindigopets.com/#contact.
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?
Celebrating 25 years of Veterinary Marketing Excellence
If you blink, 25 years will pass! That is how we feel at Beyond Indigo Pets! And what a quarter century it has been. When we started in 1997, things looked a little different on the web than they do now—and our product offering was just websites. Our founder and CEO Kelly Baltzell learned to code our very first website in HTML with a book propped up next to her computer. Many people still had servers in their basements, hooked into the phone line through the basement window. Yahoo was coding their websites by hand, and Google was in its infancy after launching in 1998.