Unlock marketing resources for your veterinary practice

By Marketing

6 August 2021 5 min read


It’s no secret that the ‘puppy pandemic’ is a prime opportunity for veterinary clinics

According to RSPCA, Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world and over $13 billion was spent on pet services and products in 2019 alone. Post-pandemic, this number is much higher. That’s a lot of disposable income to be spent on the pet and its wellbeing!

However, most vet practices don’t have a dedicated person where their only role is marketing. Maybe you’re the owner of the practice or you work there, but you don’t have much time.  It’s either a Sunday night job, a manic frenzy or inconsistent bursts of marketing. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either.

Knowing what, how and when to market is one thing, but it’s another to actually take the time and execute on grand ideas. Then, of course there’s audience – your existing customers and new customers.

Or you might be a start-up and your main focus is on how to get more veterinary clients in the first place.

In any business, according to Hubspot, the average marketer spends around 16 hours a week on routine tasks. One of the biggest offenders is sending emails. It takes time. As you communicate with your pet parents, it’s the planning and finding suitable topics; scheduling at the right time, with proper list management; and executing properly through the correct channels including socials, so that it is seen properly by your target audience. Marketing isn’t just sending emails either – everything from search engine optimisation, website maintenance, social media management, and overall digital marketing are part of the efforts – so if sending emails takes 16 hours per week, how much more work is there to do?

A helping hand

As you integrate technology or systems in your practice, ideally you should be looking out for inclusive solutions that can alleviate that stress for you. For example, if you have a practice management system that takes care of the operational side of your business, such as appointment scheduling and stock management; most of the time, it includes client communication modules and marketing support. After all, it’s all very well that you’re able to create a wellness plan, but if you’re not able to promote it, it’ll be hard to attract interest or new customers. 

Other options include outsourcing, where you have digital marketers that specialize in vet marketing, who will work on everything from your overall marketing strategy to managing your website to executing your emails, social media and otherwise.

Our very own Rapport has a marketing and communication service which can help with:

  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Automated Pet reminders (vaccinations / health checks / flea and worming treatments etc.)
  • Automated surveys
  •  Automated welcome email for new clients
  • Online booking – 24/ bookings for the practice
That dog won’t hunt
You might be thinking  – okay that won’t work, my budget is minimal and I don’t yet have any technology in place at my clinic today. The main thing is that, if you are going to do DIY marketing, invest time in these areas:

Covetrus calendar with day blocks icon1. Content Marketing

Things that are easier to tackle, like writing one or two blog posts a month gets you started (that’s what we do here at Covetrus). It’s manageable and doesn’t take up swathes of your time. Research topics that are trending right now or even questions your customers have asked you in the last month are ideal. Chances are, puppies and dogs will be your majority species that you take care of and ‘vaccinations’ as a keyword are always a hot topic. Or it might be that you write about ‘best training treats for puppies’. Be creative and inventive. People like listicles, how-to’s and guides e.g. ‘The top 5 ways to exercise your pet’.

Covetrus screen with checkmarked list icon2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is tied into and the foundation of content marketing. This is essentially how Google and other search engines ‘crawls’, finds and ranks your pages on their search engine results pages (SERPS). Whilst we’re not SEO experts and don’t claim to be, we do know that there are certain areas you can zone in on for micro improvements:

  • Keyword research and keyword implementation. Think about it, if a prospect or customer is worried about their puppy’s appetite, they might google ‘puppy isn’t eating’ as keywords. And if you write about this on your blog post for example, with the right keywords in the right places, search engines may rank your page; then people will explore your website and may even call to make an appointment with you and eventually discover your pet-health plans to purchase. Here’s a link to the 15 best keyword research tools.
  • On-site optimisation. Make sure you have a logical, relevant and organized website structure that makes it easier for visitors and pet parents to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. H1, H2, H3 tags, meta-description, title tags and image tags should always be completed. This helps search engines identify the right keywords and services you offer. SEO plug-ins such as Yoast can help you with this.
  • E.A.T is your best friend. Google use over 200 factors to rank websites and pages. Yikes- this seems excessive right? But it’s because the internet is now the main way people consume information and millions of pages exist. Their algorithms are to ensure the right pages match up to people’s search intentions. You should worry about showing Expertise, Authority and Trust on your site (E.A.T). Not spammy keywords. Yes include the main keywords in your on-site optimisation efforts, but it only needs to be in the content once or twice, not repeatedly where it acts like a robot. Organic, user-friendly, helpful and trustworthy just like the nature of your vets character, is your way forward in the SEO world. Google wants you to EAT.
  • Clean Up: As well as deleting old, redundant content (or updating it), make sure to add fresh, relevant content. Search engines are more likely rank your website higher when your information is accurate and up-to-date.  Below are also things you can promote and write about this summer:

Things you can promote in August - Marketing Tips

Covetrus megaphone icon3. A social media presence.

Okay we know, social media these days can feel like a dog-eat-dog world right now and in such content pollution, you may be wondering how to stand out. Our advice is that, even though something is saturated, if you have talent and a service to offer, don’t shy away from it. And in any case, since the majority of pet parents are millennials, they are almost always on social media. Creating a social media presence and posting through your facebook, Instagram, twitter and LinkedIn will keep you ahead as part of your digital presence. It’s how newbies and customers will find you. You can use tools like Plann, or Hootsuite  to schedule and visualize your posts and Canva to create on-brand and creative designs. You can align your posts with the content schedule that you create or to honor pet awareness days as listed above. Social media users like entertaining, light and fun posts.

If you’re wanting to attract new pet parents and engage them, check our top tips here.

To find out more about Rapport or request a demo, click here.