(This article is an 8-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. Answers to the most commonly asked questions about content marketing for vets
2. An explanation of how content fits with social media and promotional campaigns
3. Easy and not-so-easy methods to get to the top of a Google search
Content marketing for vets involves using content on your website to attract an audience of potential customers. The appeal of content marketing is it encourages loyal customers, rather than clients who are after a promotional deal or a cheap service.
This approach can save on marketing costs. With display ads or flyers, you have to pay ever-escalating costs to reach an audience. With content marketing, you're building the audience yourself. Sounds simple, doesn't it.
But for many veterinary clinics, there are still a lot of questions around the topic. Over the years, we've heard a lot of those questions about content and digital marketing. In this piece, we're going to look at a few common ones and offer some straightforward answers.
What are some easy methods to get my website to the top of the list of a Google search?
What would the Google search be for? A lot of people assume that potential clients would only search on Google for the name of their clinic. But that's not always the case.
Pet owners don't always realise what the problem with their pet is. When they're doing a Google search, all they're trying to do is solve their own problems. They're not necessarily looking for your business.
Getting your business to the top of a Google search for “veterinary clinic + [your suburb]” is not that tricky. But if you want to get business from your website, you need to be at the top of a search for “cat behaviour problems”. Or one for “most loyal dog” or “pet wellness”.
So once you've built your practice website, you must claim your Google My Business listing. This doesn't cost you a cent, and it's very easy and quick to do. It's a process where you identify to Google who you are and what your site is. And it means that Google can associate your website with your business.
From there, you need to create regular content that can draw people toward your site. You have to promote that content through newsletters and social media.
Are there Australian statistics to monitor the impact of a blog? Can it be purely part of our website or should we post it on as many social media outlets as possible?
Yes. There are lots of statistics and data gathered from thousands of sites. In fact, there's too many statistics nowadays. You can find lots of generic statistics about online marketing tactics.
We're drowning in data nowadays, but the only relevant data is your own. You can get access to this data through Google Analytics, which is free and easy to set up. You can use this data to get an idea of how many people come to your site now and which pages they're coming to. Then keep tracking it as you try different marketing activities to see what’s resonating.
As to whether you should simply rely on a blog, or post on social media—you should do both. Because social media is a distribution tool. Social media should be then used to push people toward your website. Your website is the only place where you can actually control and track people who are visiting. You can't do that on social media.
What attracts the most interest to encourage new clients when posting cases and/or educational content? Is our expertise enough to showcase how awesome we really are?
The content that attracts new clients is content that talks about their problems and answers their questions. It's not content about how awesome you are and what your services are. When potential clients read your content, they'll quickly figure out whether you're awesome or not.
Picture the owner of a miniature schnauzer. If the pup has health problems, that owner will be Googling "miniature schnauzer health problems". Not the name of a local vet who could treat it.
Produce content on your website that answers the kind of problems that people are Googling. Then they're more likely to come to your site and more likely to come to your clinic.
Who is the best person to design our website and content? Practitioners have the knowledge. Marketing and design teams have the vision. Does a combination work best or for a user-friendly website, should it all be about the design?
Design is important. But design is just the look of your site. And there's no point in having a good-looking site if there's no content on there to back it up.
A professional web designer should do the job it if that's within your budget. If it isn't within your budget, there are lots of templated websites and content management systems that are easy to use. Some of them are free. Some of them are more expensive. Remember that, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. What you don't pay for in cash, you'll pay for in time.
For the content on your site, practitioners have the knowledge. So practitioners who should either be writing the content or should be the source of the content.
There are content agencies such yourblogposts.com that can help the practitioners with that writing. Generally they do that from an interview, which they translate to a written blog post.
But the source of the material should always be from the practitioners within your veterinary clinic. Firstly because you can trust the source of the material. Secondly because that will give readers an idea of the people that they're going to be dealing with.
How often should we change the articles on our website? Should we do it weekly to go with our Facebook posts or monthly to match email newsletters or quarterly to go with our promotional calendar?
Social media, newsletters and promotional campaigns are all about distribution of content. Letting your distribution determine when you actually publish content is putting the cart before the horse.
The content is the first and most important thing. First work out who you want to talk to. Then work out what you want to say. That will give you an idea of how frequently you want to publish.
Once you’ve done that, you can work out where you want to promote that content. That may be through your monthly email newsletter or social media or a promotional campaign. Or a combination of all three. We would recommend a combination of all three.