(This article is a 5.5-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. How your clients are different to your demographics
2. The basis of a content strategy for vets
3. How a content strategy makes your marketing work better
A content strategy for vets makes marketing work. There is lots of advice is available online about how to market your veterinary clinic. But there isn’t much about content strategy.
The advice tends to fall into one of two categories. One focuses on talking about you and your brand. The other focuses on the tactics that you can use to get in touch with people including website design, advertising, and social media. Neither help you much when it comes to creating veterinary content that people want to read.
The most important factor in creating a content strategy is to start with an idea of who your clients are.
The difference between clients and demographics
Your clients are different to your demographic. Back in the days when media was simply a way of talking to the largest possible group of people, a demographic could describe in broad terms what a group of people would look like.
For example, your demographic may be women aged 35 to 45 who are living on Sydney's Upper North Shore, and have an income of over $70,000.
That's useful information if somebody else owns an audience that looks just like that. It means that you can advertise to that group of people, and hopefully somebody who's interested in your services will respond to the ad.
Nowadays, with greater precision targeting available through digital media, it's far more effective to think of your clients in terms of marketing personas rather than just a broad demographic.
How marketing personas fuel content strategy for vets
When you're thinking of marketing personas, you're thinking of individual people, rather than just pet owners. If your demographic is “families”, your marketing persona may be a family with two pets, a dog and a cat, and two children who live in an apartment. The more specific marketing personas that you develop, the more effective it will be in communicating with those people.
It doesn't necessarily follow that the only people who will visit your veterinary clinic are the people who will perfectly match your marketing persona. But, the reason why you develop th persona, is because you're creating an audience of people who you think will potentially visit your clinic.
Other people might come in with medical emergencies for their pets, or they might come in because they were just walking by, but you have very little control over marketing to those individuals.
Why create a strategy at all?
Once you know who it is that you want to talk to, you can work out how you want to talk to them. An important part of your process is capturing customer details, so you can have an ongoing conversation with them. The way that you might want to talk to them is via social media, or via email. But you have to have some kind of mechanism for at least capturing, and gathering their email addresses and their names so you know who they are, and can continue that conversation.
Think of it like a party that you've just arrived at. People will run screaming if you just walk into a party and start talking about how great you are, or asking them to buy stuff.
How the strategy and personas help
The way to connect with these marketing personas is to create content that makes their specific problems easier, or helps them solve their specific problems.
The content might be about how to keep a cat comfortable in an apartment, or how much exercise certain breeds of dogs need.
Rather than just creating this content on itself on a blog post, you should create something which people can either be sent, or something that they can download for free from your website, that they can refer to without any expectation of them having to do anything else.
Further down the line when you've established a relationship with those individuals, you can start to offer them deals and discounts. But you should only do that to those people who are already interested in you and committed to hearing from you. Whether you're talking to people through advertisements, or through content on your website, or through some other means, they'll always fine it more interesting if you talk about them, and the problems they're having, than talking about yourself, and any brand you might've developed.