(This article is a 5-minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. Why you have to have an ideal audience for your blog
2. Who to address with your writing
3. Who makes the decisions about petcare
A couple of weeks ago, my cat disappeared. Just went, somewhere, I’m not sure where. I was out with a flashlight every night for a week, checking the gutters of the neighbouring streets. The kids spent an hour in the backyard each evening, tapping the cat food tin and calling his name. None of us realised we were experiencing a lesson in marketing veterinary practices to women.
Because while we were doing that, my wife was Googling “cat gone missing”. While I was preparing to hide the kitty litter, she was quietly putting out a handful of dry food in a bowl in the back yard. We were both trying to sound positive for the kids—”He’s gone missing before, you know, and he’s always come back”—but I was sounding less convincing. And the kids sensed that. But my wife? She knew exactly what to tell them. And what to do. Because she had read online advice from a vet.
You know all about companion animals. You could come up with half-a-dozen possible reasons why a cat could go missing. You could probably list a dozen things to look out for when the cat returns, too. Things that might indicate what may have gone wrong.
Although it sounds a bit ridiculous to you, your customers don’t automatically see you that way. Sure, if they gave it more than a second’s thought they would agree that yes, the vet would know about cat behaviour and health. But when we’re worried or distracted and a loved (if slightly haughty) member of our family has gone missing, we’re thinking about the cat. We’re not thinking about you.
And even though we walk past our local vet every day of the week, all the signs outside suggest that it’s like an emergency department. You know, the cross indicating first aid, the medical looking uniforms on the staff, the equipment we can see through the window … it all says “triage”.
Which is fine, because that’s a lot of what you do as a vet. But it’s not the only thing you know.
It’s pretty obvious how you get the word out there about your knowledge. I’ve written before about how creating veterinary content will help you build an audience who knows, likes and trusts you.
But for your content to be really effective, you’ve got to think about who you are writing it for.
In many families, the decision to go to a particular vet isn’t made by everyone. It’s made by mum. There are various reasons for that, including their husbands being too selfish to take on some of the emotional work of being the household manager.
And those mums are busy. They are running between work and home and kids’ commitments, and want to make good, smart decisions about stuff. Stuff like “why has my cat suddenly gone missing?”
If you’re just writing about your products and services and what equipment you have, you are assuming that people know exactly what problem they want to solve. Those women who are looking online for information to help them do not care about your diagnostic capabilities.
They are the people who are juggling a lot of stuff, and will reward good information from you with their business.
In the end, our cat came back. Of course he did. You probably knew he would.
But the person in our family who knew was my wife. Because she is time-poor, like many working mums, she looked on line for the right advice.
If it was your website offering that advice, you would be marketing to her.