Client retention, Digital Marketing, News,
When should you stop your veterinary practice’s digital marketing?
If you’ve been told that now is the time to cut back on your veterinary practice’s marketing spend, please don’t!
This is the most counter-intuitive advice you could receive!
Because at a time when competition remains high and you need to highlight precisely what makes your practice different, you need a robust digital marketing strategy to help you reach your audience.
And that potential audience is significant in size.
Don’t forget, pet ownership remains at record high levels. Research conducted by YouGov and the PDSA in 2022 highlighted that more than 50%  of all adults in the UK owned at least one pet.
To put this in some context, there are currently more than 10 million dogs, over 11 million cats, and approximately one million rabbits currently being kept as pets by owners in the UK, all of whom stand to benefit from annual veterinary check-ups, boosters, and more.
So, without a solid digital marketing strategy, how would you ensure that your practice continues to attract the attention of new pet owners and remains a trusted source of advice for your existing clients?
Remember, corporately owned veterinary practices will continue to invest heavily in their marketing, so you can’t afford to put the brakes on your digital marketing spend completely.
But it’s tough out there…
Which is why it’s also important to acknowledge that while the inflation rate decreased from 10.5% to 10.1%  between December 2022 and January 2023, it is still markedly higher than the 6.2% that was seen at the start of 2022.
Businesses across all sectors have seen their profit margins decrease, which is a driving force for many to cut back on outgoings, including marketing efforts. So, while we’ve established that putting a stop to your practice’s digital marketing would be counterproductive, what should you do instead?
The answer: ensure that you are driving optimal results from your digital marketing spend, which is essentially doing more with less.
While your marketing budget may be smaller than it was in pre-pandemic times, there are no reasons why it can’t help you to make the right impact.
Here are our top tips to make your marketing budgets work that little bit harder.
- Understand which areas are driving the most value
To secure the best possible ROI, you need to have a detailed understanding of which areas of your digital marketing strategy are driving the most beneficial outcomes for your practice.
There are numerous avenues you could choose to target, including search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, and email advertising.
2. Leverage your data
The best business decisions are informed by data. It’s just a fact. So not only should you be deep-diving into the data you currently hold, but you should also be devising ways to capture more data that you can use to make even more informed decisions.
By collecting data at every client touchpoint, you will be better equipped with the right information to guarantee that your client journey is fully tailored to the needs and wants of your target pet owners.
3. Pay attention to your client’s lifetime value (LTV)
As we’ve discussed previously, LTV can be used to accurately determine the value of your marketing strategy in ways that ensure you’re keeping an eye on both current sales and client loyalty. There is so much potential value that can be unlocked simply by nurturing existing client connections, which is why it’s vital not to overlook this approach in favour of solely driving new client conversions.
4. Optimise your website
It’s always worth reevaluating your website to ensure you it showcases your practice and is easy to navigate. It also needs to secure solid ranking positions in search engine results for relevant keywords and phrases. Regular auditing will ensure that your website is consistently working hard for your practice and successfully directing clients and potential clients through the most appropriate marketing funnels.
You might be surprised at just how valuable it can be to make some tweaks to your on-page title tags, refresh your target keywords, and incorporate fresh imagery onto key category pages.
5. Build a regular income with health plans
Promoting health plans and subscription models are the simplest ways to increase your practice’s regular income stream. Focusing on securing growth in this retention as well as growth in this area is likely to be hugely beneficial as it is attractive to many new and experienced pet owners and brings a level of financial security to your business.
6. Maximise your social media presence
Social media can be a real driver for local business success, so it’s worth investing some time and energy into building a solid social media following. Not only is social media an excellent way to promote awareness of your practice, but it can also be used to boost your engagement metrics, grow your client base, and increase your income.
One of the best ways to engage with pet owners and nurture meaningful connections via social media is to encourage user-generated content and share those images, reviews and testimonials on your own social channels. This is an incredibly cost-effective strategy and encourages interaction between your business and your community.
7. Be consistent
Consistency really matters, so while you may want to reduce your marketing costs, you should never completely put a stop to the strategies that are helping you to maintain a competitive marketplace position and continue to deliver meaningful services and experiences to your loyal clientele.