There’s no doubt about it: your practice faces fierce competition, whether from corporately-owned, big-box-store services or from local clinics.The marketing efforts you employ make a big difference for the growth and sustainability of your business.
Nearly everyone can access the internet from a smartphone in their pocket. A quick Google search can yield millions of results, making it a first stop for many consumers. If your clients are searching Google for answers to their pet questions, shouldn’t you figure into those search results?
You may not be looking to be the next online sensation, and that’s okay. However, your marketing strategy must be consistent, effective, and economical and, in today’s world, it should include video content.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.”
Think about it: you can tell clients about what you do, or you can show them how you stand out in your market. Instead of a barrage of text that can be lost in the flood of the internet, let your clients witness who you are, what you do, and (most importantly) how you can help them.
Here are five ways video marketing can boost your business:
1) Build Your Brand.
What are you most passionate about? What differentiates your practice from other options in your market? With the ease and availability of social media, you can quickly (and inexpensively) create an online presence and interact with your clients. Introduce your practice. Give potential clients a glimpse of what they can expect when they walk into your office.
Be specific. Blogger and YouTube marketer Sunny Lenarduzzi writes that to build your brand you need to speak to your target audience, not a wide-net audience.
“The more niche you go, the more target views you’re going to get, which is going to help build your authority. … Content, good content, will make you king or queen in your industry,” Lenarduzzi explains.
The Ultimate Pet Vet, Dr. Gary Richter, boasts a clearly-defined brand through a book, his website, and a YouTube channel that promote his expertise in animal nutrition and health. By focusing on a specific area, you can establish your practice as an expert in your market.
Ask your market what they want: a simple poll on social media or via a check-out questionnaire can help define what your clients want to hear and learn. Don’t try to be all things for all people; focus your efforts on a targeted audience.
2) Educate Your Clientele.
Pet owners likely won’t read a tutorial about trimming their dog’s toenails, but they will watch a video. Providing how-to advice and tips for responsible pet ownership and care shares your knowledge and creates value for viewers.
Imatrix, a video marketing company, offers this advice: “[Video] is your opportunity to teach your audience something they don’t know about animal healthcare. … After they’re done watching your video, they should feel like they learned new information that they can apply to their daily responsibilities as a pet owner.”
3) Utilize Social Media.
According to Hootsuite, 3.48 billion people (45 percent of the world’s population) use social media. Sixty-nine percent of American adults use at least one social media site, which includes 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds. Meet people where they are: engage with clients and prospective clients via social channels with valuable content.
Using “stories” features on channels like Instagram and Facebook can be effective options for sharing video content. Hootsuite reports that a third of the most-viewed stories on Instagram are from businesses. Ask your staff to be involved: showcase the talents of your technicians and promote the friendliness of your front desk staff.
Conejo Valley Vet Hospital curates an Instagram page full of patient photos and videos of their staff and patients in action.
4) Offer Behind-the-Scenes Value.
With the massive amounts of online content available, viewers are becoming more selective about what they choose to consume. Keeping it real and being genuine are two key components in building and connecting with an audience. Don’t follow the crowd with your marketing; identify how you can stand out. Offer a behind-the-scenes view.
Robin Brogdon, founder of BluePrints Veterinary Marketing Group, explains in a Veterinarian’s Money Digest interview: “We’re so afraid to show pet owners what happens behind the scenes, but I think that sort of education helps them see the value in your services.”
The Veterinarian’s Money Digest article goes on to explain the role of emotion and humor in videos as a way to connect with your audience and encourage action, as well as “the magic ingredient that makes so many videos go viral — animals!”
Use your patients (with owner permission, of course); showcase heart-warming moments after a wellness check, or provide the backstory of a patient’s journey before and after a procedure.
Don’t reinvent the wheel; use the tools (and actors!) at your disposal to create unique and memorable content.
5) Include a Call to Action.
Consider the outcome. While providing value to viewers should be your first priority, every piece of marketing should be developed with this question in mind: What do I want the viewer to do? After you share tips for exercising pets in the summer, direct viewers to your website to request a well check-up, or ask them to subscribe to your monthly email list.
Your goal is not simply to create a video and hope that someone watches it; you want to direct them to further action, a logical next step, or further engagement with other content or ideas. Your content should make a connection so that connection can lead to further business.
Video Marketing: Hit Record, Already!
Video marketing can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Start small, using a channel you already employ for marketing efforts. If you’re on social media, take a few videos of patients or staff to post. Try some live videos. Give your audience a glimpse of a “day in the life” of a vet or technician in your practice. Take a video to show pet owners a simple pet care task like checking for ticks or cleaning a dog’s ears. Instead of posting a picture about the danger of leaving animals in a hot car, record a video.
The internet is endless, but so are the possibilities for capturing the attention of your market. Make a plan, hit the record button, share, and watch your practice grow!