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      Marketing is All the Same, Right? Nope. 2 Ways to See the Differences


      I get it. Marketing is confusing and most people don’t want to deal with it. It’s much easier to do a quick search and click on the top result for a marketing firm than to spend some time digging through a few options. The marketing budget also seems like the first thing to cut if cash flow is a problem. The money has to come from somewhere, right? Why pay more for marketing if it’s all the same?

      In reality, it’s not all the same, which is why you want to take the time to find marketing solutions that will increase your revenue and bring more tails through your door.
       

      Marketing and profitability: the right balance

      What is the right answer that will help a practice be profitable? First, let’s look a big myth squarely in the eye. The concept that marketing is a cost and not a revenue generator permeates the veterinary space. The logical conclusion to that would be to cut costs. But that would be wrong. Marketing is not a luxury; it is a necessity. It keeps the bond between the hospital and current/future pet owners, and keeps revenue flowing.

      In actuality, marketing is needed even MORE when a business is in a downturn and not less. Research into businesses that survived past economic downturns has the answer. They marketed, and marketed heavily. To read more about this, please go to sharpen.partners/blog/depression or do a search for “how companies survived in the depression/recession era.”

      The knee jerk reaction of cutting or reducing marketing when times are tight is tempting. Or, if times are “okay,” the overwhelming urge to “not deal with it” occurs. This is when a game of rock, paper, scissors is used to pick a marketing company. So, how do you pick a marketing company that will get you results and move the needle to a more lush environment for your bank account?
       

      Getting the most for your money

      How can you tell the difference between marketing that will get you results and marketing that won’t?
       

      Consistent marketing with unique content is key

      Per the “rules” that have emerged over the last almost 30 years of internet existence, consistent, successful marketing should use unique content to drive sales. The two key words are “consistent” and “unique.” All the platforms (Google, Facebook, etc.) know that people have an insatiable hunger for fresh content all the time. We are always searching and looking for information. If there is nothing new to be seen at a business, humans as a whole move on to whomever provides the latest online distraction.

      Back in 2010 when Bing was giving Google a run for its money, the search giant performed tons of behavioral studies and analysis, which showed that unique content is the key to high rankings and traffic. This paved the way for the first major Google “rule,” and they named it “Panda.” It proved to be so popular that it is now woven into the “DNA” of Google and still modified on a regular basis. If a business does not have unique content on a monthly basis, it starts to get “docked” and slide out of favor with the internet platforms.
       

      Takeaway

      Whether your business has a website built in a template or is a custom edition, the content needs to be unique. If a marketing firm tells you that custom, unique content does not apply to local businesses or some other hooey, it is a red flag. Do not use that firm.

      Want to see if you have unique content? Go to copyscape.com and check your services page URL. If your content is used elsewhere, a list of where and how much of the content will show up in the results. And, if you are on a roll, you can check all the pages of your website!
       

      All search engine optimization (SEO) is NOT the same

      This is akin to saying all hairstylists or all cars are the same. If you felt they were exactly the same, why do you choose one stylist or car over another? Who or what you choose matters. SEO is a skillset, and not a button you push in Google to get the same results.

      There are over 200 different levers to use to gain traction for Google organic search. Then, there are local and map searches that show only the top three businesses for a particular keyword. To gain visibility in this area, a business needs to have a website that makes Google happy (like having unique content) and a hefty review volume.

      Mobile search is now indexed independent of desktop search, and considers if a practice’s website meets the mobile and usability standards set by Google. If it doesn’t, then a business doesn’t rank well in either the mobile or desktop indexes.

      In addition, there are all the different pay-per-click ads and voice search, and we’re keeping a watch on AI. All of these areas of Google require constant watching, changing, and monitoring, which tend not to be offered with lower-tier marketing services. Knowing how to adjust an ad for maximum conversion (click/sale) at the lowest price comes with years of experience.
       

      Takeaway

      Ask any marketing company you talk to how they manipulate your practice in the search engines, and take note:
      • Do they talk about unique content?
      • Do they provide new content every month in the form of a unique blog that is ghost-written for you?
      • Are they doing ads just based on your name (called a branded search), or for the keywords your business needs for visibility?
      A veterinary hospital’s ad budget, as a note, averages about $500 a month on Google. Social media ad budgets average around $100 per month.

      Just like your services are not the same as your competitors, all marketing is not the same. If this blog whets your appetite to learn more about the various levels of marketing and where your business fits into it, reach out to us. We are happy to help and we love to listen. Plus, we have real, live humans who are ready to help!
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