Time is a commodity we always seem short on and never can find "extra" to add to our days. With our to-do lists growing longer and our days seemingly getting shorter, where do we put our focus for marketing? And, to make it worse, it doesn't help that marketing seems to be expanding and growing even while you are reading these words. When information is on overload, it helps to make a list of priorities based on time availability to execute them, ability to afford them, bandwidth to understand the nuance of the priorities, and which ones will move the dollars needle to the positive the most. Don't know what that list of priorities would look like? You are in luck: here are your marketing global strategies for 2024!
1. Build a search engine optimization-friendly website (Meaning, you get found in Google)What type of website your business owns determines the type of SEO that can be applied. There are two main options for website construction. The first is a template version and the second is a custom option. Just like anything in life, each has its pros and cons. Separating the two choices can be confusing.
The easiest way to think about it is that a template is like an apartment in an apartment building. While it is its own individual unit, it is part of a greater whole. If a resident of an apartment wants to expand his/her kitchen, well, that isn't possible without knocking the wall down into the next door unit. Plus, there are prescribed floor plans. The pro of this option is the quick ability to move in, hang a few pictures, and call it home. The con is no customization or modification to what already exists. Templates are harder to adapt to Google's changes.
The second type of website is a custom website which is akin to a free-standing home. Modifications can be done to it, including extensively modifying the code "under the hood" to adapt to Google changes. The pro to this type of website is that it can adapt to Google constantly and the con is that it tends to be a bit more expensive and takes longer to build. However, if your business can be found in Google, then it is worth it.
Recently, I was at a convention speaking about marketing. The question I threw out to the audience was, "Where do you go FIRST to search for something on the internet?" A few members of the younger generations in the room started to giggle. They said, "You know where WE go, right?" The older people in the room said, "No." "TIKTOK" is what they answered, practically in unison! The older generation was horrified.
2. Leverage social media marketing
Social media is a place many people, especially depending on age, go to gather information. It is a place that allows people to see how your business engages with pet owners and if you visually compel them to visit. If your social media is lacking on, at minimum, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor, these are areas that need to be shored up for 2024.
Urban legend in the veterinary industry is that marketing is a cost center and doesn't make your practice any money, Partly, the reason for this legend is because many veterinary hospitals do not know how to tie their marketing together with the reports on their PIMS systems.
3. Let's talk numbers and ROI
For 2024, work with your marketing team to come up with an ROI tracking system that includes forms, call volume, and increase in bookings or the bottom line. There is more than one way to find information to see if marketing is working for you. It just takes some time and conversations on an ongoing basis with your provider. Marketing's job is to increase your business's brand awareness and its bottom line.
The world has moved to video in so many ways, mostly because it is easy and quick. Plus, social media encourages video with options to showcase what you are doing today or your thoughts. Plus, our mobile phones take better videos than what we had technology-wise even five years ago. The key is just to start with a few how-to videos of someone(s) on the team being themselves, and uploading it to social media platforms including YouTube. That is it. No need for a professional video crew or editing. Take a video, run it through a platform, make light edits, and up it goes to the world!
4. Create and promote how-to videos
Your community is talking about you. Are you plugged into the buzz or do you not have a clue? Monitoring the online reviews for your business matters because it is one of the places pet owners go to gather information about your business. How your practice responds to the reviews matters just as much as the comments themseles. Typically, reviews older than six months wane in power and are not given as much "weight" as newer reviews.
5. Hone in on your reviews and local buzz
Besides reviews, there are other places people are talking in your community, such as Nextdoor. Make sure a team member is watching this platform as well to find out what people are discussing about your business locally.
Do you need help making these five list items into a reality? We're here for you! We embrace working collectively with our clients to empower them to have tails through the door, and to eliminate any marketing pain point they have. Why don't you give us a call or drop us a line today, to get you on the best footing for 2024!
If a combo of organization, style, and FUN sounds like your cup of tea, we have just what the doctor ordered: Our 2024 printable veterinary calendar! This year's edition is jam-packed with valuable industry info, need-to-know dates, silly celebrations, and space to add in your own notes and plans.