When you started out in your veterinary practice, you probably give little (if any) thought to your website. You may have even started your practice before the web even existed. In either case, if you’re like most small business owners, you’re probably interested in, but struggling to grow your business. You intuitively know and understand that your website should, or at least could be playing an important role in that growth, but you’re not really sure how to make that happen.
That kind of “lost in the wilderness” feeling is not at all uncommon among people who don’t eat, sleep, and breathe internet marketing on a daily basis, but this article should help take some of the mystery out of the process.
First of all, understand that it is a process. There’s no magic button you can push or single thing you can do to make your internet-based marketing strategy a success. Rather, there are a series of components that work very well together once you have them in place. Ultimately, it is this synergy that makes your marketing plan work and start delivering results.
This list is by no means complete, but let’s does a quick overview to see what the major components of such a plan are.
If you don’t already have one, you need one. This will be the beating heart of your local marketing campaign. Everything you do will ultimately feed back into your website. To make it as successful as it can be, at a minimum, your site needs to have an email capture box, great, engaging, compelling content that’s easy to share, and regular updates.
A Social Media Presence
Social media sites are the most popular sites on the web. In brief, they are where your customers and future customers are. Since that’s where they are, that’s where you need to be too, but it’s not as simple as just building a presence. Again, you’ve got to make regular updates to your social media properties, and engage with the people who visit your page and comment on your content. When you post new content on your website, it needs a mention here. When people comment and share noteworthy items on your social media pages, those need to feed back into your site, making it a two-way street.
Local Directory Listings
Local directory listings can be immensely powerful tools that will help your office expand and grow. Your customers can leave reviews on about your company. These need to be responded to (both the good and the bad) and a cross section of those reviews (again, both good and bad) need to feed into your social media sites and into your website itself.
Again, there are more pieces than just these, but these three represent the major components of your local marketing system. If you develop all three of these, make them work seamlessly together, and keep them updated with fresh content and responses (to the reviews), you’ll be miles ahead of your local competition. If you’re a bit daunted by all of that, we stand ready to help!