Digital Marketing in the Veterinary Space
What has been working?
There is life before March 1, 2020, and life after March 1, 2020. What applied in the previous world may or may not be working in today’s world. Now, a few months have gone by, so what has been working for digital marketing in the veterinary space? Using data and feedback from veterinary practices, we here at Beyond Indigo are seeing results and trends that are effectively moving the needle to the positive for businesses. Let us dive into the marketing nuggets that have emerged.
Blogs are batting it out of the park
for traffic numbers in digital marketing. People are online with fur babies at
home. They have basic questions that need answers or are looking for light
content to read. Kate Matthews, Beyond Indigo’s Blog Manager, says: “It's also
a great argument for not focusing all blogging efforts on services and science
(although those things are mixed into the lifestyle blogs). The lighter and
seasonal topics are always good for traffic, but right now in particular. If a
hospital has only focused on dental, laser therapy, etc., they are kind of left
in the dust right now.”
The numbers are speaking for themselves on how much blogs are in demand at this time. Traffic is up 156 percent to our client blogs over 2019, and account for 30 percent of website traffic. An example of a blog that is gaining thousands of views a month is www.animalkind.com/blog/dont-leave-me-the-overly-affectionate-cat.
Social media engagement and ads
Blogs do not live in a vacuum, but instead work cohesively with social media marketing. Stellar content that is in demand by viewers makes excellent Facebook fodder. Once a blog is created, either new or from an archive, it is time to share it with the greater social media world. Noelle S., Beyond Indigo Social Media Analyst states “…now especially is the perfect time for people to be creating new blog topics and also utilizing their archived blogs. Whether they range from ‘Is this a Pet Emergency?’ and ‘How to Clip My Dog's Nails Safely’ to more obscure pet topics like ‘Why Do Cats Knead?’ or 'Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?’, they do very well right now for distraction! People are online, they are reading and, more often than not, they don't feel like reading COVID or medical stuff right now. So get folks back to your website in more creative ways.”
Besides sharing content, engagement is also working for digital marketing. On Facebook, people want things to do, share, and interact with that are light. For example, an engagement ad that is colorful, fun, and light can gather 5 to 10 times better engagement. This bright pink engagement ad, for example, generated typically 50 submissions of pictures.
Remember, to really reach people and gather engagement, a hospital needs to boost a post or create an ad. Just making a post will not generate as much traffic as possible. Facebook is inexpensive right now because there are less businesses buying ads. For example, one of our clients had the following results. “The Facebook daycare ad was just approved to start running yesterday, but it has already had over 2,000 video play-throughs and currently has a cost per result of just $0.03.” Holy cow—3 cents!! Time to leap on these lower cost opportunities.
Facebook and Google tend to go hand-in-hand when conducting a marketing campaign. The goal will determine if both mediums are used, or one over the other. Google is also on a fire sale right now, just like Facebook. If your marketing goal indicates that a Google Ad is needed, embrace it! Google Ads are now budget-friendly and are working! For example, with one of our clients, compared to last year, their Google Ad campaigns had a 72 percent decrease in cost and 71 percent decrease in cost/conversion. Other clients’ Ads are working so well we have had to throttle back or turn off the Ads altogether because the hospitals are booked. The bottom line is that if there is funding in your marketing budget, use Google Ads because they are working and are very budget-friendly right now.
Out of the marketing wild emerged forms as a strong new marketing tool. In the madness of March, many hospitals switched to utilizing online forms more to streamline the curbside process or telehealth consults. Types of forms that are being utilized are appointment requests, intake forms, etc. The forms live on the hospital’s website in easy-to-find places. Our client hospitals are stating they like using the digital forms so much they are going to keep the increased reliance on them moving forward. Plus, the data captured enters a database that can be analyzed later for traffic patterns and requests.
The increase in usage can be seen in Google Analytics, such as this client at 340 percent which can be easily seen in this graph.
Moving forward, use what is working for your marketing program. Do not be afraid to switch or change what you are doing if it is not working. Online behavior patterns are fluid right now as the world keeps changing, which means what works for a company’s marketing will keep changing as well.
Beyond Indigo is here to help you and your business through these unique times. Our full-service marketing packages make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. They adjust as your goals shift, which allows you to see results and not to-do lists. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call 877.244.9322, ext. 100, or go to https://www.beyondindigopets.com/contact/.Also check out:
Educational Blog at BeyondIndigoPets.com/Blog
Facebook at Facebook.com/BeyondIndigoPets
YouTube at YouTube.com/BeyondIndigoPets
Instagram at Instagram.com/BeyondIndigoPets
Kelly Baltzell, M.A. is President and CEO of the Beyond Indigo family of companies which she founded in 1997. Beyond Indigo is a full-service marketing company focusing on Search Engine Optimization, is a Google Adwords Partner, Social Media Marketing, Online Reviews and websites. She has been a monthly columnist for MWI Animal Health since 2011. She has also has presented and been published in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.