Events budget burning a hole in your pocket? – here’s 10 things you can do instead… #VetMarketing
If you haven’t already, it is time to get creative when it comes to being seen online. As veterinary and animal health professionals, we love to network, learn about the latest developments and explore new product innovations – and while the sector is getting better at adopting digital, physical events have still played a key role. With live events currently on hold you may be ready to look at alternatives. Here are a few ideas to spread the word about your vet product launch or service offer.
- Overhaul your social media
Do you have a social media strategy and a plan in place to implement it? What about tracking your KPIs and getting involved with social listening? Get some clarity about what you are trying to achieve, and invest suitable budgets to help reach your target audience.
Tip: Make a rough outline of the events, product launches and promos you plan to run this year. This is a place to capture and organise ideas, but will need to be flexible given the current uncertainties. Then put in place a more detailed content plan and budget for the next 3 months, and a list of action points to achieve this.
Bonus tip: be the first to know about Vetti – a veterinary PR and marketing self-serve portal getting ready to launch. Sign up for the wait-list to find out more here: https://vetti.co.uk/
- Get your story out there with press releases
A press release is a great way to tap into the existing readership of established publications, helping you to reach a new audience or get back on the radar of old customers. Backlinks can also benefit your website SEO, and help to increase web traffic. Plus, great news stories are often shared across social.
Tip: Take the time to develop relationships with key publications, and build on this over time by sending a regular stream of valuable press release content. Make sure you focus on what the readership wants to know as well as what you most want to tell them.
- Invest time and money in your email funnel strategy
Emails should not be all about self-promotion. It is important to think about content that is of genuine value and interest to your audience, to stop them from pressing delete as soon as your email hits their inbox. Consider the whole user journey including transactional content such as welcome emails, and develop a flow-chart that helps you to achieve your goals.
Tip: Segment your audience by job role, geographical region, and level of engagement with your brand, if you have this data available. This allows you to send more relevant and specific information to each group and to target ‘warmer’ leads.
- Inform your decisions with surveys
Even better if there’s a prize as an incentive! Surveys are a great way to engage with your audience, learn how to improve your offering, and gather material for press releases.
Tip: Incorporate surveys into your social media and email plans to keep messaging consistent.
- Take learning online with webinars
A significant proportion of veterinary and animal health companies flocked to develop webinars during the first lockdown, meaning the online CPD space became a bit crowded. However, things have settled down a bit since then, and this seems like a natural shift from real-life events. Webinars can work well if you already have great relationships with key opinion leaders who are happy to be speakers.
Tip: Think about getting ongoing value from the webinar, as the initial cost will be high. Put in place a lead generation strategy.
Bonus tip: Consider a press release to help get the message out there and boost sign-ups.
- Virtual press launch
This year it has been tricky to make a splash when launching new brands, products and services. Ordinarily, events are a great space to create a buzz and engage directly with your audience. A virtual press launch can form part of your plan to help get better and more tailored coverage than you could achieve with a press release alone. Just bear in mind that this should be reserved for big stories, to avoid journalists getting fatigued by smaller updates.
Tip: Why not send a goody bag or product samples to press and KOLs alongside the press launch?
- Work on your SEO
The average internet user now spends 42% of their waking life on the internet*. But to get views to your website, you need to optimise your site for SEO. This is no longer about keyword stuffing and paying for backlinks – there is a lot to know about SEO and it might be worth doing a refresher course to find out the latest developments. The Companion Consultancy team can put together a bespoke course, specific to your company. Drop us an email: email@example.com to find out more.
Tip: A proper SEO audit is a good place to start, to help inform your next steps.
- Consider paid advertising
Social media, google ads, online directories, news site adverts, sponsored emails and events… There are plenty of options for paid advertising, suiting different budgets and goals. Sites should have a media pack, or be able to give you info on their viewing figures before you invest. Think about your target audience, and try to think about where they spend their time browsing online.
Tip: If you are running multiple ad campaigns, you can use different tracking links to monitor click-throughs.
- Implement a testimonial strategy
People trust other people more than businesses. This means that testimonials can be a powerful way to build your reputation by showing that other people are willing to be advocates for your brand. Decide how you are going to capture testimonials – this could form part of a survey or prize-draw, or you may ask happy customers personally – we find a vet-to-vet telephone interview delivered by a member of our team works really well.
Tip: Identify some themes that you would like the testimonials to highlight and gear any questions accordingly. Are you friendly and approachable? Are your products easy to use and effective?
- Be there for your customers
It sounds a bit High School Musical, but we really are all in this together. Can you repurpose your events budget to make your customers’ lives a little bit easier and generate some brand loyalty? Think free product samples, creating helpful displays or resources, and improving your customer service and support. When life becomes a bit more normal, they’ll remember that you took the time to stand by them and be more likely to recommend you to a friend.
Found these tips thought-provoking and want to bounce around ideas? We’re happy to chat! Drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org