4 Ways to Get Current Clients Involved in Your Marketing Efforts

If you own a veterinary practice, it's really important to have a strong presence on the internet. Social media is perfect for connecting with current clients and attracting new ones. But coming up with interesting things to post often takes a lot of time and can be difficult, especially if you're stuck with stock images and generic messages. One thing that many veterinary practices have found works well is getting current clients involved in your marketing efforts. This makes your posts more real and interesting, and it also helps your clients feel like they're part of a special community with your practice.

But what does that look like? And how do you start?

In this blog, we’ll explore four actionable ways to get your clients involved in your veterinary marketing efforts, from social media to website content, and everything in between. These strategies will help you enhance your organic social media efforts while creating a more dynamic and interactive online presence.

Why You Should Get Clients Involved in Your Social

Who better to share your message and practice values with pet lovers than other pet lovers?

As a veterinary professional, all of your clients are bound to have one major thing in common: They’re pet lovers! And who better to share your message and practice values with pet lovers than other pet lovers, who know you and your practice well?

Involving your clients in your social media marketing efforts offers a multitude of benefits for your veterinary practice. Here are a few reasons you should consider utilizing your client’s contributions in your veterinary marketing strategy:

  • Provides Authentic and Engaging Content: Client-generated content is inherently authentic and relatable, as it’s based on real client experiences within your practice. When clients share their own stories, photos, and experiences, it creates a genuine connection with your audience. This type of content resonates more with other pet owners than traditional marketing messages, leading to higher engagement rates. 
  • Builds a Sense of Community: Getting your clients involved in your social media marketing helps foster a sense of community around your veterinary practice. When clients see their photos, stories, and testimonials featured on your social media channels, they feel valued and appreciated. 
  • Increases Social Proof: Social proof is a powerful influencer in decision-making processes, and when it comes to something as important as animal medical care, pet owners want reassurance from others. When potential clients see positive reviews, testimonials, and real-life stories from other pet owners, they are more likely to trust your practice and choose your services. 
  • Enhances Client Relationships: Involving your clients in your social media efforts can do wonders to strengthen relationships. When you highlight their pets, celebrate their milestones, and share their stories, you show that you genuinely care about them and their furry family members, helping to humanize your practice’s veterinarians and make owners feel more comfortable with their pets in your care. 
  • Diversifies Your Content: Creating a steady stream of fresh and diverse content can be challenging, especially if you're busy in the exam room or managing your team. By incorporating client-generated content, you diversify your social media posts and keep your feed interesting.
  • Boosts Organic Reach and Engagement: Client involvement in your marketing and social media plans can help to boost your organic reach and engagement on social media. When clients share their experiences and tag your practice, their posts reach their own followers, expanding your audience organically. Don’t underestimate how excited a client may be about you posting their pet on your page — many will want to share it with all of their friends, giving you access to new pet owners in the area.

How to Get Your Clients Involved in Your Veterinary Practice Marketing

1. Encourage Client-Generated Content

Getting your clients to make content for your practice to use is a fun and effective way to not only promote your practice, but also enhance your connection with specific clients. But, you may be thinking, “How on Earth do I get my clients to help out with my marketing?”

This doesn't mean you’ll have clients writing your social posts, planning newsletters, or building out email campaigns. Instead the role they can play in your marketing efforts is that of content idea and asset generators, meaning that they can help create or provide great images, quotes, testimonials, and shareable post elements. 

You’d be surprised at just how many clients would be willing to get involved with helping your practice — especially if it means seeing their dog or cat on a Facebook post or promotional postcard. There are a number of ways to encourage clients to start contributing to your practice’s marketing efforts, but we’ll cover a few of the simplest and most common.

Photo Contests

Photo contests are a fun and interactive way to engage your clients, and involve little time and effort on your part. Ask clients to submit photos of their pets for a chance to be featured on your social media pages. You can create different themes for the contests, such as “Cutest Pet,” “Best Halloween Costume,” or “Funniest Pet Moment.”

Promote the contest on your social media channels, in your practice, and via email newsletters. Just be sure to clearly explain the rules and the prizes, if any, and encourage clients to share their submissions using a specific hashtag, such as #YourVetClinicContest. This strategy is helpful in two primary ways, as it not only generates content for your social pages, but also increases your visibility on social media by extending your reach into your client’s friend and follower networks. If your clients need some encouragement to participate in contests like these, you can always give them an incentive, ranging from a coupon for a service at your clinic or even a treat for their pet at the checkout counter. 

Create a Hashtag Campaign

Creating a unique hashtag for your practice is great for rounding up pictures and shareable posts that you might not have seen otherwise. To get the most out of these campaigns, you should encourage clients to use this hashtag when posting about their pets’ visits to your clinic or any related experiences.

For example, if your clinic is called “Happy Paws Veterinary,” you might create a hashtag like #HappyPawsPets. Regularly search for and share posts that include your hashtag on your social media pages. This not only provides you with a steady stream of client-generated content but also strengthens the bond between your practice and your clients.

If you get some great pictures and the pet owner is willing to let you share them, these can even be incorporated in other types of marketing content, like newsletters, blogs, website pages, and more. You can get a lot of mileage out of these images by reusing and repurposing them and they are often more impactful and relatable than basic stock images that don’t represent your unique practice.

2. Feature Client Stories

Sharing client stories is a powerful way to create emotional and engaging content for your veterinary social media channels. These stories can highlight special moments, challenges overcome, or unique aspects of the pet-owner relationship.

All of your clients have a story to tell.

  • Share Photos and Videos: Accompany the stories with photos and videos to make them more engaging. Ask clients to provide visual content that captures the essence of their stories. This could include photos of their pets, videos of special moments, or even before-and-after shots for cases involving medical treatment. The sky's the limit when it comes to creating different types of content with the pets and owners you see in the clinic everyday. But one thing to be sure of is to always get permission before posting something or using it in marketing collateral! 
  • Highlight Success Stories: Feature success stories that showcase your veterinary practice’s expertise and compassion. These stories can demonstrate the impact of your services and highlight the dedication of your team. Success stories not only engage your current clients but also attract potential clients looking for a trustworthy veterinary practice. For example, you could share a story about a pet's successful recovery from a serious illness, or a heartwarming tale of a pet and owner's bond. Whether it's a puppy recovering from parvo or a senior cat losing weight, all of your clients have stories to be told that speak volumes about your practice's impact on pets in your community.
  • Celebrate Milestones: By celebrating milestones such as special pet birthdays, anniversaries of adoptions, or recovery from illnesses, you can foster a strong sense of community among your followers. Sharing these moments on your social media channels and tagging the respective clients  not only makes them feel special but also includes your audience in these joyous occasions.

3. Get Involved in Your Community

If your community engagement activities dropped off after the COVID-19 pandemic — as was the case for most practices — there’s no better time than now to start again!

Community events are a great way to connect with local pet owners, share your practice’s values, and boost your reputation. Here are a few ways you can utilize events to not only engage your community, but also enhance your marketing efforts.

  • Encourage Client Participation: Invite your clients to actively participate in the events. This could include volunteering, bringing their pets, or sharing their experiences during the event. Encourage them to take photos and videos and share them on social media using a specific event hashtag.
  • Share Live Updates: During the event, share live updates on your social media channels. Post photos, videos, and stories to give your followers a real-time glimpse of the event. This not only engages your current clients but also attracts new followers who may be interested in future events.
  • Post-Event Highlights: After the event, share highlights and thank your clients for their participation. Feature photos, videos, and testimonials from the event to create engaging content for your social media channels. This not only extends the reach of your event but also strengthens the sense of community among your clients. The photos and quotes you get during the event can be used for other marketing initiatives too later on — it’s a win-win!

Don’t be afraid to start small when it comes to community involvement. Doing short in-person events or even informational sessions online can go a long way in building your reputation in the community and pave a path for bigger and more impactful events later on. 

4. Leverage Client Reviews and Ratings

88% of consumers read online reviews before reaching out to a local business. With reviews being so important to a customer’s ultimate buying decisions, they should be a regular asset in your practice’s marketing materials. So, make the most of your clinic’s great reviews and get them in front of your target audience!

Tips for Collective Client Reviews

Client reviews are crucial for displaying to prospective clients that your clinic is trusted and efficient, but they do take a little work to get. Encourage clients to leave reviews after their appointments, while their experiment is still fresh in their mind. There are a number of different ways to collect client reviews, including follow-up emails, text messages, or even during the checkout process at your clinic. Make it easy for clients to leave reviews by providing direct links to your profiles on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, so you can keep the reviews you’re using fresh and timely. 

Now, let’s cover a few ways you can use the reviews that you collect from clients in your veterinary marketing initiatives.

Incorporate Reviews into Marketing Materials

Incorporate client reviews and ratings into your broader marketing materials to create a cohesive representation of your practice. Feature your favorite reviews on your website, in email newsletters, and in printed brochures or flyers. If you have a number of great reviews that you want to share, consider building a marketing campaign around them.

Highlighting positive feedback from real clients can significantly boost your practice’s credibility and appeal to prospective clients, as they are more likely to trust authentic thoughts and opinions from other pet owners, rather than just your clinic’s value propositions alone.

Feature Positive Reviews on Social Media

One of the easiest ways to use reviews and ratings is to share them on your social media channels to create better opportunities for visibility. While having reviews on specific platforms like Yelp or in your Google Business Profile is great and can do wonders for your online reputation, you can take things a step further and share some of your favorite client reviews in posts on social media to enhance the likelihood that a prospective client will see them. It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to not only check typical review sites, but also include a business’ social media profiles in their research. 

How to get started: Create visually appealing graphics that highlight client testimonials and pair them with photos of the pets — with the clients’ permission, of course! This gives prospective clients a taste of what the pet care experience at your clinic is like, and solidifies that your doctors are trusted within the community.

To get even more value and life out of your glowing client reviews, compile the best reviews into a highlight reel or carousel post on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. But be sure to give those reviews a little graphic design love before posting! Simple text posts aren’t engaging, but if you format your reviews on aesthetically pleasing images and pair them with your brand elements, you’re following a recipe for social media success.

Need help with your marketing initiatives? Schedule a demo to learn how GeniusVets can help you identify current gaps in your marketing plan and address them with industry-leading content and services.