Marketing mattersdo it right
Kathryn Primm, DVM
Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, but has a growing career as a writer, a speaker and an online voice for veterinarians and pet owners alike.
Enough banging your head against keyboards and chucking your computer at walls, use these easy content creation tools instead.
Look, I get it. You didn't go to art school. And yet, with information overload and ads galore, veterinary practices need to be aware of market trends and execute strategic marketing campaigns in order to reach even the savviest of potential clients. These design tools are here to help.
Today's consumers demand visual content. According to the “2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” many marketers feel that visual images are the most important form of content for their business. Some respondents reported using images with captions as successful because a business can incorporate text into the image and help emphasize the content for the consumer to remember. John Medina, molecular biologist and author of “Brain Rules”, writes, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65 percent.”
This is why veterinary team members involved in the practice's marketing efforts should utilize the proper tools to help capitalize on consumers' visual nature. Everything from the practice's website and social media, all the way down to the waiting room screensavers and client handouts need photos. In addition, all photos and graphics selected need to be both aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand so they can be used in diverse marketing capacities.
While it may sound exhausting, compiling great visual content can be easy and even free if you know where to look.
Pixabay is a public domain image site where images can be used without asking permission from the original owner. Pixabay has high quality images of animals in all kinds of poses that can be easily modified for the use of your animal hospital's blog, social media and website. There's a search window where you can type your needed search term, such as "dog," "puppy," "kitten," "horse" and pages of lovely (and not so lovely) images based on your query will appear. As always, be sure to read any and all fine print you may find, just to be safe.
Now that you have the images for the marketing collateral you're creating, it's time to use Canva.
Canva is a website that lets you create all sorts of media content without making you want to throw your computer. Canva not only has stock images and shapes as well as a “create a design” menu to help you make anything from Facebook posts, infographics, flyers, logos and presentations. Some of the content has a fee, but you can certainly dip your feet in the water free of charge. The site also has attractive templates and design elements that can rev your creative engine.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Primm. Made with stock photo and Canva. Used as a screensaver for exam rooms and as a social media post.)
(Infographic courtesy of Dr. Primm. Used as an SOP for team training.)