It’s official: Blogs are taking over the internet. And, they aren’t just for the foodies, photographers, and parenting “experts” of the world anymore. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81 percent of B2B companies and 77 percent of B2C companies have blogs that focus on just about every topic and industry imaginable, including veterinary medicine. And that’s where you come in. Your veterinary practice needs a blog.
But, I’m a veterinarian, not a writer!
I don’t have time for a blog!
I don’t know what I would write about!
I don’t know where to begin!
I just want to run my business and practice medicine!
I know, I know… As a busy veterinary professional, making time for a blog (and doing it well) can feel overwhelming. But, you’ve done more difficult things in your life (trust me), and there’s no way around it: A blog is essential for your veterinary practice.
Why your veterinary practice needs a blog
- Draw traffic to your website — According to Web Solutions, businesses that have blogs (and actually update them regularly) get 55 percent more website traffic than those that don’t.
Think about it: It’s allergy season, and my dog seems to be scratching excessively. But wait, can a dog suffer from allergies? I don’t know! Let’s ask Google!
Can dogs suffer from allergies?
One of the first results is an article titled “5 Signs Your Dog Might Be Suffering from Allergies,” and it’s published on your practice’s blog. I click the link, go to your site, read your informative article, and discover that your practice happens to be within five miles of my home.
- Connect with your audience — A blog is a great way to reveal your practice’s personality (and the personalities of individual team members who contribute to the blog) to pet owners in your community. Your blog isn’t limited to pet health and behavior topics. Branch out and blog about your practice’s involvement in the community, the special achievements of team members, outstanding testimonials from clients, and other ways in which your practice stands out.
Think about it: After reading your post about allergies in dogs, I curiously begin perusing other posts within your blog and come across a post about your practice’s involvement with the local animal shelter’s trap-neuter-return (TNR) program, volunteering to spay/neuter feral cats to help control the population of unwanted pets in the community. That’s so cool!
- Establish credibility — You’re an expert in your field. When you regularly update your blog with relevant information for pet owners, you’re confirming that to readers who land on your site. When pet owners believe you know what you’re doing, they’ll be more likely to trust you, and they’ll be more likely to bring their pets to your practice.
Think about it: After reading your allergy blog post, I realize that my dog probably has allergies. Because your article was so informative and relevant to my needs, I feel like I can trust you to examine my dog and treat his allergy symptoms.
- Educate your clients — How many times have you heard pet owners make statements about pet health or behavior that were completely false?
My pet doesn’t need heartworm prevention because where we live isn’t hot enough.
My dog can’t have fleas because we aren’t “dirty people.”
My cat is scratching the furniture because he’s just a bad cat.
All of these myths can be inspiration for blog posts, serving to educate current and potential clients, increase compliance, and generate revenue.
Think about it: I bring my dog to see you for his apparent allergy symptoms, when you discover he actually has a flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). Completely disgusted, I tell you there’s no way he has fleas. Our house is clean, he is bathed regularly, and I’ve never seen a flea on him. After showing the evidence of fleas on my dog, and assuring me it has nothing to do with cleanliness and everything to do with prevention, you send me home with a flea and tick preventive product and a short brochure about flea/tick prevention. At the bottom of the brochure, the call to action states, “Visit abcanimalhospital.com/fleasticks for more information.” The URL takes me to your blog post focused on fleas and ticks, which confirms what you told me during the appointment and arms me with everything I need to know to protect my dog and my human family.
- Boost your social media presence — Like blogs, social media isn’t going away any time soon, and your practice should use it to your advantage. But don’t just post cutesy memes and announcements on your social channels: Post links to the articles on your blog, too.
Think about it: Your client care representative responsible for social media posting hasn’t posted anything today and is searching for relevant content.
“Maybe another cats-in-boxes video? Perhaps a funny dog meme (for the third time this week)? Wait! Today is Thursday! That means Dr. Smith published her weekly blog post yesterday! I’ll link to that, instead!” she says.
The blog post happens to be about allergies in dogs. I read it, and decide to bring my dog to your practice. It’s like magic.
Now that you understand why your practice needs a blog, it’s time to get started.
Oh, stop. You can do this. And my next blog post will tell you how. Stay tuned!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Rumple is an award-winning veterinary writer and editor. Serving the veterinary industry since 2011, her writing covers everything from practice management topics for veterinary professionals to pet health and behavior topics for pet owners. Sarah's clients include veterinary publications, organizations, nonprofit associations, media companies, individual veterinarians/practices, corporate groups, and others. Sarah is owner and chief creative officer of Rumpus Writing and Editing LLC, which she began in 2016. She and her team write more than 30 blog posts for their various clients every month.
Learn more about Sarah or contact her at sarahrumple.com.