What does grassroots marketing even mean? Instead of putting a marketing campaign in place that will reach the most substantial amount of people possible, grassroots marketing relies on specialized targeting to reach a highly niched group of individuals that are usually connected by demographic and location.  As veterinarians, it is more beneficial to reach the people within your neighborhood and community rather than a larger group that live far away from your brick and mortar business so grassroots marketing could mean a significant development in your acquisition strategy.

Sometimes the most powerful way to get the word out about your business is to go back to the basics.  Since most vets are local business’ with strong ties to their local community growing your business does not necessarily mean reaching an audience that is worldwide. Forget SEO optimization, website bounce rate, CTR, and engagement for a minute and let’s think about the grassroots strategies you can use to get more involved with your community and grow your veterinary business.

Partner with Animal Shelter: Wherever your veterinarian clinic is, it’s safe to assume that an animal shelter is nearby. Having a relationship with the local shelter can mean a considerable increase in business. If the shelter recommends you when a family comes in to adopt a new dog or cat it could mean hundreds of new clients a month. You want to be the first vet they think of every single time.  So, how can you build a healthy relationship with your local shelter? Try offering free vaccinations or pro-bono checkups for some of the new arrivals at the shelter. Even just one afternoon a month that you volunteer a few staff members to assist in screening shelter dogs and cats could result in a massive increase of referrals.

Dog Walking Events: Just like charity walks for essential organizations that help treat and prevent diseases in people, the same could be done for animals! Hosting a dog walk for charity could help fundraise for your favorite shelter or rescue group while also increasing your exposure in the community.

Vet Fairs: It might sound random, but have you ever thought of throwing a carnival or fair type event at your animal hospital? Choose a Saturday or Sunday to invite all your clients and community members for an afternoon filled with good food, free services, and information sessions.  It’s an excellent opportunity for potential customers to see your facilities and give them more information in a casual and fun environment. You could even distribute free teeth cleaning services, discounts on medication or a first-time vet visit discount to help incentives clients to start using your services!

Pet Stores: While it’s essential to have a relationship with your local shelters in the community, it’s just as beneficial to have those same relationships with your local pet stores. When a new pet owner goes into the community pet store and asks for a recommendation on where they should bring their new pet, you want them to recommend you! You could even put together an affiliate program where you give your clients a discount code to buy food or treats at the pet store, and the pet store offers their customers a discount to see you for their veterinarian needs.  It’s a win-win!

To reach the pet owners in your community, you must be apart of their community.  Be an active participant at the local shelters, hold an information session at pet stores, invite them to your hospital and don’t give them any reason not to join your family.

Have you done any of these events? We want to hear all about it! Share your successes in the comments!

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