Content is king, as they say, and you do need to create great content to get the attention of potential clients and market your veterinary practice.
However, creating your content isn’t enough. You need to plan it too. Not only does that make it easier to create the right content, but it ensures that you post consistently on your website and social media, which is vital for visibility.
Read on for our content calendar tips for veterinarians and you’ll have your content calendar up and running in no time.
Why is creating content so important to your online visibility?
Google uses different ranking factors to determine visibility, and content is one of the most important ranking factors. Great, well-keyworded content can help you rise through the search engine rankings and get found by your ideal customers.
Content also establishes your authority on veterinary topics and encourages Google to think of your site and your content as genuinely helpful and full of expert knowledge. Google and the other search engines want to show users the best possible content for their queries, and they look for content that they can have confidence in and trust. Provide that content and you will increase your rankings and your chances of your content being shown to as many people as possible.
In addition, great content helps to keep your online presence recent and relevant, which again, is great for SEO purposes, but also helps your marketing efforts.
Quick content calendar tips for veterinarians
1) Define your audiences
It’s important to define and understand your audiences before you begin to create content. You need to know who you are creating content for and what they are looking for online.
Without clear buyer personas and an understanding of your audience, it’s possible to completely miss your targeting and lose customers.
Don’t skip your research into your audience or the creation of your buyer personas.
2) Take note of your messaging
It’s not just about what content you create, but how you communicate the message you are trying to get across. How can you say what you’re saying in a way that resonates with your audience the most?
Again, this goes back to knowing your audience, but you also need to know how you want to be seen. While most businesses want to be seen as professional, expert, and approachable, you need to understand your own business personality and your brand voice to ensure consistency across platforms and in every piece of marketing.
You also need to understand how to angle your content for your customers so that they respond and continue to consume your content.
3) Share your content across platforms
One of the most important parts of your customer research is to determine which social platforms your audience uses. You don’t want to be posting on Instagram if your audience is mostly on TikTok, for example. That’s a huge waste of time and marketing resources.
Next, look at where you can publish content.
Of course, you can add content to your website and blog, but don’t forget your Google Business Profile, your social media platforms, and even other business directories. The more places you can share your content, the more visibility you’ll earn.
4) Plan ahead with a content calendar
Having looked at the number of places you can and should post content, it’s clear to see why you need a content calendar. As we’ve said, this allows you to plan ahead. You’ll find your content creation easier as you don’t need to think about what to write each time. Planning also gives you the chance to get ahead with your content creation, so that content posting doesn’t stop just because you’re on vacation or unwell. You can batch posts and set them up ready to post on marketing software, such as Surefire’s marketing platform, and then continue running your business while knowing that your content marketing is continuing while you do other things.
You can plan your content quarterly at a high level with themes, promotions, and other categories. Then get more specific with a monthly calendar that outlines the exact content you’ll be creating over the next few weeks.
5 Steps to Easily Create Your Own Monthly Content Calendar
Step 1: Understand your clients
You’ve defined your audience with your buyer personas. Now it’s time to get to know them even better.
You need to know more than just who they are. Do your research, look at your available data and statistics, and find out everything you can about them. Look at their biggest pain points and struggles. Analyze their search behaviors and patterns and look at what questions they’re asking.
It’s also a good idea to look at the language they use, including any jargon. Pet owners are incredibly caring and enthusiastic about their pets. You’ll no doubt see them on social media talking about their fur babies, how adorable they are, and how much a part of the family they are. While you need to create a professional, expert impression, you can also use some of the same language as your patients to attract leads and convince people to attend your veterinary practice.
All of this knowledge is vital to inform your general marketing and your content creation. You can tailor your content to answer their pressing questions. You can also make sure that your content shows them that your veterinary practice has the answers to their pain points.
Your marketing and content creation will be far more effective with this information on hand.
Step 2: Determine the frequency
In addition to researching your audiences, you also need to understand when and where to post for the best results.
Analyze your social media platform statistics and do some research on the best times to post. You should be able to see when your posts get more engagement. And while you’re there, you can look at your most popular posts to start to refine what content and types of content your audience wants to see more of.
How often you should publish new content will depend on the social platform. Each one is different. With some platforms, like Twitter, the expectation is to post more often, whereas, with other platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, you’ll want to focus more on quality over quantity.
This takes some time to get right, so keep checking your statistics and refining when you post and the types of content, and you will find that you get better at social media engagement and interaction the more you do it.
The biggest challenge you’ll face is not to overwhelm yourself with posting to social media so often that you burn out or don’t have the time to do it appropriately. To this end, we’d suggest that you start off with just one platform and add another one later when you are more practiced at posting and better understand what time you have available.
Step 3: Identify content categories
Think about both what you want to share about your practice and what your audience wants to see. You can then start to identify the right content categories for your posts. Once you have your categories, it’s then easier to start coming up with ideas for each one.
Possible categories might be:
- Seasonal topics and national days that you can join in with, such as National Black Cat Day or National Pet Day.
- Limited-time promotions and special offers that your customers can take advantage of.
- General education posts and how-to guides, such as how to bathe your dog or cat without it looking like your own personal hurricane has happened in your bathroom.
- Any company updates your customers need to know about, such as new services or a new vet.
- Local community events you’re involved with.
- Think through what you know about your audience and decide on your categories based on what you think they’ll appreciate. You can always refine and target your content more tightly as you learn.
Step 4: Brainstorm topics
Now that you have your categories, try coming up with a list of ideas for each category. Some categories will naturally have more ideas than others and that’s okay. Also, be aware that you don’t want to be overly “salesy” with your content. You don’t want to put people off.
Use the questions that people have asked on social media and in person as topics for blog posts. Think about what pet owners want to know.
You can look at your website statistics for keywords and possible topic suggestions from what people are searching for when they find you. You can also look at sites like Answer the Public, and there’s nothing wrong with seeing what your competitors are doing with their content. As long as you don’t copy, you can use their content for ideas and inspiration, while looking to see how you can do it better.
Step 5: Create your calendar
Next, look at your calendar for the next three months and plan any dates that you want to post. Don’t forget to look out for national pet-themed weeks and days and add those to your calendar too.
Look at any dates when you might want to run promotions and discounts. You may want to offer discounts and promotions at quieter times of the year to encourage bookings for check-ups, vaccinations, claw clipping, and other services.
Make sure you mark off public holidays, such as Thanksgiving, and your own vacations, so that you can plan and schedule content around them.
Now that you have your categories and content ideas, take your list and start adding your content ideas to the different dates you’ve marked as publishing days.
Try to mix up content types and topics so that you’re not posting too much of the same thing. Allow enough production time if you’re going to shoot videos for your social media or your blog post.
You can then use your content calendar to ensure you never run out of things to write about. It also allows you to create and schedule posts ahead as you already know what you’ll be creating content about.
This is by far the easiest way to manage your content creation and ensure that you’re posting the right content consistently.
However, it can be even easier with the right marketing software.
Use professional business intelligence marketing software to create and schedule your content. You can manage your content creation workflow from start to finish all in one place, while also getting analytics and reports to help you brainstorm future content ideas and determine how well your campaigns are working.
With one single login, you’re straight into your easy-to-use dashboard, where you can manage your content, including blog posts, images, and email marketing.
Manage your content calendar from anywhere with an all-in-one platform accessible across devices and browsers – so whenever inspiration strikes, you can act on the idea.