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Make great promotional brochures

If creative juices flow in you, print marketing may be do-it-yourself. Otherwise, consider hiring a professional to complete the task.

Make great promotional brochures
Standard marketing brochures are two-sided and six-paneled. This brochure was designed by VetNetwork.
In a culture that’s deeply invested in online marketing, it’s easy to forget that pet owners still depend upon printed content for information. Sure, you can find loads of information about a veterinary hospital’s services and staff through a couple of keystrokes. But when the computer is turned off, the information disappears into the blackened monitor. That’s why building attractive, informative and concise printed marketing material is still a vital aspect of business in the 21st century. Brochures are one of these time-honored staples, a small piece of printed advertising that if done well can help promote your hospital. In marketing, the adage “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” always rings true. Veterinary hospitals have limited funds for marketing, and there’s nothing worse than spending time and energy on promotions that are going to pass right by pet owners. That’s why before you make any serious marketing decisions, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons and ask yourself if creating a veterinary brochure is worth the investment. As a veterinary marketing professional, I have helped compose many brochures. Here are six tips on how to produce the perfect advertisement for your practice.

Determine a Design

This is the first and most important step. Before you begin crafting the content, take a moment to think about what the brochure is going to look like. The standard marketing brochure is two-sided and has six panels that are trifolded. In essence, you have six canvases to work with. Consider the different aspects of your hospital that you want to market — your clinic’s history, veterinarians or unique services (more on this later). Next, think about a color scheme and logo. Does your hospital even have a logo? If not, create one yourself or hire a designer to come up with one. The logo is the face of your brand. It should follow you from your hospital’s website to print materials to email signatures and anything else with your practice’s name on it. Also consider the more artistic elements of your brochure. These include background colors, fonts, font sizes, spacing and general formatting. Whatever you decide upon, make sure your brochure remains consistent throughout. There’s nothing less appealing to a potential pet owner than a veterinary brochure that looks like it was assembled by six different hospitals.

Write a Tight, One-Paragraph Overview

Let’s face it, no matter what information you put in the hands of clients, they will fully understand the superior value of your hospital only when they bring their pets in for an examination. That means you need to turn your hospital’s philosophy into a quick, accurate pitch. They say brevity is the soul of wit. And while your hospital may not need humor to sell its services, keep in mind that concise, to-the-point content can be a fast and surefire way to pitch your practice to nearby pet owners. Figure out how to sum up your hospital in one paragraph. What makes your hospital unique? What are some of its key characteristics? How would clients describe your practice? As you ask yourself these questions, start generating a list of keywords — i.e. compassionate, dedicated, caring — and try to incorporate them into your overview. A constant snare for advertising is coming up with the perfect lead sentence. Here are few samples you can try that start your brochure off with a kick:
  • “At [Hospital Name], your pet will receive the finest care …”
  • “[Hospital Name] is dedicated to providing your pet with …”
  • “The state-of-the-art facilities at [Hospital Name] offer you and your pet …”

Market Your Services

By and large, most veterinary hospitals offer similar services: wellness exams, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures and so on. With that being said, mentioning the services you offer — oftentimes in a bulleted list — is a quick way to show current and potential clients that your hospital provides a full range of options. If your hospital offers services unique to your city or something nearby competitors don’t have — perhaps acupuncture, obedience training or laser therapy — make sure to include them. In fact, writing a small blurb or paragraph about what makes your services stand out from the competition’s is a great way to show pet owners that you’ve made the extra investment in their pet’s health.

Introduce Your Doctors

Potential clients aren’t looking for a nameless doctor to administer tests and treatments. They want to feel that their veterinarian has a vested interest in the health and happiness of their companion. To personalize your hospital and connect you better to pet owners, you could mention that the staff and veterinarians are pet owners themselves. Another idea is to add photos of your veterinary team or write small bios about your doctors. Regardless of how you do it, bringing your advertising down to a personal level is a quick and effective way to show that your practice cares about a person’s pet on a deeper level.

Don’t Forget Important Facts

As you’re creating your brochure’s content, don’t forget essential information. These details include the hospital’s name, address, hours and contact information. A few other pieces of information, while not essential, can’t hurt you to include. For example, a quick set of driving directions are handy for people unfamiliar with your area or who don’t use GPS. Moreover, if your hospital provides boarding or grooming services, mention them. Many pet owners look not only for a health care partner but also for a comfortable and welcoming boarding facility. Marketing these services could be the small push that pet owners need to get them into your clinic.

Consider Hiring a Professional

For tech-savvy and design-inspired people, creating a brochure can be a fun, low-cost challenge. If that describes you, go for it, and remember to revise and edit as you work. For others, hiring a creative team to craft marketing materials can be the best route. These companies use a team of managers, designers and writers to produce attractive, eye-catching brochures. An all-hands-on-deck approach means that several people dedicate hours to composing and refining a hospital’s marketing materials. Costs are typically within any hospital’s marketing budget. Throughout the design process, your thoughts and ideas are always honored and considered. Jesse Duthrie is a researcher and social media coordinator at VetNetwork, a veterinary marketing company based in Dover, New Hampshire.