How Can a Dentist Use Facebook Ads to Get More Patients?
Compared to other forms of marketing, advertising on Facebook is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to promote your dental practice. Because of the social media site’s ability to determine its users’ individual preferences and interests, Facebook has the ability to put your ad on the pages of only those people in your geographic region who have a certain income range, are home owners, or have specific interests that are congruent with your ideal patient.
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After Google, Facebook is the second most popular website online. Its targeted advertising platform lets you to get your ad in front of specific groups of people based on age, personal interests and more. Facebook can even crawl through user profiles in order to place your ads only on pages that mention a specific keyword.
Facebook allows you to create your own images to be included on your ads, as well as offering an option for additional character length for ad descriptions.
Facebook users also tend to be more interactive than Google users because they use Facebook to share information, rather than simply read it. This can produce a higher retention rate, which aids your ad’s visibility.
Facebook ads also makes it easier to get multiple views from a single viewer, so there’s more opportunity for your ad to be noticed or get the viewer to follow your call to action (CTA). Since a high percentage of Facebook users visit several times per day, your same ad can be seen multiple times, giving you more “bang for your buck.”
With Facebook Ads, you can choose between Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Clicks-Per-Thousand (CPM) pay structures so you can fine tune your promotions based on how much you want to spend and other preferences. There are a broad range of packages for impression-based campaigns, so you can reach as many users as your marketing budget allows.
The social media site, Twitter, also offers a number of different paid advertising platforms, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends. Both Twitter and Facebook are among the most-visited sites on mobile devices, so you can reach prospective customers anytime during the day.
What Is a Facebook Ad?
“Facebook Ad” refers to different advertising opportunities on the popular social media website, but on all of them, when the visitor clicks on your ad, you pay Facebook for the traffic. What the prospective customer does when they arrive at your site is up to them and you.
Here's an example of a Facebok ad I've run in the past:
This ad is being shown to people who have visited my website, as well as people with a similar demographic to people that have visited my website (called a look a like audience).
People who sign up for a free Facebook account are asked to provide a lot of information about themselves, starting with basic information such as their gender and where they live, and their age. All of this data allows Facebook to tailoring ads to specific target groups.
But when people continue to use Facebook, they keep providing information about their preferences and interests. For example, every time they “Like” a status update or page, visits special interest pages, or join a sub-network of people with shared interests, this data is kept by Facebook to be used to get your ad in front of the best prospective customers.
The Facebook Ad Platform
With Facebook, Twitter and other paid traffic there are several different models, and you may hear several acronyms thrown around. So let's quickly go over some of them:
- Pay Per Click or PPC - This is when you only pay when someone actually clicks on your link advertisement. For example, your ads could appear on Google for days and you don’t have to pay anything if nobody clicks them. But every time somebody does click through on your ad, your account will be charged for whatever the amount is you agreed to pay per click.
- Pay-Per-View or PPV - This is when you pay for every page view. For example, when someone visits a website such as Facebook, and you have a PPV agreement with them, they will show their visitors your website for a brief time period, and charge you for that page view. PPV traffic usually is less expensive than PPC traffic because it is of lower quality. The website offering PPV traffic has to pop up or pop under your website on theirs, which can disrupt the browsing experience for many users.
- Cost Per Thousand or CPM - This is when you only pay a set amount for every 1000 times your link advertisement is shown. Banner advertising would be an example of this type of traffic.
- Cost Per Action or CPA - This is when you only pay when the user has completed a specific action. For example, you only pay for everyone who submits an e-mail address to your website. Or you only pay for your traffic when someone buys something from your website.
Should Dentists Consider Using Facebook Ads?
Facebook ads can be used by anybody who has a product, service, website, event, application or anything else they want to promote, including dentists. The website is especially effective for business owners who don’t have an enormous marketing budget because you can get your ads in front of highly targeted customers for as little as a few dollars per day.
The most effective Facebook ads for dentists have a well-thought out plan starting with the design of the ad. You also should have a clear idea of which demographics they are trying to reach, what time of the day will have the most impact, and what rules Facebook should use to control your daily costs. When you define effective rules, you can pause your ads if they are giving you the results you want at that moment in time.
The most effective Facebook ads for dentists have a well-thought out plan starting with the design of the ad
Elements of a Successful Facebook Ad Campaign
Successful Facebook ad campaigns for dentists depends on five key elements:
- Segmentation – This is how you target your audience. The goal is to reach only those people who are interested in your dental practice.
- Optimize Your Ads – Once you know people you want to target, the next step is to create an appealing, clickable story. What performs well depends on your specific dental practice and your targeted demographics.
- Schedule Your Campaigns – Your ads will show different results based on time of day and the day of the week you are running them.
- Budget Management – Facebook requires you to bid on the amount of clicks that you will buy per day. Your marketing budget will go further when you manage the amount you bid for each click to optimize your daily budget per campaign.
- Use Conversion Tracking to See Results of Ads – Facebook Ads provide analytics that letyou know which ad generated which conversion so you can measure your Return on Investment (ROI).
Creating an effective Facebook ad campaign requires a lot of testing and tweaking. As you try different strategies, look to improve the performance of your Facebook marketing so you can start attracting new patients through this relatively new platform.
Are you currently using Facebook? If so, how is it working for you? If so, have you experimented with Facebook ads? Go ahead and tell us in the notes.