Do Dentists Need To Use Facebook Ads?
Ah yes, Facebook – the land of keeping in touch with old high school friends, funny cat videos, and the occasional deal on a coffee table found on Facebook Marketplace. We love Facebook! But did you know there's another reason we love it? Their paid ads rule for dentists.
In this article, we will discuss why we recommend Facebook & Instagram Ads for dentists and how you (as a dentist) can get the most bang for your buck from the ad platform and attract a more comprehensive patient audience in the process.
Why Do Facebook Ads Matter To A Dentist?
Almost everyone in dental marketing faces the challenge of standing out amongst the local competition to reach the top of their market. Google is often the first thought when we mention "paid ads" to a client, and understandably so.
There’s no doubt that being near the top of the search results for users actively looking for a dentist on Google is extremely important. But Facebook’s advertising model is different. How so?
Precise Ad Targeting
Facebook ads are incredibly effective for reaching new patients by targeting their interests, behaviors, and demographics based on their activity on (and sometimes off) the platform.
Think about the pages you like and interact with, the videos that pop up on your news feed. Facebook uses all those interactions to build a "user profile" for patients in your area, which can be used to create different targeted campaigns.
Wider Audience Base
There are almost undoubtedly potential patients in your area that have yet to hear about your fantastic practice! That’s where convenient tools such as “Lookalike Audiences” can help you reach other users similar to those already interacting with your page.
Also, if you specialize in pediatric, orthodontic, or cosmetic dentistry, you can reach different audiences interested in your specific type of service.
How To Advertise Your Practice on Facebook
Now that we can start to understand the importance of Facebook as an advertising platform. Here are a few tips to help make sure you're starting your ads off right.
Step 1: Choose The Right Advertising Goal
Facebook’s Ad Manager platform is very user-friendly, and their campaign builder begins by asking you a simple question - what is the goal of your ad campaign?
Your goals can include:
- Building awareness of your dental practice
- Reaching new patients looking for a new dentist
- Driving new patients to visit your website
- Receiving leads via Facebook
The options you select will help Facebook determine whether your ad will lead users to your website, your Facebook page, or to send you a message.
Step 2: Determine Who Will See Your Ad
Once your goal is selected, it's time to choose who will see your ad. Facebook's way of advertising is different than Google's in the sense that Facebook utilizes interest and demographic-based targeting rather than keyword-based search intent.
On Facebook, you can advertise directly to those that like your page, people who are similar to them, or even people in your local area (we'll cover that more in a second).
You can also utilize advanced targeting features such as:
- Demographics: the location, age, and family status of your audience
- Interests: the interests pages that your audience likes on Facebook
- Behaviors and other categories: Purchasing behaviors, hobbies, device use, etc.
*Pro-tip: The beauty of Facebook Ads is in its targeting. Get creative with who you target and advertise to—recently married? New parents? Interested in certain brands? Recent movers to the neighborhood? All these attributes can be used to create separate audiences and specifically designed campaigns.
Step 3: Design Your Ad
Now it’s time to get creative with your ad and choose from the included formats such as:
- Images: A single photo that conveys your ad’s message confidently.
- Videos: Video ads contain an engaging video for audiences to watch - and over 67% of users interact with video over images.
- Carousels: Carousels can hold up to 10 photos at once and are fantastic for story-driven marketing, before and afters, or “welcome to our office” photo tours.
While designing your ad, consider your audience, demographics, interests, and what ad copy (and media) would resonate most.
Take this ad for Hilltop Family Dental, for example – it’s meant for parents searching for their future children’s dentist and features images and copy that resonate with that demographic.
Step 4: Geo-Localize Your Facebook Ads
As with any local business, most of your potential patients will be within a certain-mile radius of your office. Therefore, while creating your ads, you want to ensure they're published in relevant areas to your office once they're ready to publish.
You can target ads based on region, city, etc. You can even set up geofencing for your dental Facebook ads, containing your ad to a particular barrier around your office.
Ensure you advertise only to potential patients in your local area and don’t cast a net too wide
Step 5: Monitor & Test Your Ads To See If They’re Working
As you can see, there are so many ways you can customize and distribute your Facebook Ads campaigns as a practice owner or dentist. That’s why we believe it’s important to test the various elements of your ad to see which combinations will work best. This experimentation is known as A/B Testing. In this process, you will make small changes to your ads, one at a time, and monitor the ad metrics to test the effectiveness of your changes.
Important metrics to watch are:
- Total Impressions: The number of people who saw your ad at least once
- Clicks: The number of clicks on your dental ad (includes link clicks and CTA’s)
- Cost per click: How much you’re spending for each click on your ad
These will allow you to see how certain campaigns are performing and which ones might need adjustments.
As you begin experimenting with different ad copy, images, videos, and calls to action (CTA’s), you will start to narrow in on your top-performing ads - allowing you to increase your budget on the ads that are working or notice which ads may not be performing as well and why. We believe this phase of tracking and adjusting after your ad has been published is just as important as the ad creation itself.
Alongside search-based Google ads, advertising on Facebook is a useful way to build brand awareness, connect with a wider patient audience, and target potential patients that are truly interested in your dental office.
We hope to see your ads popping up soon – but if you need any help setting them up, feel free to drop us a message.