A dentist’s guide to creating effective
local Facebook advertising
Social media marketing and by extent online advertising has changed the way dentists look for new patients. Over the last few years, my team and I have been busy learning, testing, as well as scrutinizing strategies that can be used by dental practices looking to broaden their clientele base.
When starting, I focused on Facebook as a platform to create a following of close to five thousand ‘fans’. I’ve since been able to turn these fans into dozens of new clients each and every month. It was possible since I concentrated on the acceptable and widely known social media marketing techniques to share stories of my web design and digital marketing experiences with other dentists and doctors.
The stories helped me form a bond with my followers, with many becoming interested in what my business focuses on, where we are located, and whether I was in a position to address some of the concerns that had been plaguing them for years. With time, I started refining the strategies that I was using to market my dental practice.
I also thought it necessary to start assisting these and other dentists, and dental practices learn how to make use of social media marketing to attract new clientele as well as get to make connections with people who had never heard about their practices. Having looked at the various social networking accounts available today, I concluded that the social networking platform was by far the best social networking for a dental practice to advertise.
The reason for this being that it provided some advantages that would be beneficial to any dental practice looking to broaden its customer base. They include:
- The platform provides me with a forceful ad-targeting capability
- I can change my ad to take on different variations. It can be done by splitting the ads and running them in parallel with each other.
- Dental marketing is far less expensive compared to other contemporary marketing techniques.
- It is a platform that can provide dental practices with sophisticated performance information for all their advertisements. This means that I can easily be able to know whether I am getting a good return on my investment or not.
- By using the social network to run my ads, it means that I have access to all the powerful advertising tools that are currently only available to the large corporations. It makes it easier for my practice to run paid adverts within a few minutes. I can also use it to run special offers that are currently ongoing at my clinic.
Having looked at why this social network is the best for advertising my practice, lets now look at all you need to know to start a successful Facebook ad campaign for your dental practice.
Always Be Up-Front
I came to establish that the only way for me to get a return on my investment from the advertisements that I was running on the network was, to be honest, and up-front about the offers that I was marketing. By doing this, it means that only the people who are genuinely interested in being treated or reserving an appointment with my practice will be affianced.
There is nothing clients hate more than learning or getting the feeling that a practice or any business is deceiving or taking advantage of them. It is what makes it even more important to ensure that all the ads I am posting are clear and are speaking directly to my ideal patients.
If dentists are to pay for any advertisement, then I recommend that the practice also pays for its creative design. It is the only way any dental practice will be able to get the most out of any advertising campaign that is being run across social media.
That said, good design tends to be quite hard, and as such, I have found myself having to hire the services of a professional designer to help me with adverts that are to be run on the social networking pages. Any designer that is hired should be able to create a banner ad at an affordable price.
Note: The banner ad design makes all the difference concerning the number of clicks the advertisement receives and the resulting conversions from it.
In the last few years online digital marketing has certainly advanced. Today, the world’s biggest social networking platform by user numbers makes it easier for my practice to target its ads based on interests, age, location, and sex. Strict targeting is essential if I am to get good returns on my investment. By being strict, I get to enhance those chances significantly.
I always start by figuring out who my target audiences are and where they are located. These are the people that I want to reach with the advertisements. These are the people I will target with these ads by ensuring that I tailor them in such a way that they will meet all their specific consumer needs.
Activity on the Social Network
There is a need to broaden the strategy being employed by any dental practice. It means ensuring that advertisements are not the only reason why a practice is using Facebook. What do I mean by this? There is a need to make sure that each practice has an active networking page on the platform.
The page will need to have regular posts and contributions that help it connect with its followers. I always advise my fellow practitioners and clients to make it a point to post on the practice page at least three times on any given week. A post does not have to be professional. It can include some humor, or even provide insight that the fan base may not be well-versed.
It is important to keep in mind that the people following the page do not want to be sold services at all times of the day or week. I have made it a habit of using questions that are thought-provoking as well as utilizing engaging and topical content to connect with my user-base. It is the fastest way to get people to start commenting, liking, and sharing the dental practice’s content on the platform. The more these posts are liked or shared, the easier it becomes for a practice to grow its subscriber base.
Utilizing Headlines that are Eye-Catching
Although there is a need to make sure that people do not click on the ads for the sake of it, there is also the need to ensure that as many social media users will see them as possible. In instances when my practice is not selling services or products to any person, I still try to make sure that they get to see the advert in a bid to build awareness for my dental practice.
For this end, I always make sure that the headings I use on all the advertisements are eye-popping. What this means is that they should either be able to make bold statements or at least get my followers interested in what the practice is offering and what it can do for them.
I use a similar strategy when dealing with images. All the images I upload are images that can draw attention and garner the interest of my subscribers. For instance, studies indicate that images depicting people tend to draw more attention as compared to other images uploaded online.
Nothing good can be gained without experimentation and modifications. Advertisements on this social networking platform require dental practitioners to be versatile. What I mean by this is that there is a need to try and use different combinations. I always try to experiment with different images, wording, and even filters.
By experimenting, I can come up with a winning combination that will help me get the results I desire at the end of the social media campaign. From experience, certain images will work best when targeting certain clients, but work against me when I use them on a different campaign.
Although many social media influencers are against the idea of splitting up the support base, it is not always a bad thing to do it. When starting, I found the going a bit difficult especially as I had to come up with different ideas for the various clients that I was targeting with my ad campaign.
But with time and consistent effort, the going became much more relaxed. And from this, my practice was able to find its unique gold mine, regarding new patients visiting my dental practice each month.
In today’s world, everything needs to be politically correct. Society dictates that I do not generalize or assume anything based on the small data that I may have acquired. But in the world of advertising, the small information that I possess is all that I have which makes it mandatory for me to generalize if I am to achieve my end goal.
For instance, if a client’s dental practice is looking to promote a veneers package together with filler treatment, then there is a need for them to also keep in mind that many men in today’s’ world are seeking out filler treatment. But the reality is that more women tend to seek this treatment as compared to their male counterparts. Therefore, unless the treatment they are promoting targets explicitly men, then it will not make any sense for them to try also and attract female patients.
When I am surfing Facebook in an effort to catch up with colleagues or even promote my business I always try and look at all the ads popping up on my computer’s screen. With each advertisement that shows up, I have to consider whether it is impacting me in any way.
Do I find the advertisements to be frustrating or do I consider them as something that I can click to view the underlying message? I also tend to ask myself whether this is something that I could consider doing with my future campaigns.
As much as there is a need to be unique when I am promoting content about my business online, I have quickly come to learn that the best marketing strategy will require me to once in a while copy what has already been done. It needs me to take a look at what is already working, and then find a unique way to emulate it without appearing too obvious.
I do not see any reason why I should not be able to do something that has already been done to enable me to get the same results being enjoyed by the other company. To make it easier for me, I consider it as a form of inspiration.
Participating in Community Events
Posts about companies, people, and events in my community have also proven to be an ideal way of promoting any dental practice. I have made it a point of getting involved in local community events that matter to my patients and then sharing the information with my fan base.
Over the years, I have learned that hosting events, food drives, and charity runs at my clients’ practices helps these clients reach local people who may not have known about what they do. Every time they do this, I make sure that they post an advertisement or post online to communicate their enthusiasm and to ask people to show up for that specific event.
Conclusion (Not quite)
From the discussion, it is clear that incorporating Facebook ads in my clients’ dental practices has helped them broaden their subscriber bases and pool of potential new patients. The marketing world keeps changing, and with the new changes comes new ways to market and promote a dental practice. Using the tips and strategies that I have outlined above, I have come to learn that there are very many ways that I can use to reach untapped market segments. I and many of our clients rely on these tips to help reach tens of thousands of social media users who log-in to this platform on a daily basis to see what is new around them and whether they can find anything beneficial.
A vital fact is that it took me a while to master all this, but with patience, consistency, and proper planning, the process becomes a breeze.