In my years running social media campaigns, I have come to notice that knowing how to leverage Facebook Ads has increasingly become an essential part of all social media advertising strategies. As such, for my client’s practices to be seen by people logging in to the social network, it means that I have to pay for the ads I am posting on the platform.
In order to impact their reach, it seems that they will have to pay for the content that they want to advertise. Even though this is something that obviously comes with its own set of questions, e.g., will it work? What kind of engagement can they expect to receive? What should they expect for the money that they are pumping into the advertisements? But before we can answer all these questions, I need to answer the question of why Facebook?
Our latest research has shown that Facebook currently has more than two billion monthly visitors. This means that some of our clients’ potential customers are definitely using the social media network on a daily or weekly basis. The question, therefore, becomes, how do they reach out to them in an efficient manner?
A Facebook campaign provides dental practices with a number of extended targeting possibilities. For instance, they can reach potential customers by age, gender, life events, interests, as well as locations, e.g., by zip codes, cities, states, and even countries. Additionally, they have the option of promoting any content suitable for their dental practice.
Some of the tools that Facebook has provided include links to their practice website, text photos, offers, events, videos, albums, and of course photos. When these dental offices combine these with a large user base, a large selection of ad objectives, and incredible targeting options, it becomes easy to see why I consider Facebook to be the go-to tool for my clients’ dental practice.
Setting Up a Good Facebook Ad Operation
1. Establishing Goals for Facebook Ads
Before anyone jumps in and starts creating advertisements or even tries to set aside a financial plan, we must start by establishing why the practice is advertising their services, and what it is that they want to achieve. When we start by setting aside goals for such ads, it means that we will have something that can be used to determine whether we are achieving our objectives or not.
For instance, if our interest is to increase the number of website visits by using targeted ads on Facebook, we may choose to set a reasonable goal of 100 visits within the first four weeks. This is important as it will also help us settle on the objectives to be achieved by the promotion.
Additional goals may include:
• Boosting user engagement on my practice page
• Increase web traffic from my site
• Generate new patient lead opportunities
2. Visit the Ads Manager on Facebook
All advertisements running on the social networking platform have to run through its advertising manager. It is a tool that we normally download directly from the Facebook page by navigating to the “manage my ads” section.
3. Settle On an Objective
When we intend to create an advertisement, we are normally required to select an objective for the promotion that we intend to run. At the moment, there are more than 15 options to choose, but the ones I prefer tend to fall under three categories:
These are objectives that can generate an interest in services or products:
• Increase our reach
• Improve brand awareness
• Boost the client’s posts
• Promote the client’s page
Pro Tip: When we are operating on a limited budget, we prefer this category as it is likely to deliver the greatest return on investment.
This refers to objectives that are likely to get potential customers to start looking for information about the client’s dental practice and what we intend to do:
• Collect leads for their business
• Get video views
• Raise event attendance
This refers to objectives that are likely to encourage individuals to become interested in our clients’ services and to consider engaging with this practice:
• Get people to visit their practice
• Increase website conversions
• Promote a unique service or product
Once we have settled on the exact marketing objectives, we will normally be prompted to come up with a name for this promotion.
4. Defining Budget and Audiences
Target audience customization
This is one step that we have found to be extremely crucial for the success of all our dental clients’ advertisements online. We can customize audiences based on a number of demographics:
• Behavior—this refers to factors such as the purchase behavior exhibited by potential customers.
• Location—here, we have to start by defining the target country, state to be targeted, city, and local zip code.
• Interests—Facebook is known to like learning about every individual’s interests including most visited pages and topics that potential patients are likely to search for when online.
Setting the Financial plan
When we are done selecting the preferred target audiences, we now need to set the total amount of money that we would like to spend on each advertisement. Here, we need to point out that this always refers to the total amount of money that the client wants to spend on the entire promotion.
5. Creating the Advertisement
This is where the fun officially begins. Once I am at this point, I know that it is time to select the body text, headline, video, image, and the location where I would like it to be displayed on Facebook. For text, my options will normally be limited to a total of 90 characters. This is to help me share a really quick message to be displayed above my video or images.
Traditionally, there are two options available for creating an advertisement:
1. Using a Post that Is Already Present
For boosting posts, we have the option of using an already existing post. This will be a post that the client has previously shared on the social networking platform. All we need to do is find the post that we want to use and then click on it.
2. Creating an Entirely New Advertisement
If we are looking to create an advertisement from a blank page, then our very first task will be to settle on a format to use. The advertisements will normally look different depending on the results that we want to achieve. The available formats include:
• Single image
• Single video
6. Choosing the Ad Placements
An ad placement basically defines the area where we would like the advertisement to be shown. With Facebook, it is possible for us to select the preferred location. We can choose it to appear in the mobile News Feed, right column, or desktop News Feed. It is also possible for us to create advertisements that will also be displayed on Instagram.
According to Facebook policies, we have discovered that it is always best to use default placements depending on our chosen objectives. This is to help the network optimize placements for our clients’ dental practices and to guarantee effective results at a lower overall cost.
For instances, where we would rather choose our own preferred placements, the following is recommended, depending on what the promotion seeks to achieve:
• Increase brand awareness: Instagram and Facebook
• Boost client posts: Instagram and Facebook
• Get video views: Facebook and Instagram
• Promote a particular dental service or treatment: Facebook
• Increase web conversions: Facebook
• Send people to the client website: Facebook
7. Placing the Order
Now that the client’s advertisement is complete and ready to run, it’s time to submit it to Facebook. For this, all we need to do is click on the “Place Order” button which can be found at the uppermost corner of the page.
As soon as we are done submitting it, the Facebook team will have to review it before it can officially go live. Once approved, an email will be sent to the ad administrator indicating that the ad is officially live.
Tips for Advertising on Facebook
• Whenever we notice that the best performing ad sets are no longer functional, all we do is clone them, and then start again from the ground up. By doing this, we get to see a return on investment again.
• We have learned that it is always best, to begin with, a bigger budget. This way, we will be able to customize on the total amount of money to spend on a day or in a week.
• Before we can change any Facebook ad, we often choose to begin by changing the images. Once we have changed them, we allow them to run a few days more before we make a decision on whether to find new images or to go on using the same images as before.
This is the guide that we have been using to create hundreds of social media campaigns for our clients’ dental practices and it has worked wonders for all. The secret is to make sure that we research the target audience, select the right settings for these promotions, and also make sure that we have settled on the best creative designs possible.