According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion and is expected to grow to some 2.5 billion by 2018. – Statista.com
If you’ve decided that this is the year you’re going to take marketing your dental practice to the next level, but aren’t quite sure where to start, Facebook ads might be the next best step.
These incredibly targeted advertisements get your practice in front of eager potential patients who are looking for what you have to offer. Before we dive into all you need to know about Facebook advertisements, here’s what you need to have in place.
- An amazing dental website | Most Facebook ads will send people to your dental website once they click the call-to-action. You want to make sure that people get to a website that looks good, is intuitive, and directs them to the next step, which brings us to the next point.
- Landing pages | Once a person clicks an ad, they should be taken to a landing page on your website that is tailored to the unique content and audience of the advertisement that was clicked. These landing pages will take visitors through the steps of the funnel you designed to move them into eventually becoming patients, filling out a form, etc. Landing pages are a critical part of dental website design.
- Goals | Prior to creating a set of Facebook ads you need to have goals in mind. What do you want to get from these ads? Each set can have a different goal. One might aim to get people to book a free exam. Another set might get people to contact you about cosmetic procedures. Whatever your goals you should make sure they’re specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely (S.M.A.R.T). Saying you want new patients isn’t enough. But saying you want ten new patients by the end of January is. This is a very specific goal that will allow you to determine whether you’ve been successful or not.
Once you’ve got these few items in place, it’s time to dive into the world of Facebook ads. You might want to bookmark this. It takes a lot of studying and practice to understand and do these ads right (read why it’s important to trust professionals with this work), but the payoff is immense.
How does Facebook advertising work?
Log onto your Facebook profile and you’ll notice that the site has only a small amount of space for advertisements. Some appear on the right-hand sidebar of your screen and others appear in your news feed, where you also see updates from people and pages you follow.
Because of the limited amount of space, Facebook essentially holds a bidding war for ad space. If you bid enough, your ad will appear to the target audience of your choice. The cost of each advertisement will vary based on the audience you chose, where you plan to display the ads, and much more.
Finding Your Audience
Once your Facebook business account is set up and payment options have been set, you’re ready to start setting up your campaigns. You begin this by naming your campaign and selecting an audience.
When you start selecting your audience it might be tempting to select generic interests, but it’s important that you choose relevant topics like related Facebook pages and topics. For example, if you’re a cosmetic dentistry page you might consider targeting people within 5-10 miles of your practice who have an interest in the whitening product you use in your office (Zoom Whitening, etc.).
Your audience insights tool will tell you more about your audience and what they are interested in. You can filter by selecting an age range, location, and looking at what individuals in that range like.
Creating Your Campaigns Using Ads Manager
This incredibly intuitive tool allows you to create an ad that goes to your dentist website by selecting a goal, choosing your audience (location, age, gender, language), and adding interests that you discovered using your audience insights research from above. You can also select certain interests that must match people the ad is displayed to, whereas others can be left optional. Finally, set your budget. You can choose a dollar amount that is spent through the entire timespan of the ads or a daily maximum amount.
Once these settings are selected, it’s time to add your creative. Options include videos, photos, and slideshows. Selecting various options allows you to see which ads work best by testing images against each other (A/B testing). As you see progress you can pause ads that aren’t performing so your budget is spent on the better performing advertisements.
The recommended image size is 1200 x 628 pixels
After your creative is set it’s time to set your text for your advertisements. This is another place where you can test what motivates people to take action on your ads. Play around with verbiage and even punctuation. See what grabs people’s attention.
You have a character limit of 25 for the headline and 90 for post text
Once this is complete, follow the prompts to publish your ads and wait for them to be approved.
Finally, after your campaign runs you’ll have a ton of data that will tell you how the ads performed and provide you with information you can use for future camapigns as you continue to hone your skills.