Our teeth are such an essential part of our day-to-day lives. Not only are they front and center on our faces, but they help us survive by chewing our food! Dental marketing is not the sexiest thing around, but everyone needs to find a good dentist. (Anyone who has experienced true tooth pain knows exactly how important this is.)
But how do you market your dentist office to make sure you stand out from the competition? We suggest Facebook—here’s why.
Many dental marketers face the challenge of standing out among their local competitors. With 2.38 billion monthly active users as of March 2019, Facebook is a great platform to allocate some budget and advertise your dental office. If you learn to advertise strategically, you won’t even need to go over your budget before your patient slots start to become more and more scarce.
The other thing with being in an industry like dentistry is the challenge of the “red tape” healthcare marketers face. WordStream’s very own Lauren Gentile previously worked in dental offices before joining the Customer Success team here, and now she focuses her work on our dental clients. Lauren explained how challenging this industry can be when it comes to advertising.
“Within Facebook or any advertising platform, the largest struggle is negotiating the red tape that comes with being in any health-related industry or vertical,” says Lauren. “Constantly struggling with what you can and cannot advertise is always going to be a hurdle to overcome. But with so many success stories of my own and within the community, there are still plenty of ways to advertise to Facebook captive audience and get more patients in your chair!”
Luckily, I was able to pick Lauren’s brain further to compile this list of the absolute best Facebook ad practices for dentist. Let’s drill right in!
If you are new to Facebook advertising, then prepare to be amazed by the multiple interests, behaviors, and demographics you can use to target your audience.
“Facebook has fantastic targeting options, everything from your occupation is to whether you have kids and what age bracket they are in,” says Lauren.
Consider your target demographic and what interests them. Then, start customizing your targeting from there. For instance, perhaps you work for a high-end dental office that has a pristine reputation but is more costly than the typical dental office. You’ll want to target a higher income demographic. You can do this with Facebook targeting! Also, always make sure to use the location targeting so your ads only show to searchers close to your office.
“It all truly comes down to the targeting. Facebook allows for you to truly ‘paint on the blank canvas’ and that is something I have found to be invaluable,” says Lauren.
Writing ad copy can feel like a tedious task. While you might be tempted to use bland text or to rush through it, putting a little more TLC into your ad copy creation will pay off in the long run. When writing your ad copy, it is important to remember what makes your practice unique. Is it your focus on kids? Or your high-end televisions to entertain your patients during cleanings? Whatever it is, include it in your copy to entice new patients.
“Customize your creative and messaging, because you have great targeting doesn’t mean that the same ‘Best dentist in town’ verbiage is going to resonate with every party. Customize your content to your audience to see the best results,” says Lauren.
The bottom line is: do not fall into the lazy trap of generic copy, but rather spend time writing out a variety of customized headlines to see what stands out. And this goes for your website too! Check out these awesome dentist websites to see the difference between good copy and great.
Once you have created your ad copy your job is still not done! After brainstorming some catchy headlines and CTAs it is critical to put them to the test to see what your audience is more tempted to click on.
Lauren explains why:
“Test out with different calls to action, and think again about your targeting. Someone ages 20-30 dreads calling a physician to schedule an appointment so add an online scheduler to ease the process for your audience. Someone a little older is going to want to talk to your lead patient coordinator, so you need to align your CTA with the proper targeting.”
It is important not to simply assume your CTAs are catchy and enticing. Running some A/B tests to see what works best with what audience will ensure your copy is engaging enough to attract new patients.
Facebook is not the type of platform that discourages creativity. Rather, it provides a variety of ad types for you to choose from so you can let your creativity flow—and, more importantly, find ad types that appeal to your audience. Whether it’s experimenting with a carousel ad that lets you display multiple images of your office or a video ad exposing your audience to your super personable staff, take advantage of the various formats to see what works best.
Lauren always encourages her clients to experiment with all the ad types Facebook has to offer, and to keep an eye out for new opportunities, as well. “Facebook is notorious for adding new opportunities for advertisers into the mix,” says Lauren. “Everything from offer claims (free Invisalign treatment planning/free whitening kit with your new patient cleaning) to Facebook story ads.”
If you aren’t familiar with the multiple ad types on Facebook, we luckily created the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ad Types so check it out to explore your options.
Humans relate to other humans, this is just (human) nature. I often find myself writing this because it is so true, yet marketers so often forget that people should almost always be in your ad imagery; this especially includes your Facebook ad imagery. The platform is called “FACE book,” after all! Showing off your staff is the best way to connect directly with new patients, build trust, and develop familiarity to make them comfortable reaching out and scheduling an appointment.
“Everyone has seen the Shutterfly models in the chair—people want to see the doctor and his staff. This builds trust and familiarity for the user,” says Lauren.
Whether or not you have a large library of staff photos, it is never too late to build one. Nowadays, iPhones take quality pictures and you do not even need to think of gathering ad imagery as a major investment. Just check out the lovely photo below. Isn’t this much nicer than a boring stock photo?
While using people in your ad imagery is a great start, why not take things a step further with video? Video is by far the best way to allow your dental office’s personality to shine through to your audience—plus, people love video! In fact, videos are the most shared post type with 89.5 average Facebook shares, according to Business 2 Community.
“Two years ago dentists all over the US posted videos ‘flossing’ and doing the ‘dental keke’ that went VIRAL and the response within their new patient base followed suit,” says Lauren. “Use humor where you can. People will relate more!”
So don’t be shy, and get your staff in front of the camera!
Dental marketing has a really nice and fun seasonal element to it, which you should definitely play up within your Facebook ads! Lauren says her most successful clients plan around the seasons.
“In July and August, create a campaign targeting moms of elementary and middle school aged children to get their dental checkup before soccer/dance and debate clubs dominate their calendars,” says Lauren. “During the school year target that same audience but have verbiage about how your practice takes patients as late as 7:00 p.m. to keep the kids in school as much as possible.”
Thinking strategically about your Facebook ad campaigns from a seasonal standpoint is a great way to optimize the reach and effectiveness of them. The other great thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can use their ad scheduling feature to specify the time of day and day of week your ads show to ensure you are reaching people with these seasonal messages at the optimal times.
As we discussed above, the targeting options with Facebook advertisements are pretty spectacular. One of the targeting options on Facebook is to advertise to those who moved recently, and what could be better when it comes to the dental industry? Naturally, individuals who have moved recently are on the lookout for new dental practices so create a campaign around this topic to entice newcomers is key.
“Create a new patient offer and target people who have recently moved. This is a great way to raise brand awareness,” says Lauren.
Lauren advises using an offer to draw in interest, and speak directly to those who have moved recently to provide them with a warm welcome to town!
If you are able to offer something for free to get new clients in the door, absolutely do so! People love free stuff and are often motivated to act when there is some type of positive incentive at the end.
“Facebook offer ads were a HUGE win for my dental client,” says Lauren. “We offered a free whitening kit with any new patient cleaning. The great part of this ad type is that a prospective patient can ‘save’ the offer to their Facebook profile, and Facebook will actually send them an email reminder to redeem their offer. This made our job as advertisers extremely easy, as Facebook did the initial capture and follow up for us. We saw a tremendous conversion rate along with an unbeatable CPA.”
Take Lauren’s advise and improve your Facebook metrics with this simple campaign style.
Facebook ads for dentists should be a part of your marketing plan—do not leave any teeth un-brushed; as in, do not leave any money on the table with Facebook advertising because it has proven to be a super effective platform for WordStream’s dental clientele.
“With the extraordinary amount of limitations within the health industry as a whole, it can seem virtually impossible to raise brand awareness. Yet Facebook is our ‘saving grace’ in giving us the opportunity to show what makes you, as a provider of care, so valuable to your patient base,” says Lauren.
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