How Facebook Ads Can Transform Your Dental Practice
Using Facebook ads for dentists can be one of the most effective ways to bring in new patients, and should become a priority for your practice. However, most dentists make common mistakes that lead them to believe Facebook Ads are a waste of money. The truth is, the process of Facebook advertising runs deeper than an ad in a newsfeed. With the right strategy, your dental Facebook ads will market your dental practice to real, prospective patients, ready to make an appointment.
3 Components of Profitable Dental Marketing
In order to create a profitable dental marketing campaign, there are three components that must be executed: visibility, differentiation, and conversion. Visibility keeps your dental practice relevant in engine searches. Through visibility practices like SEO, Facebook advertising, and Google advertising, patients know you exist. Differentiation is how you separate yourself from your competitors. If your website is visible, then your competitors are visible as well, so why should your new patients choose your dental practice over another? Conversion is getting the visitors of your visible and unique website into a phone call, and, eventually, a new patient with an appointment. Facebook ads for dentists can achieve all three of these components, for a powerful dental marketing campaign.
Often, dentists are hesitant to utilize dental Facebook ads, believing it is not the right platform for their target audience. However, the statistics tell us that 68% of Americans use Facebook. That makes Facebook the #1 social media site. In fact, 66% of monthly Facebook users are on Facebook daily, accessing the site 8 times or for 35 minutes per day, on average. Many dental services, like dentures and implants, are specifically for the older demographic. On Facebook, the number of American users aged 65+ has doubled to 41%, making it a suitable platform for those higher-value services. This proves that Facebook ads for dentists are a successful platform in gaining new patient leads, and should be a priority in dental marketing.
Facebook vs. Google
You may already be running dentist ads through Google ads, and those can be very productive and worth your marketing money. However, using Google for dentist ads only focuses on keywords searches, so the only people that see those dentist ads are intentionally looking for a dentist. Using Facebook ads for dentists allows your marketing to reach new people based on their interests and geographic location. This can corner a whole new market of new patients that were not mindfully looking for a new dentist, implants, or dentures, but your dental Facebook ads convinced them that they should give you a call.
Facebook Page vs. Facebook Ads
The #1 mistake most dentists make is believing they are already posting Facebook ads when they are actually posting to their Facebook page. A dental practice’s Facebook page is similar to an individual’s profile page; your posts are only seen by people who “like” your page. Posting on your Facebook page is not marketing your practice. If you write a post on your Facebook page, only 6.4% of your page’s likes will see it. Since most of your “likes” are existing patients, that’s like an ad that only 6% of your existing patients will see. That doesn’t bring in new patients. Differently, a Facebook ad is a sponsored post that is seen by people that might not know who you are - yet! Facebook ads reach a whole new audience, or, in terms of Facebook ads for dentists, a whole new set of patients. Facebook targets people who most likely will be in the demographic for whatever your ad is about (implants, dentures, etc.) and your ad will show up in their news feed.
The problems most dentists run into when attempting to run Facebook advertising can lead to frustration and wasted money. They believe they have tried it, and it does not fit their practice. At Firegang, dental marketing is all that we do. We have extensive knowledge of Facebook ads for dentists. We have seen the most common mistakes that dentists make when running their first dental Facebook ads:
- Spending marketing money without a strategy
- Inconsistent messaging
- Failure to differentiate your practice
- Impersonal photos
- Unclear or unenticing offer
- No call-to-action
Spending Without Strategy
Dentists that do follow through with Facebook advertising feel that they are behind in the social media advertising space. Instead of slowing down and strategizing, they decide to just get started. The problem is, Facebook advertising is optimized by strategy, so if you simply start, you could end up wasting a lot of money! Instead, take the time to get a better understanding of how to approach Facebook marketing so your marketing money does not go to waste. With the right strategy, you will have Facebook ads for dentists that outperform your competitors and convert clicks into new patients.
Consistency Runs Deeper
The success of a Facebook Ad is not measured by how many clicks it receives. For you, success is based on how many new patients reach out to your practice and schedule an appointment. Those are the returns you want to see from any marketing! Too often, we see many practices that have one person running their website, and another running their advertising, and another running the front desk at their office. When that happens, your prospective patients are not receiving a consistent experience from ad to office. Those same values, offers, and experiences that you show in your Facebook Ad need to be consistent on your website, and in conversations with your staff when they call your office.
How This Affects Your Conversion
The rate of people clicking your ad, visiting your site, and finally becoming a patient is all part of your conversion rate. It’s important to measure and learn where you are losing patients in your marketing strategy. If many people are visiting your website through your Facebook advertising, then you know you have an effective ad. But if their next step is not calling into your practice, then the problem may be on your website. If many people are calling into your office, but none are making appointments, then the problem may be your uninformed staff, or that your offer was misleading or miscommunicated on the original ad.
Strengthen Your Conversion
To bring in new patients, that marketing needs to be integrated. Your Facebook advertising may be performing well, but the reason it is not turning into new patients is that somewhere along the line, your conversion is failing. It is critical to see where that is happening, so you can decide which part of the process needs to be re-worked or strengthened. Here are a few starting points:
- Start with your Facebook ad: does your ad stand out?
- Does it say something unique?
- Does the language of your Facebook ad match your website?
- Are offers consistent in your ads, website, and your office?
- Does your staff know about the offers you are running in your Facebook ads?
- Is your staff trained in how to engage with prospective patients about these offers?
The Firegang Funnel
Facebook ads for dentists can create a funnel of new patients if your conversion rates are high enough. A Facebook ad that has a low conversion rate would be one that spends $1,000 for 1,000 clicks, which turns into 10 phone calls to your practice, and three new patients. That is less than a 1% conversion from ad to office. With proven strategic Facebook ads for dentists, we can increase that funnel, boosting the conversion and increasing the number of new patients. You spend $1,000 for 1,000 clicks, which converts to 50 calls to your office, and 25 new patients. That is 25 new patients for $1,000. It starts with targeting the right audience for your Facebook advertising.
Unlike Google ads and SEO, Facebook targets people based on certain demographics, instead of keywords or intentional searches. Using Facebook advertising, you can decide the age, geographic area, language, marital status, and more, when choosing what people will see your ad. For example, if you are a pediatric dental practice, you may decide to run a Facebook ad for a back-to-school offer. You would want to target women, married with kids, ages 35-55, that live 5-10 miles from your practice. Your ad won’t be wasted on a 65+ person, with no children, that lives across the country; it will only be shown to your intended audience.
Crafting an Effective Facebook Ad
There are 5 parts to crafting Facebook ads for dentists that are going to have “stopping power,” meaning it is unique enough to stop a person from mindless scrolling and can bring in new patient leads.
- Your practice information
- Main ad text/content
- High-quality, simple image
- Call to action
Practice Information & Main Ad Text
Your practice information needs to be clear and exactly the way you have it on your website. Otherwise, patients may believe they are not looking at the right practice for that offer and will hesitate to call. Your content needs to be simple, but focus on how your service or practice is different from the rest. Every dentist seems to be using “cutting edge technology” and make their “patients feel like family,” what truly makes your practice different? Additionally, if there is too much information in the content section, people will not take the time to read it, and you run the risk of them scrolling past your ad, so choose your words wisely!
Real Photos, Real Results
A stock photo of a model smiling is similar to many other ads, even ones that are not Facebook ads for dentists. Your image needs to divert from the generic. To give your Facebook ad “stopping power,” you should choose a basic but unique image that stops people from wildly scrolling through their feed. A proven method is utilizing staff photos. Not only does this show your future patients who they will be interacting with, but you will also have people in the community commenting on the ad as they recognize your staff, which increases engagement and makes the ad more enticing! Take it one step further, and use a photo or video of a patient, seeing their new smile for the first time. Those experiences are priceless, and if people can see that experience is available to them at your dental practice, they will make an appointment.
Headline & Call to Action
It’s important to remember that people read the headline first, and this is where the tagline of your offer needs to be communicated. If your offer cannot be communicated in a clear headline, then we may need to re-think your offer! Anything from “Dental Implants – Free Exam” to “New Patient Special” or “Free Implant Consultation” are eye-catching, straightforward, and informative. Most importantly, you need a call to action. Without a button on your ad to “Learn More” or “Contact Us,” your conversion, and new leads, end with the Facebook ad.
Powerful Facebook Ads
Facebook ads for dentists must have all 5 parts executed to bring in new patients. In this example ad, the photo of the staff holds the “stopping power,” because it is personal and real. The offer of “New Patient Special” is simple and informative with pricing, and targets long-term new patients. The content focuses on what makes this practice different than the rest (Saturday appointments, free consultations, etc.) and the call-to-action is clear. This ad brought in $27 per new patient lead.
Choosing a Special Offer
Your Facebook ad and headline should market a special offer. Choosing a special offer can depend on your practice, budget, location, time of year, and intended audience. Here are a few things to consider when deciding your special offer for your Facebook ad:
- Is there a certain service in your practice you want to grow?
- What discount/special can you offer to entice people to click the ad?
- Does the offer align with what a patient will see on your website?
- What is the value of that offer to bring in a new patient?
- If you don’t mark down an offer, will you end up spending more on marketing anyway?
No matter the offer you choose, make sure to connect the dots of your conversion. Your website should confirm the offer, and your staff should be well-informed on the offer details. Patients that call the office through the Facebook ad will most likely have questions to confirm the special offer, and your office staff needs to be able to answer and clarify those questions.
One-Time Patient vs. Long-Term Patient
Choosing this offer strategically can dictate if you bring in one-time patients or new long-term patients. For example, if your offer is a free appointment for teeth whitening, you may only see that new patient once for their whitening appointment, but never again. However, if you offer a new patient discount or a kids-only discount for a regular cleaning or consultation, your new patients will be more likely to schedule follow-up appointments with you. We don’t need to remind dentists that regular cleanings often lead to follow-up services, like fillings, and before you know it your Facebook advertising brought in patients for life.
Tracking Your Conversion
Now that you have an eye-catching ad, it’s time to see where in the funnel you are losing possible new patients. If many people are seeing your ad, but not using the call-to-action, you may need a more inviting call-to-action button. Maybe people are clicking on your ad and visiting your website, but what stopped them from making the call to your office? Does your website have a readily available phone number? Often, Facebook ads for dentists are seen on the mobile Facebook app, so people need to be able to access your website from their mobile phone. If your website is not available for mobile view, or you do not have a phone number that can be clicked on to call then you will lose those possible new patients! You also don’t want your new patient lead to call your office and experience confusion when speaking to your staff about the offer. It’s valuable to see where you can re-work your marketing strategy and strengthen consistency. This will keep your conversion rates high, and make your marketing money work for you!
Bring Patients Back into the Pipeline with Retargeting
In every marketing strategy, there will be people who see your ad and visit your website, but don’t follow through with a call or appointment. We don’t want those patients to be a missed opportunity! Instead, we retarget those prospective patients. In fact, it is inexpensive to show ads to people who have been on your site. With Facebook ads for dentists, we can re-target people who have visited your site, to remind them about your dental practice or introduce a new offer to them.
Facebook Ad Checklist
Facebook ads for dentists need to become a priority in your overall strategy. Your image choices, offers, and targeting all need to be mirrored on your website, and throughout your practice. If you don’t have each step executed, you will end up paying too much for advertising:
- An integrated approach
- Intent-based targeting
- Consistency in messaging
- Leverage authenticity (photos/video of staff, office, moments that are real)
- Unique offers
At Firegang, dental marketing is all we do. We have tested Facebook ads for dentists thoroughly, having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook advertising alone. We know which ads are proven to be effective, and which are not. We have created innovative targeting methods for Facebook ads, including advanced implant funnel marketing to bring people into specific funnels for high-value services. We can transform your Facebook advertising into real people, walking through your office doors, ready to be your lifelong patients. Ready to transform your dental practice? Click the link below to book your FREE assessment.