Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is part of many dentists’ online marketing. 2016 saw tremendous changes to how Google treats PPC ads. The elimination of the right-side ads, and their incorporation into the main search engine results page, intensified the competition for an ad listing above the main search results.
The initial hubbub following the change has calmed down, and the vast majority of doom-and-gloom predictions didn’t hold up. However, costs have escalated and many dentists may find their Google PPC budgets challenged. Google, though, isn’t the only game in town any more.
While Google remains the 800-pound gorilla, Facebook has been steadily putting on “weight.” Facebook offers a number of advantages for dentists – targeted ads based on behaviors, increased engagement, and more. It’s worth noting that Facebook’s ad revenue has increased from $764 million in 2009 to nearly $27 billion in 2016.
People are paying attention, and the includes dental patients.
But Facebook paid advertising is not an easy thing for non-professionals to use. There are an enormous number of considerations that go into making a successful ad campaign on the world’s largest social media platform.
But should you decide to attempt a Facebook ad campaign, here are three basic considerations.
Facebook offers very granular targeting, down to the level of “women between the ages of 35 and 45 in Pittsburgh who like baking cupcakes.” Many dentists cast their marketing nets too wide, trying to get new patients – any new patients – through the door. It’s difficult to craft an ad, or even a small series of ads, that will appeal to both genders, all adult age brackets, and widely different interests.
Dentists will do well to take into consideration exactly what kind of new patients they want to appeal to. You might have a particular revenue stream that needs bolstering, or one that’s doing pretty well but that you want to enhance. To realize the maximum return on your ad, you need to focus on what you want.
Images play well in Facebook ads; large amounts of copy, not so much. That’s consistent with Facebook’s overall emphasis; imagine Facebook as nothing more than a series of text messages of different length. The appeal would be very limited. Your ads need to contain striking visual images that are relevant to the prospects you want convert. Combined with a small amount of text, those ads will produce the best results.
Ask for Action
People creating effective ads should always ask the question, “Once the prospect sees the ad, what happens next?” Always include a clear call-to-action in your ads, whether that’s to call for an appointment, to opt in to receive a white paper or emails, or to visit your website for more information.
Google isn’t the only online venue for PPC ads, but if you’re going to venture into doing your own Facebook ad campaign, be prepared to spend quite a bit of time learning and considering the various options. You’ll get better results and avoid throwing away your hard-earned marketing dollars.