Paid Advertising (PPC)

How to Use Facebook Ads and Maximize Them for Your Medical Practice

By Amber Turner On Sep 06, 2022 . 0 Comments

A rich and unique resource of user personal interests and behaviors, Facebook is truly a health care advertiser’s dream!

It can seem nearly impossible to reach the perfect audience through traditional mediums such as television or radio. However, Facebook is continuing to provide proven results for advertisers in the medical realm. 

A successful healthcare marketing plan for any medical office includes a robust social media strategy. While there are numerous social media platforms available for growing businesses, Facebook remains the proven platform to maximize patient engagement.

Facebook advertising is a highly effective and personal way to connect with your audience and reach targeted local patients for medical and dental practices.

All too often, however, we see practices making costly and expensive mistakes that can render ads ineffective or high cost per conversion.

Leverage your practice’s Facebook presence by utilizing these tips from some of the industry’s top medical marketing professionals at Koda Digital to bring new patients to your doors.

Before we jump right in, let’s do a quick Q&A with some frequently asked questions we get:

Q: How do Facebook Ads work?

A:  Facebook ads can get your message in front of the people who are most likely to want your services. That’s great for your budget, conversion rates, and return on investment. You only pay to reach the most valuable potential customers and you’ll never spend more than you’re comfortable with. 

You can promote your Page, posts on your Page, actions users took, or your website itself. Facebook ads are targeted to users based on their location, demographic, and profile information. Many of these options are only available on Facebook. 

Q: Why should I use Facebook ads?

A: Facebook ads are more user-friendly to set up than Google Ads because they can reach customers early on in the patient journey even before they are aware of their desires. 

Q: Are Facebook Ads expensive?

A: The short answer is, it’ll never cost you more than you have to spend. However, several factors will affect how far your budget will stretch and the success you’ll see for your money.

Q: What is Facebook Ads Manager?

A: The Ads Manager is where you go to create and manage your campaigns, of course! In full, you can use the ads manager to:

  • Set up Facebook ad campaigns
  • Create new ad sets and ads
  • Manage Facebook ad bids
  • Target many different audiences
  • Optimize your ad campaigns
  • Keep track of your campaigns’ performance
  • A/B test your Facebook ad campaigns.

Now that we have those common Facebook Ad questions answered, let’s get started!

Getting Started With Facebook Ads Manager

Before you can get started in Ads Manager, you’ll need a Facebook business Page. There’s no need to create an Ads Manager account because it’s created automatically when you set up your Page.

If you don’t already have a business Page, you can create one later.

Here are three ways to access your Facebook Ads Manager account:

  1. Use this link that will take you to your Ads Manager account (Bookmark the link for quick access!)
  2. Head to the left sidebar and click on the “Ad Center” drop-down arrow of any Facebook page, choose “All Ads” from the drop-down, and click on “Ads Manager” at the bottom of the page (shown in the screenshot below).
Facebook Manager to Ads Manager via Ad Center
  1. Use Facebook’s Ads Manager mobile app to access and manage your ad campaigns anytime and anywhere.

When you first navigate to your Ads Manager settings, you’ll be presented with the ad account setup.

Facebook automatically assigns you a random account ID number and set your currency and time zone based on where you’re located.

You may want to change these settings in the future. For example, you may relocate your practice. Or maybe you set up your Facebook business account while traveling and need to change your timezone.

The Settings menu in the upper right-hand corner is where you can change these options.

If you’ve never used the ads manager before, it can be quite a lot to take in at first. The bulk of your screen will consist of three tabs:

  • Campaigns: The campaign houses all of your assets.
  • AdSets: If you’re targeting separate audiences with different characteristics, you’ll need an individual ad set for each.
  • Ads: Your actual ads live within your ad sets. 
Facebook Ads Manager on the Campaign Tab

Once you start clicking around, you will find that there are all kinds of data and tools available for you to use.

Now that we have gone into the brief overview of Ads Manager, let’s jump into the fun part— our first campaign!

How to Set Up a Facebook Ad Campaign

To create a campaign, you should be on the “campaigns” tab. From there, click on the green “+Create” CTA button to create a new campaign from scratch.

If you are using the mobile app, select the option ”Create Ad” on the bottom of the screen. 

Once you’ve selected to create a campaign, you’ll see this:

Choose a Campaign Objective in Facebook Ads Manager - Desktop

If you’re using mobile, your screen will look like this:

Choose a Campaign Objective in Facebook Ads Manager - Mobile

At this point, Facebook does a good job to guide you through creation. Here’s is the rundown so you know what to expect:

Step 1: Select Your Campaign Objective

Facebook offers 11 marketing objectives based on what you want your ad to accomplish. Here’s how they align with business goals:

  • Brand awareness: Introduce your brand to a new audience.
  • Reach: Expose your ad to as many people in your audience as possible.
  • Traffic: Drive traffic to a specific web page, app, or Facebook Messenger conversation.
  • Engagement: Reach a wide audience to increase the number of post engagements or Page Likes, increase attendance at your event, or encourage people to claim a special offer.
  • App installs: Get people to install your app.
  • Video views: Get more people to watch your videos.
  • Lead generation: Get new prospects into your sales funnel.
  • Messages: Encourage people to contact your business using Facebook Messenger.
  • Conversions: Get people to take a specific action on your website (like subscribe to your list or buy your product), with your app, or on Facebook Messenger.
  • Catalog sales: Connect your Facebook ads to your product catalog to show people ads for the products they are most likely to want to buy.
  • Store traffic: Drive nearby customers to brick-and-mortar stores.
Choose a Campaign Objective in Facebook Ads Manager- Engagement Types: Page likes
Example of the beginning process of a Page Likes campaign

Choosing your objective is important, as Facebook uses this to determine other elements of your campaign such as available ad formats, bidding options, and the way it optimizes the campaign.

Step 2: Give Your Ad Campaign a Name

After you have decided on your campaign type, let’s give your campaign a name.

Name Your Facebook Ads Campaign

It is very important to adopt useful naming patterns for your campaigns when you start with Facebook advertising so you can easily organize your campaigns as you scale and run more of them.

Include the start date or date range the campaign will be running in your campaign name to aid in that organization and also as a tool for analyzing your results at the end of the month and/or quarter.

In the example above, you will see the name as “Page Likes – 20201201” meaning the Ad is for page likes and dated for 12/01/2020. 

As you can also see in the example, on this screen, you can also choose to create a split test on the campaign or optimize your budget.

Creating a split test, or an A/B test allows you to run experiments and collect data that shows you the best performing creative, placement, audience, and delivery optimization strategies.

This may be beneficial to your practice allowing you to refine your content marketing and advertising strategies on the fly and building an understanding of what works—and what doesn’t—that will help you make the most of your social media spend.

Step 3: Set Up Your Campaign Budget and Bidding

Set Up Your Campaign Budget in Facebook Ads Manager

The BIG question: How much would you like to spend on your ad?

When you set a budget, it’s important to remember that this figure represents the maximum amount of money you want to spend. You can also set your budget to Daily or Lifetime:

  • Daily: A daily budget is an average that you’ll spend every day.
  • Lifetime: A lifetime budget is the maximum that you’ll spend during the lifetime of your advert set.

The next options to choose from is the Lowest Cost, Cost Cap, or Bid Cap.

Cost Control: No Cost Control with Lowest Cost, or Cost Control with Cost cap or Bid cap
Source: FACEBOOK for Business

Overall, the campaign bid strategy you choose has a huge impact on how much you’ll spend on your Facebook campaigns and how quickly you’ll spend it. 

So don’t be afraid to experiment and test different bidding strategies. Record your data at the end of the month after letting your ads run and see which one was more effective. Of course, this may take more than a month to get concrete results.

Testing will help you continually improve your bidding strategy and get cheaper results.

Choose a Budget in Facebook Ads Manager

Step 4: Set Up the Audience Targeting

In this phase of your campaign setup, you have two options:

  • Create a New Facebook Target Audience
  • Use a Saved Audience
Setting up Audience Targeting in Facebook Ads Manager

Once you create an ad with a new Facebook target audience, you can “save” that audience for future campaigns.

The easiest way to target your audience is to use demographic and interest options. This approach is generally used to target new people who haven’t previously interacted with your practice.

Here’s are some of the ways you can target people:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Job Title
  • Employers
  • Generation
  • Behaviors
  • Interests
  • Life Events
  • Mobile Device User

This is just a portion of the targeting options. And you can stack these categories to create your target audience. As you build your audience, Facebook will display your estimated daily reach and tell you if your audience is too big, too small, or if it’s just right using the meter. 

You’re likely well aware of the HIPAA privacy and security regulations as you implement HIPAA-compliant practices with patients inside your offices and through your database. 

A reminder that those rules apply to everything your business does, including your Facebook marketing campaigns. Be sure to also abide by other Federal and State laws and regulations.

Step 5: Set Up Your Ad Placement

Advert placement defines where your ad is shown and with Facebook Ads, you’re able to choose which locations your advert will appear in. Adverts may appear in Facebook’s mobile News Feed, desktop News Feed, and right column.

By default, Facebook will have “automatic placements” selected and will generally use the placements optimized to give you the best results. 

Set Up Your Ad Placement in Facebook Ads Manager

You can also choose “manual placements” to edit your placements if you have some data on what placement works best for you.

Set Up Your Manual Ad Placement in Facebook Ads Manager

Step 6: Set Up Your Facebook Ad Creative

The actual ads are what users on Facebook will see, and you  NEED and should want them to look good. 

Set Up Your Ad Creative in Facebook Ads Manager

There are two options here: you can either select an existing Facebook Page post image or create a new image and upload it in this process.

For single image ads, Facebook asks that users adhere to the following design recommendations:

  • Text: 125 characters
  • Ad Headline: 25 characters
  • Image ratio: 1.91:1
  • Image resolution (including CTA): 1080 x 1080 pixels

For multi-image ads (also known as Carousel Ads), Facebook provides the following design recommendations:

  • Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1:1
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 40 characters
  • Link description: 20 characters

Your image may not include more than 20% text as Facebook found that images with less than 20% text perform better.

Once you have completed these steps, you are good to go! Publish that campaign and keep an eye out for how it is doing.

Facebook recommends that you use Account Overview in Ads Manager, to see how your entire ad account is performing and gain insights for future campaigns.

Use Account Overview to see a summary of how all your campaigns are performing and learn demographic information about people viewing your campaigns. 

What to Know About Ad Disapproval 

Facebook ad disapprovals are quite common and are nothing to take personally. Still, they can be disappointing, frustrating, and can easily derail your campaign timeline.

Your ad isn't approved in Facebook Ads Manager

“My biggest advice is not to freak out when things get disapproved. It happens a lot. It’s a very finicky thing– tweak it and try again. It’s worth it!”

 – Klara Morgan, Marketing Director @ Koda Digital

If your Facebook ad has been disapproved, you’ve likely received a notification and email with some fairly vague reasons as to why. That’s great, in theory, but in practice, it can be difficult to identify exactly which part of your ad caused the problem.

Take that time to review Facebook’s Advertising Policies. Trust us, they’ll remind you to do the same.

If your ad isn’t approved due to an advertising policy issue, you have a few options:

Option 1: Edit your ad

You may be able to edit your ad and fix the issue.

Option 2: Appeal the decision

If you can’t edit your ad or feel the decision not to approve the ad was a mistake, you can appeal the decision using this form.

If there’s a recurrence of your ads being rejected, the probability of your ad account being disabled is very high. 

The important thing is not to panic, and to go through the steps to try and figure out what happened and then get your account back up and running. Lucky for you, we’ve already laid out those steps and helpful tips in a previous blog: What to Do If Your Facebook Ad Account Is Disabled

Tips to Create Successful Facebook Ads for Doctors

Not only has Facebook become an integral part of marketing your practice, but it is also now a key customer service channel. It allows you to see where patients spend much of their time (online) and when they want to be communicated with.

“If you’re keeping up a Facebook page but not boosting posts and running ads, you are doing 90% of the work for 10% of the results at best.”

 – Klara Morgan, Marketing Director @ Koda Digital

And if you haven’t realized the value of Facebook to your medical practice, don’t worry, there’s still hope. 

However, if you don’t start playing catch-up now, you risk being left behind.

Define your goals

Before investing your healthcare advertising dollars on Facebook, you need to decide what your goals for your ads are. 

As you saw earlier, Facebook advertising offers multiple formats for your doctor advertisement, and your goals can help you choose the correct one.

Keep Mobile at the FRONT of Your Mind

96 percent of active Facebook users access the network via a tablet or smartphone.

Facebook is accessible via both desktop and mobile devices, so your ads will automatically be formatted for the mobile screen. However, there are considerations you can make to better serve mobile users.

Keep video ads short (around 15 seconds) to better attract your busy patients on the move.

It is also ideal to keep your ad description copy relatively short and to the point for easier digestibility. 

Promote High Volume Content

What I’ve seen work and what I often encourage other medical practices to do is to promote high volume content from their site. This usually includes blog articles from their site, FAQs on common injuries or relevant health topics, and posts with a specific call-to-action to get conversions.

Luckily for you, we’ll teach you what you need to know to create the best high volume content on Facebook:

Maximize Engagement With Personalized Content

People don’t connect with a name on a website; they connect with a face. People want transparency and a personal photo opens the door. 

Give your potential patients a “behind the scenes” look at what your medical practice is all about. A simple way to do this is to create Facebook content that connects to your patients on a personal level.

These are great posts that you can utilize by boosting. 

Opening a new practice location? Looking to hire a new addition to the staff? Take out your phone, snap some personal pictures that are appropriate for the topic, and create that scroll-stopping post!

Maximize Engagement With Personalized Content in Facebook Ads Manager

Follow the quick and easy DIY tips below to boost the quality of your photos:

  • Make sure the pictures you take are well-lit.
  • Generally, avoid the use of flash.
  • The main source of lighting should not be behind you.
  • Tidy up your workspace or backdrop.
  • Smile! 😃

Personal photos taken at your practice or of your staff will always be more welcomed by your Facebook fans rather than impersonal stock photography.

To create a boosted post:

  1. Go to your Facebook Page.
  2. Find the BEST post you want to boost. Typically posts that are already performing well, are the best ones to boost.
  3. Select Boost Post. You can find it in the bottom-right corner of your post. Note: If you are unable to select Boost Post, boosting may be unavailable for this post.
  4. Fill in the details for your ad. Facebook will automatically use images and text from your post, but you can choose the following details:
    • Audience: Choose a recommended audience or create a new audience based on specific traits.
    • Total Budget: Select a recommended budget or provide a custom budget.
    • Duration: Select one of the suggested time frames or provide a specific end date.
    • Payment Method: Review your payment method. If you need to, you can change or update your payment method.
  5. When you’re done, select Boost.

Use a Digital Marketing Team For an Advantage Against Your Competition

As the world moves toward a digital marketplace, practices are expanding their reach through digital marketing tactics.

And that’s where we step in.

The team of digital healthcare marketing experts at Koda Digital would love to help you discover the power of online marketing tactics. 

Koda Digital places tremendous emphasis on developing custom marketing strategies for each of our clients. No two practices are the same, so they shouldn’t have the same solutions and approaches.

All of our clients have had an improvement of over a 60% increase in engaged users over the span of the past 5 months. Our social media managers have also seen to it that most of our client’s lifetime engaged users increased by over 400% in just one month. 

As a Social Media Manager for Koda Digital, the advice above has let me rapidly increase the engagements and social media presence for our clients. 

We’re here to help you reach your goals, outshine your competitors, and we’ll be there to celebrate with you too. so please don’t hesitate to reach out and request your free website audit or review of your Facebook page if you want to start seeing more patients at your medical practice.

Final Thoughts – Time For You To Get Started

Combining social media and healthcare can be challenging. But the use of social media in healthcare also presents incredible new opportunities.

Facebook offers medical practices a simple, cost-effective, and impactful way to establish authority, offer patient and customer support, and use targeted ads to reach the ideal patient at the right time with the perfect message. 

Facebook is ideal for highlighting patient and practice successes and creating connection and trust with potential patients.

Keep this guide and helpful tips in mind and your medical practice will be well on its way to social media success! 

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