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How to get started with Facebook healthcare advertising

Online advertising is becoming increasingly necessary to reach your ideal patients.

Doctor learns about Facebook healthcare advertising

Approximately 69 percent of Americans use Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. Of this group, 74 percent visit the site at least daily, but that doesn’t mean they’re seeing your content.

In fact, the organic reach of a Facebook post is just 6.4 percent of a Page’s likes, according to We Are Social. And the average paid reach is 27.3 percent higher than the average total reach.

If you want assurance that your content is getting in front of your ideal patients, paid healthcare advertising or dental advertising on Facebook is a must. Follow this guide to start your Facebook social media marketing campaign.

12 steps to create a healthcare advertising campaign on Facebook

1. Set an objective

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

Facebook ads can accomplish a variety of objectives, so decide what you want from your experience. First, you’ll choose from three main categories:

  • Awareness: Create a buzz for your practice.
  • Consideration: Get on patients’ radar so they start researching your practice.
  • Conversion: Inspire patients interested in your practice to schedule an appointment.

After settling on a main objective for your online advertising campaign, you’ll be asked to get a bit more specific. For example, if you’re an OB-GYN seeking patient consideration, your objective might be to drive traffic to your practice website.

Each objective includes multiple subcategories to choose from, which allows you to really zero in on your target patient base.

If awareness is your desired objective, you’ll choose from the following:

  • Brand awareness: Reach people most likely to be interested in your ads, while increasing brand awareness.
  • Reach: Maximize the number of people who see your ad.

If consideration is your desired objective, you’ll choose from the following:

  • Traffic: Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook (i.e. your website or a Messenger chat).
  • Engagement: Encourage more patients to view and engage with your post (i.e. comment, share, or like).
  • Video views: Publicize videos that raise awareness about your brand (i.e. a tour of your office or customer testimonials).
  • Lead generation: Gather lead information from patients interested in your practice.
  • Messages: Encourage patients to start a conversation with your practice in Messenger.

If conversion is your desired objective, you’ll choose from the following:

  • Conversions: Get patients to take action (i.e. schedule an appointment on your website).
  • Store traffic: Drive traffic to your practice by displaying ads to patients who are physically near the building.

Check out: 5 online advertising options for healthcare practices

2. Create an ad account

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

Get your Facebook ad account up and running by entering basic information like your country, currency, and time zone. For example, if you’re an OB-GYN in Los Angeles, you would set your account country as the United States, currency as U.S. dollars, and time zone as Los Angeles.

3. Choose where you want to drive traffic

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

Decide where you want your Facebook ad campaign to take people who click on it. For example, you might want to drive traffic to your practice website.

Read: Marketing your private practice with paid advertising

4. Enable or disable dynamic creative

Facebook gives you the option to turn on its dynamic creative feature. If used, you’ll provide individual assets — images, videos, headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action — that will automatically serve up optimized combinations to your audience.

5. Decide if you want to create an offer

If you want to create an offer people can save and get reminders about, Facebook allows you to turn this feature on. For example, everyone doesn’t have insurance, so an OB-GYN might create an offer for a $99 annual exam.

You might like: Do Groupons attract new patients?

6. Set your audience

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

Deciding who you want your healthcare social media campaign to reach is key. Facebook allows you to get specific by targeting people in a certain geographic region, age range, gender, and who speak a certain language.

You can also get more detailed by including targeting criteria based on users’ demographics, interests, and behaviors. Additionally, you can tailor your audience by connections (i.e. only show your ads to friends of people who like your page).

For example, an OB-GYN in Los Angeles might limit their audience to women ages 18 to 65 who live within 25 miles of the city.

7. Choose your placements

Finding success at social media in healthcare is all about getting in front of the right people at the right time. Facebook offers an automatic placement option or allows you to manually choose where you want to show your ad.

8. Create a budget and schedule

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

Next, you’ll need to decide how much you want to spend on your healthcare advertising initiative and where you want your ads to appear. Choose how you want Facebook to deliver ads to your audience — i.e. landing page views, link clicks, daily unique reach, or impressions — based on your campaign goals.

You’ll need to set a daily budget for your campaign. If you want, you can enable an optional cost control feature limiting average cost per click to a certain amount. For scheduling, opt to start it today, or set a start and end date.

Read: How to get more patients to our clinic — without draining our budget

9. Select your identity

Your practice Facebook page or Instagram account will represent your business in ads. Choose which one you want to use or create an account, if you don’t already have one.

10. Choose your ad format

You’re able to select the format of your Facebook ad. Choose a carousel style, single image or video, or a collection.

11. Select media

Choose the image(s), video, or slideshow that will be on display in your ad. For example, an OB-GYN might opt for a video of themselves introducing their practice and services offered.

Webinar: 5 ideas to make your healthcare practice stand out on social media

12. Insert text and links

Facebook healthcare advertising steps

The final step in the process is writing the text and preparing the links for your ad. Choose website or Facebook event for your link type.

Craft text that tells your audience what you’re promoting. For example, an OB-GYN might write “Schedule an annual exam today.” Next, you’ll input the URL of the website you’re promoting. You’ll then create a headline that’s 40 characters or less.

Choose a call-to-action from a dropdown list (i.e. “Learn More”). Finally, there’s an option to create the ad in multiple languages, if you desire. After completing this step, you’ll click “Confirm” on the bottom of the page to complete your ad.

If you want to get noticed on Facebook, healthcare advertising is a must. This is a great way to reach your patient base without breaking your marketing budget.

Sponsored content is another healthcare advertising option to reach your target audiences on Facebook. Check out the blog post “Intro to social media sponsored content for healthcare practices” to learn more about this type of social media advertising.

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PatientPop is the leader in practice growth with the only all-in-one solution that empowers healthcare providers to improve every digital touchpoint of the patient journey. As experts in the healthcare technology space, PatientPop makes it easy for providers to thrive in the consumerization of healthcare and promote their practice online, attract patients, and retain them for life.

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