Anyone who has Facebook will be familiar with the “sponsored” posts that appear on your wall. These have been paid for by companies who are ‘targeting’ you. And when we say ‘target’, we mean exactly that. Facebook advertisers can choose their target audience, including age, gender, location, and even pages or activities users have previously ‘liked’.
In terms of doctors doing the advertising, the same is also possible. You can pretty much select your ‘ideal’ patient, at least in terms of age, gender, and location. This helps to ensure that your advertising budget is not wasted on a target demographic that is unlikely to require your particular type of healthcare services.
Let’s be honest — this is the ultimate goal of any medical advertising: It is to increase your number of patients. Of course, not all Facebook users who see your ads will become patients of yours. In fact, it will be a low percentage. However, even winning just a few extra patients usually more than covers the cost of a Facebook campaign.
One thing is for sure — if you do not do any marketing or advertising, then fewer people are likely to hear about you. If fewer people hear about you, then fewer people are likely to choose you as their next doctor.
Many Facebook ads give users the opportunity to ‘like’ your page. This means that from then on, whenever you post something new, it is likely to appear on that user’s wall. This increases ongoing exposure to your practice. The more people who like your page, the more people are being reminded about your practice every time you post something new. In short, building up your online community helps to keep your practice on patients’ radar.
As mentioned previously, Facebook advertising allows your ads to be very targeted. You can be very specific for any of the following criteria:
By being specific with your ads, you are able to target your ‘ideal’ patient. Most doctors have their favorite types of patients or conditions which they most like to treat — why not grow this side of your practice?
One of the best advantages of Facebook Ads for doctors is that the cost per click is often lower than for Google Ads. However, in order to determine the effectiveness and Return on Investment (ROI) of both Facebook ads and Google ads, we recommend running parallel campaigns. You can then simply reallocate the budget from the worst-performing campaign to the 'winning' campaign. Read more about Google Ads for Medical Clinics.
We do not recommend Facebook advertising for all doctors. Some specialties lend themselves to Facebook advertising better than others. It’s important to remember that Facebook advertising ‘comes to the user’ instead of the user searching for the ads. This creates an important difference: It means that the most relevant Facebook ads will be for services that are NOT URGENT.
Let’s imagine you just cut your hand and you need to go to an urgent care center. Would you really look for an urgent care center by scrolling down your Facebook wall? No. What would you do? We all know the answer — you would search for one on Google. For this reason, we only recommend Facebook ads for chronic conditions. Whereas, for acute (urgent) conditions, we recommend SEO for doctors or Google Adwords for Doctors.
By contrast, let’s imagine you have a chronic condition like an arthritic hip. It has been bothering you for months — or even years — but you have been putting it off. This form of non-urgent medical treatment lends itself well to Facebook advertising. You may see a Facebook ad about an improved method of hip replacement, or simply a way to cure your hip pain, so this may prompt you to click and find out more. So for specialties like orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, and other specialties which treat chronic (non-urgent) conditions, Facebook advertising for doctors can be a good option.
The pricing varies depending on the budget you set and the size of your audience. If you like, you can spend as little as $100 per month. Alternatively, you can spend thousands of dollars. It’s literally up to you how aggressive you want your campaign to be. Our recommendation is to be specific with your target audience, so as to not waste money on demographics that are unlikely to become your patients.
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