Facebook Ads

One of the Better Ways to get Dental Patients Online

If you want to get seen on Facebook, you must advertise.

Mark Zuckerberg has a very valuable platform, and he’s not going to let you promote your practice for free on his site.

You can post updates all you want.  It won’t do any good. It is estimated that only 2% - 6% of all people that like or follow your practice’s page will ever see your updates…. Unless you pay Facebook.

The good news is that Facebook has very effective advertising options that you can use to get your practice noticed.

Just posting to your dental office's Facebook page won't do any good. Only 2% - 6% of Facebook posts are seen by those who like or follow your business.

You must pay Facebook for your message to be seen

What Facebook Ads for Dentists Look Like

Facebook ads consist of both an image and associated text.  Your ad will appear in a Facebook user’s news feed as “sponsored” as you can see below.  

Aspen Dental Facebook Video Ad (screenshot)
A Facebook Video Ad
This ad is for mega-DSO Aspen Dental.
You can do better.

Your Dental ad on Facebook can be in a variety of formats, including images or videos

Facebook ads appear in user feeds and look very similar to regular user posts.

BONUS: Want to See Your Competitor's Ads on Facebook?

Good news - now you can!  

Probably due to the alleged Russian meddling in the US election, confusing / misleading ads, and Mark Zuckerberg’s shaky senate hearing performance, Facebook decided to be more transparent about its advertisers.

This can help you come up with ideas for your own ad campaign and just to get a general feel for what the competition is doing.

Go to a competing Dentist’s Facebook Page Along the right-hand side, you’ll see a block that says “Page Transparency” as you can see below. I'm using mega-DSO Aspen Dental for this exercise. You can find their Facebook page and do the exact same thing.  Go ahead and click on “See More” You’re now taken to a page which provides more information about that dental practice’s Facebook page - including information about their advertising.  

Facebook Page transparency on the Aspen Dental Facebook page
Turn off the Google Display Network
Uncheck the Display Network option

If it says, “this page is currently running ads”, you can click “Go to Ad Library” to see your competitor’s current and past Facebook ads - as shown below.

How to access the ad library in Facebook (screenshot)
Facebook's Page Transparency
From this screen, you can access your competitor's Facebook ads

While you don't want to copy your competitor's ads, seeing those ads can serve as inspiration for your own Facebook Dental Ad Campaign.

You're then taken to a page that shows all the ads running on Facebook for your competitor as shown below. Here, you can see that Aspen Dental currently has 49 ads running in different markets throughout the United States.

Page showing all of aspen dental's Facebook ads
The Facebook Ads of Competing Dental Offices
Review all 49 ads to come up with ideas for your own ad campaign.

With Facebook's new page transparency, you can see the dental ads of your competitors.

How to Get New Patients to See Your Ads

Facebook provides a lot of different targeting options for you to explore.  The most relevant targeting options for dental offices are shown below:

Radius Targeting
With Facebook you can target people within a certain radius of your office address (anywhere from 1 - 50 miles).  You’ll obviously choose a radius that includes the people that are close enough to be patients.

Age Targeting
You can target by age in Facebook as well (anyone from ages 13-65).  Obviously this can come in extremely handy when you’re trying to target specific services like:

Facebook ads radius and age targeting options
Ad Targeting in Facebook
Radius Targeting and Age Targeting are just two Facebook targeting tools that can help you zero in ideal patients.

Of all the advertising platforms, Facebook has the most in-depth targeting options to make sure that your desired audience ends up seeing your ads.

Remarketing with Facebook Pixels

As part of establishing your Facebook ad account, you’ll want to create a Facebook pixel.

A Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that you install on your main dental website.

When someone visits your website, the pixel fires, and you’re now able to advertise to that website visitor when they go into their Facebook account.

So How is This Helpful?  (An Example)

This is extremely powerful.  A prospective patient comes to your website is impressed and is about to make an appointment, but they get distracted and leave.  

It happens to all of us. 

Think about it - you’re on a mission to get something done on your computer, you get distracted by hilarious cat videos and the next thing you know 30 minutes have passed and you can’t remember what you were originally trying to do.

Remarketing on Facebook allows you to get your ad in front of these people who visited your website and were interested in your offer but were distracted.  It keeps you at the top of their mind and can help turn these website visitors who left into patients.

Learn more about Facebook Pixels in Facebook's documentation.

Facebook Summary

It may not be the *best* way to get new patients.  It does however have very sophisticated targeting and remarketing options.  This makes Facebook an essential tool in your dental advertising arsenal.

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