If you’re up with marketing basics, that means you have embraced the reality (though it may have been a fight with your inner social media demons) that creating a Facebook page is critical to staying competitive in the healthcare space. If you are fairly new to this concept, it may be helpful for you to become familiar with the social media do’s and don’ts. It may also be wise to get up-to-date with the promotional Facebook post criteria.
How can you make the most of Facebook to market your practice in order to expand your reach and tap into another source of referrals?Now that you've come to terms with that first step—joining the social media world—let’s move on to what to do next to stand out from all the other healthcare practices that are also using Facebook to reach out to potential patients.
What options does Facebook offer for promoting your practice services to current and prospective patients? There is certainly a bit of strategy to this type of marketing and a few steps that you’ll need to take in order to execute successfully. Let’s take a look…
What is Your Objective With a Facebook Ad?
Using Facebook ads is one of the first steps of a marketing campaign. Before creating an ad, you will first need to establish what your goal is for running a Facebook ad.
- Are you wanting to generate more traffic to your website so people can get a thorough look at your excellent staff and complete menu of services?
- Do you want more people to ‘like’ your Facebook page to expand your reach on social media?
- Do you want people to view a patient testimonial video or a video about the most current or popular procedures or services available to catch them up to speed with recent innovations in your field of expertise?
- Are you holding an event in the near future you want to make sure has record attendance?
Create a Campaign
Once you are all on the same page about your objective, you are ready to discuss and brainstorm what type of campaign you would like to run or promote. Ideas could include:
- A campaign to educate current patients as well as the general public relating to:
- A current health concern being talked about in the media and what a plan of action would include to treat or prevent it.
- A recent advancement in technology that could mean a significant and/or immediate improvement in their health.
- Promoting procedures and services you specialize in within your industry which may set you apart from other providers in your area.
- Offering a discount on a particular service or procedure each month.
Implementing a social media marketing strategy into your plan of action is critical to retaining and acquiring patients as well as staying competitive within your community. Utilizing Facebook to expand your reach is a good move, especially if you are looking for a fresh idea and your practice is ready to take your marketing to the next level.
Creating Facebook Video Ads
Once you know the type of campaign would work best, you need to set it up and use it to target a specific audience in order to accomplish your objective, whether it be to advertise an event you are having that you’d like patients to attend, promote a monthly special you will be running, or to reach a new demographic of patients to increase your patient base.
Before I explain how to set up a campaign, I want to talk more in detail about the most effective type of Facebook ad and then explain the why and how of it in a minute.
As you scroll through your Facebook feed, you’ve probably come across quite a few still ads for clothing, accessory, or cosmetic companies, health and wellness products, books, and other media. Still means it’s just a picture or snapshot of such products and services. But you may be surprised to learn that video ads are actually the most effective type of Facebook ad, and that they are gaining popularity as the success of them has become indisputable. This is the space your practice should be in.
Think about this for a moment…back when people were actually watching TV on their televisions (and before Tevo where you can skip all the commercials), how did companies advertise their products and services? Commercials, right? So doesn’t it make sense that now that almost all eyes–91 per cent to be exact–are on their cell phones, that businesses would start running commercial-type ads where the eyes actually are? People today are even watching their favorite TV shows and movies on their phones. Don’t overlook this opportunity. So let’s move on to the why:
- First and foremost is the obvious–Facebook is one of the most powerful platforms for marketing and connecting with people. You know this, so capitalize on it.
- You get a big bang for your buck here and are able to customize the cost of this type of advertising to fit your budget.
- With the ability to create custom audiences for your ads, this is a great way to retarget people who have visited your site looking for a new provider and did not end up joining your email list or calling to schedule an appointment. Reinvite them with an enticing offer.
- As mentioned in the previous point, Facebook ads are a good way to grow your email list so you can add patients to email drip campaigns and remarket to them or send them monthly newsletters.
The Why and How of Video Ads
Now that we are clear on the why, let’s move on to the how. As you create content for your ad, there are some key points you must include in your strategy in order to convince potential patients to engage by clicking on your video.
1. Start out with something to hook the audience you are targeting, whether they be current or prospective patients, will on average give a post around 3-5 seconds of attention. The purpose of a hook is to instantly engage your audience to watch more than the first few seconds.
2. Tell them who you are and why they should care right off the bat.
3. Tell them what you are going to reveal to them of value–what your product or service is and how it will benefit them.
4. Make them a promise and then tell them how it will improve their life, health etc. if they take advantage of the service or procedure you can provide.
5. Call them to action! At the end of your video, invite them to call for an appointment, click on link that will take them to a “Find out More” page where you can find out their interest level and capture their information to follow up or add to an email campaign to further educate them.
Be sure to include all of these aspects within your video and keep in mind, as they scroll through their feed, the videos are silent until they are clicked on. So it is very important to make sure your thumbnail and beginning of your video is interesting or unique enough to grab their attention and make them want to click on it to find out more or hear what you are saying.
Understand, your video does not have to be professionally done to be worthwhile or effective. In fact, it is usually better if it isn’t because it feels more personable, and genuine– more like they are talking person to person instead of business owner to customer, which will create an instant level of trust or openness.
You can get pretty specific with the types of users you want to market to within your Facebook settings. They can be customized by location, connections, interests, age, language or even other custom audiences. If you want to set up ads, here is Facebook's step by step instructions on how to create ads.
Now that you have a new and very powerful marketing tool, don’t wait to utilize it. Once you get it down, it will likely help you to accomplish some objectives you have been aiming for in your practice, but just haven’t found the right avenue for reaching them. Get creative and have fun while you give this a try!
You can also check out our full guide to practice marketing here.