2021 Guide For Setting Up Profitable Facebook Ad Campaigns For A Doctor’s Office
If your medical practice is having a hard time getting new patients, this article will show you how to leverage the power of Facebook to do exactly that.
The Facebook advertising platform can help your business reach 2.14 billion new people.
No wonder why 3 million businesses are already using the platform to advertise.
Advertising on Facebook also helps you advertise on Instagram and other partner sites.
This article is about setting up profitable Facebook ads for local businesses.
Not in the medical industry?
If you want to read a more general article, I have written another article for no specific industry:
Step 1: Planning & Strategy
Before you begin any setup of your Facebook campaign, first you should strategize what your campaign is going to be about.
Who are you going to target and what are you going to offer?
I have encountered many business owners who say to me “I want to target everyone”.
This is a very pleasant thought, but it should not be your marketing strategy.
Let me paint a picture for you.
You scroll on your phone on Facebook and see pictures of your friends and family.
You see an ad trying to sell you something so you quickly scroll past it.
Then you see more pictures of friends until finally, you notice something.
You see a new post that has your own name in it.
Yup, you heard me, your first and last name in the post.
The post mentions a very specific problem you have been facing in your personal life and gives a new solution for that problem.
“How do they know that!?”
You are captivated by how this ad feels like it is really speaking directly to you.
This is how you should think about your advertising campaigns.
Now of course you can’t get that specific on who you target where you will know their first and last names but you can focus on a very specific customer profile.
Creating An Avatar / Customer Profile / Buyer Persona
Each business deals with dream clients and nightmare clients.
I’m sure if you have been in business for a while you know exactly what I mean.
No one wants to pay for ads that target nightmare clients, right?
Your avatar is an idea of who you want to target with your campaign.
So what are the common characteristics of your dream clients?
Wealthy? Parents with several children? Stay at home mothers? Athletes?
Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers:
- What product do they usually come to your business for? Ex: Teeth cleanings, checkups, blood work, spinal adjustments, etc.
- What pain point (problem) do they have that makes them need your product? Ex: Something wrong with their body, in pain, want to change their physical appearance, improve hygiene, etc.
- What do they want for their professional life most of all? Ex: Success, health, wealth, etc.
- What do they want for their personal life most of all? Ex: Happy healthy family, big home, peace of mind, etc.
It is important to write these characteristics down so you can visually see any common connections you may have missed.
Now you should have a clear idea of who you are going to be targeting and why.
Creating An Irresistible Offer
When you truly understand someone, you know what they want and you have negotiating power.
Think of when you would make deals with your siblings when you were in elementary school.
It is kind of the same thing.
The offer is what you are advertising. Your avatar is who you are advertising to.
You need to create a specific offer that your avatar cannot pass up.
Dig into a specific pain point of your avatar and explain how your business can move them from pain to pleasure.
“Ready to fix that toothache?”
“Has it been a while since you were seen by a doctor?”
“Constant headaches? Here’s how we can help”
“Back pain from working from home too often?”
“Here is how we can help”
Side note: The examples above are very basic and you should have a more in-depth offer. This should be easy if you have a deep understanding of your avatar.
Once you define the pain point and the solution for your avatar you have to sweeten the pot a bit.
Think of every opposition someone could have to your offer and write in the text your response to it.
“Maybe I will schedule an appointment later” – The Free Initial Visit Deal Ends In 7 Days
“What if the treatment doesn’t work” – Our Doctors Have Over 45 Years Of Experience
“What if I can find a cheaper doctor?” – We Offer A Premium Service At A Premium Price, Your Body Deserves The Best Treatment Possible
“How do I know this is a good doctor to see?” – See Reviews From Our Past Clients Below
Your goal for the ad copy and creative should be to fully convince your dream clients that they should book an appointment with you, over your competitors.
Knowing who you are targeting, with oddly specific messaging and answers to every initial opposition should be a great place to start with your creative (Ad design and text).
Setting Campaign Goals
Next, it is time to clarify your goals for your campaign.
However, when I speak about “goals” I am not speaking of vague goals like “I want to grow my business and patient list”.
I mean setting temporal (time) and quantitative (numerical) benchmarks that will come into play with your Facebook ad campaign.
Here are a couple example goals:
- 15 conversions (New patient appointments from the ad) per week / Average conversion value of $300 each / Ad spend $5000 per month
- $1000 in revenue per week directly from the Facebook advertising campaign
- 20 new patient leads per month for email remarketing campaign
How much are you willing to spend on advertising on the Facebook Platform?
Facebook allows budgets as low as $2.50 per day.
However, I would advise against this.
For the medical industry, a general rule of thumb is to spend at least $45 per day on ads.
You also have to understand if you are selling a more expensive service you may need to spend more money to build more trust.
If you are selling $20 chiropractic adjustments you may be able to sell 4 or 5 with a budget of $45 per day.
If you are trying to sell a $15000 procedure, you may need to spend north of $500 per day to be able to convert 1 or 2 people per month.
Also, something to note is that it takes about 10 interactions with a doctor’s office before a new patient books an appointment.
So advertising should be looked at as an investment.
A campaign may not start converting (making sales) consistently until after 2 months of running.
People need to go through a funnel with each advertiser (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion).
If you are just starting to advertise and spread your message, you may not get the conversions you are looking for right away.
Side note: If you sell an inexpensive service, keep in mind the Customer Lifetime Value.
Customer Lifetime Value is how often a customer returns and purchases again.
Maybe $100 of ad spend made you a $20 sale to a new patient, but what if that patient came back twice a month and at the end of the year you made $480 total from that one customer.
Your goals cannot be set by a blogger on the internet but an easy way to figure out what you are trying to achieve is to follow this simple formula.
(How much do you want) x (When do you want it).
How much money, leads, followers, sign-ups, etc.
When do you want it by (a week, a month, this quarter, this year, etc.)
Be realistic with these numbers, if you want $10,000 per month you may need to spend at least $5,000 per month in ad spend.
It all depends on how you market your medical practice.
Now you should have your avatar, offer, and goals set to start your Facebook campaign.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Campaign
Facebook Pixels & Retargeting
Before I start any campaign I make sure I begin with the end in mind.
The beginning step of a campaign is the most complicated one.
If you are unfamiliar, there are advanced I.P. tracking pixels that help you stay in front of people who have shown interest in your ads in the past.
For example, if interested leads type into google “Dentists in my area” and clicks on your website, looks at your services, then decides to look at other doctors, you can then show that person who showed interest in your medical practice an ad for a promotion to try to close the deal later on. Sometimes people need to be reminded a few times of a business before they reach out. But with retargeting, you are advertising to a group of people actively looking for your services and who have already looked into your business.
Also staying in front of interested leads will come in handy when they are with friends or family who tell them that they are having a similar issue with their home.
“Oh I know a dentist you could go to”
This is called retargeting or remarketing.
For Facebook, it is called a Facebook Pixel
I highly recommend that before you spend money on the Facebook Platform you properly set up your Facebook Pixel to get information on your leads and to use for retargeting campaigns in the future.
Side note: Retargeting campaigns are the lowest cost advertisements that yield the highest conversion rates because the audience you are targeting already knows your business.
Creating The Campaign
To access your Facebook Ad account or if you need to create one, click on your personal Facebook profile’s sidebar and find “Ad Manager”.
You can also type in the search bar on Facebook to find the Ad Manager
Once inside the Ad Manager dashboard click the green “Create” button in the top left corner
Now you should see the “Choose a Campaign Objective” window. (Shown below)
Most of the time the typical campaign is a “Traffic” campaign under the “Consideration”.
I mentioned earlier in this article about the funnel process of Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion, here it is reflected in the Facebook Ad Dashboard.
If you are a new business and just starting your first ad campaign I would highly recommend starting with the often-overlooked “Brand awareness” objective.
The Brand awareness objective may not get sales right away but it is warming up a new audience to your brand which will make conversions easier down the line.
Also Brand Awareness objective usually costs the least for CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions).
However, for this guide, we are going to continue with the “Traffic” objective.
The Traffic objective will help bring new eyes to your website, where you will have the opportunity to offer a discount in exchange for their email and contact information.
Once you get enough traffic to your website and start logging “Conversions” (When a lead submits a contact form), you can run a “Conversion” campaign objective.
This will tell Facebook to show your ads to people most likely to convert.
You will need between 25-50 tracked conversions to start running these campaigns.
For the medical industry, a Conversion objective can be the most profitable if you went through the brand awareness phase and consideration phase first.
Once you select your objective Facebook will ask you to name your campaign.
I made it a little easier for you to visualize.
The Campaign is the big folder that holds your ads and audiences.
The Ad Set is your Audience.
The Ad is your creative design and copywriting or “Offer”
When everything is properly named click “Continue”.
Congratulations you have set up your campaign and now it’s time for the fun part.
Properly Setting Up Your Campaign
Special Ad Categories
Special Ad Categories is for specific industries that have more regulations than others.
If your business is offering Credit or Loans, Employment opportunities, Housing, or promoting politics you will have to check this box or else your Ad will not be approved.
Once this box is checked you will have limited tools for your ad but they will be compliant with rules and regulations.
If you can avoid checking this box I would recommend doing so to have access to all the tools Facebook has to offer.
For the medical industry, you most likely won’t need to click this box.
This box can be passed up unless you want to change your Campaign Objective.
This box is to test two campaigns side by side to see which one performs better. This is really great to use if you have a decent budget to test both (minimum of $10 daily for each campaign).
Remember in science class when you had to hold everything constant except your manipulated variable?
Of course, you do, you are a doctor after all.
When A/B testing you want to test only one thing at a time. (Objective, audience, or ad)
Campaign Budget Optimization
I usually leave this box unchecked also.
If you have multiple Ad Sets and Ads you can check this box and Facebook Machine Learning will determine which Ad Sets and Ads will get the most of your budget (usually the best-performing ones).
I leave this box unchecked so I can manually have control of the budget of the campaigns.
But it is a useful tool if you are running several Ad Sets at once.
Properly Setting Up Your Ad Set
Remember your “Ad Set” is just your target audience.
We came up with your avatar earlier in this article and now it’s time to target them specifically.
Here you can choose where you want to send traffic from the ad.
When someone clicks on your ad, where do you want them to go to?
Most of the time you should choose your website and if you want to get the best results you should set up a landing page for each campaign you run with a specific Call To Action (CTA).
Your options are: Website, App, Messenger, WhatsApp
The App option is good if you are looking for downloads of your mobile app.
The Messenger option is great for starting conversations with potential patients who need a more personal touch.
WhatsApp (communication/texting app) is one I have never used personally but it is good to grow a WhatsApp community to speak to your followers and promote more deals later on.
This box can be checked to have Facebook’s Machine Learning decide which Ad Creative and Ad Copy will be shown.
This is based on the best performing combinations.
I usually leave this unchecked so I can do this manually myself but I have seen great results using this option also.
The Offer box is different from the offer you created earlier in this article.
This is a great option for businesses that want people to download a discount code (which gives you a list of who downloaded the code).
The lead can then get reminders to use the discount or coupon before it expires.
When they come in to redeem their offer, you can track how many sales you made directly from the ad.
For a doctor’s campaign, I usually leave this box unchecked.
Budget & Schedule
Now we get to set our budget.
Remember digital advertising is based on a bidding system.
To simplify what that means, whoever is paying the most will get the click.
This is why different industries are more competitive than others.
The medical industry is very competitive pretty much everywhere.
Almost every business is advertising and it is hard to compete with the big-name medical offices that have unlimited budgets.
It is important to set a budget you are comfortable with but the higher the better for results.
Also when beginning a campaign I usually start with 25% of the full budget to start testing everything before I go all in.
I also recommend switching “Daily Budget” to “Lifetime Budget” so you can set hours and days your ad runs.
I have run ads for companies that only received conversions on the weekdays between the hours of 3 pm and 11 pm.
We started running the ads for those times and days only and our $1500 lifetime budget really yielded great results because we pushed a lot of ads in peak conversion hours.
This is the part where your buyer persona or avatar really comes into play.
Facebook adds and changes these options quite often and it is fun to see what targeting options I can choose for my ad.
Remember, we only want to target a specific audience for who our Ad and Offer is specifically made for.
It is easy to get lost in the estimated impressions with larger audiences but I would keep my eye on the prize.
Most businesses with only one location, should only target your city or county within reason.
You can also target people who live in your area. (You wouldn’t want to waste ad dollars on travelers).
This should take into account your messaging of your ad.
For the rest of the targeting fields, use the avatar you created earlier in this article.
Here are some common options I select for Detailed Targeting for the medical industry:
Household income 10% – 25% ZIP codes (US)
Parent With Pre-Teens
Parents With Teenagers
Parents With Children
I would also highly recommend using the “Exclude” button.
Use this feature to exclude any competitors when advertising.
I suggest excluding “Dentist”, “Physician”, and “Chiropractor” from your detailed targeting.
This helps show your ads to the right people and not waste money on preaching to the choir.
Here is where you select where you want your ads to show.
Most novice marketers will select “Automatic Placements” because it is recommended.
I like to create ads for specific platforms to make them more personalized.
I usually select “Manual Placements” so I can turn off any platform that I do not want to advertise on and use more of my budget in the areas I want.
If you are starting a campaign in hopes to get sales I would recommend “Manual Placements” and turning off “Messenger” and “Audience Network”.
Optimization & Delivery
This is a very important box for your Ad Set.
For traffic campaigns I always use “Landing Page View”.
You will find a lot of people will click your link by accident or will not wait for the page to load and cancel the browser script.
When you are optimizing by Landing Page View you will only be charged when someone clicks your ad and makes it to the landing page.
Properly Setting Up Your Advertisements
We have finally made it to the last part of the campaign creation process.
Before you even reach this phase you should have already come up with your offer and created your ads.
Working with an outside marketer or agency can help create the ad and text properly to encourage your avatar to take action.
This is the part of the campaign I test the most.
Copywriting is everything when it comes to conversions.
You have to make sure you are speaking to a specific pain point and have a solution within the avatar’s budget with no consequences if the experience does not deliver what it promised.
Make sure you have your Facebook page and the Instagram page linked to the same account to be able to advertise on both platforms.
Only click the Branded Content box if you are advertising someone else’s product.
For the medical industry, you most likely won’t need to click this box.
This box is very simple.
I will give you a very quick rundown of these options.
Videos will always perform better for conversions.
If you have the budget to have a video created for your campaign you absolutely should.
I have seen conversion rates 10x just from switching a picture to a video.
If you are selling multiple services.
For instance, if you are promoting all the services you offer and want to display several options, you should use a Carousel ad where your services will be rotated based on the highest-performing cards.
I would only recommend the “Collection” option for businesses that have a lot of before and after pictures to display.
Also, a newer option that I have not explored as much as I want to is the “Fullscreen Mobile Experience”.
Remember most of the time your ad is going to be seen on a mobile device so tailoring your messaging for mobile will yield higher conversions.
Instant experiences are great for interaction and engagement.
In short, these will give you more time to pitch your offer to your audience.
Try one out and let me know how it worked for you!
This box is where the magic happens.
You are just uploading the images or videos you previously created, targeted to your avatar.
I really hope if you get one thing from this article is that you should have all this prepared before you get to this point in the set up process.
Upload the images or videos you have prepared for this campaign.
Make sure you upload the proper dimensions.
There are 3 dimensions for each image you upload:
Never upload only a single image. You should have 3 variations in size for each ad creative you upload.
This will allow Facebook to show your ads properly and have them fit perfectly where they are shown.
Finally, once everything is uploaded it is time to showcase your offer and stand out.
Your Headlines should be between 6-8 words and your Primary Text should be long enough to show your audience you know what you are talking about.
I actually find a longer copy in the Primary Text converts a lot better.
Start with the avatar’s pain point, ask rhetorical questions, and tell a story that moves the avatar away from pain and into pleasure.
At the end of the Primary Text remember to include a specific Call To Action.
“Get A Free Initial Visit For The Next 7 Days”
“Consult A Doctor Today”
Now, this is a box that is often overlooked by newer advertisers.
This is related to the Facebook Tracking Pixel we set up in the first step of the Campaign Set-Up Process.
You want to select the proper pixel to make sure you are recording data from your advertisements.
Later on, you can use this data to stay in front of that audience who already showed interest in your business.
Retargeting campaigns yield the highest conversions for the lowest cost.
I will write an article in the future on how to set up a retargeting campaign.
Now you are ready to click Publish
Once you click publish Facebook will put your campaign under review status to make sure everything is compliant with Facebook Advertising Policies.
This usually takes anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours to be reviewed and set to active.
Making sure your campaign is profitable
Setting up a campaign does not ensure it will be profitable.
Earlier in this article, I encouraged you to set numerical and temporal goals for this campaign.
“10 conversions in 30 days”
“200 followers each month”
Once the campaign is active, it is your responsibility to check up on the campaign and start “cutting the fat”.
What I mean by that is to pause the bad performing ads or audiences and reallocate the budget to the better performing audiences.
See which copywriting is performing best, which Ad Creative is performing best, and match them together.
With that, test out different audiences to see which one is responding to the message the best.
Over time with consistent optimization, you should move your campaign closer to your goals.
If you made it this far to the end of the article, I applaud you.
You did something half your competition is not willing to.
I know firsthand that running a business is time-consuming and stressful.
If you want a professional agency to run your ads for you, I could not recommend Big Sea enough.
I currently am a part of the Big Sea team and the experience and knowledge base shared amongst the team is like no other agency.
If you want to make the most out of your budget and get the highest returns (and also work with me!), please fill out the form on the Big Sea website.