Before giving the green light to run a social media advertising campaign for your office, you should consider a few things. The most important thing is to set a concrete goal of what you are hoping to gain from this ad. Are you hoping to get more referrals? More pediatric patients? More invisible-aligner cases? More fee-for-service patients?
Your goal will then determine what audience you want to show this ad to and what type of ad you want to run. If you or your advertising team is in a rut, here are five different types of ads you can run on social media and what the benefits of each are.
1. Tell a story
Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS.
For times when you want to truly connect with an audience, tell a story. Whether the story is personal, fictional, or a mixture of both, telling a story draws people in and keeps them engaged until the end. Remember, a true story should have a beginning, middle, and end. The more descriptive the better.
Remember to place your call to action at the end of your story.
Currently, video is king in the digital marketing and social media world. Videos often get more engagement overall, which lowers the cost of your ad spend. Video can take place in many forms: an office tour, highlight of a product or service, patient testimonial, or even an honest and personal dialogue from the dentist. You're likely not a videographer in your spare time, so take advantage of the many amazing video-making apps out there.
Many potential customers scroll social media with their phone's volume off. What can you do? Use captions or subtitles to help with audience engagement.
3. 'Can I get a testimonial?'
“Remember to place your call to action at the end of your story.”
What better way to show a new audience that you are a trustworthy practice than to share honest patient reviews. I like to use a text graphic or a patient testimonial video. My advice is to let your best reviews shine by putting a few dollars behind them.
This does take some planning on your practice's part. You can have a photo/video release form handy for patients that you know had an outstanding experience at your office. Then have your front desk ask them if they would be interested in filming a short (15- to 30-second) clip of their experience.
4. Make them an offer
Because everyone loves a good offer, be sure to promote any of your great specials that you have running. Facebook now even has a special type of ad campaign just for offers with special features attached so others can view the offer code (if necessary) and even save the offer for future use.
The offer works best is if it is both exclusive and time limiting. Tell your patients that you are offering, say, free teeth whitening to the first 30 patients who schedule a new patient visit. But then remind them that this offer expires in seven days.
5. Consumer benefits
I heard on a podcast recently that as business owners, we tend to talk and think too much about ourselves. I thought about this; for the most part I find this to be true. As business owners we are overly consumed with our office, our staff, our dentistry, our patients, our bills -- the list goes on and on. But the bottom line is that we are consumed within our own lives.
Sure we care about our patients and want to attract potential patients, but are we really looking at marketing from their perspective? People want to hear how a product or service can benefit them, not necessarily how great the doctor is.
What this means is to consider structuring your wording of your ad text to place an emphasis on what advantages or benefits people will receive by having you as their dentist.
Designing a social media ad can be done in many different ways. My best advice, and what we do in our office, is to make various different ads and test out several to see what your audience responds best to. Either way, I encourage you to try out a few of the tips I mention here, track your results, and have fun with it.
Mikaeya Kalantari, DDS, is a pediatric dentist at Sunshine Smiles of Orange County and the author of the Color Your Health blog.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.
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