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Facebook Advertising for Optometry Practices

Are you thinking of adding Facebook advertising to your current strategy?

Social advertising on platforms such as Facebook is a great way to generate an online relationship with your prospective patients.

Don’t expect a prospect to immediately book an appointment with you when they see one of your ads. That is not the point of these ads.

In essence, social media is a tool to build relationships. Just as personal relationships can take time to develop, garnering doctor-patient relationships through social media may take time before seeing results. However, just like personal relationships, the effort is certainly worth it!

First, let’s take a closer look at what social advertising is and how it works.

If you’ve spent even a little time on Facebook, you’ll have seen many different Facebook ads. Because the ads are interwoven into your newsfeed or the right sidebar, the ads often look just like organic content. The only difference is that the ads have a subtle note on the top left corner that states that they are ‘Sponsored Posts.’ These ads usually include a call-to-action to purchase a product, ‘like’ a Facebook page, or sign-up to receive a newsletter.

Facebook Ad Campaign Planning

The first and most crucial step in starting a Facebook campaign is to know exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Otherwise, your ads may not align with your marketing goals.

Here are 3 different scenarios that will take 3 different approaches to their ad campaign:

  • A new practice that is trying to increase awareness
  • An established practice that is seeking to attract new or younger patients
  • A practice that will be introducing a new service and wants to entice prospective patients to sign up for it

One benefit of Facebook is its robust targeting tools. The amount of filtering one can do to campaigns is astonishing. For instance, if your optometry practice targets older individuals who may be interested in LASIK surgery, your ad can be targeted to people ages 30-55 in your surrounding three zip codes who have a college education. If you are an optometrist introducing a new dry eye clinic, you might want to advertise a discount to women aged 25-35 in your target area who work full-time.

The best part is, since Facebook has so many users, even after adding a high level of specificity to your ads you’re still left with a sizable audience.

Designing Your Facebook Campaign

After deciding on your clientele, it’s time to develop your ad.

Ads that perform well should be:

  • Visually appealing
  • Relevant to your audience
  • Clear in the benefits offered
  • Include a call-to-action such as "Book an Appointment" or "Download This Educational Brochure."

Pro tip:

Create multiple versions of your message to avoid the “ad fatigue.” This refers to users scrolling past your Facebook ad after seeing it so many times. Facebook actually helps you with this process while setting up ads by letting you select multiple images per ad and even video. You can choose to place the advertisement on the user’s desktop news feed, right side, or in the mobile news feed. You can also direct people to your website, promote your Facebook page, or gather leads with a signup form to build your subscriber list.

How much do Facebook ads cost?

Each ad that you create will be accompanied by a maximum per-click or per-impression (viewership) budget that you can customize. This feature will allow you control how much you spend down to the penny.

The options with Facebook ads are quite extensive, so take the time to experiment with formatting, wording and CTAs (calls-to-action). The platform is designed to help newbies along the way, and it does a great job of explaining each choice and also provides videos for further clarification. YouTube is also an incredible resource to guide you through the process.

Evaluating Facebook Ad Campaign Success

Every ad that you create on Facebook can and should be evaluated for effectiveness. Facebook includes extensive tools that calculate how much you spent in a given period, what percentage of people clicked on your ad, how much each click ended up costing, and more.

Evaluate each ad and decide whether it is targeted enough to generate the desired clicks. If your rate of conversion is not where you want it to be, try making changes in wording or images to the campaign to achieve a better result.

If you generate loads of clicks but not enough of them are converting into qualified leads, try a different call-to-action. Another reason they may happen is if your target demographic is too broad. Try targeting a more specific audience.

All of the elements of your Facebook ads should have a purpose. Text, images, and offers should be configured, tested and reconfigured, one variable at a time to find the winning combinations.

Pro tip:

Don’t assume that because an ad was working effectively for the first few days, it will continue to perform well. Always test, retest and evaluate.

Adding Facebook ads to your digital marketing arsenal can boost your online visibility, and help convert more prospective patients. Remember, you may not see the patient make an appointment directly through your ads, but you can make an impression through your relationship.

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