If you’ve looked into how to attract more patients to your orthodontic practice, you’ve probably heard of both Facebook advertising and Google advertising. But how do you know which type of ads will help you meet your practice’s goals?
Here’s everything you need to know (from award-winning digital marketers who run both types of ads… a LOT.)
Why run ads?
Why run ads in the first place?
Facebook has over 2.99 billion active users every month, and Google receives 89.3 billion visits every month. Needless to say, most of your prospective patients are using Facebook and Google. Advertising on these platforms puts your brand front-and-center for people in your area, which is an invaluable opportunity to attract more patients to your practice.
As an orthodontic practice in 2023, it’s crucial that you have a solid online presence with effective orthodontist digital marketing strategies to convert ‘virtual’ patients into real-life patients in your exam chairs.
Google Ads Vs. Facebook Ads: How do they differ?
If you aren’t familiar with orthodontic marketing and digital advertising, you may think there’s no difference between advertising on Google and Facebook – but these platforms can actually attract different types of audiences at different points in their buyer’s journey.
Let’s delve into the benefits and purposes of both platforms:
Facebook Ad Capabilities
When your practice runs an ad campaign on Facebook, the ad will pop up on your audience’s news feed organically – as if it was a post from one of their Facebook friends. At this point in the buyer’s stage, users aren’t necessarily searching for your practice already – which has both advantages and disadvantages.
Facebook allows for deeply personalized ad targeting, which can be highly beneficial for finding and connecting with leads who are “qualified”, or people who are seriously interested in orthodontic treatment.
You can specifically target parents, people who are in a certain age range, people who live in a certain location or visit a location frequently, people with specific interests or behavior patterns on Facebook, people who look/behave like your current patients, people who have already shown interest in your practice, and more.
You can also choose from different ad formats to meet your advertising needs. Maybe you want to run a campaign with a single image and content to advertise a limited-time discount, or you can run a campaign with a short video of a personalized message from your orthodontist(s) to bring awareness to your brand. You can also choose from carousel ads (multiple images that users swipe through) and a few other formats.
When to use Facebook ads
Facebook is visually-focused; if you want to showcase before-and-after photos of patients, share informative videos about orthodontics, introduce the community to your doctors, or use branded eye-catching graphics to connect with your audience, Facebook is an excellent platform.
Running Facebook ads is ideal for building brand awareness and brand recognition, engaging with a highly-specific audience, and re-targeting people who were previously interested in your practice but haven’t pulled the trigger on scheduling their exam yet.
Users who see your brand and practice name repeatedly are more likely to build a connection with your brand and trust your practice. Once the prospective patient is ready to begin treatment, they’re more likely to look for your practice and choose your familiar brand over your competition’s brand.
Google Ad Capabilities
When you run Google ads, these ads are displayed to users as they search for an “orthodontist near me”, “orthodontics”, “braces”, “Invisalign”, or any other search terms related to your practice or services.
Google Adwords advertising operates on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning you bid on keywords related to your practice and are only charged when your ads are clicked on by a user. Based on the effectiveness of your content strategy, your ads will be displayed at the top of users’ search results. This is ideal for displaying your brand and services right in front of your prospective patients as they’re actively searching for you.
This intent-based ad approach can generate high-quality leads, because it targets users at the exact moment in their buyer’s journey when they’re looking for more information or ready to start treatment.
When to use Google ads
Running Google ads is ideal for meeting your patients at the decision point in their buyer’s journey and running ad campaigns for offers (like $500 off braces or Invisalign) to generate immediate conversions, or sales. Google ads don’t rely on brand recognition and brand awareness as much as Facebook ads do.
Google ads are content-based, best for targeting specific keywords and targeting specific geographical regions. If your practice’s primary goal is to secure new patients quickly and promote your services or specials to appear front-and-center when prospective patients are actively searching for you, Google ads are highly effective.
Custom Ad Strategies: Facebook and Google
When it comes to the question of ‘Facebook ads or Google ads’, a custom advertising strategy is best! Your business goals aren’t one-dimensional, so your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either.
Ideally, you want to build brand awareness, connect with your target audience, and attract more patients to your exam chairs – not one or the other. To achieve all of these individual goals, you need a comprehensive, well-rounded ad strategy.
Your ad goals will continue to evolve as your practice grows. A comprehensive, custom ad strategy can help you maximize the return on your ad investment by running the right type of campaign based on specific goals, and optimizing how you run them.
By combining Facebook and Google ads strategically, you can cover various stages of the patient journey and maximize your chances of attracting new patients.
Get your practice front-and-center for new patients.
Our orthodontic marketing experts at eNox Media are here to develop a custom paid ads strategy to meet your practice’s needs!
We’re proud to be certified Google partners recognized for demonstrating our skill and expertise in Google ads and maximizing campaign success for our clients. (Only about 10% of marketing agencies in the world are recognized as Google Partners!)
From your Google ad copy to your Facebook ad creative, the ad strategy behind your offers, budgets and messaging, ongoing management and data analysis to guide campaign decisions, we’re here to help you run successful campaigns that bring you new patients.
Manage the influx of new patients
As the leads start coming in, you’ll need a strategy to nurture all of your new patients and ensure that no new patients fall through the cracks before they reach your exam chairs. We partner with LeadSigma to help your team manage the influx of new patients!
Through our LeadSigma partnership, we help automate as much of the lead follow-up process as possible once your Google and Facebook ads start bringing in new patients.
When a potential patient reaches out to your practice, the easy-to-use LeadSigma dashboard guides your team members through touchpoints, sends texts, emails, and calls your office automatically, then assigns personal follow-up tasks to individual team members to ensure that zero patient inquiries are missed.
Managing new patients properly is a critical part of running successful Facebook and Google paid ads! If you’re ready to maximize the return on your marketing investment and see more patients with less effort, we encourage you to reach out to us.
We’re proud to be an award-winning orthodontic marketing company with over two decades of experience! Request your complimentary digital audit to find out how you measure up to the competition and what you can do to gain a competitive edge.