Most dentists that want to grow their practice are running Google Ads (formally known as Adwords). However, as of 2019, there are now a few BIG problems with Google Ads:
- Google Ads can be very competitive (depending on your location). As a result, you could be paying as much as $10-$20 just for someone to click on your ad, which makes them very expensive.
- Even if you are able to run Google Ads profitably, there is a limit to how many people are searching for treatment in your location and seeing your ads every month, meaning you can only get so many leads from Adwords.
Because of these limitations, many dentists are looking for other options to get patients through online marketing.
Below, I’m going to explain three alternative strategies to Google Ads that you can use to find new patients online.
These options are less competitive and two of them even have bigger audiences than Google Ads.
#1 Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are a great place to find high-value patients, like implant, cosmetic, or orthodontic patients, who know they need treatment but don’t know where to start.
Let me explain.
As a dentist, it can be easy to forget the many reasons why someone hasn’t fixed a problem with their teeth.
- A lot of times people know they should fix their teeth but they don’t know:
- What options there are to fix the problem
- Who to trust to do the work
- What payment plans are available
…the list goes on.
This is where Facebook ads shine. They target all those people that want to fix the issues with their teeth but don’t know where to begin finding a solution.
How It Works
With Facebook ads, you can reach people at all stages of the buying cycle and help move them to the next stage through influence and education.
To do this, we use a step-by-step sales funnel to build trust and educate people until they’re ready to come in for treatment using:
- Blog post articles
- Virtual assessments
- Info about the dentist/practice
- Email follow-Up
- Phone Call follow-Up
With this sales funnel, they learn about you, the treatment options, payment plan options, and success stories from other patients.
Who Facebook Ads Are For
Facebook ads don’t often work well to bring in general dentistry patients. Instead, they are ideal for clients who are really looking to grow their practice with more specialty treatment cases, like implant, dentures, cosmetic dentistry, and ortho.
We will typically see 10-15 consultations scheduled/month when running these ads, with a 3-4 times return on ad spend.
Want to learn if Facebook ads will work for your practice? Sign up for an assessment call to see if your practice has the
#2 Bing Search Ads
Depending on what type of treatments you are looking to advertise, Bing ads can be a great source of patients.
How It Works
Bing search ads are very similar to Google, in that the ads show up at the top of search results when a person is performing a search in Bing, but there are three advantages:
- Most of your competition is ignoring Bing so the cost is cheaper and there are less ads vying for your potential patient’s attention.
- Many of the Bing users are older. This can be good if you’re trying to book more treatment typically experienced by older patients – implants, dentures, and certain cosmetic treatments.
- Bing users also tend to be less tech savvy. This means that instead of shopping around online, they will usually find a practice that they like and move forward with them.
Who Bing Ads Are For
Bing ads are great at bringing in more general and speciality treatment cases.
Similar to Adwords, they are limited only to people actively seeking a solution to their teeth problems but they’re much less competitive and work well to bring in more patients.
#3 Google Display Network and Youtube
This is the sneakiest, most effective, AND most underused marketing tactic of the three.
The reason Google Display Network (GDN) are so underused is because the targeting available to find patients just became available in 2018.
Most dental practices are not taking advantage of it yet!
How it Works
With Google Display Network, you can now target people are actively looking for a solution to a dental problem WITHOUT having to compete for the limited top 3 search spots in Google, like in the image below:
Take dental implants for example. You can now show ads for your practice around the web to people who have recently searched for “tooth implants” or visited a site about all-on-4.
Google uses patients search data to decide what searchers are interested in so if they think someone is interested in Invisalign and they live in a certain area, Google will show ads for your practice.
An added benefit to these ads is the “I see you everywhere effect”.
When you run GDN ads, people start seeing your practice everywhere, across the web. This gives your practice more credibility and authority.
It will continue to show your ads for months after the search, reminding leads to book a consult. This is great since it may take time for more costly procedures.
Lastly, we can use the same strategy with Youtube ads. The targeting works the same, they can be setup to show to people who have done related searches and live in your area. Your videos will show before a person begins watching a Youtube video they selected.
Video is an amazing way to connect with potential patients before they come into the office. It’s best to use a video of yourself talking about your experience and your practice, as well as testimonials videos.
Video allows you to easily pre-sell you, your office and the treatment before meeting with a patient. If you want to see the types of video that we use in our ads, check out this post:
Who GDN/Youtube Ads Are For
Really anyone looking to grow their practice. These ads can work to get more specialty and general patients.
Currently this type of advertising isn’t very competitive in the dental field so there’s a good chance they’ll work for you.
What Online Marketing Should Your Practice Be Doing?
It depends on a several factors, like:
- Practice Growth Goals
- Type of patients you want
- Office support available to provide follow-up
… and more.
If you’re interested in having an audit of your online marketing and the creation of a customized plan for your practice, go here and I’ll let you know how to best spend your marketing dollars.