Digital marketing professional Richard Gibbons outlines the common problems and simple solutions of Facebook advertising to increase your patient enquiries
Facebook advertising is a goldmine for clinics looking to generate high-quality patients. In the UK, 57% of small businesses use social media for marketing purposes.1 However, I have noticed that many are not using it to its full capacity.
In this article, I aim to explain why many people fail when it comes to Facebook advertising and will provide the best tips to help them. The great news is that these tips work for both those experienced with Facebook advertising, and those who are complete beginners.
Although we will be discussing Facebook, the same techniques and approaches are transferrable to Instagram. I have found, however, that Facebook commonly attracts patients who are more likely to have a disposable income and are therefore more likely to convert into paying patients.
Firstly, it’s vital to understand exactly what Facebook advertisements are. Facebook advertisements are shown on users’ news feeds as they’re scrolling through looking at their friend’s posts. Advertisers can choose to place adverts in between these posts, with the aim of capturing the attention of their potential customers. This advertising platform is completely different from traditional marketing such as leaflet drops, radio ads, and emails. When running Facebook adverts, you only have around 1.7 seconds to capture the user’s attention to make them stop scrolling!2 This means your ads need to be short, snappy, and intriguing straight away. So, let’s talk about the top mistakes I have witnessed clinics make on Facebook, and the easy solutions you can implement to help boost the effectiveness of your advertisements.
The most common mistake that I see clinics make online is pressing the ‘boost’ button. This is a shiny blue button that appears under many Facebook posts you will create on your business page. The idea behind it is to reach more people, which sounds like a good plan. However, I have found that it’s one of the quickest ways to waste your advertising budget. Why? Because your goal isn’t to just reach more people, it is about converting people into paying patients. The boost button can be useful if you want to have more viewers on your posts. You can pay as little as £1 a day and have your posts seen by more of your followers. This is helpful as only 5.2% of your page followers will see your organic posts!3 However, we want to discover ways to ensure a great return on investment from our advertising and generate new bookings.
The ideal way to solve this problem is to use Ads Manager inside of Facebook.4 This tool allows you to set up adverts that are tailored towards generating high-quality leads. The benefits of Ads Manager are that it allows you to:
With this tool, you will also be able to accurately track your adverts and ensure that the money you are spending is being utilised. I’ve personally seen clinics switch to Ads Manager and reduce their cost per lead by more than 50%.
You only have around 1.7 seconds to capture the user’s attention to make them stop scrolling
As I mentioned, you only have 1.7 seconds to capture your potential customers attention on Facebook.2 A call to action refers to the next step you want your audience/reader to take, such as clicking on the ‘book an appointment’ button. I regularly see adverts online which have no clear call to action and it’s hard to understand what the clinic is advertising or wanting individuals to do (without spending time reading the ad). With any Facebook adverts, you want to have the call to action extremely clear and easy to understand.
In my experience, it’s useful to focus on your results rather than the intricate ins and outs of the treatment process. Of course, we want to educate potential patients, but firstly, we want to hook them in, so they book an appointment with you. You can have this information later in the post, where the patient can choose to read more, or on your website, and of course you should reiterate this in the actual consultation. I recommend focusing on promoting one treatment per advert. If you try and advertise all the treatments in one, it will likely confuse the potential patient and they will scroll past. On the advert, you will want to include real images/videos of the treatment in action. In my experience, this works much better than stock images as people online will want to see your team, clinic and real-life patients being treated. Please ensure that you have consent for any images/videos you use and make sure you follow Facebook’s guidelines on what images/wording you can include on the adverts to ensure they are not banned.4,5
When running Facebook advertising, the goal is to convert your adverts into paying patients. For most clinics, their first thought is to send people directly to their website homepage. Although this sounds like a good idea, the results it yields are low. The reason for this is your website has lots of buttons, services, menus, and it can be too overwhelming due to the amount of choice available. Removing navigation bars on a landing page can lift conversions by 28%.6
This is where landing pages come in! Landing pages are websites (usually one-pagers) which are specifically designed with one goal in mind: conversion. If you have a dedicated landing page for your Facebook advertising, it’s highly likely you will generate more enquiries. You must also ensure that the landing page is mobile optimised.7 The easiest way to do this is to duplicate the landing page and alter it to fit your phone’s dimensions correctly. It’s very common for landing pages to look incredible on a computer screen, but when viewed on a phone, it can look messy. This makes potential patients leave the page straight away and you will have lost that booking! 81% of Facebook users access the platform through their mobile devices, which is why you need to ensure your pages are optimised correctly.8 The most important element on the landing page, when viewed on a mobile, is that the ‘opt-in’ button is ‘above the fold’, meaning the user doesn’t have to scroll down on their phone to find the button, and it is visible as soon as they arrive on the landing page. The best converting layout I have seen working for clinics is:
If you include these five elements on your landing page, in my experience you will begin to see great results.
Generating enquiries is amazing but can be frustrating if they don’t convert into paying patients! Before you launch any paid advertising, you need to ensure that you have your follow-up strategy in place. If you don’t, you will be losing out on new patients every single day!
Delegate a member of your team to follow-up with all enquiries, provide them with a sales script and ensure they understand the end goal. When you use the same script, it’s easier to discover areas in the sales flow that is affecting the booking rate. You can then tweak certain parts and see if this increases your bookings.
It is vital that the team understand the wording on the adverts, the offer available, and all emails that the patient will receive. By knowing the exact information patients have sent through, you will be able to discuss this on your phone calls to help build trust and authority. The best formula I have seen work for clinics is contacting all enquiries within five minutes of them being sent through (between working hours) as it’s 21 times more effective than calling after 30 minutes.10 The longer it takes you to phone up the enquiries, the less chance there is to convert them!
If you are a solo practitioner or don’t have the number of staff to power through all enquiries within five minutes, there are solutions to solve this. You can set up text responses within your customer relationship management (CRM) system, send out emails automatically or use a third party such as Aesthetic Response, Pabau and Clinic Minds who can sort this for you. However, I have discovered that calling enquiries and having a real conversation with patients is the best way to build trust and book them in for an appointment. If you have spoken to patients through this criterion, you will be aware that they are local, have a disposable income and are a good fit for the treatment you’re advertising. All you need to do is be persistent in following up with enquiries.
Facebook advertising can be confusing and frustrating for many clinics, however, as you have read in this article, a few tweaks have a huge impact on the results. Test out these tips on your next campaign and you will see an uplift in quality enquiries coming through.
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