Having an online presence is essential for all businesses, including orthodontic practices. Google searches, websites, and social media are how patients find providers and services for themselves and their families. With the uptick in searches and web design, there has also been a push for digital advertising space.
The market for digital advertising has become a hot commodity. While there is ad space available on marketing channels such as Google and social media, the market can be competitive.
So, how do you know how to use ads and which are best to attract orthodontic patients?
In this post, we explain the ins and outs of paid advertising for orthodontists, the types of ads, and how they work.
The Basics of Paid Advertising
Sometimes competing for space on Google or social media means paying for it.
This is a quick way to get in front of the patients you want. As you examine your orthodontic marketing plan and goals, consider adding in paid ads to gain more patient leads.
What Is Paid Advertising?
Paid advertising is an online model where practices pay to show their ads on a specific platform or network. Ads help orthodontic practices increase brand awareness, reach potential patients, and let them know what services you offer. You purchase ads that specifically target your desired patient demographic rather than waiting for them to simply find you.
Depending on the marketing outlet you use, paid advertisements are shown on search engine results and social media channels. First, you choose the marketing platform, then you target specific patients based on location, keywords, demographics, and interests.
For many orthodontic practices (and businesses, in general), paid advertising offers a great return on investment (ROI). Part of the appeal of online advertising is that you can measure it! Print, radio, and TV advertisements are difficult to actually attribute the ROI. You cannot track who saw those ads or who came to your orthodontic practice because of the ad content.
Additionally, the cost of paid Google or Facebook ads for orthodontists is far less than that of traditional radio or billboard ads. Running a traditional billboard ad can cost anywhere from $750 to $14,000 per month, with rural areas on the low end and major cities on the higher end. Radio advertising may cost $200 to $5,000 per week depending on the ad length and your location. With digital ads, you set your monthly cap to ensure you never go over your budget, pay only a few dollars per click that you receive, and can stop at any time.
Typically, our orthodontists are spending $500-$1000 per month with Google and Facebook Ads together with an average of 35 conversions per month.
However, with digital ads, you can integrate it with your software or track it from your advertising platform. You can see if patients booked an appointment after clicking your ad and calculate the conversion rates and ROI. With programs, such as Dental Intelligence, you can monitor new patients and which marketing channels are successful based on scheduled appointments in the practice and the production from these appointments.
How Does Paid Advertising Work?
Platforms that offer digital advertising space rely on algorithms for real-time auctions. The algorithms decide which ad to run within a particular slot. Criteria may include bid amount, ad quality, keyword research, and other variables, but these may vary based on the particular platform. There are various types of ads including text, images, and video.
Your ad platform also gives you access to patient demographics, interests, and more to more specifically target potential patients. Your ads are more likely to be successful when you target people who are more likely to be interested in your orthodontic services. Advertising platforms know this and can help you reach those patients when and where they are online.
For example, the custom Facebook Ad below is for an orthodontic client. This ad focuses on the client’s keywords and location while also enticing new patients with an incentive. When users click anywhere on the ad image, a form pops up asking for patient details such as name, contact information, and preferred appointment time. The orthodontic team can then reach out to and convert their new patient!
Types of Paid Advertisements for Orthodontists
There are various types of paid ads available. Your digital marketing team can help you choose the best type for your orthodontic practice’s needs.
Display and Search Ads
You may choose different targeting options, but two of the main categories are search ads and display ads.
- Search ads are triggered when someone searches specific keywords. This causes the ad to pop up in the search engine results. The search ads may also answer specific questions.
Search ads are a priority as they help our clients dominate the local search engine market space for a given keyword. For example, Google Ads show up at the top of the local 3-pack and also at the bottom of the top 10 search engine results. Google is the top search engine, so these ads get you in front of more patients.
- Display ads are triggered by fitting a specific criteria, such as demographics or interests. These ads may show when browsing online or on an app.
These two ads can be mixed and matched depending on the advertising platform. However, it is easier to analyze their performance separately so you know which is effective and which should be improved.
Pay-per-click or PPC ads are an effective strategy that have been used for years. As the advertiser, you pay the platform or marketing channel when someone clicks on your ad. You place a bid for ad placement on a search engine. For example, you may bid on the keyword ‘orthodontist in Cary, NC’ to have your ad show up in search results.
When the ad is clicked, it sends patients to your website. You then pay the marketing platform a fee for the click. The fee is generally trivial compared to the return you will get on that new patient visit.
Previously called AdWords, Google Ads are one of the best known marketing platforms for paid advertisements. Here, you can advertise your practice right on Google! Google connects keywords and people with your ads for successful marketing. This PPC platform shows ads based on your bids and the quality of your ads and website landing pages.
Another PPC ad is Facebook Ads, which allow you to place ads across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram. Users are targeted based on their interests, pages they like, and their interactions with friends.
Many other social media platforms have their own advertisement space now as well.
Considerations for Orthodontic Paid Advertisements
As you develop your digital marketing plan, you need to put careful thought into your advertisements. The following considerations will help you lay out a more effective ad and reach your potential patients.
As with any type of marketing, you need to identify your goal. Who are your target patients? What are you trying to achieve? What is the end result?
Different goals and target audiences may require different ads and campaigns. The platforms can help you tie together your campaigns and goals. You start with your campaign, target keywords, and then are given relevant options to target patients based on your goals.
Understanding your goal is important, but you really need to know who your target audience is. Who are your patients? Do you see more adults for orthodontics or are you targeting parents of young children and teenages? What are their needs or pain points?
Once you know what characteristics your patients have, you can create an advertisement that caters to those patients. This ensures your ads are more appealing, efficient, and effective. It also helps you determine which marketing platforms to use for your ads.
After determining your end goal and your target audience, you can determine which marketing channel is the most appropriate. There is no point in using a channel that doesn’t cater to your patients. It would be a waste of money. Target your ads to run on platforms where your patients actually hang out.
After you’ve gone through the process of creating your ads, you may need to consider retargeting. Retargeting ads allow your orthodontic practice to revisit users who showed interest in your practice but didn’t actually make an appointment. These ads are targeted to those specific people who initially clicked your ad or website and then moved on without converting.
The retargeting process is a way to try to win those patients back.
On Google Ads, the process is called remarketing and a specific campaign can be set up for those ads. On Facebook and Instagram, your retargeting campaign is set up for a custom audience of those who have already visited your website.
Monitoring Your Ads
When developing a Google or Facebook Ad, you will need to design a campaign based around your keyword, service, and location. The example above shows the dashboard for a braces and Invisalign ad campaign. Your dashboard allows you to track the number of clicks and leads your ad has received and your cost per click. You can visibly track and monitor the success of your ads (and how much of your marketing budget is being used).
This client had two ads running with a minor difference between the two. Since the dashboard tracks clicks, the orthodontic practice can see which ad is more effective. The decision can then be made to stick with one ad or make changes to the other. The ability to monitor and analyze digital ads is a big advantage for your marketing program.
Boost Patient Conversions with Paid Advertising for Orthodontists
Now that you know more about how paid advertisements work, it’s time to take the next step in your digital marketing plan. At Med Rank Interactive, our team offers comprehensive digital marketing services to help our clients grow their practices. With paid advertisements for orthodontists, our clients are able to reach and convert more potential patients.
Ask us how we can help you boost patient conversions. Schedule your FREE consultation today!