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How To: get new patients using Facebook Ads

January 13, 2020
Madeleine Barbera
Co-author
Joseph Lucero

Facebook ads are not a new strategy and they surely aren’t a quick remedy to your revenue woes. 

The reality of Facebook advertising is that you cannot simply try it once, assume it doesn’t work, and move on. To successfully get new patients from Facebook Ads in 2020 you need to consider context, testing and creative. 

Context: How does your ad relate to the people you’re trying to reach? 

Context is not being a Doctor and running ads for people to visit your practice. Assuming that anyone who sees the ad will bow down to you and create an appointment on the mere idea that they have health insurance and need your care. Context is offering a service of value and then taking the extra step to relate to the potential patient's lifestyle through your ads creative and copy. 

Testing: Constantly finding ways to one-up your last successful or unsuccessful ad 

Because if you don’t, someone willing to put forth the effort will (aka us). Work on testing different visuals and copy that may resonate in a more sensible way. A great strategy here is to post the content to your Facebook or Instagram first to gather micro-insights prior to putting money behind the piece as an advertisement. 

Creative: Written, visual and audio content educating patients on your care

This can be written articles, tweets, photos, videos, snaps, or even a podcast helping patients better understand your services and how your practice can help them. Within your practices creative you can find insights into what potential patients in your community are most interested in, exactly what we mentioned while elaborating on the importance of testing.


Making contextual ads, and often, is the recipe for success

It’s no secret that many practices are paying significant amounts of money to push their ads in front of prospective patients. Since they see so many ads, they become numb to the pieces of advertising that don’t apply to them. Or relate to their lifestyle

For example, if you were to show a mom who lives in a rural community an advertisement containing a video that was shot in an urban community, she’ll likely ignore it because the content isn’t relevant to her. But, if you were to show that same urban ad to a mom who lives in downtown Denver, she would probably click on the ad because it is more relevant to her lifestyle.

That’s a very basic example but the theory of context in Facebook ads goes much deeper into things like someone's favorite food or the way they look. 

What this shows is how important it is to create several different types of ads for different segments of your target audience. This is time-consuming and worth every moment because it will positively show on your ROA (Return on Ad spend) 

How to create Facebook Ads that bring you new patients

Facebook has three different ad objectives for your practice to choose from, seen below: 

Facebook Ad Objectives (Screenshot from Facebook Business Manager)


For the sake of getting started on lead generation, we will focus on four different types of objectives under the umbrella of consideration. 

Objective and strategy #1: Traffic

Traffic does just that, it gets people to a destination of yours online. Choose this objective and test sending potential patients to a landing page that gives them the option to create an appointment. The biggest mistake you could make with Traffic ads is sending people to your default scheduling page - big MISTAKE. A landing page with an appointment form should include the following: Appointment form, info about practice/docs, recent reviews, insurance you accept, info on services, hours and a video if you’re able to. Be sure to test variations of your landing page. 

Objective and strategy #2: Video Views

Video on Facebook is a brilliant strategy because you can create a custom audience based on people who watched the video. What’s a custom audience? A group of people who completed an action that you can use as a targeting option. In this case, you can create a video talking about one of your services, then create a custom audience based on people who watched the video 90% of the way through and show them an additional ad, except this time you’re asking them to come in for an appointment. If there is a strategy that will convince you Facebook ads work, this is it. 

Objective and strategy #3: Lead Generation

Technically all of these strategies are performing lead generation, but this specific objective by Facebook is a form within the app that prospective patients can fill out without ever leaving Facebook. We have tested dozens of form fields to identify what works best, as of October 6th, 2019, here are the form fields that work best for Facebook Lead form ads: 

  1. Name 
  2. Phone Number 
  3. Email Address
  4. Primary Insurance  
  5. Note for Doctor

You’re also going to need a CRM to connect with Facebook in order to quickly access your patient leads. We recommend Hubspot! 

Objective and strategy #4: Messages 

This Facebook ad objective allows patients to message your practices business page on Facebook using Messenger straight from the ad that you’re running. There are endless ways to utilize Messenger ads to the best of their ability, so we have narrowed down the chaos into 4 stellar tips. 

  • Reply to each message in under 5 Minutes (Yes, have to be speedy)
  • Don’t immediately ask for insurance, solve their problem and look for a solution first 
  • Once you have identified their problem, get them to your appointment form quickly after 
  • Designate a staff member to monitor the messages during your business hours and after business hours 

Obviously, each of the four strategies has details that need to be worked out. However, the directions we have provided above are coming from a medical marketing standpoint and nearly $100k in research. To better understand configuring the actual ads you can learn here


Making Facebook advertising sustainable

To get the most out of your money out of your new Facebook strategy, the ads you run must always be in the best interest of your patient. This can mean many different things; including testing different messages and copy, having great pieces of creative, and getting your targeting right. Managing all of these different aspects will make your Facebook ads a reliable driver of revenue for your practice.

Ready to grow your practice? Speak with a medical marketing expert today - for free.
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Written by
Madeleine Barbera
Content Lead
1550 Larimer Street suite 126 Denver, CO

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