Pay-Per-Click Ads For Dentists – Why You Need An Attention Grabbing Offer

Like it or not, a solid offer is the best way to encourage new treatment enquiries via paid ads

Facebook logoIn dentistry you will often hear dental coaches recommending that you should not implement offers and price reductions in the quest to gain new patients or indeed when you are trying to sell new treatments to existing patients. This is all well and good in that no-one wants to precipitate the “race to the bottom” on pricing or erode the value of professional services.

However, the advice is also rather “black and white” in that carefully crafted and presented offers can be extremely effective and if you are not prepared to experiment, then you can easily miss out. For example, if you want to take advantage of pay-per-click advertising, a proven technique to gain new business, you have to be savvy and creative when it comes to the use of effective offers.

Why is this?

Over the last 5 years, here at Dental Media we’ve developed our pay-per-click ads for dentists and now manage several hundred campaigns on our client’s behalf. This type of experience allows us to see what works and what doesn’t and perhaps one of the starkest indicators is the power of offers when it comes to differentiating successful campaigns versus ones which struggles.

The plain facts are that more and more dentists are using Facebook and Google advertising because they know, when done well, that there are very good returns to be realised. In fact it’s becoming a “must have” technique in these days of “pay to play” digital marketing. A clear characteristic of these campaigns is that the ones which do well, are the ones which encourage interaction with good offers for users.

If you consider the last time you were shopping for a high-value item or imp0rtant service, then you probably did a couple of things during your search. One of these would likely be checking reviews for the service or product and then also checking the price. Part of checking the price would also likely be investigating any offers that were available.

An offer can be useful in several ways:

  • if the purchaser is aware of your brand but isn’t quite ready to proceed at that particular point in time, then your offer is an ideal way of piquing their interest and keeping you “top of mind” for when they do eventually proceed.
  • depending on how you configure your ads, you can create a sense of urgency to encourage them to proceed quickly. For example making an offer time-limited, can really help a user to decided quickly for fear of missing out
  • more fundamentally, a lot of people are seeking best value and if you aren’t offering competitive services, then many of them will look elsewhere. It’s fine to think that you can differentiate on quality and experience and so justify elevated prices, but of course most can’t. In the real world there are lots of dentists competing for the same patients and they can’t all be top of the Premier League, even if it’s something they might eventually aspire to. You have to build a business and if this means deploying ads creatively to allow you to compete and prosper, then so be it.

What type of offers work?

One trend we are seeing is that lots of dentists are offering exactly the same things, so getting an offer out there but then failing to differentiate themselves anyway because they simply followed suite. A typical example would be a free consultations which isn’t really cutting it any more. We’ve also seeing users commenting (adversely) about this which is the last thing you want associated with your brand.You know how much time goes into a consultation and the value associated with it, but many people don’t, and think that they should be getting this type of introductory service free as a matter of course.

So you really have to put yourself in the mind-set of your potential new patients and try to work out what they see as valuable. So try to be as creative as possible and offer something that is genuinely worthwhile to your potential new clients. Do this well, and you won’t be precipitating the race to the bottom as some dental coaches might have you believe, you’ll simply be looking after your own interests in an increasingly competitive environment.

Forgive me for not giving away everything which we use with our own clients, but here are a few themes on offers you might wish to explore:

  • the free consultation – this is the bottom rung and be aware that most are already doing it. Users are also starting to realise that a consultation with a treatment coordinator i.e. non-clinical, isn’t the “real thing” and are asking questions accordingly. Savvy dentists are now starting to conduct “free” initial clinical consultations and pricing this into their treatment plans. Some won’t come to fruition, some will, but sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate. It’s the same when I put several hours into a dental marketing proposal, sometimes traveling to clients premises. I don’t charge for this but overall it works for my business and as they say, you can’t win them all.
  • 3 for 2 treatments. We are seeing dentists have a lot of success offering practice building services such as hygiene treatments on a 3 for 2 basis. Don’t be afraid to break the mould.
  • free whitening with ortho treatment – be advised, this is also being done on mass so another “bottom rung” initiative. But you can get creative around this with free top up treatments etc.
  • offers for couples – this one works nicely when couples are encouraged to take up treatments together and in doing so, attract a discount or additional service. It also works well for certain types of facial aesthetics services.
  • free video consultations with the lead clinician. Time is precious so it makes sense to look at efficient ways to give that little bit extra to potential new patients but without maxing out your precious time on speculative enquiries. Quite a few of our clients are now offering free video consultations as part of the introductory process. Clearly this needs to be followed up in the usual manner but why not exploit the free technology on everyone’s ‘phone and laptop to get the ball rolling?
  • discounted facial aesthetics services following a dental makeover. This might not be for everyone but lots of people are now seeking a full facial makeover and not just their smile

These are just a few of the types of offers we are helping our clients deploy via their social media campaigns but there are many others too. Like all campaigns, you need to experiment and adjust to find out what works best for you.

Summary

The key take-away here is that pay-per-click advertising works best when there is a worthwhile offer involved for the user. As this type of advertising has evolved and more and more dentists have stepped in, the need to become increasingly creative has become very apparent. So don’t just launch your ads with the same old “free non-clinical consultation” or “free whitening with braces” offers everyone else is using, try something different and make yourself stand out.

If you’d like help deploying and managing your social media advertising campaigns, including recommendations for the types of offers which work (and which don’t!) please get in touch with the social team at Dental Media on 01332 672548 for a no-obligation (free!) discussion.