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Knowing how to start with healthcare online advertising to promote your business can be overwhelming. Not only do you need to learn the differences between the types of ads you can run, but you also have to figure out how much to spend, how to target the right audience, and how to use the right creative for each.

You can run three different types of ads that will drive more patients your way to help build your practice: paid search, display, and paid social campaigns. Running all three ad types together allows you to create brand awareness that ultimately leads to more patients. But these three types of campaigns target, look and perform very differently, so it’s important to have a solid understanding of how they work and how they need to be structured to get the best possible results with your healthcare online advertising.

If you’re wondering where to start, you’re in the right place. By the end of this article, you will know about the different ad types, their benefits, and the results you can expect to see, but also get some healthcare online advertising tips to help your business grow.

Paid Search Ads: Google and Microsoft

In the healthcare industry, 88% of consumers transition directly from online searches to phone calls. In other words, paid search ads are the best way to start growing your business quickly. When you run this type of campaign, you will start to get phone calls to your practice right away and the cost per call will be low. 

Paid ads on Google and Microsoft are the very first thing people see on a search results page. For example, if you search for “orthopedics near me,” take a look at how much real estate the first ad takes on the top fold of the page.

Search ads are text-based. These ads will display a few different headlines, descriptions, and extensions like a phone number or an address to make the ad stand out. Google will rotate through all the different headline and description options you provide to find out which combination will drive the most clicks and will start to display that ad more often. One of the most important healthcare online advertising tips is to create multiple variations of text ads the search engine can choose from in order to see the best performance.

Search ads target keywords and layering on demographics and audiences is normally an option. However, in healthcare, it’s important to know that you will not be able to do that due to privacy policies and HIPAA regulations. To achieve the best results with your healthcare online advertising, it’s key to target the name of your practice, provider names, and the different services you offer when creating a keyword list. You can even target the name of your competitors just as long as you don’t use their brand in the ad copy.

Paid Social Ads: Facebook & Instagram

Paid social ads are primarily found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. They can appear on the news feed, on video feeds, in the right column, in Stories, in Messenger, or on Instagram Reels. You have control over where you want ads to appear, who to target, and the creative they’ll see. This is especially helpful for healthcare organizations since the detailed targeting allows you to segment and personalize your campaigns

With paid social, you can get more creative with your healthcare online advertising. You can still use headlines and descriptions, but you have the added benefit of pairing imagery with the content to make it more visually appealing. One of the most important healthcare online advertising tips to bear in mind here is to have a mix of static images, videos, carousels, and story ads to see which performs the best.

Paid social ads will target specific audiences. For best results, you can upload a custom audience list you’d like to show the ads to (Note: do not upload a list of customers to a social platform as this is not HIPAA compliant). If you don’t have a non-customer list, you can target by demographics. You have so many options here, but it’s best to narrow your audience by targeting through location, age, and gender at a minimum. The best results are seen when you can narrow the audience even further through their interests or the industries they work in. The more you know about your audience, the better you can target them. 

In terms of performance, it’s important to know that paid social ads are used more for brand awareness than driving direct leads. You will start to see more Google searches for your practice after running ads on Facebook over time.

Display Ads: Google

Display ads are banner ads that appear across Google feeds such as YouTube Home and Gmail. They help your business scale by reaching new potential patients and re-engaging visitors who have already been to your site.  

The benefit of running display ads is that the creative is more visually engaging. Google will use a combination of images, logos, headlines, and description lines. Ads will also be formatted to deliver the most conversions possible based on where it’s showing, who will see it, and other signals.

With Display ads, you’ll be able to target audiences and keywords relevant to your services. It’s best to target visitors who have been to your site or even your competitor’s site along with some of your top-performing keywords.

Display ads can help drive additional traffic and conversions, but they will cost more than a search campaign. One of the essential healthcare online advertising tips is to adjust your budget to maximize spend on search campaigns before you allocate some toward the display.

Track and Analyze for Optimal Results

Healthcare online advertising can be a powerful tool for growing your business and reaching more patients. With paid search, paid social, and display ads, you can build brand awareness and drive more patient appointments. However, one thing to understand about healthcare online advertising is that you need to manage and constantly monitor it to ensure you are maintaining optimal results. Tracking and analysis are essential because they provide you with the information you need in order to create a more effective campaign, and therefore, bring in more patients.

This can be very time consuming and overwhelming but, whether you’re an agency, a doctor, or an office manager who’s just been tasked with running marketing for your medical practice, SocialClimb is here to help. Automating the whole process can help your practice grow with little to no effort on your end. You can access pre-built keywords and ad copy to quickly and easily launch campaigns. Also, by running paid search campaigns through SocialClimb’s platform, you can track the cost per appointment and cost per new patient for each campaign to identify the most profitable campaigns and allocate marketing budgets accordingly. 

In addition, with our support for paid social ads for healthcare practices, you can save time and money by being able to quickly build an effective campaign, track how many appointments and patients this channel is driving, and adjust your spending. You can also use our call tracking feature to gain valuable insights into the number of incoming calls generated by your advertising efforts, allowing you to estimate the level of engagement and interest from potential patients. Once you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions to improve them. Finally, with SocialClimb, you can maximize the potential of healthcare online advertising and achieve business objectives with ease. At the same time, you increase patient volume, revenue, and brand awareness, all while providing high-quality patient care.

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