If you’re not doing Facebook advertising, you’re missing out on some easy money... - Veterinary Practice
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

InFocus

If you’re not doing Facebook advertising, you’re missing out on some easy money…

Paul Green looks at a cost-effective and simple to use avenue of advertising which practices can utilise to increase awareness with little real effort.

TWENTY YEARS AGO, IF YOUR
PRACTICE
was around it probably
advertised in the local newspaper.
That’s just what vets did back then,
because in the mid-1990s it was one of the most effective ways to reach
local people. The newspaper had the distribution
network, and
you paid to get
your message
distributed.

The old-fashioned
methods like
newspapers and
Yellow Pages are
still hanging on,
but they are dramatically less effective
today than they were in the mid-1990s
because today the primary distribution
method for reaching the right people
is of course the internet.

Adverts in local newspapers might
still produce some results, but they’re
nowhere near as cost-effective as
Google and Facebook.

A part of our brain called the
Reticular Advertising System (RAS) filters out sensory information it
considers to be irrelevant to our
conscious mind.

Unless someone is looking for a
vet right now, their RAS won’t see
the adverts when they interrupt them
reading the paper or listening to the
radio.

The internet is different. When
someone Googles for “vets, your
town” they are very open to the
commercial messages that are about
to be put in front of them. Thousands of times a second, Google matches
people who are looking to buy
something with advertisers who are
willing to pay to put their message in
front of those people.

So what about Facebook advertising
then? Surely that’s interrupting people when it places
adverts into
people’s
news feeds.
Technically,
yes. But
Facebook
advertising is
a unique and
delightfully
powerful tool to use because it allows you to target
very specific people, in ways that you
could only dream about a few years
ago.

You see, the marketing
fundamentals haven’t changed in 20,
30 – even 100 years. Getting success
from advertising still comes from
putting the right message in front of
the right people at the right time.

Newspaper adverts worked all those
years ago because the distribution figures were so high, and there were
few alternative outlets to reach local
people. They were blunt tools, but
they worked. Facebook advertising is a sharp
and highly cost-effective tool, but this
party won’t last more than a few more
years. What do I mean by that?

In the early part of the century you
could advertise on Google for pence.
It was possible to spend a few pence
per click to reach huge numbers of people. As Google has got bigger, the
prices have gone up. Today you can
pay a couple of pounds for a click.

Facebook advertising is only a few
years old. Facebook has an enormous
audience (on a typical day, one in
seven people on the planet use it).
And it’s possible to generate hundreds
– if not thousands – of pounds of
work from a spend of just £10 a day.
Yes, really.

That will not be the case forever.
Basic economics says that as demand
goes up and the supply stays the same,
the price must rise.

It’s already generating more than
$12 billion a year for Facebook – up
from $1 billion in 2010 – and they will
want to double that within a few years,
no doubt.

So make 2016 the year that
Facebook advertising really works for
your practice. The beautiful thing is,
the system is so easy to use that anyone
can just have a go at it. And I do mean
anyone. Unlike Google advertising
which is complicated and difficult to
use, Facebook advertising is simple yet
powerful.

It’s the kind of thing you can get
set up in an evening with the TV on
in the background, and then spend
10 minutes a day tweaking because
you’ll know within a few days if it’s
generating business or not.

Some basics

To do Facebook advertising
effectively, you must have an active
page for the practice. Log into your
practice account and go to www.
facebook.com/ads.

Facebook’s own user guide is a
great introduction. Just remember
that a great Facebook advert has three
components:

  • Targets the right audience
  • Great design (especially the image, which catches their attention)
  • Crystal clear next step (call to action)

You want your adverts to send
people to your website, and there are
three groups of people you should
target.

New clients

Select people who live within a certain
geographical location (such as 2km
of your practice). You can pick men
or women (they respond to different
messages). Age range. Primary
language spoken. Employment or
relationship status. Interests. Pets
owned. The number of choices is
endless. This is where you can play
with Facebook advertising to endlessly
tweak your campaigns.

Existing clients or prospects

You can upload a database of e-mail
addresses you already hold. This is
called a custom audience. Facebook
will match your e-mail addresses to
its users. Then show them a speci c
message. This can be a great way to
target your health plan at speci c
existing clients, for example.

People who have
visited your website

There’s something called a Facebook
pixel. This is a bit of code you embed
into selected pages in your website.
You can then show specific messages
to anyone who visits that page. This
is called re-marketing. If you’ve ever
experienced an advert seeming to
follow you around the web, this is how
it’s done.

There’s so much more that I could
write about Facebook advertising, that
I could fill dozens of articles about
it. Rather than read more about it,
the best thing you can do is just jump
in and have a go. Trust me, it’s very
simple to use, but very effective.

Have you heard about our
IVP Membership?

A wide range of veterinary CPD and resources by leading veterinary professionals.

Stress-free CPD tracking and certification, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.

Discover more