Facebook Ads for Health Care Professionals

Continuing on from my previous article on Google Ads for healthcare professionals. If you want to get started on my series of articles, you should read my first on marketing for healthcare professionals here.

Background to Facebook Ads

You've most likely used one or more of Facebook's products (who hasn't?) recently, and if so, you should be familiar with the ads that you see. With 2.45 billion users on Facebook, 1 billion on Instagram, 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users, and 1.5 billion on Whatsapp, Facebook's suite of products is massive to say the least. All of these products include some form of advertising (except Whatsapp, which is rumoured to be coming soon), and just like Google Ads, anyone can create ads on them.

Although Facebook Ads bear many similarities to Google Ads, there are some key differences;

  1. Google Ads offers both text and visual ads, while Facebook's ads are almost entirely visual.
  2. Google Ads focuses on intent (that is, someone intends to do something, searches for it, and a related ad is shown), while Facebook Ads focuses on demographics (you're a person aged 35 living in Cape Town, who is interested in cars).

These differences are critical when thinking about and planning ads on either ecosystem. For Facebook Ads, you can create ad campaigns that target people based on their interests and online behaviour, whether or not they are currently looking for your product or service. This allows you to reach new audiences, inform people about your product, and keep you top of mind in the future.

Important Terms

Just like Google Ads, Facebook Ads is very data-centric. It revolves around raw numbers and optimization of those numbers over the long term. This is the power of digital advertising in general - you get extensive data, which can be used to great effectiveness in improving ROI. Here are a few important terms to be aware of;

The Fundamentals

To create an account, you must first have a Facebook page (note that this is not the same as your personal Facebook profile). You can then create a Facebook Business Account at business.facebook.com and follow the steps from there.

Once you've set up an account, the hierarchy is somewhat similar to Google Ads;

When creating an ad campaign, you will typically create one or more of each of the above items, and then your ads will appear.

Types of Ads

Facebook offers a number of different ad options. I'll just list some of the most common;

Placement Options

Given that Facebook includes a number of different products, you have the option to show your ad in one or more of them, in different places. Again, there are many options and I'll just include a few;


When creating your ad set, you'll be asked to specify the target audience. This is a critical step, as it's how Facebook knows who should see your ad. If you don't plan it carefully, you'll end up wasting your money. Here are some of the more basic options available (note that you can and should include multiple options to limit your audience);

Best Practice

Just like with Google Ads, it's very easy to set up a campaign and have it running in under an hour. Getting an effective campaign with a good ROI, though, is a different story. Here's a few tips;

Pros and Cons

Facebook Ads can be hugely effective. It's half the reason Donald Trump became president, after all (and also why Brexit came to exist). The cost of running Facebook Ads can be much lower than Google Ads, or most other types of advertising. And you can get a huge reach from your campaign, particularly with people who would never otherwise find you.

Unlike Google Ads, however, Facebook Ads are not likely to convert well. This comes back to the issue of intent. Where Google Ads revolve around someone's intent to do something or buy something, Facebook Ads are shown to people regardless of whether they're currently in the market for your product/service. This issue can be addressed by effective targeting, and working with some audience options such as purchase behaviour, but it's fundamentally a part of the type of advertising.

I'd strongly recommend that you get an agency to create and manage your Facebook Ads for you. Although the cost can be much higher, you'll get better results and ROI than if you run it yourself. If you're determined to try, though, start by watching videos and reading more articles.

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