Google Ads, Social Media Advertising, Display, Re-marketing - these are some of the key digital advertising terms you may have heard over recent times.
It is essentially any type of advertising that takes place over an internet connected device.
Key benefits are the ability to target specific groups of people (who are more likely to be interested in your service) and lower costs allowing practitioners and smaller businesses to advertise successfully with limited budgets.
The challenges are that some of these activities are constantly changing and may require some up-skilling and outsourcing to undertake effectively. There is also an unending range of activities to choose from, so understanding the options and matching them to your audience and offering are key.
This kit highlights a few of the best digital advertising options for Psychotherapists and provides a How To Guide on placing ads on those platforms.
As a Psychotherapist, social media advertising via Facebook and Instagram is a great place to start. If you are running social media accounts for your business you will already have working knowledge of these platforms and the learning curve won’t be as steep. The second recommended option is Google Ads, which I will cover further on.
SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
Around 2008, we saw social media blow up around the world. For practitioners and businesses it added a whole new level to interactive advertising – allowing a client to engage with the provider easily. It also supplied the all important credibility factor – vouching for a practitioner or service via feedback and reviews.
Practitioners and businesses could demonstrate personality and customer service in addition to gathering more information about their intended audience.
The only challenge to this approach is that when you create such an open channel you must have the structure in place to respond or risk inadvertently giving potential customers a bad experience by leaving them hanging. Expectations have increased – people expect a response quickly so its important to only take on what you can manage successfully.
For a Psychotherapy practice with one principal, one of the most effective ways to do this is through Facebook and Instagram advertising. You can choose to do one or the other, or you can combine both into the same campaign as both platforms are owned by the same company and their advertising platforms are shared.
The sheer audience numbers and targeting ability make this platform a very strong option for advertising. You can start out with a small budget, test out different audiences (local areas, age ranges, gender etc) or different messages (depression, anxiety, OCD etc) to see what works best. Therefore you can avoid taking large financial risks and will learn as you go.
There is a variety of entry points for advertising from your Facebook business page - boosting a post or entering through the ad centre on the left hand menu of your page. The following are the simplest options for Facebook users and include all of the key features needed to target your audience, set a budget, time-frame and choose content.
If you have been running a Facebook account for some time, your existing followers may or may not see your messages as in recent years, Facebook has reduced the visibility of business pages. The good news is that you can reactivate your follower audience for about €5-10. This is definitely worth doing if you have a decent number of followers (50+) and have a strong message to send.
HOW TO ADVERTISE - STEP BY STEP
What you need – A Facebook Account, A Business Page & a Credit Card
Before you advertise, show proof of life! Populate your page and add friends before advertising - this is covered in the previous Facebook setup section.
STEP 1: Go to your business page and press the blue Promote button
CREATE NEW AD & BOOST A POST
These two options have very similar processes, the only difference being that Creating a new post allows you to create new content as opposed to using an existing post. This is a strong option if you are advertising specifically to new audiences and don’t want the ad message to appear on your profile.
When you click Create New Ad, Facebook will pre-populate your options and you can change them from here.
Do not press Promote Now until you have reviewed and altered all options.
Remember, its all about your audience, always keep them in mind when thinking of the SOLUTION you are offering - how you can help them. Refer to the messaging section further on for content suggestions for Psychotherapists.
Under the Audience section you can choose the types of people you wish to target. For example, if you find that your services resonate closely with a certain demographic it makes sense to target them first. Keep the button ‘People you choose through targeting’ selected. Then click the pencil icon to edit your audience.
Perhaps your target audience is Women aged 25-45 (you have defined this using Tool 2: Key Client Profiling). You can use these options to target by gender and age (slide the scale to your target age range).
In the location section, you can target areas, counties, countries etc or add an address and target people within a chosen range of it.
For example if your practice is in Clonakilty, you can target people within 30kms of the town. This is a great option for Psychotherapists as location can be a key deciding factor for clients.
The next section - Detailed Targeting (images below) - allows you to refine your options even further, by interests, job titles, life events etc.
For Psychotherapists, this is worth a thorough review of the options as you will likely come across categories that closely align with your services. For example if you work with teenagers you can target ‘Parents of teenagers (13-17 years) or other characteristics that link to your key client profiles.
Other Categories Include:
Parental Status: Parents of Varying Age Ranged Children & Young Adults
Hobbies: Meditation, Yoga etc
Finally, you can set your budget and timeline. As you can see from the image below, this is very clear and straight forward. You can start from a budget of one euro per day.
Choose how many days you wish to advertise for and / or an end date. You can leave it open ended (Run this ad continuously) but we don’t recommend that as you may lose control of costs.
You can use the sliding scale to assign a daily budget. As you alter these settings the box in the bottom right will update to show your total campaign budget - Payment Summary. You will also be provided with an estimation of how many people will see your ad and engage with it.
To test out an audience, we would recommend assigning five euro per day for 7 days. This will allow you to gauge a full week of advertising & capture people using social media at various times during the week and on the weekends.
Once you are happy with all of the parameters of your ad, you can go ahead and click Promote Now. If you don’t have a credit card or Paypal account attached, you will be prompted to enter your details.
The ad will be submitted for review and will go live shortly after. If there are any issues with the ad, you will be notified.
MONITOR AD PERFORMANCE
Once you set your ad live, you may receive comments or questions straight away so make sure to monitor your Facebook account regularly and respond quickly. It is a good idea to turn on notifications during the advertising period so you are immediately made aware of engagement.
If you are boosting an existing post, your whole audience sees your interactions so bear that in mind.
USE INSIGHTS & TWEAK AS YOU GO
In the main menu of your Facebook business page, you will find the Insights option (image below). Here you will see detailed information relating to your page and posts. You will also see if your ad is performing and if a certain type of audience is responding better than others. If this is the case, you may wish to run your ad again and refine the audience to match this highly engaged group.
Facebook and Instagram advertising works by charging you a certain amount for everyone who clicks on your ad (CPC - cost per click) or views your ad (CPM - cost per mille), depending on your preference. For CPC it can cost anywhere from 17 cent (euro) to €2 per click. For CPM, focusing on impressions, then you are likely to pay around euro €3.40 - €6.80 per 1,000 visitors on average.
These costs are accurate Jan 2023 and may change over time.
They determine the price on a variety of criteria including relevance, so its important to bear that in mind when choosing the target audience for your ad. During the ad setup process you will be informed of the Cost Per Click for your campaign. And don’t forget, YOU set the budget so you cannot overspend. For example, if you set a budget of €100 and the CPC for your campaign is €1, the campaign will end when 100 visitors click on your ads.
Choosing CPC will give you a direct idea of how your campaign is performing but you may wish to try both to see how they perform.