Google AdWords has traditionally dominated the online advertising space. However, recent reports have shown significant growth in social media advertising and a declining growth in Google advertising. It appears that Google may be losing its position as the stronghold in online advertising. According to the data below from Yahoo and Morgan Stanley Research, current trends project Facebook surpassing Google in advertising growth:

But what does this mean for healthcare and how you should spend your marketing dollars?

Understanding the Data

[If you would like to skip the explanation and jump to the conclusion, click here]

It is important to understand that the Facebook/Google data is showing where people are spending their money, not what is driving results. Marketing is often trendy and based on assumption or emotion. With Facebook lowering the costs and barriers for entry, there’s no surprise that social media is currently seeing a significant increase in market share. This trend is worth paying attention to from a marketer’s perspective, but it may not signify a good investment.

The chart below is showing the year over year change in US advertising revenue for multiple major platforms:

It’s important to note that this graph also represents the percentage of growth. Although Facebook is growing faster, that does not mean it is overtaking Google for they are both still growing. There are more people spending new money in Facebook than Google, but both are taking in more advertising revenue than they were before.

Facebook’s quicker growth is interesting, but could simply be caused by the recent buzz around social media (though it is still difficult to put a specific ROI on the platform). Although Facebook is no longer considered a “new” medium, it’s still luring late adopters who are new to the platform. Meanwhile, most late adopters have already begun advertising with Google.

Understanding the Differences in Advertising Platforms

The effectiveness of the platforms is also determined by how they are typically used. People use Google to gather information. While users turn to Facebook to consult friends for recommendations, they don’t specifically seek out information like they do with Google. It’s more common for them to spend time on Facebook, stumble upon interesting information, and see (even interact with) ads.

Due to the differing uses of the mediums, differing results occur across different industries. Therefore, different strategies are required. For example, impulse purchases are a natural target for Facebook advertising. The ads are quickly seen and users may quickly spend $20 on a whim for a new wallet or to join the Dollar Shave Club. However, they are not likely to see an ad for a surgeon (especially at the exact point that they are in need of that specific type of surgeon) and request an appointment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that social media advertising should be discounted in the healthcare industry.

Implications for Healthcare

Both of these mediums are needed for healthcare. They serve different purposes and need to be used accordingly. Google is viable for users doing research. It is a great platform for targeting users searching for specific information and issues that your product or service can address. Facebook is a useful marketing tool in campaigns gears towards an existing patient base and/or awareness advertising.

For example, many laypeople are not aware of the concept of orthopedic urgent care. As a result, they do not search for it (though strategic keywords and ads with Google PPC advertising can help). With Facebook, ads can be created to build awareness. They may not drive immediate leads (which makes the effectiveness very hard to track – often like a billboard), but they do give a potential patient familiarity with the practice and service, creating brand recognition and awareness for when the need strikes.

Ad dollars should be spent wisely. At this time for healthcare, we still do not recommend spending significant money in social media, as there are other more directly profitable alternatives. We recommend that an average healthcare practice sanction $100-$300/month in direct advertising fees for social media, but no more. Because of the low cost of Facebook advertising, this amount is effective with smart goals.

Finally, it is very difficult, if not impossible to directly track ROI through social media, as mentioned above. Social media helps build trust over time. (Think about how you become familiar with a product after repeatedly seeing it on TV and in stores. Then, when you actually need it, it’s implanted in the back of your mind.) But, it’s not an entity that you can see a direct correlation of ad dollar to revenue. Nor can you expect a steady proportional increase per dollar spent.

Spending Marketing Dollars on Your Practice

So where should you spend your practice’s marketing dollars? At Points Group, we specialize in holistic marketing and strategy for healthcare, and have put together an entire guide to help you determine the best place to invest your marketing budget. Click here to download the guide for free.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Partners

partners
facebook marketing partner
google partner
shopify logo
hubspot partner program

Home Office

Phone

European Office

Agentur Webfox

Berlin, Germany

Join Our Newsletter!

@ 2023 Points Group / All Rights Reserved

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy governs the manner in which Points Group, LLC collects, uses, maintains and discloses information collected from users (each, a “User”) of the https://www.pointsgroup1.10web.me website (“Site”). This privacy policy applies to the Site and all products and services offered by Points Group, LLC.

PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION

We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, subscribe to the newsletter, respond to a survey, fill out a form, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personal identification information, except that it may prevent them from engaging in certain Site related activities.

NON-PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION

We may collect non-personal identification information about Users whenever they interact with our Site. Non-personal identification information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about User’s means of connection to our Site, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

WEB BROWSER COOKIES

Our Site may use “cookies” to enhance User experience. User’s web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert them when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Site may not function properly.

HOW WE USE COLLECTED INFORMATION

Points Group, LLC may collect and use Users personal information for the following purposes:

  • To improve customer service
  • Information you provide helps us respond to your customer service requests and support needs more efficiently.
  • To personalize user experience
  • We may use information in the aggregate to understand how our Users as a group use the services and resources provided on our Site.
  • To improve our Site
  • We may use feedback you provide to improve our products and services.
  • To run a promotion, contest, survey or other Site feature
  • To send Users information they agreed to receive about topics we think will be of interest to them.
  • To send periodic emails
  • We may use the email address to respond to their inquiries, questions, and/or other requests. If User decides to opt-in to our mailing list, they will receive emails that may include company news, updates, related product or service information, etc. If at any time the User would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

HOW WE PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION

We adopt appropriate data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information and data stored on our Site.

SHARING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

We do not sell, trade, or rent User’s personal identification information to others. We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above. We may use third party service providers to help us operate our business and the Site or administer activities on our behalf, such as sending out newsletters or surveys. We may share your information with these third parties for those limited purposes provided that you have given us your permission.

THIRD PARTY WEBSITES

Users may find advertising or other content on our Site that link to the sites and services of our partners, suppliers, advertisers, sponsors, licensors and other third parties. We do not control the content or links that appear on these sites and are not responsible for the practices employed by websites linked to or from our Site. In addition, these sites or services, including their content and links, may be constantly changing. These sites and services may have their own privacy policies and customer service policies. Browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites which have a link to our Site, is subject to that website’s own terms and policies.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY POLICY

Points Group, LLC has the discretion to update this privacy policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page. We encourage Users to frequently check this page for any changes to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this privacy policy periodically and become aware of modifications.

YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS

By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes.

CONTACTING US

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this site, please contact us at:

Points Group, LLC

https://www.pointsgroup1.10web.me

150 Morristown Road, Suite 220

Bernardsville, NJ 07924

This document was last updated on July 24, 2014