PPC has been around a long time. But with the rise of Google search and social advertising, it has evolved more than enough to remain a staple in your marketing efforts. A 2019 stat from Disruptive Advertising says Google Ads and Facebook PPC Ads are the two largest advertisers on the Internet. To be exact, Google currently holds 37.2% of the digital advertising market, whereas Facebook holds 19.6%.
No other type of digital marketing has the direct targeting capabilities PPC has to offer. Reaching your audience where they already are makes it much easier to analyze what content is relevant to them, and prioritize your marketing endeavors accordingly. Add in the re-marketing capabilitiy, and there is no denying the value it can add to your strategy.
A recent study by the Journal of Medical Research states that 61% of physicians are on social media and use it to research new information.
This makes PPC a critical piece of your integrated digital marketing strategy. Being there to guide the conversations happening online about your product when you can’t be face-to-face will support your revenue-driving efforts anywhere along the funnel. From awareness ads that introduce a new technology or procedure to lead generating ads that require prospects to submit their contact information to access a case study or offer, PPC advertising offers a direct line of access to relevant customers as quickly as you can get your ads approved and uploaded.
Once you’ve decided to launch a PPC campaign, the next step is figuring out which platform is going to offer you the best return on your ad spend. While there are many PPC networks available — Bing, Yahoo and Twitter to name a few — this is where we choose to focus our paid online advertising efforts when targeting physicians.
LinkedIn often feels like the obvious choice when it comes to advertising to physicians because it is the social media platform for professionals, but it offers a relatively small pool of prospects and somewhat less sophisticated targeting and retargeting options compared to the other big-name advertising platforms. In addition, not all physicians regularly log on to LinkedIn the way professionals in more socially-driven industries do.
LinkedIn’s prime advantage lies in its demographics breakdowns — highly-specific metrics showing a wide variety of demographics (including job title) for prospects who are viewing and clicking through your ads to visit your website. This makes it easy to identify what types of physicians find your product most compelling and which types of job titles can be immediately weeded out of your advertising pool to increase the efficiency of your ad budget.
In addition, LinkedIn offers built-in lead form ads, which allow you to request, collect and store prospects’ information all within the LinkedIn advertising platform itself. For advertisers with little experience creating landing pages for their own site or limited access to a developer to build those pages for them, LinkedIn lead forms ads offer a quick, easy solution with the credibility of LinkedIn’s platform behind it.
Because of these qualities, LinkedIn may be most suitable to a smaller, lower-budget advertising campaign for a medtech device that appeals to physicians working in popular specializations. (Oncology advertising might be a great fit for LinkedIn. Advertising for a rheumatology device, on the other hand, might be less successful.)
The greatest advantage of Facebook is straightforward: (almost) everybody is on Facebook. While Facebook’s broad appeal may make it seem like an odd choice for the type of highly-specialized advertising required to reach physicians, its extremely sophisticated targeting options allow you to drill down into the prospect population to reach the audience you’re looking for. With a vast bank of users and literally thousands of possible audience configurations, it’s a great choice for advertising to physicians with rarer specialties, who may be more difficult to reach on other platforms.
Facebook and Instagram advertising run from the same advertising platform (both social media networks are owned by Facebook), so extending advertising into Instagram as well as Facebook is exceptionally easy. And, while Instagram can seem like a strange fit for physician advertising, running ads on both Facebook and Instagram allows potential prospects to experience touchpoints for your product within different contexts, solidifying their awareness of the product and sense of its legitimacy. Instagram may not be part of every advertising campaign for physicians, but it offers an additional advertising space for message reinforcement that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Google Ads offers both display ads (ads that show up when a prospect is browsing one of the many sites affiliated with Google’s advertising network) and search ads (ads that show up when a user googles something related to the product being advertising).
This flexibility makes Google Ads a reliable go-to for building brand awareness, but requires you to access your target audience based on what they are searching or specific content they are accessing. Since physicians often search for new medtech products by brand name based on referrals from peers and patients, Google search ads, in many cases, offer limited usefulness beyond ensuring immediate access to your website.
Google display ads, on the other hand, offer a direct line of awareness advertising on professional websites that doctors are likely to browse in their downtimes. While finding a significant number of professional sites related to the audience you’re attempting to reach may be difficult, it’s worth an attempt to ensure you’re not missing out on valuable awareness advertising space.