How To Create Three Targeted Facebook Ads

Now that you have a Facebook Ads Manager account, the Facebook Pixel installed to your website and raw data from BatchGeo, you are ready to dip your toes into the world of Facebook Marketing.

facebook ads

Now that you have a Facebook Ads Manager account, the Facebook Pixel installed to your website, and raw data from BatchGeo, you are ready to dip your toes into the world of Facebook Marketing. Facebook Ads allows you to create and run ad campaigns using simple, self-service tools and track their performance with easy-to-read reports.

In this task, we are not only going to explore how to create ads but, more importantly, how to create targeted Facebook Ads. Remember, although Facebook might boast that “more than two billion people use our website every month,” it is important to understand that it’s not about the quantity, but the quality of engagement you receive on your ads. 

By targeting the right people, you are more likely to attract new patients. That’s why we have installed tools such as CallRail, Google Analytics, and BatchGeo to better understand who we want to advertise to and make calculated decisions based on real data. That’s why it’s so important to fine-tune your advertising to achieve the best return on investment before your advertising efforts become a money pit. 

What Content You Should Advertise For This Task

Picture Graphics: You can use Canva to create some great looking graphics for your Ads. We showed you how to do this in Box 1. Be sure to carefully go over the steps we explained in that task as the graphic you make for a Facebook Ad will be seen by thousands of potential patients. Here is something we made in less than an hour:

Bonus Content: Here are a few High Definition Pictures courtesy of the PFDM team. Use these pictures to create content for your Facebook Ads! If you do have original high-quality pictures of your dental practice, dentists, or services, we encourage you to use them for your ads instead of stock photography. Remember, organic content will ensure higher levels of engagement. Our data has shown that the probability of a potential patient clicking on your Facebook ad increases by as much as 170% when you use organic content.

The 3 Pillars of Facebook Ads

  • New Campaign
    Campaigns can be understood as the “WHY” behind your advertising efforts. Do you wish to build brand awareness, drive web traffic, or get clicks on your ad? When you begin creating your ad, Facebook will ask you to set up the campaign. By configuring the appropriate campaign settings, Facebook will help you optimize and measure ad results based on your marketing objective. 
  • New Ad Set
    Each campaign can feature multiple ad sets, each with its own budget and schedule. The Ad Set is where you determine who you want to market to, where your ad will appear, what the budget is, and for how long the ad will run. This is where the “targeting” happens. You can understand an Ad Set as the instruction manual for all of the ads within that ad set. If you have an Ad Set targeted to a certain age group, in a specific location, with a specific budget, all ads that you create within that Ad Set will be governed by those rules and the objective of your campaign. 
  • New Ad
    An ad will be the actual content that you post, whether a graphic, picture, or video. This will be what your audience will see. Multiple ads can be created within an Ad Set.

These terms will help you create a road map for your Facebook Advertising efforts. Creating your initial framework in Facebook Ads is important as it can later be used as an organizing system based on what your dental office wants to achieve for that month. If for instance, you know you want to run an ad targeting dental implants, and you have already set up an ad campaign and an ad set which is targeted to your target audience for this type of service, you will simply need to add new content to that ad set. In this task, we are going to explain how to create these different ad categories and how to market to different audiences on Facebook.

Things To Know Before We Start

  • Geographic targeting based on BatchGeo. In the previous task, you set up your BatchGeo account or got one of our experts to analyze the data for you. It is important to match advertising targeting to the practice’s geographic footprint. If you just draw a 3- to 5-mile radius around the practice, you may be leaving out huge areas of opportunity and/or throwing away money if there are natural or socioeconomic barriers around the practice. Here’s a blog post by our company explaining this further. 
  • For Ad placement, select only Facebook, Instagram (if applicable) and Messenger. Only choose Messenger if your office is on top of responding to their Facebook messages. Do not include Audience Network. The audience network is a group of third-party websites that are affiliated with Facebook and are capable of displaying ads on behalf of Facebook, including news websites, blogs, etc. Ads shown on these sites aren’t as effective as ads shown on Facebook itself and, for that reason, we prefer to focus our budget on Facebook. We will explain this further when we get to creating the ads.
  • Exclude the 13-17 age group. While it may sound like targeting teens is a good idea if you are trying to acquire more teenage patients, the reality is that they are not the ones making the final decision. We also have very little evidence that suggests a teen who sees your ad will convince their parents to bring them to your practice. Cutting this age group allows more funds to be spent on targeting their moms. 
  • Exclude the 18-24 age group. Most people in this age group are similarly not making their own dental decisions. Even if they are old enough, most of the time, they are still on their parent’s insurance and go to the same dentists their parents do. Those who have graduated from college and are on their own, generally have great teeth and don’t generate any production besides hygiene. 

These two groups are also the lowest performing when it comes to click-through rate (CTR), which means they are less likely to visit your website. Here are statistics from our database to show why we avoid marketing to these age groups. Do you see how low the “click-through rate” is for these two groups compared to the rest?

How To Create A Targeted Facebook Ad

The instructions below will explain how to create your first Facebook Ad. Although the type of campaigns or configuration of your ad set might change based on what you want to achieve or what audience you want to target, the steps will remain the same for each ad you create. 

In this task’s video, we have provided three different examples of how to target ads based on the type of dental practice you are in. Based on the types of services you offer at your practice, you can either use one of the following targeting options, or all three.  It is important to also understand that although you might not be an orthodontist, if you offer InvisalignⓇ, then you will need to use the orthodontic category as our experts have identified this category as the most successful for this product.

For the written part of this task, we are going to show you how to do the “General Dentist” targeting category which is the first of 3 ads you will be creating for this task. The second and third ad can be viewed in the video, but they all will follow the same instructions as the first ad, except for the ad sets.

  1. General Dentist (0:00-12:36)
  2. Pediatric Dentist (12:37-16:14)
  3. Orthodontist (16:15-20:03)

So, let’s Begin!

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is go to your Facebook Business Manager and select your dental office’s Facebook Business Page. Once you land on your Business overview page, you will see “Ads Manager” at the top of the left column. Click on this.

Step 2

The next screen you should see is this. This is the home page for your ads manager account. From here you can create new ads.

Step 3

Select the Campaigns tab and click the green “Create” button below it.

Step 4

A pop-up window will appear and ask you to Choose a Campaign Objective. This is where you need to start thinking about why you are creating this campaign. What do you want to achieve? We recommend “Traffic” as you want to do your best to get potential patients to your website. Once you have selected your campaign objective, click “Continue”. Now you have created a new campaign that will hold different Ad Sets. 

Step 5

Start by renaming your Campaign Name to your dental practice and include in brackets why you want to achieve with this campaign. For example: Legacy Dental (Website Traffic).

Step 6

Under “Campaign Details”, make sure it reads “Auction” and as you will see it already has “Traffic” set as the campaign objective which we selected earlier. This window is where you will configure your campaign. If you want to make changes to your campaign objective in the future, you should do it here to make sure Facebook knows what you are trying to achieve.

Step 7

As you scroll down, you will see “Campaign Budget Optimization”. This is where you will select your daily budget (what amount of money to spend each day) or Lifetime Budget (what amount of money to spend for the entire duration of your ad) options. If you turn this on, this budget will be allocated to all the ad sets and ads within this campaign. It is therefore important to not run too many ads with a small budget as some of your ads will underperform as a result of not being allocated enough budget. Think of it this way, your “campaign budget” is a delicious cake and your ads are everyone who wants a piece. If the cake is too small and you try to share it with too many people, nobody will ever get enough to actually enjoy the cake.  Similarly, all of your ad sets within a campaign will need to share the campaign budget allocated and, if you cut the budget into too many pieces, it won’t achieve much. We recommend a ratio of 1 Dollar per Ad per day for up to 5 ads. So if you have 5 ads in a campaign, the budget should be at least 5 dollars per day to make sure you see results.

If you want to allocate funds specifically to this ad set alone, leave “Campaign Budget Optimization” switched off and click “next”. You will then be able to select a budget for this specific ad set on the next page. The idea is to eventually have multiple ad sets within different campaigns. So if you know you are going to want to spend more budget on a certain ad set than others, it’s important to keep this setting off.

Step 8

Once you are finished setting up your campaign, we can begin to configure your first ad set within this campaign. Remember, the Ad Set is all of the rules (age, distance, duration, type of traffic) by which your ads will be governed, so this is where we are going to be doing the targeting part. Start by clicking on “New Ad Set” in the left column and renaming your Ad Set. We are going to call it “General Dentistry” for this example, but you can name it anything you want as long as it helps you stay organized. If you know you are going to run ads focused on Teeth Whitening, you can name it “Ads about Teeth Whitening” and set the targeting parameters accordingly. This way you can make sure you run all of your teeth whitening ads in this Ad Set in the future.

Step 9

Within your Ad Set, you can also choose where you want to drive traffic. For this example, you can select “Website”. When we create the actual ad in a few moments you will be able to change this to phone calls. You can also select “Messenger” if you would like people to contact you on Facebook directly.

Now, If you left “Campaign Budget Optimization” off on the previous page, you will now see a “Budget & Schedule” for this ad set. This means that you will now select a budget for this ad set and all ads within this ad set will share this budget. Here you can also schedule how long your ad will run. You can set both a start and end date. We recommend running an ad for at least 1-2 weeks to see results.

Step 10

Scroll down to “Create New Audience”. As previously mentioned, it doesn’t matter what type of dental practice you have, targeted marketing is the best way to see results for your business. Seeing as you have now set up BatchGeo or had one of our specialists analyze the data for you, let’s take a look at the results and make informed targeting decisions based on this data.

Step 11

If we analyzed the data for you, pull up this report now and skip to Step 13. If you have decided to set up your own BatchGeo account (Premium or Lite), minimize the Facebook ad page and navigate to BatchGeo’s website by clicking here and sign in to your account.

Step 12

Once you arrive at BatchGeo, click on your email/account name in the top right corner and select “My Maps”. If you have not created your first BatchGeo map, you should do this before we continue. Here’s a video explaining how to do this. If you already have a map, search for your most recent map version and click on it to open your map. Once you have your map open, zoom in on your location, and begin to look at the indicators we spoke about in the previous task. If you need help remembering, click here and review the instructions. Be sure to use BatchGeo’s measuring tools to get an exact idea of the radius around your practice and the cities you wish to target. Once you have established what areas you would like to target and what radius would be best, reopen your Facebook Ads manager to continue creating your ad set.

Step 13

Now it’s time to create your new audience. The “Audience” is the group of people you will be targeting when running ads within this ad set. For this example, we are going to be advertising teeth whitening, targeting the 35-54 age group.  

Step 14

First, we are going to select the locations we would like to target based on the data collected from BatchGeo. The default location will be all of the “United States” which we know is not the best-targeted option. We are going to change this by making the first location your dental office’s location. Click “Search Locations” and a map will pop up. Be sure to use the exact address from your Google My Business listing. Simply google your office name and copy/paste the address into this box. Click on the + button to zoom in to your location. Zoom in to a scale that nearly matches what you see on BatchGeo.

Step 15

Use your best judgment to look at the cities and areas that draw in most of your patient base and begin to add them to the targeting group. Simply click on the “Drop Pin” button on the map and place it in the areas that you think can be categorized as “hot spots”. You can then increase or decrease the radius you want to target in each area by clicking on the listed addresses displayed above the map.

Step 16

Once you have selected the locations you would like to advertise to, scroll down to begin specifying additional targeting options. Select the age you would like to target, gender and, if you click on “Detailed Targeting”, you can include things such as interests, parents, education, work, and many more to fine-tune who you would like to see your ad. Depending on the type of service you would like to advertise, it is important to fine-tune these specifics to get the best results. You can make use of our Facebook Ad Set Categories in the next section to help you decide what you want to insert here. You should also select “Detailed Targeting Expansion” as it will help you reach people beyond your targeting selections to produce results. Scroll down and in the bottom right corner, click “Next”.

Step 17

Now we can begin to create the ad. Let’s start by renaming the “Ad Name” to a service you are going to advertise. In this example, we will use “Zoom Whitening”. Remember, if you want to create an ad for something else, you can call it what you want. This step-by-step guide is just to give you an understanding of the basics.

Step 18

Under “Identity” you want to make sure the correct Facebook Business page is selected and, if you have an Instagram account, you should connect the account now.

Step 19

Next, you can decide if you would like to advertise a single image/video, a carousel, or collection. For this example, we are going to advertise a single image, but we have found carousels to be very effective too when you wish to advertise various services/products in the same advertisement. Just make sure you stick to one theme. For example, if you want to do a carousel for teeth whitening, you can first show the product, then an example of a before and after.

Step 20

Once you have selected the format of your advertisement, scroll down and click on the “Add Media” button. Select “Add Image” and click on “Upload” in the top left corner. Select the image you want from your device and click “open”. The image should now show in your gallery. Select the image you want from this gallery, click “Next” and then “Done”. You are nearly there, you can do it!

Step 21

Now you will need to enter your “Primary Text”. This will be read as the description of your advertisement, so it’s important to keep this short, sweet & to the point, and it should have no spelling or grammar errors. Our philosophy is, check, check, and then check again to make sure everything is correct before you proceed. 

Step 22

Enter a “Headline”. You should keep this as short as possible and to the point as well. For a tooth whitening advertisement, you could have “Affordable Tooth Whitening” or “Whiten Your Teeth Today!”. As you enter these details, you will also be able to see how the public will view your ad in the right-hand display column.

Step 23

Next, you will need to copy and paste your website URL. This is your website address, e.g, . This is very important as it is the link people will follow when they click on your advertisement.

Step 24

Scroll down and you should see the Facebook Pixel you created in Task 7 of this box. If you have not yet set up your Facebook Pixel, you should do this now to ensure that you can keep track of visitors to your website. Remember, Facebook Pixel is a tool to help you track what actions people take on your website. This will help you and Facebook better understand your audience and improve your ad targeting.

Step 25

Just below the Facebook Pixel section you will see “URL Parameter”. Copy and paste this text to that box:

utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign={{}}&utm_content={{}}& fb_ad_id={{}}&GA_placement={{placement}}

This is a formula that has been created by our marketing experts and it will help to better track your ad. You will need to make sure you copy and paste this text to this section for each ad you run in the future.

Step 26

Click “Publish” and your advertisement will go live! 

If a Facebook ad is rejected, don’t stress, this happens all the time. Facebook will usually explain why an ad has been rejected and what you need to change to get it approved. If you really get stuck, and no matter what you do, you still get rejected, be sure to send us an email or give us a call and we will try and help figure it out.

Facebook Ad Set Categories

To help make your Facebook Ads experience even easier, our team of experts have created population categories and what services to advertise to each category based on our Facebook Ads data from over 200 clients. Think of it as a road map for when you want to create an ad.  

General and Family Dentists 

This Ad category applies to all general dentists. Use the data below to make targeting decisions based on real data. Think about what service you want to promote as a general dentist then select an appropriate category.

Creating an Ad Set to target ages 25 – 34

  • Family Dentistry
  • Teeth Whitening 
  • Removal of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  • Check ups, Cleanings, and New Patient Specials

Why: If the kick-off research shows that you have a young population, include the 25-34 age group. Focus on general new patient ads, family dentistry (if applicable), and highlight convenience factors like texting or online scheduling. If using stock photography, skew young, trendy, and vibrant. 

Creating an Ad Set to target ages 35 – 54 

  • Family Dentistry
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Dental Implants
  • Same-Day Crowns
  • Veneers
  • Check ups, Cleanings, and New Patient Specials

Why: This ad group will use imagery and language speaking to the main services offered by the practice including general new patient ads, cosmetic, whitening, etc. Keep your graphics to the point. If using stock photos, skew young/middle age adults and attractive, matching the demographic research in terms of ethnicity. Here you can also focus on promoting the various insurance plans accepted at your dental office. Also, take into account the ethnicity of the doctor, especially if it is outside of the area’s demographic.

Creating an Ad Set to target  ages 55+

  • Dental Implants
  • Veneers
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Check ups, Cleanings, and New Patient Specials

Why:  Think of the types of services that tend to favor older patients. If using stock photos, skew older and active. Match the area’s demographics and focus on communicating why you are convenient.

Pediatric Dentists 

Creating an Ad Set targeting parents of children birth – 18. 

Age range should be set at 25 – 65+.

Why: For pediatric dentistry, you want to target parents, more specifically, moms, as they make over 80% of healthcare decisions for families. Facebook gives us the ability to target parents and we want to limit it to parents of children under 18. They constitute the large majority of the patient base for pediatric offices. 

You are probably wondering why you should target grandparents? The reason for targeting an older demographic is because a lot of grandparents bring their grandchildren to the dentist. They also often interact with ads to let their children know about a dentist for their grandchildren (just think about how often your parents send you links to things they saw online). 

Orthodontics – Children 

Creating an Ad Set to target parents of children 8 – 18

Age range should be 35 – 65+

Why: While a lot of children aren’t eligible to start ortho treatment, we want to start targeting the parents early in the process so that, when the time arrives, they are familiar with your brand and choose you. Similar to the pediatric group, grandparents are often involved in the oral health process and as such, they should be included in the targeting process.  

Orthodontics – Adult

Creating an Ad Set targeting age range 25 – 54. 

Why: This has been the most successful age group for adult orthodontics based on our Facebook Ads data from more than 200 clients. This age group is particularly effective if an office offers invisalign or other clear braces options. 

Include Interest>Additional Interest>Invisible Braces

Why: Invisalign has become a household name when it comes to clear orthodontics. Even though there are other products, such as SureSmile™, the public refers to them as Invisalign. This is a byproduct of the fact that the Invisalign brand itself has been doing a lot of direct-to-consumer marketing creating a lot of brand awareness. If you offer traditional ortho only, you should still include this targeting option since this type of targeting is not exclusive. In other words, choosing to target someone who shows interest in invisible braces, does not mean Facebook will target ONLY people who are interested in ONLY invisible braces. This just tells Facebook more about the type of people we are looking for. 

It is important to note that these recommendations are based on our data and depending on your area, things might be a little different. The best thing to do is to start with our tested default recommendations and then make small adjustments month by month as you monitor how your ads are doing. You would not believe it, but we have found that changing something as simple as the heading of your ad can make a big difference. So running two of the same ads across different ad sets, or with different headings to the same picture, is often a very effective method to test what your audience responds to best. You should think of Facebook Ads as your science class from high school. By changing the smallest parameters in the equation, you could end with a completely different result.

And that’s it! Great job. You now know how to run targeted Facebook ads which gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.

We know Facebook ads can be tough and might seem overwhelming at first, but, if you stick to these instructions and take it step by step, you should be a natural in no time at all. Also, be sure to use the video tutorial for this one if you get stuck. It doesn’t need to be perfect yet. Just make sure you get the ads up and running and as you improve your skills throughout the Marketing Box series, you will also see an improvement in your Facebook ads!

In the next Marketing Box (The Marketing Box 3), we are going to help you make sense of “Facebook ad metrics” to understand how the ads you have just created are performing. We are also going to help you identify which of the 3 ads are performing best and how to reconfigure those that are underperforming. So stay tuned, and before you know it, you’ll be running Facebook ads like a pro!