How to Spend Your Ad Dollars Wisely

How to Spend Your Ad Dollars Wisely


Effective marketing advice for functional medicine practitioners

Advertising and marketing is the #1 issue most great functional medicine practitioners face. The wrong advertising is a huge waste of time, energy and money… but skipping advertising altogether can cause your practice to suffer.

That’s why Season 3 of the Good Medicine On The Go podcast is focused on demystifying a simple marketing campaign, plus redefining marketing from sales to relationship building.

Allan Dib, author of the 1-page marketing plan, and Whitney Kolterman, Executive Marketing Director at the Kalish Institute, will explain how marketing can be broken down into simple steps to strengthen your practice throughout this season.

If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to the first three Marketing 101 episodes:

In Episode 4, we’ll build on this knowledge and discuss exactly where to place ads for the best results. Keep reading (or listen in) to learn:

  • How to decide which media is right for you
  • What media is usually the best bang for your buck
  • How to track the success of your ads once they’re up and running
  • And how you, a solo provider, can actually pull all this off!

Choosing the right media for your avatar

The entire goal of your ad is for your prospect (AKA your avatar) to say “Hey, that’s me!” In order to get the right message in front of the right person, you need to understand where that prospect is hanging out, and what they’re interested in reading and watching.

You might already have some educated guesses about your avatar’s interests, but doing market research can help you get clarity

Whitney provided her go-to resources for market research:

And one word of caution from Allan: social media is not the ideal selling environment. Instead, think of social media more as a party or social gathering. This environment is not conducive to place sales pitches but rather a fantastic place to create and extend relationships that can later turn into paying patients. The advantage of social media is it makes you accessible and approachable. Prospective avatars can engage with you in the parameters of their comfort zone and level of readiness, without feeling pressured to commit or spend money. All this means you might have better success driving social media ads to sign up for your email newsletter rather than a “Buy Now” button.

Getting the best bang for your advertising buck

Running ads isn’t free – so before you spend the money, you want to make sure you’re prepared.

One of the massive advantages of target marketing to a niche is that your marketing becomes much cheaper and more effective. When your message to market match is a fit your cost acquisition will drop and your conversion rate will be much higher. Your advertising costs will be lower because your target market is smaller.

Aside from targeting your niche, before running ads, you should first define your key performance indicators (KPIs), as the basic metrics to follow over time to measure your marketing success, according to Whitney.

To do this, first identify what defines success for you. What is it that you’re trying to achieve with your advertising? Is it driving people to a specific landing page, generating new leads, getting new email addresses in your list, or driving traffic to your website?

Before you take it any further, make sure you have your KPIs defined and a benchmark for measuring how your ad is performing. Otherwise, you won’t really be able to tell if your ad is working. (Need help with this? Keep reading!)

Once you’ve got your KPIs and benchmarks defined, the best place to start is with social media ads according to Whitney. Search engine ads (such as those on Google) are better to tackle after you’ve gotten a feel for social media ads since search engine ads require more monitoring.

What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

Want to know if your ad campaign was successful? According to Allan, all you need to do is answer this question: did the marketing campaign make you more money than it cost you?

But to be able to answer this question, you’ll need to track several aspects of your ads:

First, your KPIs, which were defined before you posted the ad.

You’ll also want to track clicks and conversion.

Clicks are what they sound like: the number of people who clicked a link in your ad. You can use UTM codes to track how many prospects click your ad and go to your landing page. Clicks are usually described in numbers – i.e. “The ad got 500 clicks.” The UTM code builder website is full of fabulous marketing articles.

Conversion is the number of people who take the call to action after they click. Conversion is often discussed as a percentage: the number of people who took action over the number of clicks, such as 5% conversion.

Both clicks and conversions are important. A high number of clicks tells you your ad is effective. But if conversion is low, that can be a clue your landing page or call to action aren’t working well. On the other hand, low clicks suggest your ad isn’t compelling – even if conversion rates are high for those who do click.

Feeling overwhelmed? Hire an expert

In Ep. 4 Nathan’s Star Trek reference, “Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a marketer” sums up a compelling reason to hire an expert: to help optimize the effectiveness of your strategically placed ads.

Both Allan and Whitney recommend hiring experts that specialize in whatever media is right for your campaign, such as social media ads.

“[An ad expert is] worth their weight in gold. Don’t try to do it yourself, especially when it comes to the most expensive part of your marketing process (Ads!). What you don’t know WILL HURT YOU,” Allan told us. 

Hiring an expert will save you time and money in the long run, according to Whitney, because you will have someone on your team who can do advertising tasks quickly and correctly, where it might take you lots of time and trial and error.

Here are Whitney’s tips for hiring a great marketing expert:

  • Ask for their portfolio or for their performance KPIs from previous clients, for example. Ask them what they were able to achieve and how, and to share some examples.
  • Set some really clear budget expectations for the paid ads. Someone with experience working for a very large organization with a huge budget may have difficulty working with a smaller budget and timeline. It’s ok to say “We have a conservative marketing budget, are you comfortable being nimble and being creative in your marketing tactics?”
  • Establish really clear business goals. Be specific about key audiences so they know what platform strategy to implement. Ask them to report back results in a spreadsheet. Here’s a spreadsheet that gives directions to make UTM codes and track them ***Be sure to include a screenshot of the ad image or images used on the tracking spreadsheet.
  • Ask about tracking. Will they create and use UTM codes and Google Analytics to track clicks and conversions? What other conversion tracking metrics will they use to track how many new leads each ad is generating?
  • Based on the performance of the ad, ask how will they adapt and change to further zero in on reaching your target audience. Will they be AB testing?
  • Regarding budget, do they recommend investing a smaller amount first, learning more from analytics, and then investing more once your ad is positioned correctly? How do they recommend using your marketing dollars wisely?

Where to find a marketing expert

First of all – don’t panic if you don’t have the budget for a full-time marketing pro.

Explains Whitney, “I don’t necessarily think that folks have to hire someone full-time right now. Sometimes it’s just a matter of having some help getting set up and to help to ask you the right questions so you can brainstorm about your audience, about your goals, what you’re trying to achieve, and have them put the structure in place.”

A part-time or freelance ad expert or ad agency can help you set goals and KPIs, build the structure for tracking them, and get your first ad running. From there, you might just need maintenance, help with reporting, or help with posting.

To find an ad expert, Whitney’s recommendations are LinkedIn and Marketing Circle. Really want to do it yourself? You can also enroll in the Kalish Institute’s Telehealth Business Essentials Bootcamp to create your marketing campaign from start to finish.

Allan Dib also offers marketing coaching services.

Where is good medicine on the go going next?

Speaking of relationship building, we want to engage more deeply with you, our listeners! Are you interested in integrating nutrigenomics into your practice, yet have felt overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Check out our new Good Medicine On the Go Virtual Events Calendar that features Case study events, connecting genotype to phenotype, and the business process of integrating nutrigenomics into your practice beginning May 19th! We kick of our 2021 event’s calendar with Dr. Nathan Morris reviewing case studies submitted by our audience. This is not your typical webinar lecture, but rather an interactive series. Learn more about the Nutrigenomics Case Study virtual event series here.

And did you see my LinkedIn and Facebook ads? I’ve been placing all we have been learning into action. Email me and tell me, did my ad find you? 

I am a paid advisor at Pure Encapsulations, I do not have any other conflicts of interest. All podcast productions represent the opinions of the co-hosts and do not represent the position or the opinion of the sponsors. Reference by the presenter to any specific product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, or manufacturer does not constitute or imply endorsement or recommendations by the Sponsor. The podcast is not a substitute for standard medical care. The podcast is intended for licensed health care practitioners. Practitioners are solely responsible for the care and treatment provided to their own patients.

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