Is your dental practice using video to reach potential patients on social media?

Social media expert Kristie Nation explains why and how dentists should use video content on social media to market their dental practices to potential patients.

If your dental practice is on Facebook, you’ve taken that all-important first step to social media marketing. If you’ve laid out a posting calendar and are creating and sourcing content to fill each date, you’re two steps ahead of most of your competition. But to really succeed, you have to stay abreast of the trends—and right now, the trend is video.

Major platforms are switching to video

According to an Invodo study, more than half of marketing professionals worldwide pointed to video as the type of content that consistently produces the best ROI, and retailers said video ads result in a 40% increase in sales.1 Overall, consumers who view a video ad are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase than nonviewers.1

Video and mobile are a perfect match

Video makes up 50% of all mobile traffic.2 Facebook predicts this figure will rise to 75% by 2020.3 The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research did a study and found that 62% of people waiting (in line, for an appointment, for a bus, for coffee, and so on) used smartphones to pass time.4

Creating videos that convert

Shorter videos have higher completion rates, so the sweet spot is between 5 and 15 seconds.5 Video ads can be created in series for effective retargeting of audiences, and each series should follow a natural progression of creating awareness to succeed. Depending on the audience, this progression may start with the second or third video in the series.

Five steps to conversion by video

1. Create awareness of the problem. These videos are geared toward potential patients who don’t even know why they need a dentist. For example, this type of video might reveal the hidden dangers of gum disease.

2. Create awareness of a solution. The potential patient is aware of the problem but not the solution. This type of video would be targeted toward patients who know they have gum disease but don’t know a visit to a dentist or periodontist can help.

3. Create awareness of your practice. The potential patient knows a visit to the dentist will help but doesn’t know about your practice specifically.

4. Create awareness of your uniqueness. The potential patient is aware of your practice but not yet convinced you can provide something better than other practices or that you will solve the problem. For example, this type of video could be about noninvasive laser treatment.

5. Create a conversion. These videos are retargeting ads with the goal of providing the final push—often an incentive—the prospective patient needs to convert.

Targeting video Facebook ads

Targeting demographics for video ads can be the most challenging part of creating a campaign with a solid ROI. Fortunately, you can filter your audience by interests, shopping habits, and tendency to watch videos. Dental practices have extremely local audiences, so you can choose to show your ads to people within a 5-, 10-, or 15-mile radius.

While targeting people with an interest in “dentistry” is unlikely to bring you leads, targeting certain demographics based on location, income, age, and interest in personal health can assist you in converting prospects into patients. If you have a pediatric dental practice, targeting parents with young children is crucial to success. If you are offering dental implants, baby boomers of moderate means will be a more conversion-friendly demographic.

Even when you aren’t running ad campaigns, try creating short videos to engage patients. Putting the dentist in the patient chair for a cleaning is fun, and showing how new equipment works on a team member can demystify treatment and encourage prospects to make appointments.


1. Lloyd D. SEO for success in video marketing. Adobe Blog. Published April 20, 2015. Accessed June 4, 2018.

2. Da Cunha M. The complete guide to Facebook video ads. WordStream Blog. Updated March 29, 2018. Accessed June 4, 2018.

3. Facebook Business. Video ads: Testing what works for mobile feed. Facebook Business. Published April 20, 2016. Accessed June 4, 2018.

4. Sherburne M. Findings suggest most people use their cell phone to pass waiting times. Phys Org. Published February 7, 2017. Accessed June 4, 2018.

5. Gollin M. Facebook video ads: Best practices for 2018. Falcon.IO. Published April 26, 2018. Accessed June 4, 2018.

Kristie Nation is the founder and CEO of myDentalCMO, a marketing consulting firm that provides strategic marketing “treatment plans” exclusively for dental practices. The firm was founded with a mission to prevent dentists from wasting countless dollars marketing their practices ineffectively. She can be reached at or (877) 746-4410.

More in Marketing