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HostPapa Blog / Marketing  / How to Sell Health Products on Facebook
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24 Mar

How to Sell Health Products on Facebook
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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)

When selling health products through Facebook, pay close attention to their policies on images and ad copy. You should also consider using testimonials and video content. And instead of sending your potential buyers to a product page, you can prioritize getting their emails.

You can share personalized marketing emails to guide leads through the buyer journey when you have a qualified email list, and you’ll have more upselling and cross-selling opportunities. But with Facebook having an average of 6 to 10x return-on-ad-spend, it’s no surprise that millions of advertisers use the platform for marketing their solutions. 

Yet the stringent Facebook policies on selling health products deny marketers the freedom to post things like before-and-after images. But if you know the rules, you can reach your target market without getting your ads flagged off or losing your account. 

This guide takes you through Facebook marketing tips and the policies to uphold when advertising health products. You’ll also see real-world businesses that have reaped huge from selling their health products on Facebook.

Let’s dive in!

How to Sell on Facebook: 5 Facebook Ads Tips for Health Products

1. Use a credible medical spokesperson.

People are 60% more likely to trust a healthcare professional and take their advice on health issues.

Source: infographicsarchive.com/infographic-healthcare-industry-building-trust-through-social-media/

So, your ad could feature a renowned medical practitioner backing up the efficacy of your product. Ideally, the practitioner would be an expert in dealing with the condition your product treats. 

You could include a story about how the expert has used your product or helped others in pain or discomfort before using it. You might have to visit the doctor in their office or even reach out with a cold email.

Here are some tips to get a medical spokesperson to prescribe your products:

  • Build a trustworthy relationship with them
  • Show your expertise in the conditions your products treat
  • Prove the safety and quality of your products through accurate clinical results and statutory approvals

2. Add reviews and other user-generated content of healthcare product users.

Most people would rather hear from actual users than someone trying to sell them a product. That’s why up to 47% use reviews to evaluate health professionals. And we can conclude the same for health products.

Source: softwareadvice.com/resources/how-patients-use-online-reviews/ 

You can collect testimonials and user-generated content (UGC) through:

  • Hashtags on social media 
  • Hosting events
  • Photo or video contests and UGC campaigns (e.g., Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign)
  • Asking for personal stories from your clients

3. Focus on creating video content. 

Most internet users pay attention to video content more than any other content type.

Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-trends-preferences

Among the social media marketers who use video to promote their products, 88% of them are pleased with the videos’ return on investment. Check out this detailed Facebook ads guide to learn about the best practices for videos.

When creating your video, you want to ensure you deliver value within the first ten seconds because that’s when video campaign value is generated. Start with the most important thing you want your audience to see.

Use captions, too – a study found that over 80% of viewers watch Facebook videos with the sound off. The same study confirmed that captions contribute to an 8% lift in ad recall (i.e., memorability). 

If you’ve had a successful influencer video (good shares and sales), you can use the video in your ad because it will feel less like an ad.

4. Capitalize on email lists.

Some ad viewers won’t be ready to buy your product. So, collect their email addresses to keep them in the loop and nurture them into buying customers. You’ll achieve this using a lead magnet (e.g., free downloadable guide) on your landing page.

An email list also allows you to track your audience’s behaviour and use the data for retargeting campaigns. You can use an email sequence to upsell and cross-sell complementary products. 

Additionally, you can share information that’s prohibited on Facebook ads in the email sequence. Email marketing has proved that for every $1 you spend, you can expect a $ 36 return on investment. Find out how to optimize your email campaigns on this guide.

Facebook Health Brands: Ads & Marketing Case Studies

Here I’ll break down 3 Facebook health brand case studies. 

AstraZeneca Reduced Their Cost Per 1,000 Impressions by 46%

AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company, aimed to boost awareness for its SYMBICORT inhaler medication and motivate people to ask for it. They also wanted to lift (or increase) the association for the inhaler’s messaging “a day with better breathing” with the SYMBICORT brand.

At the same time, they wanted to determine which advertising channels combination would achieve the goals best. So, the company ran Facebook and TV ads campaigns simultaneously. 

For the Facebook ads, they used:

  • Video ads: They created a mobile-first 34 seconds video that starts with a grandfather explaining to his grandson how hard it could be to blow out birthday candles when you have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). 

That’s before they share the message, “SYMBICORT could mean a day with better breathing.”

For all the important information shared in the video, they also shared it in the caption.

They also created TV ads based on the same narrative. 

  • Core audiences: They targeted Facebook News Feeds for US adults aged 40-64 years (COPD is most common in middle-aged and older adults). They also targeted people interested in COPD, asthma, smoking, pulmonology, respiratory care, air pollution, healthy lifestyles, and wellness.
  • Facebook’s measurement solutions: To get insights and make better decisions.

When AstraZeneca launched the ads, they ran a survey to test the effect on: 

  • Ad recall
  • Message association
  • Action intent 
  • favorability

They grouped their audience to those who saw:

  • Facebook ads alone
  • TV ads alone
  • Facebook and TV ads together 
  • No ads (the control group)

The results on the strength of combining Facebook and TV ads (determined using a Nielsen Total Brand Effect study):

  • A 4-point increase in patients’ intent to talk to a doctor
  • A 3-point lift in associating the inhaler’s messaging “a day with better breathing” with the SYMBICORT brand among people who saw the ads on TV and Facebook
  • 46% lower cost per 1000 impressions

Most importantly, the program helped AstraZeneca understand its audience better to craft impactful messages and refine its targeting strategy.

Pronamel achieved a 6-point incremental lift in purchase intent

Pronamel ran a Facebook campaign to increase brand awareness and get more enamel toothpaste shoppers. They also wanted to test how well they could reach younger audiences through social media compared to TV ads.

 For the campaign they:

  • Ran In-Stream ads. Such ads appear before, between, or after long branded videos and shows. 
  • Adapted and optimized their TV ads for Facebook ads. They created a shorter 10-second video showing how Pronamel repair toothpaste can repair the harm caused by acidic foods. 
  • And another 10-seconds video showing that Pronamel Repair toothpaste can be part of a beauty routine. 
  • Included a clear CTA – ‘shop now’-  button on the ads to lead viewers to purchase on Target.com
  • Displayed the ads to US adults between 25 and 54 years old

The company used the Total Brand Effect study to assess the campaign’s results. They divided assessments segments into people who saw:

  • Ads on Facebook only
  • Ads on Tv only
  • Both Facebook and Tv ads
  • Didn’t see any advertisement at all 

By comparing the In-Reserve ads to TV ads, they realized:

  • A 6-point incremental lift in both purchase intent and ad recall among those who viewed both the TV and Facebook ads
  • A 3-point lift in brand favourability
  • A 27% incremental reach from Facebook In-Stream Reserve

Midol achieved a 4-point lift in message association

Midol, a company that focuses on over-the-counter pain relievers for menstrual symptoms, aimed to increase brand awareness and sales among millennials and generation Z women.

For this campaign:

  • They created short mobile-friendly video ads that highlighted the brand and product within the first few seconds. 
  • Centred the ads around a ‘period survival’ theme showing young women exercising, at work and at home who “just because they’re powering through” doesn’t mean they don’t need support.
  • They also created carousel videos to show menstrual problems like cramps, fatigue, and headaches accompanied by the message that Midol can “treat multiple period symptoms.”
  • Each ad had the call-to-action “learn more” leading to the Midol product page. 
  • They shared the ads on Facebook News Feed and Instagram Stories and Feed.
  • And targeted the ads to US women between 18 and 29 years old
  • Then retargeted the ads to initial viewers six weeks into the campaign. The company tested the difference in placing the ads in the initial places (feeds + stories) and placing them only on both platforms’ feeds.

After eight weeks of the campaign, they used the Facebook brand lift study to measure results and determined:

  • A 4-point lift in the “period survival” message associated with Midol when they automatically placed the ads in Facebook and Instagram feeds and Instagram Stories.
  • A 16-point lift in ad recall from placing the ads in both platforms’ feeds and Instagram Stories.
  • Additional 3-point lift in ad recall and a 2-point lift in message association when they placed Instagram Stories on both platforms’ feeds.

In summary, the campaign increased sales and new users.

Facebook Health Products Advertising Policies

Facebook has strict rules for advertising health products to protect its users from negative experiences. It prohibits:

  • Images focused on health conditions in advertisements, e.g., zooming in on pimples or before-and-after photos for a weight loss product. 
  • Ads that may trigger negative perceptions towards one’s health, e.g., portraying 6-pack abs as the most desirable or showing a person with a measuring tape around their waist for weight-loss products.
  • Ads that sell unsafe supplements such as steroids
  • Misleading claims on a product’s capabilities and results

Alternatively, Facebook recommends using testimonials and images that promote healthy habits.

How Does Facebook Approve Health and Wellness Ads?

Whenever you submit an ad to Facebook, an artificial intelligence software reviews it against the advertisement policies. The tools review the images, text, video, targeting information, and the linked landing page.

If your ad is rejected, you can make the recommended adjustment to align it with the policies or request review.

Note that more ad rejections lead to higher cost-per-million impressions and the cost-per-click and lower feedback score.

Final Thoughts

Your ad creativity and ability to comply with the rules significantly impact your success in selling health products on Facebook. But despite the strict regulations, businesses are still reaping huge benefits from Facebook ads.

Try different approaches such as using a credible medical spokesperson, adding customer reviews, creating video ads, and collecting emails to lead your customers down the funnel to a purchase. 

Find out how to increase your Facebook return-on-ad-spend with custom audiences.

Happy selling!

Jessica La

Jessica La is a writer with over six years in the SEO, AI, and content industry. In her blog ByJessicaLa.com, she explores all things marketing and is passionate about the unique ways businesses can improve, innovate and grow. You can reach her at jessica@byjessicala.com

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