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YouTube advertising and your dental practice

YouTube offers a unique advertising opportunity for dental practices. Not only is it cheaper than traditional television advertising, but you can target potential patients by geographic location, age, gender, parental status and interest.

How does video advertising work?

YouTube offers a number of advertising options for both video and text based ads on their network.

TrueView In-stream ads – An in-stream video ad is where your video advertisement appears before, during or after another video being played on YouTube. If you choose the TrueView video ad option then viewers have the option to skip the video after 5 seconds. You’ll only be charged if viewers watch the first 30 seconds or the whole video – whichever comes first.

In-stream non-skippable ads – These ads also display before, during, or after another video being played on YouTube, but there is no option for skipping the video after 5 seconds. Non-skippable video ads must be under 15 to 20 seconds long (depending on the region). Non-skippable ads are charged at a cost per one thousand (CPM) views.

Display Ads – These ads appear on the top right column of YouTube when you’re watching a video. These are only displayed on desktop computers. You only pay if someone clicks on your ad.

CTA Overlay Ads – They display on top of a video but only on people viewing YouTube from a desktop computer. They don’t interrupt or affect the playing of a video. These are displayed on top your in-stream ad.

Making the perfect video for advertising

Once you have chosen the video ad format, it’s important to decide which direction you want to take your video before you start filming. Consider the following options:

Feature a service or product on your video

Your dental advertising strategy should reflect your practice goals. Do you want to attract more families or do you want to promote a specific service like Nobel Biocare’s All-on-4. Each video should focus on one service that you want to promote.

Once you’ve chosen the dental service, think about the benefits of that particular service to a patient. A patient might want to get their teeth whitened because they have stains on their teeth from smoking, or stains from too much coffee or red wine, or maybe because they’re self-conscious about their smile. Solve the viewer’s problem with your service, and highlight the benefits of the treatment.

Profile the practice/dentist

Connect with your audience by showing them the real you. Some of the best promotional videos feature the founder of the business talking about what makes their company special. For dentists, try talking about your practice, what makes you unique, a treatment option that you’re passionate about, or why you became a dentist. Let new patients know what they can expect when they come in for a visit. Tell your story!


You might want to ask one of your chatty, photogenic patients to talk about their experience at your practice. It can be hard to say nice things about ourselves, but an enthusiastic patient can really make you look good. However, this advice comes with a warning: some colleges, such as the Royal College of Dental Surgeons, don’t allow testimonials as a form of advertising. Make sure to check the regulations for your area before arranging your video shoot.

Quick Tips for shooting your video

No matter which format you choose, here are some tips for creating great videos:

Get to the point quickly. The first five seconds of your ad are critical to getting your audience’s attention. Make it crystal clear who would be interested in viewing this ad. That way, viewers who aren’t your audience can skip the ad after 5 seconds and you won’t have to pay for it. Viewers who end up watching the whole video will be potential patients who are interested in finding out more.

Include contact information. An advertisement doesn’t help you if you never mention your brand. Make sure people know who you are and how to contact your office.

End with a call to action. Make it easy for people to take the next step by letting them know what you want them to do. “Book your free consultation today” or “learn more on our website” – the most important thing is for viewers to take action to reach you.

Target potential patients with your ads

YouTube advertisements can be targeted based on demographic information, interests and location. This makes YouTube an ideal platform for advertising a local business, such as a dentist. With these targeting options your advertising spend is reduced giving you the benefit of videos advertising, which has traditional only been available to large advertisers, for reasonable rates.

When creating an advertising campaign, it is important to be precise about who you are targeting. For example, if you’re interested in attracting more families you could produce a video that shows the practice, general dentistry services and your kids program. You’d then target the video ads based on your geographic location, age (25-45) and parental status. By contrast a dental implants campaign would feature a video of the dentist talking about the dental implants procedure or a patient discussing the benefits and would target boomers and seniors in your geographic location.

The true power of online advertising lies in the ability to target your audience – so take advantage of these features to make sure you’re only paying for views or clicks for people who are genuinely interested in your services.

Ready to book a video shoot? We’d be happy to help!

Jean Fraser
Jean Fraser
As the Director of Marketing at Optio Publishing, Jean is fascinated by all things related to internet marketing, including SEO, Google AdWords and Social Media Management. When not at work she can be found tearing up the dance floor.
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