Almost every healthcare digital marketer has experienced a Facebook ad disapproval at some point. Because regulations and restrictions are continually updated at Facebook (often with no warning), it can be difficult to know whether an ad will be approved or not. By following these four steps, you're more likely to set your campaign on a faster path to success.

Step 1: Check-In Frequently

New healthcare treatments and technologies are being developed daily, so regulations on how to market them can and will change rapidly.

Pro Tip: Bookmark Facebook's Advertising Policies and check for updates on a frequent basis.

Step 2: Avoid Obvious Mis-Steps

Facebook is transparent about the top reasons ads are disapproved. If your ad includes any of these things, make sure you are in compliance:

  • Too much text - The text in any ad should take up less than 20% of the ad space.
  • Age-restricted material - Don't try to target users that are too young for the product or service (for example, any weight loss or weight management material must be presented to users 18 or older).
  • Mentioning Facebook - Ensure the brand style guide is followed at all times.

In healthcare, there are even further restrictions that should be followed, including:

  • No "before and after" images
  • No ads promoting restricted pharmaceutical products or supplements
  • Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment organizations must be fully vetted before ads may run
  • No ads that identify personal health information (asking "Do you have Depression? Click Here for Help!")

Pro-Tip: Speak about your brand and conditions more than you speak about specific treatments ("Learn How ABC Health is Changing Treatment for Depression").

Step 3: Prepare for Review

When submitting an ad, prepare for this information to be reviewed:

  • Images
  • Text
  • Targeting
  • Positioning
  • Landing Page Content

Step 4: Review Your User Experience

Facebook wants to create a useful, beneficial experience for their users. This means, you need to consider the end user when creating an ad campaign. Ask: When the user clicks the ad, where do they go? Often, organizations will simply link to the homepage. Consider if that's the best approach.

Avoid the temptation to include too much detail and copy on a landing page. Think of your landing page as the introduction of a potential patient into your practice. It should have succinct information and a clear next action step.

What Happens if My Ad is Disapproved?

Depending on your service line, it may take several attempts to approve an ad. Remember - it's not uncommon for healthcare ads to be disapproved. You still have options:

  • Edit your ad - check for typos, broken links, and updating the image. Sometimes a simple tweak in verbiage or image swap can make the difference between a disapproved ad and an approved ad.
  • Appeal Facebook's Decision -Make sure you've first taken time to problem-solve on your own. Read through any ad policies to ensure you are in compliance before requesting a review.