Persona Development for Advanced Targeting
What Is It?
The first step to running a successful social advertising campaign is defining your audience. Your ad creatives and copy don’t matter if you haven’t done the proper target audience research. Before the internet age, marketers used a tactic that we like to call “The Shotgun Approach.” This is basically trying to reach as many people as possible (billboards, tv ads, newspaper ads, etc.) and hoping the ad resonates with some people and leads to conversions and sales. Obviously this is still a huge part of marketing, but for companies with smaller budgets, it makes little sense to spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising without even knowing what audience you’re going to reach or getting any data from the campaigns. This is why persona development and social advertising is a necessity for companies who want to make a big impact with small budgets.
Why Is It Important?
Researching and discovering your ideal buyer personas is an incredibly important step to running a successful campaign across a number of different marketing platforms, but specifically important for social media. It allows you to create specific creatives to match the interests of different customer personas, but also allows you to create specific content for those personas that you can then promote on social media. All of a sudden, the ads or content you’re promoting doesn’t come off as an ad or sponsored post. Because it is relevant to the people you’re targeting, you can expect high engagement. As an example, here are the results of a post we recently promoted that had a specifically defined target audience.
Post Engagements: 2,051
- Likes: 170
- Comments: 27
- Shares: 20
- Link Clicks: 2,029
- Page Likes: 45
Cost per Engagement: $0.02
Great targeting allowed us to reach a huge amount of people for only $40. Ensuring you have good audience personas is almost like having an additional marketing team. 20 people shared this article without any prompting, just because they found it relevant and interesting to them.
The first step to developing a buyer persona is looking at your current customers. What’s the age range, gender, job titles, interests, etc. of your current customer or client base? What kind of qualities do you think your potential customers will have? Creating at least 3-4 personas is essential for making sure your ads are reaching the right audience. For example, here at Directive Consulting, we specialize in SEO, PPC, Content Creation and Social Advertising. We also usually work with digital marketing managers who are looking for outsourced help on various projects related to the four topics above. We start by creating a broad audience for digital marketers (Digital Dan). From there we dive even deeper and narrow our audiences based on different industries we service (B2B, ecommerce, service based, etc.). Now we can run incredibly specific ads that we know are relevant to our audience.
We’ve had the ability to test out different types of content across a number of social media platforms and based on the results we’ve seen. This experience has led us to the following hypotheses for the types of audiences you’ll find across each social media platform.
Linkedin is great for targeting the higher-ups and decisions makers in companies. We tend to see an older audience, so keep that in mind when developing audiences and ads for Linkedin specifically.
For Facebook, and now Instagram thanks to the recent purchase by Facebook, we find that the audience is younger but less technical. When people go to Facebook they’re not looking for in-depth articles about the newest strategies for growing email lists. They’re mostly looking for BuzzFeed-like articles with click-bait titles and easy to digest lists. We always keep this in mind when creating our audiences on Facebook.
For Twitter, a large portion of the audience is interested in more technical and detailed articles. Thought leaders have massive followings where they can easily share a snippet of their newest blog post or resource.
Partnering together all of our teams and spending hours researching exactly what type of people are interested in our clients’ products separates us from the rest. We know creating specific audiences and building out the right personas across all social media platforms is essential for running a successful social campaign.