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User Personas and Facebook Ad Campaigns

This is a joint article with our team and Alina Zahid from Storyteller’s Saga.

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of every business. However, with the constant change in trends and with the steadfast competition, it can become strenuous to devise a strategy that does that for you.

Of course, you can delve into reports to track the data and insights. However, none of that will truly help if you do not begin with the first step of understanding who your customer is.

This is not just about identifying the target audience. With more complexity arising in every niche, you would also notice the customers or even the target audience becoming more complex.

Sometimes, a global change, such as a pandemic, can cause a difference in your target audience’s behavior, while other times, it can be a change in their financial status. It is where a user persona comes in.

What is a User Persona?

A user persona defines the key identifications and features of your target audience. It distinguishes them from other demographics using a wide range of interests and behaviors that they indulge in.

In simpler terms, a persona is sort of a guide to understanding the individual who can potentially be your target audience. From their behavior patterns on social media to their interests and even their financial class – important information is a part of the user persona.

In an ideal circumstance, your user persona should always describe your perfect customer or target audience in detail.

Below is a template of an ideal user persona. It should help you in crafting your own. Notice how every part of the individual’s personality and social life is identified in detail. Whether it is their traits, motivations, or financial goals – it is all a part of their persona. The reason this information is important is that it helps you understand their motivation to buy a service or a product.

Source: QuickTapSurvey

However, while drafting a user persona, do keep in mind that no one persona will work for you all the time. You need to create multiple user personas and test them for success. It could take numerous tries before you identify the ideal persona as the process must be dynamic.

Also, you must understand that even when you have created a persona, it will not remain the same for eternity. Several events, changes, and conditions can change a user’s motivation. So, keep updating it after every quarter or so to keep updated with the changes.

Things to Keep in Mind While Creating A User Persona For Facebook

Now, when you set up a Facebook page for your business, keep in mind the people who would be your potential clients and buyers.

Once you have made the general demographic, it is time to get more specific. Start by listing down the most common traits of your target audience, their age, job fields, location, gender, employment status, marital status, and all other relevant detriments of the user persona of your Facebook page.

Based on experience, here are the four most significant traits that your user persona must-have if you want the results of the Ad Campaign to be successful:

  1. Their personal background information which includes every minute details their accounts provide.
  2. What they are looking for in your business. (Think about in terms of presenting a solution to a problem they might be facing. For instance, if you are running an Ad for a floral company, list down the questions people usually face with florists and brand your product in the manner which presents a solution to their problems.)
  3. The reasons and occasions when they would require your product
  4. The best strategy to reach them.

One good way to acquire all this information is through Facebook. Facebook provides this information to the business pages through its advertising platform (Facebook Ads), which you can use to target your audience for ad campaigns effectively.

You can use Facebook audience insights to develop a user persona for running your Facebook ad campaign. With a specific user persona, you can target your audience to increase your page reach and sales organically.

How to Create A Successful User Persona For Facebook Ads?

Once you have designed a user persona, use this to target a broader set of audiences with the help of analyzing their common traits and use your email list to generate this information.

Facebook itself has all the tools required to categorize your target audience and reach out to more people through its ad campaigns by effectively making user personas. But to get the maximum benefits of this feature, you must know how to create a successful user persona.

Here are eight steps that will assist you in the whole process.

  1. Find the target audience insights: Facebook Audience and Audience Insights are two different sections of the dashboard. Let us begin with the Audiences tab. First, go to your Facebook account, then open the Ads Manager page. Click on the drop-down button in the upper left-hand corner. Choose Audiences under Assets.

  1. Customize your audience: Select the most relevant users for your business and create the audience which is most likely to be interested in your product. Click on the Create Custom Audience button.

  1. The next page asks you how you would like to create a custom audience. Facebook has been getting much better with targeting, so importing your current business information is the best way to get accurate viewers.

  1. Select the page of your choice, along with your criteria. For instance, you could simply create an audience based on page engagement over the past year. After that, name your audience and click on the Create Audience button.

  1. Now, Facebook reveals a list of your audiences. If you would like to view or update a viewer, click on its name.

  1. Create a Lookalike audience: We’ve generated the custom audience. Now, click on the Create Audience tab and choose a Lookalike Audience.

  1. Go down the page to select your audience location. Finally, you can make your audience size. Then click on the Create Audience button.

Keep in mind: Facebook recommends more valuable ways to collect information for audiences. For instance, you can use your Facebook Pixel or even product information to get specific viewers with lifetime customer values. Facebook calls this the “Value-based Sources,” and they work rather well if you have the right data sources.

  1. View results in Audience Insights: Go to the dropdown module at the top. Open the menu and click on the Audience Insights button.

If you do not see any of your information, go to the Open button to locate the proper Lookalike audience. Click on the Page Likes tab to see what types of pages your Lookalike customers are checking out. You can even get the relevance of each brand page to break down exactly where most of your customer’s shop.

Finally, the Activity tab works excellent to see if your customer base tends to make comments, like posts, and redeem promotions.

How Can A/B Testing Help You Improve User Persona?

After targeting your desired user personas, the next step is to see whether your ad campaigns are running successfully among your audience. For this purpose, A/B testing lets you change variables, such as your ad creative, audience, or placement, to determine which strategy performs best and to improve future campaigns.

A/B testing is recommended when you are trying to measure changes to your advertising or quickly compare two plans. However, it can also help you in creating a better user persona. By changing variables and seeing their success rate, you can find out which demographic gets appealed by your product or service more. This way, you can keep updating your user persona as you go along.

To create an A/B test, and improve your user persona, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Ads Manager and click Ad Set or Ad above the Ads Manager toolbar.
  2. Hover over the ad set or ad you want to duplicate and click Duplicate below the ad set or ad name.
  3. Select New Split Test Campaign in the prompt that appears.
  4. Select the variable you’d like to change in your A/B test. (Remember, it can be anything that you want to test – from the Ad creative to the description to a different set of the audience)
  5. You’ll then be prompted to Continue to Experiments to finish creating your A/B test.
  6. In Experiments, you’ll be presented with Version A and Version B of your new A/B test. Version A is identical to your existing ad set or ad. You’ll make changes based on your chosen variable, to Version B of your ad set or ad.
  7. Review or change your test name.
  8. Review or change your test schedule. You can run A/B tests for 1-30 days.
  9. Review or change your test campaign budget and estimated power. It shows the likelihood of a statistically significant result based on your test schedule and budget. We recommend running tests with at least 80% rated power.
  10. Choose how you’d like to determine a winner for your A/B test. You can choose a winner based on the ad campaign’s current result metric (Cost per Result) or select a different specific metric (such as Cost per Purchase).
  11. Click Create Test to submit your A/B test for creation. The associated ad sets or ads will be reviewed, and, once published, your test will automatically start.

Adjusting Your User Persona According to The Changing Trends

However, since the market is in constant flux, so is the audience. People and their interests keep changing with the fast-paced updating of trends. It is essential to keep a tab on how and where your audience is changing so that you can keep modifying your user persona accordingly to keep your ad campaigns productive.

There are a few factors you should keep in mind when adjusting personas.

  1. Keep working to improve your user persona. With updated and improved user personas, you can not only target a broader audience with your Facebook campaigns but also use your campaigns on multiple platforms to gain a far-reaching ad campaign. This technique is highly effective in your digital marketing strategy in general as well.
  2.  Use the information about your target audiences’ other likes and affinity trends to improve your business strategy and brand collaboration incentives. Also, this can help you locate similar products to yours being liked by your target audience, which will help you in staying on top of your game by seeing what other related services are being offered and how you can compete better with them.
  3.  Pick the most significant segments of your demographic data and design unique ad campaigns targeting specifically these demographic chunks.
  4. The same goes for the location section of the persona. Information about which location is providing the most relevant audience can help in creating better resonating campaigns for your product.
  5. Keep in mind what kind of technology your target audience prefers to use more and then design your campaigns, which can be more effectively displayed with related device settings.

Conclusion

If you look closely, Facebook is the leading platform for digital marketing. It can be used most effectively to understand the user persona that best works for you and your business. More importantly, the Ad Campaigns help you identify the glitches in the creation of your user persona and fix them. It shows and helps you improve how to target different demographics and user personas differently. So, if you truly want to understand user personas and how they can help in successful Ad Campaigns, best get started today!

By Joni Salminen

Dr. Joni Salminen works as a Scientist at Qatar Computing Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Turku School of Economics, University of Turku. His research interests are heavily focused on personas, including topics such as automatic persona generation from social media data (YouTube, Facebook, Google Analytics), persona perceptions, biases in data-driven personas, optimal number of personas, etc.