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Persona Research with Facebook Audiences Pt. 2

DBS Interactive
facebook logo with a dart in the bullseye of a target

In our last blog post, we explored how Facebook can be used to better understand your customer audiences by researching the interests, traits, and demographics of your customers, and how grouping these audiences into personas is beneficial to targeting your marketing communications. If you used our methodology for researching personas, you may be wondering next steps. How can I put this information to use in the context of a greater online marketing plan?

As we mentioned last week, it’s possible that you may strictly use Facebook for qualitative research purposes to inform your online marketing efforts. What Facebook intends for you to do, however is to use this information in the creation of a Facebook Advertising campaign. Facebook makes all of this data available to its advertisers so that you will leverage it. The better informed you are of your audiences, the more likely it is that your advertising will prove effective and deliver results.

But targeting is only half of the equation. Creative execution is what separates the mediocre from award winning campaigns. To create effective messaging in your Facebook advertising, you need to follow some basic rules.

Ad Guidelines

Before we discuss specifics of ad creation, it may be beneficial to discuss the standard formats that Facebook offers its advertisers. There are three separate options for where your ad can be featured on Facebook: Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed and the Right Column.


The Desktop and Mobile News Feed ads follow a similar format, although desktop ads can appear slightly larger than their mobile counterparts.

Both types of ads possess five essential characteristics. The first is a provision of social information allowing users to see which of their friends, if any, have engaged with the business. Second, the name of the business is featured prominently atop the ad. Third, a small amount of text used to deliver information on what is being advertised. The fourth is an image or video, displayed to encourage further interaction among potential consumers.  And finally, a call to action may be included in the form of a button.

Compared to those found in the News Feed, Right Column ads appear slightly more condensed.  Found to the right side of the News Feed, your advertisements are limited to an image or video and a conservative amount of text to grab interest.

Use Those Personas

Assuming you have gone through all the trouble of creating numerous, detailed personas, it is only right that you put them to proper use. According to an independent analysis of 37,000+ Facebook Ads by AdEspresso, the vast majority of advertisers only use one ad.

Unfortunately, this method will offer far fewer returns than those ads differentiated based on the variety of consumers using social media.  If you are attempting to reach two  significantly different groups of people, more than likely the ads will need to be unique and considerate of their interests. Essentially, a tailored post that appears on one’s News Feed is much more likely to be inspected than a generic post made for no one specific.

Split Test Ads

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method used to evaluate the engagement and effectiveness provided by two separate versions of something.  In this case, Facebook Ads Manager allows you to create different ads and test them against one another, tracking their performance and measuring results based on your goals.

Utilizing the “More Demographics” option offers access to hundreds of advanced audience targeting options, an invaluable tool when crafting unique, creative ads for users.  Refer to our previous blog post for more information about researching personas using Facebook. The possibilities are endless, so constantly monitoring audience response can lead to truly remarkable advertisements.


Link to a Landing Page

In addition to considering a particular audience for each of your ads, you must consider where your post is going to take users after clicking.  While actually getting them to click is an important first step, if the ad leads to an unimpressive Facebook page or a generic home page it will probably be the last.

Ideally, your ad should be connected to an optimized landing page that presents unique information or offers the consumer something in return for clicking, such as a special deal.  It is pointless to waste money and lose leads on ads with ineffective links.  Creating a landing page that captures the consumer’s attention and inspires further action is well worth the added investment.  This will help you capitalize on your Facebook ads and can greatly improve your number of conversions.

Include Visuals

Visuals will always play a crucial role when crafting a quality ad. While this is the case in countless scenarios, Facebook ads place an added emphasis on images due to restrictions regarding the amount of words permitted. Limits on link description (30 characters) and text (90 characters) demand careful consideration be payed when selecting your ad’s appearance. In addition, Facebook mandates that text account for no more than 20% of any image used.



Keep Your Headlines Short

The best performing Facebook ads have one final thing in common: short and simple headlines. According to that same AdEspresso study referenced earlier, the median length of a headline is only five words long.

The benefits of a simple headline cannot be overstated. Rambling or complicated headlines can easily confuse users and discourage clicks. Rather than making potential customers guess as to the true meaning of the ad, consider being concise and straightforward. You should also construct your headline as a call to action whenever possible.

Given the level of prominence it enjoys, an effective headline often stands the best chance at convincing users to act.  Telling the user exactly what to do, without any trace of ambiguity, could very well be the difference between receiving a click and being ignored.

Creative and novel messaging is where agencies excel, and Facebook has uniquely positioned themselves to facilitate the delivery of these messages as the leader in ad targeting technology. Mastering the art of Facebook ad design is a skill that will undoubtedly pay dividends.