Expert Insight: Why & How to use Advanced Audience Insights for Paid Social

Liam Tasker, Social Media Executive here at Return, is an absolute whizz at advanced audience profiling. We’re a sharing bunch, so we grilled him on the why and the how of undertaking advanced audience insights to influence your paid social activity.

Why is it important for brands to undertake audience insights and develop personas?

The main reason for undertaking primary research on Social, is that it allows you to refine targeting in a way that is not otherwise possible.

By researching the brand and product affiliations, demographics, locations and lifestyle factors of your pre-existing following, teamed with the knowledge of your customer base gained through organic business growth, you can strategise your Paid Social activities.

Once you have this drilled-down insight, you can use various in-built targeting methods across Social platforms to speak directly to your ideal audience, and only your ideal audience. This, in turn, ensures your ad spend goes only to the audience that wants to hear from you, and ensures every penny goes as far as it can in the long run.

What exact benefits can it bring to a brand?

This depends on what the exact focus of your campaign is. For Prospecting campaigns, you can expect significantly improved Prospecting metrics, such as Cost Per Click and Click Through Rate, as your highly-effective targeting ensures you reach your best and most reactive cold audiences.

For Remarketing campaigns, you can expect higher Conversion Rates, higher Average Order Values and a higher ROI, as your Remarketing pool has a higher concentration of people who want to buy from you. You can really speak much more effectively to their push/pull factors through copy, creative, placements and more.

You can also expect further secondary improvements, such as higher engagement, growth in Page likes and following, improved Organic engagement from new customers and followers you’ve attracted. Perhaps most importantly, you simply get more bang for your buck, as your budget is spent much more effectively both when attracting and converting your audience.

What do companies need before they can start (e.g. Google Analytics, purchase histories, Facebook ads etc)?

Surprisingly, you don’t really need that much. There are a considerable number of tools that will help you to create an audience persona and a customer persona through social, such as Google Analytics, Audience and Facebook’s own in-built targeting and audience research options.
CRM lists are important, as these are used for both exclusions and insight generation. A simple CRM and Sales report from a client’s business is the basic foundation. This will allow you to undertake initial research through third-party platforms and in-built Audience Insight features on Social.

More segmented lists, such as lists of high-value customers or repeat customers add another level of insight generation, too.

Walk us through the step-by-step process for collating the audience insight?

First of all, we start with a CRM report and customer list from the client. After some basic data collation and filtering, we can start to work on insight generation.

With tools such as Audience, Facebook’s own in-built Audience Insight tools and more, we can start to work towards the foundation of building our persona.

At that point, Google Analytics is invaluable for cross-checking, to see if this initial persona foundation matches up with what we have seen so far within historical performance.

Using all of these tools, we work to get under the skin of customers – what motivates them to engage with a brand, to purchase, and what pushes them away.

We inspect every aspect of their presence on social, including: age; gender; location; industry; purchase lifecycles; push/pull factors; how these people communicate; what devices they use, and how, when, and why they use Social.

With that, we have a significantly more refined set of targeting options, overlays, and a much better sense of how to approach these audiences on Social to provide them with the best experience of the brand.

What are the key indicators to know that you’re on the right track?

Essentially, this should be whichever KPI is measuring the success of your campaign outside of this activity.

For Prospecting campaigns, it will be your Prospecting KPI, which tends to be Click Volume or Cost Per Click. For Remarketing activity, it will be your main Remarketing KPI – usually either Revenue or ROI.

Persona building on Social should be used to support and up-level your pre-existing Paid Social activity. It simply provides you with a highly refined audience that will generate better results by cutting away the collateral found in general or less-refined targeting strategies. This leads to better results on Social, and better results for your business.

Once you have all this insight, what are the practical things you can do with it for paid social?

Once you have your different personas built out with proper exclusions, overlays and Remarketing windows, you can start to tailor your creative approach to each persona in a way that speaks more directly and effectively to the push/pull factors of each persona.

As an example, say you’re working with a men’s fashion brand and you’ve identified three major personas within their CRM and Audience Insight data.

The first is a young, 18-24 man that you’ve managed to target directly through setting demographic, location and interest-based targeting to find people his age, with his exact interests, in the urban locations he is found.

He cares about new styles and looking fresh, but price point is a major issue for him. He uses Social on his phone and is active throughout the day, but less so in the evening when he is socialising with friends.


From this, you can tailor your approach to attracting him to your brand. In ads that will be served to him (and not to the other personas), you can speak to his pull factors by drawing him in with the freshest products in your carousels, ensuring copy is tailored to speak in the way he want to be spoken to. You can highlight the newness of the styles and stress that he can get them before anyone else. You may also incentivise him to click through your ad by off-setting his price pain point, with notes on payment plans and free delivery.

You can also ensure his ads are delivered to him on mobile, where he maintains most of his social presence, and only at times when he is active and looking to find inspiration.

This allows you to speak to him where, when, and why he wants to be spoken to. It allows you to deliver your ads to the right people, at the right time, with the right hooks that give them the best experience and the most reason to engage with you and purchase from you.

This can be implemented for all personas you identify within your following and customer base, and allows for really diversified, streamlined and more effective campaigns. All of this means better business results!

Can you give us a specific example of a paid social campaign where having this insight has had a significant impact?

One of the first clients that we implemented persona-based marketing for saw a 30% improvement in their main Prospecting KPIs of Cost Per Click and Click Volume within a week.

As a result, we had similar increases in Revenue, as we had been able to attract the right people to the brand, who were now naturally converting as they experience the brand further on Social.

This is really the major benefit of persona based marketing on Social. Once you attract the right people to your brand, it’s a no-brainer for them to convert.

Return are experts in Paid Social. Contact us today to find out how we can help your brand grow.


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