Killer demand gen strategy, Part 1: Personas and creative development

When embarking on demand generation channels such as Facebook and Google Display Network, it is important to first ensure that you understand your core audiences and how to best speak to them.

The first two initiatives that you should prioritize during the set-up phase is determining the types of audiences and personas you want to target – as well as crafting the right creative and messaging strategy.

Personas

Let’s begin with persona development. This is a must when it comes to being smart about your demand generation efforts.

First off, who are your core customers? What types of audiences would be interested in your product or services? What is their makeup (interests, demographics, behaviors, etc.)?

For a starting point, make use of any and all internal customer data to develop these personas.

As an example of what a persona may look like, let’s say you manage the digital marketing for a luxury home décor site. A persona for that site might be something like:

Female

Age: 30-40

Interests: home décor, fashion, fine dining

Lifestyle: affluent

Now based on your full set of internal data, build out your personas. You can then gain audience insights from both Facebook and AdWords; both offer the option to upload your customer list and learn additional information about the makeup of these lists such as HHI, affinities, the types of different website topics they visit, their overall likes, education level, etc.

Here’s what that looks like in the platforms:

Facebook Audience Insights Tool

Google Audience Insights (Google AdWords UI > Shared Library > Audiences > Converters)

To take things one step further, rather than uploading your entire customer list, think about segmenting that customer list into groups of identifiable characteristics. For example: high LTV, mid LTV, low LTV, high AOV, various category purchases, etc.

This information will help you in understanding what differentiating characteristics these audience segments have – as well as the potential personas that may pertain to each audience type.

Overall, these digital insights can not only help you refine your personas, but also develop additional ones.

Ad creative and messaging

Now that you have your personas built out, you need to craft the right creative and messaging to elicit direct response, especially for ecommerce and B2C businesses.

Creative for ecommerce

The most fundamental truth of good ecommerce creative is that it truly showcases the product. A couple of recommendations here:

  1. Showcase your top-selling product
  2. If you have multiple products, showcase the variety of your products
  3. Determine the products on your site that are most viewed/clicked on as they have garnered interest from being eye-catching (something we want in our ads to pull people into our site)
  4. Include any deal-related or incentive messaging. People aren’t necessarily searching for you, so the goal is to intro your product and ‘sell it’ at the same time.

Creative for B2C

One of the most important things when it comes to GDN ads in general is making sure you are as transparent as possible; this becomes even more important in B2C and B2B when your business might not be as obvious as ecommerce.

Make sure your ads are clear and concise – when someone sees your ad/messaging, they should know exactly what you do and understand your business offer.

The last thing you want is to have an ambiguous ad, entice people to click on it, and bring them to a site that turns out to be totally irrelevant. By being upfront with our messaging, we are “prequalifying” them.

Additionally, consider testing out incorporating people on your ads as this makes your business seem more personable.

And of course, with any creative, don’t forget to include a call to action!

In the second part of this two-part series, now that we know the personas we want to get in front of and have our ads ready to go, I’ll be covering how to actually use both Facebook and the GDN’s targeting capabilities to get in front of these audiences.

Stay tuned!

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