Why you need to know your user personas to create copy that converts

There are lots of ‘rules’ of social media and marketing. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about optimum posting times, caption length, algorithms, follower numbers or trying to think of something that might go viral and bring thousands of people flocking to your business… but, actually, the most important thing you can do is to understand your customers.

What’s a user persona?

Knowing who they are, what they like, where they live, where they shop, where they go (not as creepy as it sounds) is all part of what marketers call ‘user personas’. It’s about imagining your ideal customer as a living, breathing person and is the foundation that any business needs to thrive. All brands – whether consciously or unconsciously – use what they know about their customers to refine and perfect their offerings.

In this respect, it’s not so different from a bricks and mortar shop. Retailers can use their face-to-face interactions to work out who’s coming in, who’s buying what, what the average spend is, what the trends are. They can make guesses at people’s demographic based on their appearance and what they spend and when. Then they can maximise their stock to provide more of what their customers want. Online stores or service providers have the same data, only digitally, and it can help you identify your market. It’s not just about retail though (see the case study below).

Why are they important?

All aspects of social media and social advertising feed into knowing your customer. Once you know who you are talking to, you can speak to them in a way that engages them. The right tone and language will help your social ad campaign have more impact. Crafting copy that converts means:
• Offering a service that they actually want.
• Knowing how to price what you’re selling.
• Refining which social platform to target them on, even what time and/or day to post to increase sales and leads.
If you’re creating or paying out for ads this is one area that you want to lock down. Test, measure and refine your offerings for sure, but there’s no room for winging it when it comes to talking directly to your customers.

Facebook Ads Targeting

Case study

I ran some recent Facebook & Instagram ads for care company Abbotts Care, who wanted to recruit support workers. Understanding who to target became really important to creating effective copy. If you want to encourage someone to join you, you need to provide them with reasons and benefits that really appeal to them.

From the user persona details the company provided and with some insight from a friend who used support workers to care for her disabled son, I was soon able to pick out some themes that were important to our target audience.

• Flexible working to fit round families and other commitments.
• Paid training and the chance of picking up overtime.
• Variety – both of shift patterns and the kind of service users they would care for.
• A friendly working environment for a company that values its staff highly.

It also became clear that working in a people-focused role that has a huge impact in improving sick, old or vulnerable people’s lives, was a big motivator. That meant I could use this emotional response to create some really effective copy and generate lots of recruitment leads for the care company.

Spending time on creating your user personas will be invaluable in all the marketing and content creation you do, and especially in creating targeted audiences for ads. Think about what questions you can ask your potential audience to help you become very clear on who it is that you are targeting.