The Power of Persona Advertising Via Facebook

Who is your target customer? Do you even know? Are you taking steps to find out? Say you’ve found your key age demographic, where do you go from there?

Marketing has traditionally been thought of in terms of a business’ target demographic and the best ways to saturate that demographic. After all, in a world of limited resources, you can’t market to everyone. Similarly, resources for finding insights into your customer base have traditionally been limited to larger, nationwide organizations that have the money to put into focus groups and market testing.

But, relatively recent advents in digital advertising, namely Social Media advertising, with Facebook leading the way, have changed all of that.

What is Persona Advertising?

Nowadays, anyone with a credit card can run ads on Facebook and access the wide array of Facebook’s detailed targeting. What that means is that advertisers at all levels now have the ability to test and hone their target market at a level that was previously unheard of. Here’s why -

A Quick Breakdown of FB targeting -

There are four dimensions with which you can target the general Facebook population:

Location -

Reach people based on where they live, where they’re traveling, or where they are currently, as specific as an address, or as general as a country.

Demographics -

Target folks based on typical demographic indicators like age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, job title, etc.


Think of the myriad of ways users tell Facebook what they’re interested in. Everything that user’s list in their profile, everything they follow, click on, respond to, are all indicators of interest categories, all of which are up for grabs to advertisers.


Target users based on device usage, purchase behavior, shopping categories and more.

[Remember - there are restrictions and particular uses for these targeting parameters, most of which follow conventional guidelines around advertising in general e.g. you can’t target those under 21 with ads promoting alcohol, or promote housing specific ads to a certain demographic or income level]

While there are some restrictions on your use of Facebook’s targeting parameters, you’re still able to paint an incredibly vivid picture of who your target customer is. This allows advertisers to segment target markets in ways that are much more granular than have been in the past. The only caveat to building a core audience this way is that you’ve got to know a little bit about how your target audience operates and what they’re interested in unless you start with audience insights.

Audience Insights

audience insights

A Facebook feature that allows you to aggregate and anonymous information including interests, demographics, page likes, location, usage, and certain behaviors of Facebook users, Audience Insights is always where we start when we’re persona advertising via FB at Bonsai.

Audience insights allow you to pull key interest and demographic data for the general Facebook audience, people connected to your page or event, or people you’ve already identified as customers via a list or Facebook pixel data.

Say you’d like to see the top interest categories of folks connected to your page - audience insights allows you to do so.

Or perhaps you’ve identified a key interest among your target audience, and you’d like to find additional parameters to find similar people, just plug in the first parameter into audience insights and you’ll get a list of the ten most relevant categories that overlap with users from the first parameter.

There are a few drawbacks, however. For one, if the parameters you’re using to pull data are too narrow, you won’t be able to see any corresponding data. For the most part, I’ve seen most data start to tick through once you’ve entered a parameter that generates around 5,000 users. So if you’re looking for the interest categories of people connected to your page, and you only have 1,000 likes, it’s going to be tough to glean anything more than age and gender.

How We Do It

At Bonsai, we employ persona testing to help a number of our clients better assess their target personas so they can understand where their advertising dollars are most effective.

First, we start with audience insights, to determine any relevant interests, behavior, or targeting parameters from our initial insights from the client,

We use those to build a general understanding of the users of Facebook and how their interests correspond to the offerings of the client.

Then we understand what the client wants to test. We need to make sure that the information they’re trying to glean corresponds with available targeting parameters on Facebook.

For example, we have an apartment client located in Louisville who feels as though their initial understanding of their target demographic missed the mark. To get a better understanding of the folks that are actually renting apartments, we recommended testing general interest among personas - those who work in the manufacturing industry, those who work in Tech, and those who work in healthcare.

Here’s what the audiences for each look like -
Manufacturing industry -

Healthcare -

Tech -

As you can see, we’re able to target and segment users based career industry parameters, location, and overall interest/likelihood of living in an apartment, crossed with locations that the client has identified as important.

As our control, each of these personas will be served identical ads with identical offerings [our control for this experiment]. The only thing that differs ad to ad is specific utm parameters that allow us to see which ad is driving what traffic.

Then we assess the overall traffic, the overall onsite activity, the goal completions and the contacts to the client from each persona.

All along the way we test different imagery and adjust targeting parameters to ensure that the ads are as well optimized for each persona while also presenting an even test.

From there, recommendations are made, personas are prioritized, and we’re able to conduct all sorts of advertising efforts, not just on facebook but everywhere, that target the right group of people by precise groupings and pinpoint messaging. Therein lies the power of persona advertising via Facebook.

View Our Facebook Advertising Case Studies Here.

The Self-Serve Model

The self-serve model that all major digital advertising platforms are built upon may go down in history as one of the most revolutionary shifts in modern advertising. The power of persona advertising via Facebook is based on the ability of advertisers big and small to gain valuable, fact-based insights on their target market, and then immediately act upon those insights without the need for a middleman. What this means for the future of advertising is more granular audiences, and advertisers bidding and vying for attention within ever-shrinking audience niches.

So, if you’re looking for ways to stand out among the vast array of competitors if you’re looking for the best possible niche of users related to your business, or you’d just like to find out where to best spend your precious ad budget, persona advertising via Facebook with Bonsai can certainly help!

Contact us for more information!


At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd of Europeans and natives already occupied the rear of the apartment.

At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd of Europeans. At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd.

The donations increased due to the impactful user journey.

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