Marketing | 04 MIN READ

Buyer Personas for Targeted Display Advertising

Buyer Personas have been an incredibly important tool for marketers and salespeople for a long time. Buyer personas are a useful tool for display advertisers too. Buyer personas help businesses target the right people and therefore create more successful display advertising campaigns.  This article looks at how advertisers can build buyer personas and use them to create effective display advertising campaigns.

Display Advertising Needs Buyer Personas

Display advertising has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1990s. Display advertisers now understand that one key factor which leads to a successful display advertising campaigns is creating relevant advertising that targets those who are your target audience. Creating relevant display ads has become such an important factor for advertisers and has led to most of the leading advertising networks, exchanges and DSPs to add whole ranges of targeting options to their campaign setup, allowing advertisers to chose exactly who their advertisements are shown to.

This is a great advancement in advertising; however, this technology can only be utilized if you know whom you are targeting in the first place. This is where buyer personas come in. Without buyer personas, it is impossible to create effective display advertising campaigns, and therefore you will not be able to create such effective advertising campaigns.

Develop Buyer Personas

Develop general buyer personas before you get into the nitty-gritty details of who they are, and before planning display advertising campaigns. There are dozens of reasons and ways of doing this. You can start by asking your sales team about leads that come in and which of those leads become customers. You might also want to find out which of these customers are most profitable as well as the pain points or difficulties that customers and potential customers face – that your product or service solves. The sales team can also give you an insight into the obstacles that are faced during the sales process.

Another source of information, which is useful to build buyer personas, is from your current customers. You can do this on two fronts:

  • Firstly, look into the data that you have collected from tools such as Google Analytics and marketing automation tools that you are using. Using this data means that you can see the journey your customers took. You can see where they first entered your website (especially if it was via a display advertising campaign!) and what points they passed through before becoming customers.
  • Secondly, find out information by asking your customers directly. This can be done in different ways but one popular method is to ask for feedback via a survey. This will help you to build buyer personas as you can get an insight into what your customers think and what types of people they might be.

Research Your Buyer Personas

black and white notebook with buyer persona research

Identify your buyer personas and then find out who they really are

Photo credit: “Research” by Neil Conway is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Once you have a detailed profile or checklist of requirements, next find out more about these buyers in order to be able to advertise to them effectively. Some things that you might consider looking into are where these people are online i.e. what types of websites and social media websites.

By researching how your different buyer personas will react differently to different types of display advertisement will help you to target your display ads further. For example, buyer personas who are businessmen looking for a business tool to manage their social media marketing will react differently to different advertisements compared to a well-known blogger looking for the same tool. Don’t presume that your display advertisements will work equally as well for all of your buyer personas, especially if your customer base is very diverse.

Create a Visual Profile

Creating a visual profile can often help you to really see your buyers. Even add a photo or story to help you. One suggestion on how to do this is by creating a social media style profile on paper for your different buyer personas. This will really help you to get a strong idea of who your ideal customers are. The team at the marketing automation solution company Pardot shared another great example to help visualize their buyers by using cardboard cutouts and sticking facts and criteria about that particular persona onto the figure.

Conclusion: Create Relevant Display Ads

Creating relevant ads is key here and this can be done through building accurate buyer personas will help you run effective display advertising campaigns. Whilst you can, of course, run general campaigns via a blind advertising network and hope for the best, targeted campaigns are preferable amongst many advertisers and marketers as it means more successful conversions. Have you ever wondered why the reported average click-through rate is 0.1%? A personal theory is that one reason behind this is that many campaigns do not target the right audience, and rather adopt the approach – if you build it, they will come.

To finish, here’s a quick round-up of the points discussed above:

  • Talk to as many people as possible who are in the sales process about different types of customer, this will help you define your buyer personas.
  • Collect information from your customers to research who they are.
  • Build up a clear visual profile of your customers to help you identify your ideal customers when they come along.
  • Don’t just research about the types of people, research their online behavior and how they react to design.

Have you build are are you building buyer personas? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below or continue the conversation with @Bannerflow on Twitter

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