How to attract your ideal client on Facebook: Client personas and custom audiences

At over 1.65 billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the largest marketing resources in the world, but only if you use it right. As Facebook’s audience continues to increase, organic reach for businesses continues to decline. Average organic reach for businesses is down by 52% in 2016 alone. In most instances, without sponsoring or “boosting” posts and paid ad content, you simply can’t reach your audience.

So how can you reach and convert your ideal prospects on Facebook?

The process

  1. Define your ideal client persona
  2. Build your ad audience
  3. Create your ads
  4. Analyze, improve, and repeat

Define your ideal legal client persona

As with any marketing campaign, the first step to reaching your ideal clients is defining your target client persona (i.e., a generalized representation of your perfect client).

Is your ideal client someone you already work with or someone you want to work with in the future? This persona will help you better utilize Facebook’s targeting to reach your audience.

To start, gather a list of top clients (or clients you want to work with) and determine what traits they have in common. You can target people based on:

  1. Demographic data: Target prospects based on age, gender, education level, household income, etc.
  2. Location: Are their certain states, cities, and zip codes that your ideal clients live in? Target prospects based on location to ensure your ad spend isn’t wasted on prospects who are not a good fit for your firm.
  3. Life events: Are your ideal clients recently married, recently divorced, newly engaged, new parents, etc.? If so, including life events in your ad targeting can provide another way to hone in on your ideal audience.
  4. Interests and affiliations: One of Facebook’s most effective targeting features, interest-based targeting allows you to paint a picture of your ideal client by targeting their interests and affiliations.For example, if you are a personal injury attorney in Colorado specializing in ski accidents, you can target individuals who live in or have recently traveled to Colorado, are interested in skiing (and even specific ski resorts), like different ski brands (Burton, Patagonia, Oakley, ect.), and more. Pro Tip: Use Facebook’s Audience Insights Tool to find related audience interests, affiliations, and organizations to further enhance your targeting.
  5. Digital behavior: Ranging from online purchasing behavior to the digital devices your clients use, behavioral info is fair game to pair with other forms of ad targeting. Are your ideal client tech-savvy individuals who tend to own iPhones and use laptops more often than desktop computers? Perfect. Add these traits to your audience targeting to drill down to your ideal client.

Build your audience

There are 4 main types of audiences you can build on Facebook, each with their own advantages.

  1. Profile-targeted audiences: Described in the previous section, profile-targeted audiences use information found on individual Facebook profiles to narrow in on ideal clients, but profile targeting is only the tip of the iceberg.
  2. Custom list audiences: For this, you can upload email lists of current clients and opt-in leads to match with their Facebook profiles and serve relevant ads to each user. Differing from profile-target audiences, custom list audiences allow you to serve ads to specific users as opposed to people who fit your client persona.
  3. Website custom audiences: Or retargeting audiences, allow you to target people who have visited your website in a given time period. Retargeting lists are generally comprised of warmer leads because list members are already aware of you and your firm. To enable retargeting, place Facebook’s Conversion Tracking Pixel on your website. The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that tracks website visitors’ activity and relays the information to your Facebook ad account. Example retargeting audiences can include people who have visited your website in the last 30, 60, 90, or 180 days or people who have visited your firm more than twice over the same time periods.
  4. Lookalike audiences: For custom list audiences of 1,000 or more contacts, Facebook allows you to create lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences allow you to reach potential clients who are likely to be interested in your services because the individuals are similar (or “lookalike”) to your current clients and leads.

The key benefits

  1. Profile-targeted audiences: Broad-based targeting based on profile characteristics, demographics, interests, etc.
  2. Custom list audiences: Exact targeting based on email addresses you upload and match with Facebook.
  3. Website custom audiences (retargeting): Retarget potential clients who have visited or taken action on your website.
  4. Lookalike audiences: Audiences who resemble your past, current and potential clients.

After defining your ideal client persona(s) and deciding on the best custom audience(s) to reach them, it’s time to create your ads.

With its own set of challenges and tips, creating ads merits a deep dive to figure out the intricacies and techniques of creating high-performing ads. With that in mind, try your hand at steps 1 and 2 of the ad process and check back next week for steps 3 and 4: creating ads and analyzing results.