June 15th, 2017

How to Target Personas in Your Website Copy

woman with white glasses looking curiously at abstract images representing marketing graphics

You need to speak to multiple personas on your website. How do you do it?

Most businesses have multiple types of clientele. It can be as basic as a clothing outlet selling items for men and women, or a service business targeting both business and residential customers. Regardless of the situation, you’ll need to address both these audiences in a way that doesn’t feel like a total disconnect. How do you do that?

By building marketing personas. To gain an understanding of what these are and how you can use them to create strong website copy for your target audience, take a look at these important steps.

1. Know your personas and target their needs.

It’s important to begin by developing a full understanding of each of your personas. This means you should break down some basic demographics, such as age, gender, education level, or anything else which might be relevant. Think about the pain points they may have, what publications they get their information from, and how your product or service will benefit them. Then address those needs directly in your website copy.

An important point to make at this stage is that your target personas should not be based on specific people. While your target persona may resemble an archetype (for instance, educated, urban Millennials who have digital subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post and listen to NPR), they should not be biased by a single individual’s quirks. The archetype I just described is fairly specific and gives you a lot of information you need to write website copy targeting them without being muddled by your nice Judy’s obsession with Firefly. In other words, details are good, but only include those that are relevant to the product or services you offer.

2. Determine if you have a primary target persona.

Some businesses receive the bulk of their business from one kind of persona and want to put their focus there. For instance, you may be in the business of selling running shoes, and the bulk of your business comes from athletes. But you also have a line of orthopedic sneakers, specially designed with an older demographic in mind. You want to target both these audiences, but having them featured equally might create brand confusion on your home page.

Instead, focus your main efforts on your primary persona, and reach out to your other demographics elsewhere on your site. For instance, while your hero image and headline CTA may focus on athletes, a CTA further down the page can draw attention to your orthopedic line. You should also include clear navigation to help your visitors get to the section of the site most relevant to them if they aren’t your primary target.

3. Build landing pages.

One of the best ways to target personas, particularly ones who don’t make up your primary audience, is through specialized landing pages. Going back to our shoe example: let’s say you want to promote your orthopedic sneakers, but you don’t want them to detract from your target audience on your home page. You can create landing pages that will focus attention on a specific product or service, and then run advertisements to direct online consumers toward those services. This allows you to speak to a client with clear, focused messaging, rather than appealing to multiple audiences at once.

4. Help your target personas self-select their path.

Let’s say that, instead of one primary persona, you have multiple target personas. Maybe you draw business equally from all of them, or you’re trying to build market share for one of your target audiences which hasn’t formed as much of your business in the past. It’s possible in this instance to design your website in such a way that your visitors can immediately identify what group they belong to.

Imagine a clothing website that wants to target both men and women. It’s fairly common to see on a landing page two different images, one which says “shop men” and the other which says “shop women.” This is a fast way for visitors to identify what clothing they’re looking for, which gives you the information you need to provide the appropriate experience for that target market.

5. Use automated marketing to reach your target personas.

Most good CRMs will help you create customer personas, and then assign leads to those persona profiles. From there, you can create mailing lists to market directly to those audiences and direct them to areas of your website or relevant landing pages. By segmenting your mailing lists, you will also have an opportunity to gain insight into the customer behavior of these different target audiences.

Remember that you can’t please everyone.

As you target personas with your website copy, remember that you can’t be all things to all people. Inevitably, choosing to target one audience will mean choosing not to target another. The more specific you are with your personas, the more niche your marketing will become.

While this can seem alienating at first, it’s all a part of creating a stronger brand. At the end of the day, if making a bolder brand statement inspires more commitment from one target market, it may be worth the tradeoff.

Need help with your online marketing? We specialize in creating content to market to your target personas. We can work with you to understand who your top customers are, develop persona profiles, and set up automated marketing services to these clients. We can also work with you to create a web design to better target your personas and increase conversions. Contact us today to set up a meeting.

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